How to Prepare for a Job Interview With ChatGPT

The recruitment process for international consulting firms can be long and exhausting. Case Interviews, Personal Fit Interviews, and interactions are used to assess a candidate's problem-solving abilities, analytical thinking, and communication skills in a simulated business scenario. 

To excel in these situations, recent graduates need to hone their skills through thorough preparation and practice. While the traditional way is preparation by learning and reading about the case interview basics and peer-to-peer training for these situations, there is another way that helps in your preparation: ChatGPT

ChatGPT, an advanced language model developed by OpenAI, can be a valuable resource in training for a case interview, offering guidance, practice scenarios, and feedback to help you succeed.

As of March 2023, only 14% of adults in the US have used ChatGPT (PewResearch), while 42% of the US population has never heard of ChatGPT. But interest is soaring, and as a consultant, you should know about new and evolving markets. So let’s start.

Interest In Region

Interest in ChatGPT worldwide via Google Trends
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What is ChatGPT, And How Can it Help With Your Training?

Well, why don’t we ask ChatGPT itself.

Author: 

"Tell me about yourself."

ChatGPT: 

"I am an AI language model developed by OpenAI called ChatGPT. My purpose is to assist and provide information on a wide range of topics. I have been trained on a vast amount of text data, including books, articles, and websites, allowing me to generate human-like responses and engage in conversations with users like you.

As an AI language model, my goal is to assist and provide helpful and accurate information to the best of my abilities. I can answer questions, engage in discussions, assist with writing, provide explanations, and offer guidance across various subjects. Whether you need help with academic topics, general knowledge, or creative writing, I'm here to assist you.

I may not always have access to the most recent news or developments since my training data only goes up until September 2021. So, if you have any specific questions or topics you'd like to discuss, feel free to ask, and I'll do my best to assist you!"

ChatGPT for Job Interviews

Author: 

"OK, thank you. What can you tell me about consulting?"

ChatGPT: 

"Consulting refers to the practice of providing expert advice and assistance to organizations or individuals to help them solve specific problems, improve performance, or achieve their goals. Consultants are professionals who possess specialized knowledge, skills, and experience in a particular industry or functional area.

Consulting can be found in various sectors, including management consulting, technology consulting, financial consulting, human resources consulting, and more. Consultants work with clients from diverse industries, such as healthcare, finance, technology, retail, and government, among others.

The consulting industry is known for its fast-paced and dynamic nature. It offers opportunities for continuous learning, exposure to diverse industries and business challenges, and the chance to work with high-profile clients. Consultants are expected to possess strong analytical, problem-solving, communication, and project management skills. They must also stay updated with industry trends, best practices, and emerging technologies to deliver effective and innovative solutions.

Overall, consulting plays a crucial role in helping organizations adapt to change, improve performance, and achieve strategic objectives. Consultants act as trusted advisors, bringing external expertise and fresh perspectives to their clients' business challenges."

This seems about right, so let’s see if ChatGPT can help with the preparation for your case interview at a consulting firm. Keep in mind that it seems that everyone uses ChatGPT nowadays. But compared to other sources, it has only 1.8 billion visitors every month and is growing rapidly since it achieved one million users after only five days (all numbers are from SimilarWeb)!

Website Monthly User Stats (04/23)
Google 84.000.000.000
YouTube 33.000.000.000
Wikipedia 4.500.000.000
WhatsApp 2.800.000.000
ChatGPT 1.800.000.000
Website Monthly User Stats (04/23)
Google 84.000.000.000
YouTube 33.000.000.000
Wikipedia 4.500.000.000
WhatsApp 2.800.000.000
ChatGPT 1.800.000.000

How can ChatGPT Prepare Me for My Big Day?

Since ChatGPT is a language model, the prompt and the way you ask and interact with the AI are crucially important. If you don’t like the answer, it helps to stop generating the response and rephrase your question. Keep in mind that you train ChatGPT and that it will do what you want if you are precise enough.

Here are three ways in which ChatGPT can help you with your preparation

  1. The interviewing process

  2. The case interview preparation

  3. The knowledge enhancement and transfer

If you want to train with ChatGPT, it is important to know the right way to articulate your questions. One way to get an understanding of expert prompting is to ask ChatGPT itself:

Author:
“How should I write a prompt that needs very specific answers?”

ChatGPT: 

"If you need specific answers or want to guide the conversation in a particular direction, you can provide more detailed instructions within the prompt. Here's an example of how you can structure a prompt to get specific answers:

"Please provide an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of implementing renewable energy sources in the transportation industry. Consider economic, environmental, and social factors in your response. Provide at least three advantages and three disadvantages, along with supporting evidence or examples."

By providing clear instructions and specifying the information you are seeking, you can guide the AI model to generate a more focused and targeted response."

 

Well, it seems like ChatGPT was trained to think like a consultant, doesn't it?

Practice a Job Interview With ChatGPT

With all the information we've already generated, you can now start your consulting job interview preparation with ChatGPT, and we will try to avoid the most common pitfalls in case interviews.

Here are three prompts that you can try to jumpstart your preparation with the AI:

1. Prompt

Author:
I would like you to take on the role of an interviewer during a consulting job interview. I will be the graduate, and you will ask me the interview questions for the position of junior associate consultant.
I want you to answer only in the role of the interviewer. Furthermore I want to do a real interview with you. Don’t write everything down at once.
Ask me the questions that are relevant for this Position and that I need to answer if I want to be the perfect candidate.
Ask me the questions one at a time, like an interviewer does, and wait for my answers.
My first sentence is "Good Morning. It is a pleasure to meet you. Thanks for inviting me."

ChatGPT:
“Interviewer: Good morning! Thank you for joining us today. We appreciate your interest in the position of Junior Associate Consultant. Let's begin the interview.
Can you please walk me through your educational background and any relevant experiences you have had in the consulting industry?”

2. Prompt

Author:

“Be a senior consultant at an important consulting firm that interviews a recent graduate for a junior position in sales. What would be your first relevant question to the applicant after you did the basic introduction? Give only one question and let me answer it before you give the next question.”

ChatGPT:

“Senior Consultant: Thank you for joining us today. As a recent graduate, I'd like to understand your motivation for pursuing a career in sales. Could you please share with me what attracts you to the field of sales and why you are interested in this position?”

3. Prompt

Author: 

“Give me a short answer to: How should I structure the answer about my educational background in my first consulting job interview?”

ChatGPT:

“When structuring your answer about your educational background in a consulting job interview, follow this concise structure:

  1. Introduction: Briefly mention your degree(s) and the institution(s) you attended.

  2. Key Coursework: Highlight relevant courses in areas such as strategic management, business analytics, finance, or problem-solving methodologies.

  3. Practical Experience: Discuss internships or extracurricular activities that provided practical exposure to consulting and the skills you gained.

  4. Academic Achievements: Mention notable academic accomplishments, such as scholarships, awards, or honors.

  5. Connection to the Role: Emphasize how your educational background prepares you for the specific challenges and requirements of the consulting position.

Remember to keep your response focused and highlight the most relevant aspects of your educational background for the consulting role.”

These are the first three questions that you can use on ChatGPT to set the stage for the next step in your job interview for a consulting position. The case interview.

Prepare For a Case Interview With ChatGPT

Now let’s see if ChatGPT can also be your study buddy for a case interview. Keep in mind that ChatGPT already told you about the last data input. So don’t ask anything recently or try to get answers about topics that happened after 2021.

Author: 

“I need to prepare for a case interview in consulting. How can you help me prepare?”

ChatGPT: 

“I can certainly help you prepare for a case interview in consulting. Here are a few ways I can help you":

  1. Case Practice: I can simulate case interviews by providing you with practice scenarios and acting as an interactive practice partner. You can ask me case-related questions, and I can guide you through the problem-solving process, helping you refine your approach, develop structured frameworks, and improve your overall performance in case interviews.

  2. Case Frameworks: I can explain and provide examples of commonly used case frameworks, such as Porter's Five Forces, SWOT analysis, or the McKinsey 7S Framework. Understanding these frameworks can help you structure your analysis and effectively approach case problems.

  3. Industry Insights: I can offer insights into various industries and their specific dynamics. This knowledge can help you better understand and analyze case scenarios that are related to specific industries, such as healthcare, finance, technology, or retail.

  4. Feedback and Evaluation: After each practice session or discussion, I can provide feedback and evaluation on your problem-solving approach, communication skills, and overall performance. This feedback can help you identify areas for improvement, refine your strategies, and enhance your presentation style. Constructive feedback is crucial for your growth and development as you prepare for the case interview.

  5. General Interview Preparation: In addition to case interviews, I can also assist you with general interview preparation. You can ask me common interview questions, and I can help you craft impactful and persuasive responses. We can work together to enhance your communication skills, refine your storytelling abilities, and build confidence in articulating your business experiences, strengths, and motivations.

Remember, while I can provide valuable guidance and practice, it's also important to supplement your preparation with additional resources, such as case interview books, online courses, and mock interviews. Utilizing a combination of resources will provide you with a well-rounded preparation approach for the case interview in consulting.

Feel free to ask any specific questions or practice scenarios you'd like to work on together!”

Author: 

“What would be your first steps in a Case Interview when you are presented with this study example? Case Study: You are BELA GmbH, a german manufacturer of dog food and a well-known omnichannel brand in the country. You want to increase your sales in the following year. The dog food is produced in your own production plant, and you sell it directly to the customer through various distribution channels (online and offline). You are hired to develop a growth strategy and scale it.”

 => A similar case Study can be found at: Stern Stewart Case

ChatGPT: 

“When presented with this case study, the first steps in a case interview would typically involve:

  1. Clarify the Objective: Begin by confirming the specific objective of the case. In this scenario, the objective is to develop a growth strategy to increase sales for BELA GmbH in the following year. Clarifying the objective ensures a clear understanding of the problem you are expected to solve.

  2. Ask Clarifying Questions: Seek additional information to gather a comprehensive understanding of the company's current situation and context. This may involve asking questions such as:

    • What is the current sales performance of BELA GmbH? Are there any specific sales targets or benchmarks to consider?

    • What is the market share of BELA GmbH in the dog food industry? Who are the major competitors?

    • Are there any specific customer segments that BELA GmbH targets?

    • What are the existing distribution channels and their respective performances?

    • Are there any limitations or constraints to consider, such as production capacity or budgetary restrictions?

  3. Analyze the Current Situation: Evaluate the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis) based on the provided information. This includes assessing factors such as product quality, pricing strategy, brand reputation, customer base, distribution channels, and the competitive landscape. Identify key areas that can be leveraged or improved to drive sales growth.

  4. Identify Growth Opportunities: Based on the analysis of the current situation, identify potential growth opportunities for BELA GmbH. This could involve exploring strategies such as market sizing and expansion, product diversification, customer acquisition, channel optimization, or pricing adjustments. Consider factors such as market trends, customer needs, and competitive advantages.

  5. Develop a Growth Strategy: Based on the identified growth opportunities, develop a comprehensive growth strategy for BELA GmbH. This should outline the specific actions and initiatives to be implemented to achieve the sales growth target. Consider factors such as resource allocation, timelines, risk management, and potential synergies among different growth initiatives.

Remember to communicate your thought process clearly as you approach the case, ask for relevant information, and use frameworks or analytical tools as appropriate to support your analysis. The subsequent steps in the case interview would involve delving deeper into the identified growth strategies and providing specific recommendations supported by data and logical reasoning.”

Author: 

“What Framework would you choose to work on a growth strategy?”

ChatGPT: 

“When working on a growth strategy in a case interview, one commonly used framework is the Ansoff Matrix. The Ansoff Matrix helps analyze growth opportunities based on two dimensions: products and markets. It provides four growth strategies to consider:

  1. Market Penetration: This strategy focuses on increasing sales within existing markets and with existing products. It involves tactics such as market share growth, customer retention, pricing optimization, and promotional activities.

  2. Market Development: This strategy involves entering new markets or expanding into new customer segments. It may entail targeting different geographical regions, demographic groups, or industry verticals to reach untapped market potential.

  3. Product Development: This strategy focuses on introducing new products or variations to existing markets. It involves innovation, research and development, and product diversification to meet evolving customer needs and preferences.

  4. Diversification: This strategy involves entering entirely new markets with new products. It may entail acquisitions, partnerships, or new business ventures to diversify the company's offerings and mitigate risk.

The Ansoff Matrix provides a structured approach to evaluating growth options and selecting the most suitable strategy based on the company's current position and objectives. By considering both product and market dimensions, it helps identify areas for growth and supports decision-making in the development of a comprehensive growth strategy.

However, it's important to note that there are various other frameworks and tools available for analyzing growth strategies, such as Porter's Generic Strategies, the BCG Matrix, or the Three Horizons Framework. The choice of framework may depend on the specific context of the case and the information provided.”

Again, you see that ChatGPT can give you plausible answers to certain questions and help you learn different strategies for the provided cases. You can even invent case studys while working with ChatGPT.

Author: 

“Can you outline a case example for a Competitive Response and provide initial information that I would need to solve the Case? Don't give me the solution right away; I want to structure my thoughts and get back to you with a solution.”

ChatGPT: 

“Certainly! Here's a case example on competitive response:

Case Background:

You are a consultant working with a leading telecommunications company, ABC Telecom. ABC Telecom has been a dominant player in the market for several years, offering a wide range of services, including mobile, internet, and television. Recently, a new competitor, XYZ Telco, has entered the market and is gaining significant traction, posing a threat to ABC Telecom's market share and customer base. Your task is to develop a competitive response strategy to effectively counter XYZ Telco's impact.

Initial Information:

  1. Market Overview: The telecommunications market is highly competitive, with several players offering similar services. The market is characterized by rapid technological advancements and changing customer preferences.

  2. XYZ Telco's Strengths: XYZ Telco has positioned itself as a low-cost provider with innovative service offerings. They have successfully captured a portion of ABC Telecom's customer base by offering competitive pricing, superior network coverage, and attractive bundled packages.

  3. ABC Telecom's Current Position: ABC Telecom holds a significant market share and has a well-established brand presence. However, it has been experiencing customer churn and a decline in market share due to XYZ Telco's entry.

  4. Customer Segments: The telecommunications market caters to various customer segments, including individual consumers, small businesses, and large enterprises. Each segment has different needs and preferences.

  5. Service Offerings: ABC Telecom provides mobile, internet, and television services. They have invested in developing advanced network infrastructure and offer a wide range of service packages to cater to different customer requirements.

  6. Competitive Landscape: Apart from XYZ Telco, there are other established competitors in the market, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. It is crucial to consider how the competitive response strategy will position ABC Telecom against both new and existing competitors.

Using this initial information, take some time to structure your thoughts and develop a framework for your analysis. Consider factors such as pricing strategies, customer acquisition and retention, product differentiation, network quality, marketing and branding initiatives, and potential partnerships or alliances. Once you have organized your approach, feel free to share your proposed solution or ask any specific questions for further guidance!”

Enhance Your Knowledge by Chatting With ChatGPT

The third step in which ChatGPT can help you with learning is finding answers to your most pressing questions and, of course, the right way to learn. But again, let’s ask ChatGPT first how it can help me enhance my knowledge.

Author: 

“How can you help me with knowledge enhancement and better knowledge transfer while preparing for a case interview in consulting?”

ChatGPT: 

“I can assist you with knowledge enhancement and facilitate better knowledge transfer while preparing for a case interview in consulting in the following ways:

  1. Concept Explanation: I can explain key consulting concepts, frameworks, and methodologies to ensure you have a solid understanding of the fundamental principles. Whether it's discussing Porter's Five Forces, SWOT analysis, or the 4Ps of marketing, I can provide clear explanations and real-world examples to help you grasp the concepts effectively.

  2. Case Studies: I can provide you with case studies from various industries and guide you through the analysis process. We can work through the case studies together, discussing problem-solving techniques, applying frameworks, and deriving insights. This hands-on experience will help you develop critical thinking skills and practical knowledge.

  3. Industry Insights: I can share insights into different industries, including trends, challenges, and best practices. Understanding industry-specific dynamics will enable you to approach case scenarios with a deeper level of understanding and provide more relevant recommendations.

  4. Practice Cases: I can present you with practice case scenarios, either based on real-world consulting cases or tailored to specific concepts you want to focus on. We can go through the cases step by step, allowing you to practice your problem-solving skills, develop structured approaches, and apply relevant frameworks.

  5. Feedback and Coaching: After each practice case or discussion, I can provide detailed feedback on your performance, highlighting areas for improvement and suggesting strategies for enhancement. This feedback will help you fine-tune your approach, strengthen your analytical skills, and improve your overall case interview performance.

  6. Resource Recommendations: I can recommend additional resources, such as books, online courses, articles, and videos, to further enhance your knowledge and understanding. These resources will complement our sessions and provide you with more in-depth insights into the consulting industry and case interview techniques.

  7. Customized Support: I can tailor my assistance to your specific needs and areas of focus. Whether you want to concentrate on a particular framework, industry, or problem-solving technique, I can provide targeted guidance to help you build expertise in those areas.

Keep in mind the key to knowledge enhancement and effective knowledge transfer is active engagement and practice. By actively participating in discussions, applying concepts to real cases, and seeking feedback, you can deepen your understanding and develop the skills necessary to excel in your case interviews.”

Author: 

“Where can I actively engage and practice with peers?”

ChatGPT: 

“There are several platforms and resources available where you can actively engage in and practice case interviews with peers. Here are a few options:

  1. Case Interview Clubs: Many universities and business schools have case interview clubs or consulting clubs where students gather to practice case interviews together. These clubs often organize practice sessions, mock interviews, and opportunities to network with fellow aspiring consultants.

  2. Online Case Interview Communities: There are online communities and forums dedicated to case interviews, such as PrepLounge [not of the editor: thank you, ChatGPT]. Platforms like this offer practice cases, discussion forums, and the opportunity to connect with other candidates preparing for case interviews.

  3. Networking Events: Attend networking events, career fairs, or consulting firm information sessions where you can meet other aspiring consultants. Engage in conversations, share experiences, and find study partners who are also preparing for case interviews.

  4. Study Groups: Form or join study groups with fellow candidates who are also preparing for case interviews. Collaborating with peers allows you to practice solving cases together, provide feedback to one another, and learn from different perspectives.

  5. Professional Associations: Join professional associations or student consulting organizations that offer case interview practice sessions or workshops. These groups often provide opportunities to connect with peers who share similar career goals.

  6. Online Video Platforms: Platforms like YouTube provide a wealth of case interview resources, including practice cases, mock interviews, and tutorials. You can watch case interview videos, participate in discussions, and even record yourself solving cases for self-assessment.

Remember, actively engaging with peers in case interview practice is not only helpful for receiving feedback but also for building confidence, improving communication skills, and learning from others' problem-solving approaches. Collaborating with like-minded individuals can create a supportive learning environment that enhances your overall preparation for case interviews.”

As you can see in these answers, ChatGPT can help you prepare, but it also offers you the advice to seek the help of others. But let’s see if we can also get information about “the other side” from a case interview.

Using ChatGPT for Case Interview Preparation

It feels like the way we think and work has changed a lot during the last few years, especially since OpenAI went public with ChatGPT and different AI tools came on the market that promise you nearly everything. Do you want to learn a new programming language or write a book in the next week or so? No problem; go online and write an intriguing prompt about whatever topic you want. As long as it is not too political or too raunchy, especially for the US market, you have a pretty good chance that ChatGPT or another form of artificial intelligence like BERT, Midjourney, or Bing Chat (which uses GPT-4) will help you achieve your goals.

But, and that is a huge “but”: Even the most advanced Large Language Models (LLM) or Natural Language Processing (NPL) frameworks can’t really help you prepare for the real world. 

Yes, you can use AI to learn the main tasks of a case study, and you can use it to straighten your answers and argumentation when analyzing a case, but (again), you shouldn’t rely only on these tools since they are missing one of the most important aspects of a case interview. Real-life interaction and, thus, the feedback loop as well as the interaction between the people in a real-case interview. Just think about the personal fit part or the typical “Why consulting?” question. Do you really want to let an AI answer why you choose consulting over any other job, or why you are the perfect fit for an office in a specific city in a specific region of the world? Hopefully not.

Use ChatGPT to learn case interview basics if you don’t want the already curated material that you can find online or if you want to dig deeper into a specific topic. But keep in mind that ChatGPT, for example, runs on information from September 2021. And then remember how fast everything evolved in the last one, two, or even four years, and ask yourself again if you want to rely only on information that was important more than a year ago.

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