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Case Interview Internal Strategy Department

Corporate Strategy
New answer on Feb 28, 2024
8 Answers
208 Views
Anonymous A asked on Feb 23, 2024

Dear all,

 

I am having an interview (involving 2 cases within 2 hours) at a companies' strategy department. The company is in different secotors with about 10 BN EUR Sales. Has anyone experience on what is usually different in those cases? Just wondering if it would be more specific to the firm - or if it is usually the same as consulting cases.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Gero
Expert
replied on Feb 23, 2024
Ex-BCG │200+ Interviews & Interview Coachings @ BCG │ 20+ candidates coached into MBB │WHU/LSE/Nova │ Teacher & Trainer

Hello there,

One advice I have is to consider the consulting origins of members of the strategy unit.

Similiar to Inhouse Consultancies, due to network effects these units often attract alumns from one or two major consulting firms. Due to personal experiences of the interviewers, the interviews are often similiar to the ones used by that firms (e.g. McK alumns - rather interviewer-led cases, perhaps even PEI-like fit part).

Of course, that is just a rule of thumb and does not always apply. Try to network with applicants and members of the unit (e.g. from your university) for more reliable information. 

Best,

Gero

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on Feb 23, 2024
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

It's a little hard without knowing the company, but you should be prepared for any of the following:

  1. A classic case
  2. A “unstructured” case (flows differently)
  3. Series of brainstorming questions
  4. Deep-dive questions on technical capability
  5. Fit/behavioral
  6. Written case

Given they have specifically said case interviews, make sure you understand that company's business in particular! Their operations, products, strategy, history, etc. The cases are more likely (not guaranteed) to come from projects they have done.

The Most Common Pitfalls in Case Interview Preparation
 

Dos and Don'ts in a Case Interview
 

How to Shift Your Mindset to Ace the Case
 

Candidate-Led Cases: What to Expect With Example Cases

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Natalia
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replied on Feb 23, 2024
Sr Manager @ Manager | Career Coach | 5 years interviewing | tailored approach

Hi there,

In my experience, these types of interviews aim to understand candidates' ability to problem-solve. I had such an interview in the past, and the case study I encountered focused on the structuring part of the problem. For example:

The situation: Company A faced challenges in the past. Scenario: As the new head of strategy, what would be your first 100 days' activities? Or, what may be the reasons for this situation, and how should we address it?

I hope that helps!

Best,

Natalia

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Pedro
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replied on Feb 28, 2024
30% off in April 2024 | Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

Without knowing the company, it is a bit more difficult to give very targeted advice. But I'll share my experience and hopefully it will be helpful to illustrate what you should expect.

I was a candidate (and later on a recruiter, as I was hired) for a corporate strategy role in an industrial company.

The interview process was similar to strategy consulting, and all the interviewers were ex-MBB/RB, etc.

All the interviews had a case. However, all the cases would be related to the company or its industry… e.g. how to evaluate a new technology for one of their business lines, discuss the potential carve out of a certain business line, estimate market size for a certain component, evaluate synergies (and risks) of buying a key customer, etc.

Some of the interviews would be less structured and focus more on the creativity or ability to generate a great deal of hypothesis (for what tends to be called “brainstorming questions”). 

General knowledge of the company, its business lines, key products, and key geographies can significantly boost a candidate's performance (and particularly show that you are genuinely interested in that specific company)

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 23, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there!

I've coached multiple candidates applying for industry roles as well as fast-growing startups. 

What tends to happen is that the hiring managers / senior in these companies are former consultants, and thus, they use a similar format to the interview they were running back there. 

My strong recommendation though - so you don't make any dangerous assumptions - is to reach out to the recruiter and collect as much info as possible on the format of the interview. For instance, ask whether there will be a case study, whether it's focused on a particular industry, whether it's candidate or interviewer led, or whether it's a written case, etc. The more you find out upfront about the format, the more targeted you can be with the prep. 

Aside from this, make sure that you prepare for the personal fit component. Here the minimum should be:

1. tell me about yourself

2. why this firm / company

3. why are you making the transition from your previous role

4. 2-4 stories that show you at your best self (e.g., examples of leadership, entrepreneurship, etc.)

Best,
Cristian

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Feb 23, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: Has anyone experience on what is usually different in those cases? Just wondering if it would be more specific to the firm - or if it is usually the same as consulting cases.

If the interviewers have a consulting background, usually the cases are similar to the ones used by consulting firms. If you can get the names of the interviewers, you should be able to check their backgrounds. You can also ask HR for clarification on the structure of the interview.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Nikita
Expert
replied on Feb 28, 2024
MBB & Tier2 preparation | 85+ offers | 7 years coaching | 2000+ sessions | PDF reviews attached

Hey,

It really very much depends on a particular firm, its specifics and you interviewer's background. You should always be prepared for everything: any case type, any industry, any format.

Also, try to reach out to somebody who did an interview with this firm previously or clarify with the HR.

Good luck!
Nick

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Benjamin
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 24, 2024
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer

Hi,

Sharing my experience based on having gone for a few corp strategy interviews + coaching several coachees/friends for the same.

  • The skills/abilities they are looking out for are similar to those in consulting
  • What differs is normally the specific format
    • I found that majority of the time the ‘case’ problem was not as structured as per the MBB type cases
    • In addition, I've done (and coached) candidates to do written tests, take home assignments etc

Bottom line is fundamentals is key - format really doesn't matter if you have the right abilities.

All the best!

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Gero gave the best answer

Gero

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