Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 454,000 Peers!

Schedule mock interviews on the Meeting Board, join the latest community discussions in our Consulting Q&A and find like-minded Case Partners to connect and practice with!

Case study for finance officer role

accounting Finance background
New answer on Apr 11, 2024
3 Answers
122 Views
Anonymous A asked on Apr 10, 2024

Hello,

I have been invited for a case study for a finance officer role. They have not shared the content of the case study, but it is structured as a 90 minute period to prepare followed by a 30 mins presentation for a panel. What would you recommend is the best way to structure my responses for the case? 

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 10, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: What would you recommend is the best way to structure my responses for the case? 

In general, for a written case study I would recommend the following.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

1. Prepare in advance with other case study

You should be able to find a few written cases online to use for your self-prep. Ideally, the cases should include:

  1. Graph interpretation
  2. Math calculation
  3. The amount of information you expect for your interview (if unknown, I would target at least 10-20 slides/pages)

2. Outline an action plan to analyze the material

If you have 90 minutes to review the material, a possible time schedule is the following (to adapt based on the amount of information and questions):

  • 3 min – Read the questions
  • 20-30 min – Read the material
  • 10 min – Structure the approach
  • 40-50 min – Perform math/ Identify answers/ Create slides
  • 5 – Final review

The time to read the material depends on how much material you will receive.

3. Define a strategy to present your results

To present your findings in the second part, I would suggest keeping the same structure used for a conclusion in a live interview, that is:

  1. Summarize the main questions you have to answer
  2. Present your proposed answers and detail the motivation behind
  3. Present risks and next steps for the areas you have not covered

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

To present the slides, I would recommend taking into account the following:

A) Structure of the presentation

Normally the structure for a 5-slide presentation is the following:

  • 1st slide – summary of the questions and your answers
  • 2nd, 3rd and 4th slides - supporting arguments for the first slide
  • 5th slide - risks and next steps

If you can prepare more slides, you can expand slides 2, 3 and 4 accordingly.

B) Content of each slide

There are 3 basic components for most slides:

  1. Title
  2. Written content 
  3. Graphs / Tables

Many candidates structure the title as a mere description of what the chart/content is about.

A great title instead shows the implication of the graph/content as well.

Example: say a graph is showing a cost structure for a division.

  • A bad title would be: “Cost structure from 2005 to 2015”.
  • A good title would be: “Cost structure of Division XYZ is not sustainable”.
  • A great title would be “Cost structure of Division XYZ is not sustainable due to ABC”, assuming you have insights on that.

The rule of thumb is that if you read all the titles of the slides, you should get a clear idea of the message of the presentation.

C) Presentation of the slides

When you present, I would recommend the following steps for each slide:

  1. Introduce the slide: “Let’s move to slide 2, which will show us why we have an issue with this division
  2. Present the main message of the slide: “As you can see, we have a cost structure that makes it unfeasible to be competitive in this market
  3. Provide details: “The graph, indeed, shows how our fixed cost is XYZ, while competitors can benefit from economies of scale. Indeed…

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

If you need more help please feel free to PM me, I do a session specifically on written cases.

Good luck!

Francesco

Was this answer helpful?
Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 10, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

It depends on the questions the written case contains.

In most situations, you are given 3-5 questions that you should respond to. 

You can use that as an intrinsic structure, OR you can provide a more top-down, storyline-type presentation. 

Reach out for a few examples of written cases - no strings attached - just so you get to practice.

And if you're interested in some help, then we could run a mock session where I give you feedback on two cases you'd prepare beforehand.

All the best,
Cristian

Was this answer helpful?
Pedro
Expert
replied on Apr 11, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

Please be aware of answers here. Most coaches are focused on strategy case interviews. You'll have an interview focusing on a financial role. 

My expectation is that you will receive a significant number of financial data (+ a problem to solve) to analyze during that period.

General “strategy case written interview” may apply, in terms of how to structure communication, but be ready to have a strong focus on financial analysis and technical questions.

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

Content Creator
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching
4,534
Meetings
46,469
Q&A Upvotes
397
Awards
5.0
1623 Reviews
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely
You are a true consultant! Thank you for consulting us on how to make PrepLounge even better!