Case Interviews and Consulting
Before even applying
Consulting firms tend to favour people from top universities with high GPAs. If an applicant’s GPA is not high then they will reject them,, generally without exceptions.
The next things they look for are:
1) Analytical skills: the entry level role in a consulting firm is that of an analyst: you are part of a team where you need to answer a particular strategic question for a client, and the way you answer that question is by doing analysis: running numbers, making assumptions, using all the data available to you to calculate whatever it is you need to calculate, for instance market share, profit margins, size of market, ratios, etc.
2) Strong interpersonal & Team playing skills: Consulting exposes you at a very young age to CEOs and senior managers of Fortune 500 companies. Consulting firms are therefore looking for people who are able to interact with senior managers with ease. In addition, consulting involves working in teams under high pressure situations, so it is important that you demonstrate that you are a good team player, you can collaborate well with colleagues and work together towards a common output.
3) Finally, they look for exceptional people who have demonstrated strong leadership skills. This can be either in the form of taking initiative: lots of extra curricular activities, who have set up a venture, done something unusual or exceptional.
Interviews at consulting firms are done by the “case method”, also called “case interviews”. Consulting firms try to put you in the mindset of a consultant – so they may, for example, ask you to estimate how big a certain market is, or how you would figure out why a company is losing money.
Look through your university career services site or call them to get free access to case interview guides (most universities have these available free of charge for students).
Use the ACN Network Directory to reach out to peers who have experience with case interviews to ask for advice or a mock interview.
You can also ask a friend to read you a case question out of the case interviewing book and give you feedback on your clarity and presentation.
Preparing for Case Interviews
Ideally, you should plan on spending 10+ hours preparing for interviews. Here are some suggestions for the process:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6R5bT4cJh0A - Case Interview Tutorial (11 mins)
Here is the channel for MPrep Consulting, free YouTube case interview tutorials.
For the first few practice cases, read the question and the suggested answer so you get a sense of a typical answer.
Next, read the question and actually attempt to answer it yourself, then check what the answer said.
Next, practice everything out loud instead of just in your head or on paper.
Keep in mind that your interviewer will expect you to write some things down on paper to organize your thoughts, so don’t hesitate to do that.
*** If you have interviewed or interned with a consulting firm before and would like to make yourself available for other ALA grads to contact please let your associate know (contact details here: so that we can record your details.