Just wondering what are some of the most difficult/interesting cases of all time (ideally candidate-led), either recommended by casebooks lying around or your personal favourites? Think some of the best cases would be those with some sort of nuance and would act as strong differentiators between average and strong candidates. Thanks!
What are some of the best cases of all time?
Generally, the most distinct cases draws out a combination of multiple case types, e.g. profitability, market sizing, business case situation (customer, company, competitior, product), marketing strategy (product, price, place, promotion), while also includes specific aspects of a particular industry.
The latter part typically involves disaggregating value chains of the sector such as increasing profitability of pulp & paper manufacturer by figuring out ways to reduce the increasing cost of dyes utilizied in the coloring process, in which case the high cost compared to the industry average is due to sub-optimal supplier portfolio. This particular aspect might varies depending on specific practices that the firm is recruiting for.
These types of cases test prospective candidates logical flow and the ability to shift fluidly between different strategic aspects, differentiating the average ones who are simply using singular frameworks to get through interviews with the strong ones who are able to structure their thoughts on the fly and invent their own approach to the issue at hand.
As consultants, cross-functional work is something of a norm.
Hence, these cases emulate practical situations at work and provide assurance on the capability fit of candidates that are able to excel on such cases.
There are plenty of cases that I like to ask my trainees because of many reasons, but my recent favorite is as follows (which was asked by Strategy& NY office recently):
- How many people ever lived on earth to date?
Related BootCamp article(s)
Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases
Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly
LubricantsCo, a very successful Asian premium producer of lubricants in their native region, would like to further increase their revenue and profit. The product range ranges from lubricants in the automotive sector (e.g. motor and gear oil) to industrial applications (e.g. fats, heavy-duty oils). ... Open whole case
You have inherited the “Old Winery” from your grandfather, a winery which has been family owned for five generations and can be dated back to the 16th century. Half of the eleven hectares are used to grow white grapes, the other half to grow red grapes. They are grown in the conventional way, i.e. ... Open whole case
Tell me about a difficult situation you had to cope with. Tell me of a task which you didn’t like doing and explain why you performed it nevertheless. Why do you do things? What do you like doing most / What is your favorite hobby? Walk me through a situation where you showed leadership skills. Open whole case