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CASE IN POINT PDF COSENTINO

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Case in Point is in my view the best book of its type on the market. The top firms vary their cases from interviewer to interviewer; Cosentino's book provides a. Marc P Cosentino - Case in point(1). Andrea Schirru. Loading Preview. Sorry, preview is currently unavailable. You can download the paper by clicking the. Introduction. Here tree from Cosentino's book Read Cosentino's “Case in Point ” musicmarkup.info


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Cosentino's Case in Point was easier to understand and covered the key Developed by Marc P. Cosentino, author of Case in Point: Complete Case Interview. Editorial Reviews. Review. When in Doubt, MBAs Turn to the MBA 'Bible.' Case in Point is the for download. Share. Kindle App Ad. Look inside this book. Case in Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation by [Cosentino, Marc]. CASE IN point omplete Case Interview Preparation. MARC P. COSENTINO. "With humor and insight Download HTML5 Tutorial (PDF Version) - Tutorials Point.

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Stay away from anything that is going to make the interviewer feel uncomfortable i. If you really did fail a course, they would know about it and ask why it happened. Consulting goes hand-in-hand with two other industries. These positions look for the same qualities in a candidate and require similar job skills.

The learning curve never ends. You know the interviewer is going to ask you why you want to be a consultant. Now this is important — not only should your answer be immediate, but you must look the interviewer right in the eye. You should have given this answer a great deal of thought long before you walked into the interview. This makes your answer focused, linear and of an appropriate length. Avoid talking aimlessly. Your voice should carry sincerity and enthusiasm. It may be time to break out the flash cards.

Are you interesting? Do you have a sense of humor and like to have fun? For him that interview was over. He might as well have gotten up and walked out because nothing was going to save him. If he does something like that in an interview, what is he going to do in front of a client?

These questions carry a tremendous amount of weight. You can pass the airport test and be as poised and articulate as John F. Alternatively, if you hit a home run on the case but have the social skills of Napoleon Dynamite, then you have bigger problems than getting a job.

In addition, if you can find out who will be interviewing you, you should be Googling them to see what articles they have written or issues they are involved with. You can bet that they will be Googling you. In your research, you should be looking for answers to the pre-interview questions see sidebar, next page. What type of consulting does the firm do? In what industries does the firm specialize? How big is the firm?

How many domestic and international offices does the firm have? How many professionals are in the firm? What kinds of training programs does the firm offer? What type of work does an entry-level consultant do? How much client contact does an entry-level consultant have the first year? Does the firm have a mentor program?

How often do first-years sleep in their own beds? How many hours make up a typical work day? How is a case team picked? How often do consultants get reviewed? How many consultants does the firm expect to hire this year? How does that compare to last year? Where do the consultants go when they leave the firm?

Is it possible to transfer to other offices, even international offices? The best ways to collect these answers are to: Attend career fairs and speak to the firm representatives. Pull out your list of questions and ask three or four. Make sure that you try to turn this meeting into a conversation.

At the end, thank the reps for their time, ask them for their business cards, and inquire whether it would be all right if you called or e- mailed them with further questions. At this point, no one is going to judge you on your level of company knowledge. They are there to provide information and hype the firm. Often, career services offices will be able to match you up with alumni who are working in a specific industry. Interviewing past employees can be very enlightening. Attend company information meetings.

Snag that interview slot by networking and schmoozing with firm representatives every chance you get. One of the best kept secrets of company presentations is to go early.

If a company presentation is scheduled to start at 6 pm, show up at 5: If you show up early, not only will it impress the consultants, but it will allow you to get at least five minutes of quality face time with one of them.

They are more likely to remember you if you talk for five minutes at the beginning of the night than if you hang around until the end hoping for 45 seconds of their time.

They are also more likely to have their business cards with them. Remember to ask for those business cards and send a follow-up e-mail. It shows that you have done your homework and have given this interview a great deal of thought. Why Should I Hire You? This is your opportunity to shine and market yourself. But before you launch into a laundry list of skills and attributes, you may want to simply state that they should hire you because you want to be a consultant.

Think of it this way: How would you feel if someone accepted your dinner invitation because their first choice fell through? Students who receive job offers in consulting do so for four reasons: They can demonstrate success-oriented behavior.

They exhibit good analytical skills when answering case questions. They are able to articulate their thoughts, create a positive presence and defend themselves without being defensive. Now that you understand the structure of the interview for the first round, the subsequent rounds are not all that different. The second round is often held at a nearby hotel and usually consists of two interviews, both 60 minutes in length, each with a heavy focus on case questions.

During all the final rounds you can expect to analyze many charts.

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In addition, some firms give written cases requiring you to not only analyze the information but to design charts to back up your recommendations. There are other kinds of first round interviews. Some firms conduct phone interviews while others conduct group case interviews. First Round Telephone Interviews There will be times when your first round interview will be conducted over the phone. There are several things to remember.

If possible, go to a quiet and private place. Most importantly, you are your voice. That is the only thing the person on the other end of the line has to go on. Your voice should be upbeat and enthusiastic; speak clearly and with confidence, but not arrogance. Finally, lose the calculator. During a group interview, consultants look more at the group dynamics than how the group answers the question.

Does this candidate have the ability to build relationships, empathy, and teamwork? On one hand, you are a competitor to the other people in the group, but on the other hand, for this moment in time you are teammates. In my Harvard Business School classes, the professor rarely called on anyone who had his hand raised while someone else was speaking.

Like a business school case class, you are expected to build on what others have said.

Case in Point 9: Complete Case Interview Preparation | Career Planning Service - McGill University

You are expected to move the discussion forward, not take it off on a tangent, or move the discussion back because you had a point you wanted to make. Stress interviews. They usually come in one of two forms. The interviewers ask you question after question without giving you much of a chance to answer.

They may even turn rude and snappish. Why do the interviewers do this? They put you through this to see how you react.

Can you defend yourself and your answers without getting defensive? Can you maintain your cool and your professionalism? Can you handle it if someone snaps at you or will you crumble and cry? The second type is the silent treatment. He might question many of your statements, making you explain even the simplest of answers. Why do they do this? You will be forced to choose between A and B. Again, he does this to see how you react. Do you turn red?

Does your jaw tighten or do your eyebrows shoot up? Clients are going to challenge your findings and ideas all the time. He wants to make sure you can handle criticism when someone gets in your face.

Defend your answer without getting defensive. It shows that you are still objective and open to reason. Remember, one of the main reasons corporations hire consulting firms is because of their objectivity.

If you can remain objective about your answer, then you are one step closer to being a consultant. There is an old saying about Harvard professors: You need to carry that same mindset into your interview. Even if you are uncertain, you need to remain confident. Rules for stress interviews: Try not to get flustered. Roll with the punches. Watch what you say; make sure that it is relevant to the interview. Remain confident. Most of these students wanted to work initially in the United States before returning to their home countries.

While many were successful, like their American classmates, the majority were not. Consulting jobs are very competitive and highly sought after. I offer three additional pieces of advice for international students. Be honest about your communication skills.

Much of the interview process is driven by communication skills. Are you truly fluent in English? Do you have an accent? How pronounced is it? A couple of years ago, I worked with a brilliant Chinese student at Harvard.

He did very well in the mock case interviews I gave him; however, his language skills, particularly his presentation skills, were poor. While his understanding of English was excellent, his verbal and written skills left much to be desired. Against my advice he applied to the Boston offices of all the top firms. Think long-term and play to your strengths. I met several times with a Russian student. Her grades, work experience and extracurricular activities were just okay, but nothing great, so she faced some pretty stiff competition from her American classmates.

She wanted to work in New York. Her problem was getting the first round interview. We talked about thinking long- term. If she applied to the Moscow office of these firms, she would have a significantly better chance of getting hired than if she focused on New York. She knew the language, the culture, and the economics of the region, and she had a degree from a prestigious American university. She could work in Moscow for two years, then transfer back to the United States, which is exactly what she did.

Come back to campus in case-fighting form. There are many more full-time opportunities than summer positions, but they are still very competitive. The first step is to secure a summer job where you will be developing some of the same skills you would if you worked in a consulting firm.

The second is to practice your cases over the summer. I had a brilliant student from the Caribbean who had no business experience but plenty of great leadership experience. He received four first round summer internship interviews. He spent the summer working for a large international financial agency in Washington, DC, where he wanted to settle.

He spent the summer contacting alumni who worked in the DC offices of the two major consulting firms and invited them out for lunch, coffee and beer.

He learned about their firms, and he made great connections within those offices. Every time he sipped a coffee or drank a beer with them, he asked them to give him a case question. This went on all summer long.

Related Post: 5 POINTS SOMEONE PDF

When he returned to campus in September, he was in case-fighting form and had many supporters within each firm. To summarize: Strengthen your communication skills.

Come back to campus in fighting form. The firms are worried that if you see a problem with a client, you are going to solve it the same way you solved it when you worked in health-care. They like people who can look at a problem objectively, with no preconceived notions. They will, however, draw on your industry knowledge when building industry files. The interview process is somewhat the same. The first round might consist of three one-hour interviews, which will have both a personal experience component to it as well as a case.

They want to test your thought structure, not your industry knowledge. They will expect you to be more confident than a university candidate, more professional in your demeanor.

Another thing to remember is that you will enter the firm at the same level as a newly minted MBA unless you bring a host of clients with you. You may be reporting to someone years younger.

Keep in mind that these firms are meritocracies and you can move up as quickly as your talents allow. In fact, you want to enter at that level; it will give you time to get your sea legs and establish yourself. One last note on preparation: Be familiar with business terms and trends. Please refer to the Consulting Buzzwords section, p. You should also read The Wall Street Journal every day to keep abreast of national and world news.

In other words, climb out of that academic shell and join the rest of the world. Your familiarity with business terms and trends will make it easier for you to communicate with the interviewer and demonstrate your interest in business and consulting. Case Questions A case question is a fun, intriguing and active interviewing tool used to evaluate the multi-dimensional aspects of a candidate.

They do ask case questions Case questions are the same way. Some of my students, even after they got the job, would come into my office and ask me to give them a case. They loved doing cases. To them it was no different than working a crossword puzzle. They loved the intellectual challenge, and they learned something new every time they did one. Often, consultants work under great pressure in turbulent environments while dealing with seemingly unmanageable problems.

It takes a certain type of personality to remain cool under pressure, to influence the client without being condescending and to be both articulate and analytical at the same time. As we said earlier, the business of consulting is really the renting of brains, packaged and delivered with an engaging and confident personality. So as you work through the case, the interviewer is asking herself: Is the candidate Before we look at some cases, it is best to understand The Case Commandments.

Follow these rules and your case interviewing life will become much easier.

Listen to the Question ] Listening is the most important skill a consultant has. What are they really asking for? Pay particular attention to the last sentence — one word can change the entire case.

Take Notes ] Taking notes during the case interview allows you to check back with the facts of the case. Summarize the Question ] After you are given the question, take a moment to summarize the highlights out loud: It shows the interviewer that you listened.

It allows you to hear the information a second time. It keeps you from answering the wrong question. Verify the Objectives ] Professional consultants always ask their clients to verify their objectives. Even if the objective seems obvious, there could be an additional, underlying objective. When the objective seems apparent, phrase the question differently: Are there any other objectives I should know about? Ask Clarifying Questions ] You ask questions for three main reasons: You should ask basic questions about the company, the industry, the competition, external market factors and the product.

The further you get into the case, the more your questions should switch from open-ended questions to closed- ended questions.

You start to get into trouble when you ask broad, sweeping questions that are hard for the interviewer to answer. Organize Your Answer ] Identify and label your case, then lay out your structure. This is the hardest part of a case, and the most crucial. It drives your case and is often the major reason behind whether you get called back. We will spend more time on this in Chapter Four.

If you make a statement that is way off base in an interview, the recruiter will wonder if he can trust you in front of a client. Manage Your Time ] Your answer should be as linear as possible. Answer from a macro level and move the answer forward. Stay focused on the original question asked.

Work the Numbers ] If possible, try to work numbers into the problem. Demonstrate that you think quantitatively and that you are comfortable with numbers.

When doing calculations, explain what you are thinking and how you are going to do it. Take your time. Is she trying to guide you back on track?

Pay attention to her body language. Are you boring her? Is she about to nod off? Is she enthralled? Being coachable also means asking for help when you need it.

Cosentino case pdf in point

If you run into a wall, lose your train of thought or are just in over your head, ask for help. If you were working on an actual project and got stuck, she would much rather that you ask for help than waste time spinning your wheels. Brainstorming without commitment, as consultants call it, allows you to toss out uninhibited suggestions without being married to them.

It gives you the opportunity to review all the options and eliminate the inappropriate ones. Recruiters want people who are excited by problem-solving and can carry that enthusiasm throughout the entire interview. Review your findings, restate your suggestions and make a recommendation.

Students are often afraid to make a recommendation, thinking that their analysis was faulty, so therefore their answers will be wrong. There are no wrong answers. Just make sure your answer makes good business sense and common sense. Whether fun or frustrating, all case questions are valuable learning experiences. Some brainteasers have a definite answer; others are more flexible in their solutions. Interviewers are looking to see not only if you can come up with a good answer, but also whether you can handle the pressure.

Do you get frustrated, stressed and upset? The key is to keep your cool and try to break the problem down logically. It makes you human and more fun to be with. Below is an example of a brainteaser with a definite answer. The Bags of Gold There are three bags of gold. One of the bags contains fake gold. All the bags and all the coins look exactly alike.

There are other kinds of first-round interviews. Some firms conduct phone interviews while others conduct group case interviews. First-Round Telephone Interviews Sometimes your first-round interview will be conducted over the phone.

Sometimes this is a screening interview; other times you'll get a case question as well. There are several things to remember: Turn off the television and lock the door so your roommate doesn't barge in and interrupt you.

Most important, you are your voice. That is the only thing the person on the other end of the line has to go on — even if it's a Skype interview, and though your appearance counts, your voice is still Number One.

Your voice should be upbeat and enthusiastic; speak clearly and with confidence, but without arrogance. Finally, lose the calculator. I know it is tempting to have it right there, but if you get the answer too quickly, or the interviewer can hear buttons being pushed, you're sunk. First-Round Telephone and Skype Interviews In addition to all that, for a Skype interview you will need to dress up as you would for a regular interview. A survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that grooming alone influences employers 73 percent of the time, and 49 percent of them said that nontraditional interview attire will negatively influence the hiring decision.

I've heard stories about the interviewee who was dressed up above the waist, but had on pajama bottoms or shorts or sweat pants. Normally this wouldn't be a problem during a Skype interview, but the interviewee had to stand up to retrieve something.

Also, be aware of your background. What can the person on the other side of the computer see? If you have a poster of a bikini-clad Sports Illustrated swimsuit model hanging on your wall, you might want to remove it or angle the camera away from the poster.

I Skype with students from around the world, and I'm always interested in the background — what their apartment or dorm room looks like. It gives me additional information on their personalities and organizational skills. During a group interview, consultants look more at the group dynamics than how the group answers the question.

Does this candidate have the ability to build relationships, empathy, and teamwork? On one hand, you are a competitor to the other people in the group, but on the other hand, for this moment in time you are teammates. People who are aggressive and try to dominate the conversation are people who don't get called back. Remember, consultants work in teams, and if you're not willing to be a team player, then you're out. In my Harvard Business School classes, the professors rarely called on anyone with his hand raised while someone else was speaking.

This indicated that the hand-raising student wasn't listening to his classmate; he had his own agenda. Like a business school case class, you are expected to build on what others have said and move the discussion forward, not take it off on a tangent or move the discussion back because you had a point you wanted to make. Stress interviews. They usually come in one of two forms; the first is the two-on- one you're the one.

The interviewers ask you question after question without giving you much of a chance to answer. They'll make unfavorable comments to each other about your answers, dismissing your answers as amateurish or ridiculous. They may even turn rude and snappish. Why do interviewers do this? They put you through this to see how you react. Can you defend yourself and your answers without getting defensive? Can you maintain your cool and your professionalism?

Can you handle it if someone snaps at you, or will you crumble and cry? The second type is the silent treatment. The interviewer doesn't smile; he usually sits in silence waiting to see whether you start talking.

If you ask the interviewer a question, he'll usually shoot back a one-word answer. He might question many of your statements, making you explain even the simplest of answers.

Why do they do this? They'll tell you that silence leads to stupid statements, where interviewees blurt out irrelevant conversation just to fill the silence, and it's important to know how you would react in a situation like this with a client.

Sometimes during a case you'll be asked to make a decision. You will be forced to choose between A and B. If you choose A, the interviewer will look you right in the eye and say, "Let me tell you why you are wrong. Again, he does this to see how you react. Do you turn red? Does your jaw tighten or do your eyebrows shoot up? Clients are going to challenge your findings and ideas all the time.

The interviewer wants to make sure you can handle criticism when someone gets in your face. While he is telling you why you are wrong, if you don't find his answer very persuasive, then simply say, "That was an interesting argument, but I didn't find it compelling enough.

I'm sticking with answer A. Stick with your answer if you think you are right. Defend your answer without getting defensive. If in his argument he brings up something you didn't think about, and now that you're thinking about it, it changes everything, admit that you were wrong. Simply say, "That was a very persuasive argument, and to be honest, I didn't think about the inventory issue.

I think you're right; I think B is the right answer. It shows that you are still objective and open to reason. Remember, one of the main reasons corporations hire consulting firms is for their objectivity. If you can remain objective about your answer, then you are one step closer to being a consultant. Rules for stress interviews: If your confidence level is too low, they're going to question everything you say.

There is an old saying about Harvard professors: You need to carry that same mindset into your interview. Even if you are uncertain, you need to remain confident. Most of these students wanted to work first in the United States before returning to their home countries. While many were successful, like their American classmates, most were not. Consulting jobs are very competitive and highly sought after. I offer three additional pieces of advice for international students: Be honest about your communication skills.

Pdf case in cosentino point

Much of the interview process is driven by communication skills. Are you truly fluent in English? Do you have an accent? How pronounced is it?

A couple of years ago, I worked with a brilliant Chinese student at Harvard. He did very well in the mock case interviews I gave him; however, his language skills, particularly his presentation skills, were poor. While his understanding of English was excellent, his verbal and written skills left much to be desired.

Against my advice he applied to the Boston offices of all the top firms. While he received a number of first-round interviews, he didn't get a single second-round interview. He found himself competing against American Harvard students and he didn't stand a chance. Think long-term and play to your strengths. I met several times with a Russian student.

Her English was excellent, she could articulate her thoughts, and she even had a good command of business English. While she had an Eastern European accent, she was easy to understand. Her grades, work experience, and extracurricular activities were just okay, but nothing great, so she faced some pretty stiff competition from her American classmates. She wanted to work in New York. Her problem was getting the first-round interview.

We talked about thinking long-term. If she applied to the Moscow offices of these firms, she would have a significantly better chance of getting hired than if she focused on New York. She knew the language, the culture, and the economics of the region, and she had a degree from a prestigious American university. Come back to campus in case-fighting form.

Case in Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation

Summer internships are tough to get, so don't get discouraged if you don't land one. I have pocketfuls of stories about students who didn't get summer internships but landed full-time consulting jobs upon graduation.

There are many more full-time opportunities than summer positions, but they are still very competitive. Don't waste your summer; use it to become a better candidate in the autumn. The first step is to secure a summer job where you will be developing some of the same skills you'd acquire if you worked in a consulting firm. The second is to practice your cases over the summer. I had a brilliant student from the Caribbean who had no business experience but plenty of great leadership experience.

He received four first-round summer internship interviews. He made it to the second round with two firms but didn't get an offer. He spent the summer working for a large international financial agency in Washington, DC, where he wanted to settle. He spent the summer contacting alumni who worked in the DC offices of the two major consulting firms and invited them out for lunch, coffee, or a beer.

He learned about their firms, and he made great connections within those offices. Every time he sipped a coffee or drank a beer with them, he asked them to give him a case question. This went on all summer long. When he returned to campus in September, he was in case-fighting form and had many supporters within each firm.

Cosentino point case in pdf

To summarize: Having years of experience in a particular industry isn't always a good thing. For example, if you have ten years' experience in the health-care industry, some firms might be reluctant to hire you for your industry experience because you come with certain prejudices or beliefs about an industry. The firms worry that if you see a problem with a client, you are going to solve it the same way you solved it when you worked in health care.

They like people who can look at a problem objectively, with no preconceived notions. They will, however, draw on your industry knowledge when building industry files. So don't be surprised if you are assigned to new industries at first. The interview process is somewhat the same. If you are applying to McKinsey, you'll probably be asked to take the written exercise that most non-MBAs have to take. The first round might consist of three one-hour interviews, which will have both a personal experience component as well as a case.

I'd be surprised if the cases you get touch on your old industry. They want to test your thought structure, not your industry knowledge. They will expect you to be more confident than a university candidate, and more professional in your demeanor.

Another thing to remember is that you will enter the firm at the same level as a newly minted MBA unless you bring a host of clients with you. You may be reporting to someone who is years younger than you. Keep in mind that these firms are meritocracies and you can move up as quickly as your talents allow. In fact, you do want to enter at that level; it will give you time to get your sea legs and establish yourself. They don't ask case questions to see you sweat and squirm although some might consider it a side perk.

They do ask case questions They work in small teams and are sometimes in charge of groups of the client's employees. Often, consultants work under great pressure in turbulent environments while dealing with seemingly unmanageable problems. It takes a certain type of personality to remain cool under pressure, to influence the client without being condescending, and to be both articulate and analytical at the same time.

The business of consulting is really the renting of brains, packaged and delivered with an engaging and confident personality. So as you work through the case, the interviewer is asking whether you are: I never like to equate an interview with a test, but they are similar in that the more you prepare, the better you'll do. Maybe you've experienced the feeling of being so prepared for an exam that you can't wait for the professor to hand it out so you can rip right through it.

Case questions are the same way. Firms look to see if you have that "rip right through it" look in your eyes. It's confidence. Some of my students, even after they got the job, would come into my office and ask me to give them a case. They loved doing cases. To them it was no different from working a crossword puzzle.

They loved the intellectual challenge, and they learned something new every time they did one. Before we look at some cases, it is best to understand The Case Commandments. Follow these rules and your case interviewing life will become much easier. Listen to the Question. The case isn't about you or the consultant; it's about the client. What are they really asking for? Pay particular attention to the last sentence — one word can change the entire case.

Take Notes. As someone once said, "The palest ink is stronger than the best memory. Summarize the Question. Verify the Objectives.

Even if the objective seems starkly obvious, there could be an additional underlying objective. When the objective seems apparent, phrase the question differently: Are there any other objectives I should know about? Ask Clarifying Questions. In the beginning of the case, you have more latitude in your questioning. You should ask basic questions about the company, the industry, the competition, external market factors, and the product. The further you get into the case, the more your questions should switch from open-ended questions to closed-ended questions.

You start to get into trouble when you ask broad, sweeping questions that are hard for the interviewer to answer. This kind of question gives the impression that you're trying to get the interviewer to answer the case for you. You'll know that you crossed that line when the interviewer says to you, "What do you think? Organize Your Answer. This is the hardest part of a case, and it's the most crucial. It drives your case and is often the major reason behind whether you are called back.

We will spend more time on this in Chapter 4. Hold That Thought for "One Alligator. If you make a statement that is way off base in an interview, the recruiter will wonder if he can trust you in front of a client. If he thinks he can't trust you, the interview is over.

Manage Your Time. Don't get bogged down in the details. Answer from a macro level and move the answer forward. It's easy to lose your way by going off on a tangent. Stay focused on the original question asked. Finally, don't lose track of the question, the objective, or the framework. Go back during the case to the original question and objectives to make sure you haven't lost your way.

Work the Numbers. Demonstrate that you think quantitatively and that you are comfortable with numbers. When doing calculations, explain what you are thinking and how you are going to do it.

Take your time. Better to get it right than to rush and make a careless mistake. Be Coachable. Is she trying to guide you back on track? Pay attention to her body language. Are you boring her? Is she about to nod off? Is she enthralled? Being coachable also means asking for help when you need it.

If you run into a wall, lose your train of thought, or are just in over your head, ask for help. There is no shame in asking for help; it's a sign of maturity. Look at it from the interviewer's point of view.

If you were working on an actual project and got stuck, she would much rather you ask for help than waste time spinning your wheels. Be Creative and Brainstorm. Brainstorming without commitment, as consultants call it, allows you to toss around uninhibited ideas without being married to them. It gives you the opportunity to review all the options and eliminate inappropriate options.

Consulting firms like liberal arts candidates with intellectual curiosity who can "think outside the box" and offer up a new and interesting perspective. Exude Enthusiasm and a Positive Attitude. It's not enough to do well on the case; you have to thrive on the challenge of the case. Recruiters want people who are excited by problem-solving and can carry that enthusiasm through the entire interview. Bring Closure and Summarize. Review your findings, restate your suggestions, and make a recommendation.

You don't need to sum up the whole answer; pick two or three key points and focus on those. Students are often afraid to make a recommendation, thinking that their analysis was faulty and so their answers will be wrong. There are no wrong answers. Just make sure your answer makes good business sense and common sense. Some are broken down into analytics structure, quant acumen, and good use of data , communication eye contact, articulation, listening, asking probing questions, and note layout and personal enthusiasm, self-confidence, teamwork, original thought, and intellectual curiosity.

You are rated 1 to 5 in several categories under these areas, 5 being the highest score. Is this person interested in Bain? Would you have this person on your team? The Pittsburgh Airport test. And would you pass on this person or make them an offer? Summary Finally you get an overall interview rating. It's quite common to find a market-sizing question enclosed within a larger business case question.

Whether fun or frustrating, all case questions are valuable learning experiences. Brainteasers are basically the same riddles and conundrums that we've all been struggling to solve since fourth grade. Some brainteasers have a definite answer; others are more flexible in their solutions. Interviewers are looking to see not only whether you can come up with a good answer, but also whether you can handle the pressure.

Do you get frustrated, stressed, and upset? The key is to keep your cool and try to break the problem down logically. Just give it your best shot and don't be afraid to laugh at your mistakes or be a bit self-deprecating. It makes you human and more fun to be with. Here is an example of a brainteaser with a definite answer. The Bags of Gold You can find numerous puzzle and brainteaser books at your local bookstore.

If you are worried about this type of question, go pick up one of these books. Q1 There are three bags of gold. One of the bags contains fake gold. All the bags and all the coins look exactly alike. Each bag contains the same number of coins. The real gold coins weigh one ounce each, the fake coins weigh 1.

You have a one-pan penny scale and one penny, which means you can weigh something just once. You load the scale and insert the penny, and the scale spits out a piece of paper with the weight.

How can you tell which bag has the fake gold? A1 You take one coin from the first bag of gold, two coins from the second bag, and three coins from the third bag. Place them all on the scale, insert your penny, and get the weight. If the coins together weigh 6. If they weigh 6. If the coins weigh 6. Sometimes they're a stand-alone question, or they can be embedded in a larger case.

When I hear a market-sizing question I like to label it. Regardless of the type of market-sizing question, your answer should be based on logic and assumptions. In some instances your assumptions are wrong. Sometimes the interviewer will correct you; other times she will let it go.

The interviewer is more interested in your logic and thought process than whether your assumptions are spot-on. If you are still concerned, you can always say, "I'm not that familiar with this market, so if my assumptions are off, please correct me.

However, everything you say has the potential to be questioned — be ready to defend your assumptions, as they should be based on some type of logic.

If you just pull them out of the air, you're risking the interviewer's aggressive challenge of your assumptions and your credibility. During a market-sizing case you don't get a chance to ask questions. You can ask questions only if you don't understand something.

If they rattle off a string of initials, industry jargon, or slang, and you're not sure what they mean, ask. You don't lose any points for asking clarifying questions. These questions are tough enough to answer even when you do understand all the information.

When I go into a market-sizing question, I've already memorized several key facts and numbers. I don't want to be caught flatfooted, and I don't want to pull numbers out of the air that will be difficult to work with. Here are some key numbers you should memorize. We know that this is not true, but in a case like this, it's fine to assume, thus 4 million people per age group. Also, don't use your friends as a sample population. Chances are you're at an elite university and your friends are unlikely to represent the general population.

And remember to use easy numbers, numbers you can divide and multiply without much problem. As they give you the question, write everything down. Determine and label the question: Is it a population-based, household, or preposterous question?

Next, ask questions only if you don't understand the question or terminology. Finally, lay out your structure, then go back through it and fill in the numbers. That way you get a second bite at the apple as you work through the problem again. Base your assumptions on some sort of logic; otherwise the interviewer might press you on how you drew that conclusion.

And take advantage of grouping assumptions together. You can say something like, "The 20 percent takes into account X, Y and Z. It also makes it easier for the interviewer to follow your thought process. I'm going to divide it into generations, , , and That means 80 million people per generation. Kids 52 million American children don't own cell phones.

Of the remaining 28 million kids I'll assume that 20 million have cell phones. Of that 20 million I'll assume that 10 million have a smartphone. These are older kids and they're technology driven. Reason through your numbers for each generation and fill in the chart as you go along. We came up with million smartphones in the U. However, the question called for the number of smartphones sold in the U.

The average cell phone contract is two years, and new models come out every 18 months. I'll assume 80 percent will upgrade to a new model.

That means 50 million are eligible for the upgrade and 80 percent of the 50 million 40 million will download a new smartphone. I'll also assume that 20 percent of the 50 million regular cell phone users eligible for an upgrade will switch to a smartphone, which equals 10 million. Thus, 50 million smartphones were sold last year.

Now you may not agree with all my assumptions, but as long as you can follow my logic, I'm fine. I live in a town with a population of 30, There are six gas stations in our town not really, but six divides nicely into Therefore, I'll assume that each gas station serves about 5, customers. If the population of the U. If you had tried to answer this question as a household question, you would quickly find yourself mired in numerous and unnecessary calculations.

You always want to work with million U. So, we have 70 million U. Taking all that into consideration, I'll assume that 50 million out of the 70 million households with access to the Internet will download movies. Now some households with teenagers or a road warrior might download several movies a week, while I think most households might download one movie a month.

So I'll assume that on average those households download 20 movies a year. That means 50 million households downloading 20 movies a year equals 1 billion downloads a year. I'm going to estimate that 50 percent of the households are either suburban or rural. That makes 50 million households.

I'll assume that 20 percent of those homes are apartments or condos. That narrows us down to 40 million houses that most likely use a garden hose. Garden hoses are relatively inexpensive, so people are likely to have two hoses, a hose in the front yard and a hose in the back yard. That makes 80 million hoses. To that number I'd like to add another 10 million hoses, which can be found in nurseries, zoos, and other outdoor facilities.

Most of those businesses have at least two hoses. We are now up to 90 million garden hoses. Hoses aren't replaced every year. I'd say that they are replaced every three years unless they run into the business end of a dog's teeth. So we take 90 million hoses, divide that number by 3 and come up with 30 million garden hoses sold each year. Worldwide market-sizing Suppose someone asked you to determine the market-size for the worldwide bulletproof auto glass bpag industry.

That's a daunting task. You might start off with a list of people and organizations that use bulletproof auto glass, such as the military, Fortune corporations, governments, and various others such as the mob, drug lords, celebrities, and armored trucks.

But then you would need to figure how many government vehicles use bulletproof glass for every country in the world! There is an easy and logical way to attack a problem like this. You pick one country, determine its market size, and extrapolate out. Then determine the U. The U. The biggest users of bulletproof auto glass would be militaries, Fortune companies, governments, the mob, drug lords, celebrities.

I'm going to break the U. I'll assume that the high-income households make up 10 percent of the total U. That makes 30 million cars. I think the middle-income households make up 60 percent and they average two cars; maybe both spouses work or they have teenagers of driving age. That leaves the low-income households at 30 million. Many of the low-income population live in cities and don't need cars. I'm going to estimate. That gives us a total of million cars.

To that total I'm going to add 35 million cars representing government cars, military vehicles, taxicabs, limos, university-owned cars, and rental cars. We now have a grand total of million cars on the road. If 2 percent of U. If 4 million is 10 percent of the worldwide market then the total worldwide market is 40 million cars.

Preposterous cases Preposterous market-sizing questions are usually stand-alone questions. These are asked not only to test your math skills, but also to see how you handle the absurd. The best advice is to roll with the punches, do the best you can, and have fun with it. These are questions like how many jelly doughnuts fit into the leaning Tower of Pisa?

Or how many slices of pizza does it take to reach the moon? How much does a weigh? Your guess is as good as mine. This is probably the best consulting book on the market for under- grads looking to get a job in a top consulting firm after college.

Not only does he provide a wide variety of cases from market sizing to acquisition opportunity to dipping profits he also offers several helpful frameworks for approaching consulting cases in general.

Use this book: The book presents in a very readable way what to expect in an inter- view and how to create your best strategy. I'm usually very skeptical about these kinds of books, but must say that Cosentino is able to attract the reader and through anecdotes and concrete examples, to keep the reader's interest tll the last page.

Definitely a must. Documents Similar To Case in Point. Bitokov Alim. Pavel Tsarevsky.