Case Study Interview Examples: Questions and AnswersYou will need to prepare for an interview where case study questions will be asked. While preparation is required for every job interview, extra time is required to adequately prepare for case study interviews.
Providing an answer to a case study question involves much more than simply recounting the issues and problems set forth, it includes identifying the most important issues, employing sound and logical analysis, developing an action plan for addressing the problem(s) and making recommendations. Depending on the firms you're interviewing with, and the industry you work in, case study questions can be presented in verbal or written format, and address a number of topics.
In case interviews, it's not uncommon for interviewers to exclude important details when asking candidates to resolve hypothetical business problems presented. It's okay to ask interviewers for more information, and it's expected. They want to see if you can identify what information is important, and what is not.
Occasionally, interviewers provide no detail at all to test your analytical skills when adequate resources are unavailable. In these situations, it's okay to make assumptions, but they must be based on sound logic and analysis of information that is provided.
Interviewers asking case study questions are primarily concerned with how effectively you can analyze a problem, determine key factors, brainstorm ideas, and propose workable, pragmatic solutions that are supported by your analysis.
Answering Case Interview QuestionsIn the case interview, coming up with the "correct" answer isn't nearly as important as the process you use for getting there. When answering a case interview question, you want to showcase your ability to analyze a situation or business dilemma, identify the important issues, and develop sound conclusions that flow from your analysis. For this reason, it's important to use a logical framework for breaking down and analyzing the case. Some of the more common business analysis frameworks that can be employed include Porter's Five Forces, Value Chain Analysis, Four P's of Marketing, and SWOT Analysis. The framework you decide to use should be a function of the type of case you're presented.
Where a specific framework for analysis isn't readily available or applicable, a general framework or analytical approach can be applied. The most important thing is that your approach to answering the case interiew question is structured and logical.
Regardless of the type of case you're presented, there will likely be a few main parameters and several factors that influence those parameters. The first thing you want to do is identify the parameters and factors, the then determine which are key to the case output.
For example, assume the case involves a company's declining profitability. From your initial review of the case information you determine the main parameters to consider are total revenues and total costs.
After defining the two main parameters, you'd then drill down further to the factors influencing each of the parameters you've identified. You determine the factors influencing total revenues are average price of goods sold and volume of goods sold. And for total costs, fixed costs and variable costs.
With both the case parameters and factors clearly identified you give yourself the ability to steer the conversation and begin to identify possible solutions. To identify areas of concern, you'll want to explore the history of the four influencing factors. At the end of your discussion with the interviewer you may determine that it's rising variable costs that are having the biggest impact on profitability. You'll then drill down even further to determine what is causing variable costs to rise and come up with more specific recommendations.
Building a graphic representation (tree, decision diagram, etc.) of parameters, factors and other influencing elements will help you structure your thought process, keep from missing key aspects of the case, and make a strong argument for the recommendations you'll make.
Using a framework or structured approach to developing a recommendation for a case study interview question provides the added benefit of giving the interviewer something to take back and present to his or her superiors to make the case that you're the right person for the job.
Whatever you do, don't force-fit frameworks. If a particular framework doesn't apply to the case, don't use it. Most frameworks incorporate universal concepts that can be applied to various business issues. Use the concepts you've learned in school or through prior work experience to support your analysis of the case. Show your interviewer that you understand these business concepts well enough that you can apply them to the specifics fo the business issue being presented in the case.
Below we're going to present several case interview questions organized by question type. To perfect your ability to perform well in case interviews, we recommend reviewing each question and then developing a logical framework or approach for answering each one.
Standard Case Interview QuestionsAs is the case in real life, there is usually no single correct answer to standard case interview questions. As long as you're able to prove your case, using sound analysis and by demonstrating an understanding of the main case issues, you're likely to do well. Below are some common standard case interview questions that provide great practice for case interviews.
- What would be your approach for introducing a product into a foreign market? What are the risks and benefits to consider i.e. producing in your own country vs producing in the new country, etc?
- Company ABC is struggling, should it be restructured? Identify the three main problems it's facing. What is the most important problem the company is facing? How would you recommend the company address this problem? How would you turn this company around? Provide your reasoning for your recommendation(s).
- A toy company has been experiencing decline sales for the last two seasons. Research suggests that introducing several new product lines is the solution. Develop a marketing strategy for the company's largest product line, including pricing, product packing, etc.
- A large chain of retail clothing stores is struggling with profitability. Bases on your review fo the company's financial statements, what problems can you identify? Can this company be turned arounds? How would you go about deciding?
- A new Eddie Bauer Store is being opened up in London. Discuss all the marketing issues regarding the opening of this new location.
- Take in information quickly and remember what you hear.
- Identify key issues, prioritize and logically solve problems.
- Make quick, yet accurate, decisions.
- Manage time efficiently.
- Perform under pressure.
- Be aware of resource constraints.
- Identify customer needs.
- Be original and creative.
Market Sizing Case Interview QuestionsA market sizing case interview question is one where you're asked to determine the size of market for a particular product. These types of case interview questions are popular, and actually not difficult to answer if you practice. The following a few examples of market sizing case interview questions.
- Please provide the total weight of a fully loaded Jumbo Jet at the time of take off.
- How many light bulbs are there in the United States?
- How many photocopies are taken in the United Kingdom each year?
- How much beer is consumed in the city of New York on Fridays?
- How many people sell AMWAY products in the United States?
- If there are 7,492 people participating in a tournament, how many games must be played to find a winner?
- How many golf balls will fit in the Empire State Building?
- How many car tire are sold in Canada each year?
- Given thhe numbers 5 and 2000, what is the minimum number of guesses required to find a specific number if the only hint you're given is "higher" and "lower" for each guess made?
- How do you determine the weight of a blue whale without using a scale?
- Take time to think before you answer the question.
- If given a pen and paper, take notes and write down key information. Use the paper to make calculations, write down ideas and structure your answer.
- Ask additional questions if you feel you are missing information. The interviewer is often expecting you to ask to find missing information.
- Use lateral thinking and be creative. There isn't always just one right answer. Just make sure your answer is backed up by sound logic and numbers that make sense.
- Make sure you know your math. At minimum you'll need to perform some basic arithmetic or mathematical calculations.
- These quesitons are often used to test your ability to structure, as well as your ability to think laterallly, make logical links and communicate clearly.
- Make mental calculations quickly by making sensible estimates and rounding numbers up or down.
- Does your answer make sense? If you're answer doesn't make sense, chances are you've made a bad assumpation, estimate or calculation. Go back and carefully check your work and provide a new answer.
- You can use business frameworks (SWOT, Porter's Five forces, etc.) or mind mapping to support your analysis and answers, as long as it makes sense.
- Many market sizing questions revolve around issues being faced by an organization or industry. Commercial awareness can be very important to answering market sizing questions.
Logic ProblemsQuestions involving logic problems are designed to test your ability to think quickly and logically. These questions also require you to be able to perform numeracy quickly, while under pressure. The following are a few logic problems followed by their answers. Review the questions, develop your own answers, and then check your answers to see how well you did.
1. At 3:15, how many degrees there between the two hands of a clock? (J.P. Morgan interview question).
2. A fire fighter has to get to a burning building as quickly as he can. There are three paths that he can take. He can take his fire engine over a large hill (5 miles) at 10 miles per hour. He can take his fire engine through a windy road (7 miles) at 9 miles per hour. Or he can drive his fire engine along a dirt road which is 8 miles at 12 miles per hour. Which way should he choose?
3. You spend 21 dollars on vegetables at the store. You buy carrots, onions and celery. The celery cost half the cost of the onions. The onions cost have the cost of the carrots. How much did the onions cost?
4. You spend a third of all the money you have on a piano. Half of your remaining money you use to buy a piano chair. A quarter of the rest of your money you use to buy piano books. What porportion of you original money is remaining?
5. Why are manhole cover always round, instead of square?
6. In the Chicago subway system there are two escalators for going up but only one for going down to the subway. Why is that?
7. You find three boxes at the store. One contains onions. Another contains potatoes. The third contains both onions and potatoes. However, all three of the boxes are labeled incorrectly so it's impossible to tell which box contains what. By opening just one box (but without looking in) and removing either a potatoe or onion, how can you immediate label the contents of all the boxes?
8. There are 8 bags of wheat, 7 of which weigh the same amount. However, there is one that weighs less than the others. You are given a balance scale used for weighing. In less than three steps, figure out which bag weighs less than the rest.
9. There are 23 rugby teams playing in a tournament. What is the least number of games that must be played to find a tournament winner?
The following are the answers to the 9 logic problems above:
If you thought the answer was zero degrees, you'd be incorrect. At 3:15, the clock's minute hand will be pointing at 15 minutes, exactly 90 degrees clockwise from vertical. At 3:15, the clock's hour hand will exactly one quarter of the distance between 3 O'clock and 4 O'clock. Each of the 12 hours on the clock represents 30 degrees (360 degrees divided by the 12 hours on the clock). Consequently, one quarter of an hour is exactly 7.5 degrees, so at 3:15 the minute hand will be at 97.5 degrees. So there is a difference of 7.5 degrees between the hour hand and minute hand at 3:15.
Driving his fire engine 5 miles at 8 miles per hour takes 37.5 minutes. Driving his fire engine 7 miles at 9 miles per hour takes about 47 minutes. Driving his fire engine 8 milles at 12 miles per hour takes 40 minutes. So he should choose to drive his fire engine over the hill.
Answering this problem just requires some simple algebra. If we assume the cost of celery = x, then the cost of onions = 2x, and cost of the carrots is 4x, such that the total cost of all vegetables = x + 2x + 4x = 7x = 21 dollars. Consequently, x = 3 dollars. Hence, the onions cost 6 dollars.
You spend a third of all the money you have on a piano, so you're left with two thirds (2/3). You spend half (1/2) of the remaining two thirds on a piano chair, which leaves you with just one third of what you started with (1/2x2/3=1/3). You spend a quarter (1/4) of what you have remaining (1/3) on piano books, which leaves you with one twelth of the original (1/4x1/3=1/12).
A square manhole cover can be dropped down the hole if turned diagonally to the hole, where round covers can't be dropped down manholes.
People coming into the subway tend to arrive at different times, so the flow of people down the escalators is a more even stream. Conversely, when people get off the subway they typically all arrive at the escalators at about the same time. Consequently, two escalators are need to handle people leaving the subway, where only one is required for people arriving.
Just open the box that is labeled "Onions and Potatoes". Since none of the boxes are labeled correctly, this box must contain only onions, or only poatatoes. If you remove a potatoe from this box, the box must be the "Potatoes Only" box.
One of the remaining two box has to be the "Onions Only" box. However, the only you currently have it labeled "Potatoes Only", and the other is label "Onions Only". So the box labled "Potatoes Only" must be the box that contains only onions, and the box labeld "Onlions Only" must be the box that has both potatoes and onions.
Bags of Wheat
Immediately, take any 2 of the bags and place them to the side. Weigh 3 of the remaining six bags against the other 3 bags. If these bags weigh the same, that means the bag that weighs less must be one of the two that you immediately placed to one side. If this is the case, weigh the 2 bags you placed to one side against each other to find out which one weighs less. You've now found in your bag.
However, upon weighing the sets of 3 bags against one another you find that one set weighs more than the other set, place one of the bags from the set of heavier bags aside and weigh the remaining two bags to find out which one is heavier. If they are of equal weight, the you know that the bag you place to one side is the bag you're looking for.
In a tournament, every rugby team except the winner is eliminated from the tournament after being defeated just once. Hence, the number of games required to find a tournament winner is going to be one less than the number of teams, or 22 in this case.
Business Case Interview QuestionsThe following are examples of common business case interview questions:
- How would you work with a subordinate who is underperforming?
- You're consulting with a large pharmacy with stores in multiple states. This company has improved sales but experienced a decrease in revenue. As a result, it is contemplating store closings. Explain how you'd advise this client?
- You are working directly with a company's management team. It is organizing a project designed to significantly increase revenue. If you were provided with data and asked to supervise the project, what steps would you take to ensure it's successful?
- You have been assigned to work with a small company that manufactures a popular product. However, a competitor begins selling a very similar product which incorporates state of the art technology. What would you advise your client to do?
- You have been assigned to advise a company with a large Western European market. Company management wants to open the Chinese market. What advice do you have for this company?
- The firm has assigned you to consult a company intending to drop a product or expand into new markets in order to increase revenue. What steps would you take to help this company achieve its objective?
- You have been assigned to consult a shoe retailer with stores throughout the nation. Since its revenue is dropping, the company has proposed to sell food at its stores. How would you advise this client?
Case Interview ResourcesIn addition to the guides and articles presented on our website, there are several other good resources, including workshops, mock interviews, books and interactive online resources, that will prepare you for case interviews. Some of the resources we recommend are listed below.
- Vault Guide to the Case Interview
- Vault Career Guide to Consulting
- Case in Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation
- Mastering the Case Interview
- Ace Your Case! Consulting Interviews (series 1-5)
Interactive Online Resources
DELOITTE CONSULTING (S&O)
The companies we cover in our firm profiles are big players in the industry. They show up on all sorts of lists – best company to work for, the best place to start a career, etc. But Deloitte’s Strategy and Operations (S&O) Consulting practice seems to enjoy talking about it more than the rest. From their website to their newsletters, from their Careers page to their Facebook presence, they love to talk about the lists they’ve graced and the rankings they’ve achieved. So, are they all talk, or are they really all that?
Sure, Deloitte was named the best place to launch a career by Business Week in 2007 and 2009. Yeah, LinkedIn ranked Deloitte #1 world’s most in-demand employer. Okay, so Deloitte was also ranked in the top 5 world’s most attractive employers last year by Universum Global Employer Brand. But are these just glitzy titles, or are they backed by something real? Plus – does the consulting practice rank in all the same ways?
Let’s be clear – Deloitte’s S&O practice is no MBB, and as far as we can tell, they never will be. But if you’re not going to MBB, then Deloitte Strategy & Ops is MC’s pick for your best non-MBB option to launch a career in consulting.
Like we said, they’re likely never going to be a McKinsey, Bain, or BCG – from pay to travel perks to project types to exit opportunities, you won’t find us advising a client to choose Deloitte over MBB. They do, however, have huge things going for them. Excellent compensation, great training programs, and some very interesting projects make Deloitte a legitimate player in the consulting world.
Another thing that makes Deloitte special, and number 1 on our non-MBB list? Consulting experience there won’t exclude you from getting into MBB later on. We’ve worked with several clients who have gone from Deloitte to McKinsey, BCG, or Bain – which is something we can say for only a handful of firms. Interested in working with us to make a similar transition? Book a Power Half Hour today to get started!
Bottom line? Deloitte touts itself as one of the best places to work, and we don’t disagree – but we have quite a lot to say about them.
DELOITTE S&O (U.S.) KEY STATS
Deloitte S&O Website:Deloitte S&O
Deloitte S&O Headquarters: New York, NY
Deloitte S&O Employees: 2,000 consultants
Deloitte S&O Locations: 44 U.S. offices
Deloitte S&O Chief Executive: Mike Canning
Deloitte S&O Revenue: US$800M+
Deloitte S&O Engagement Cost: $400K
DELOITTE CONSULTING HISTORY
Deloitte was founded in 1845 in London, England by William Welch Deloitte. He was the first person to be appointed as an independent auditor for a public company – the Great Western Railway – and went on to build his credibility and business on the railway and hotel industries.
Deloitte accepted his first partner in 1857 and opened his first overseas office in New York in 1880. After Deloitte’s retirement in 1897, the company started on a long series of partnerships, affiliations, and mergers that continued into the 21st century, not to mention countless name changes. Key persons involved in the growth and direction of the company include George Bailey, George Touche, and Nobuzo Tohmatsu.
The first appearance of a management consulting function at Deloitte was after George Bailey, then president of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants joined the organization in 1947. To further strengthen the company’s consulting business, Deloitte & Touche partners decided to create Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group in 1995. In more recent years, major developments in Deloitte’s consulting business include the purchase of the North American Public Service practice of BearingPoint (formerly KPMG Consulting) in 2009 and their acquisition of Monitor Group earlier this year.
DELOITTE CONSULTING (S&O) ORGANIZATION
When you think of Deloitte, you usually think of bean counters doing an audit, or suited up professionals from their transaction advisory practice. But Deloitte is a LOT more. They’re a major corporation with almost 200,000 employees across the globe. They are definitely a force to be reckoned with, and an excellent place to start, develop or end your consulting career.
One of Deloitte’s greatest successes is that they provide the whole suite of services – from auditing to risk to strategy and more. Their breadth also lends to their weakness, however. Sure, they will win one engagement a year from the big dogs – the McKinseys and the Bains – but from the management consulting lens, Deloitte is not a pure strategist, so they don’t stand out as one of the top players, and probably never will.
If you’re pursuing consulting at Deloitte, rest assured that their Strategy & Operations practice (lovingly known as S&O) is a great option for your management consulting career. If you’re currently at Deloitte trying to get into consulting – perhaps you’re an analyst in their risk practice or a manager in their audit practice – your first step should be to transition into Strategy & Ops from your current sector. In either case, a background in Deloitte S&O will set you up for a great career at Deloitte or a launching pad for MBB.
To understand Deloitte S&O consulting better, we thought it helpful to lay out where the practice fits in the bigger planet of Deloitte. First, the umbrella firm – which we’ll fondly call Big Daddy Deloitte, is the parent company that encompasses the firm’s entire global operation. Big Daddy Deloitte boasts 193,000 employees, offices in 150+ countries, and revenues of US $31.3B.
Within Big Daddy Deloitte, there are 4 tribes – Tax, Audit, Financial Advisory and Consulting. Each of these firms is separate legal entities and are managed and owned by a partner group – some of the best-paid partners in the world, might we add.
Deloitte Consulting is further broken down into 3 sectors: Human Capital, Strategy & Operations, and Technology. Most management consulting candidates are focused on Strategy & Operations – which is broken down into these 6 areas:
- Infrastructure Operations
- M&A Restructuring
- Supply Chain and Manufacturing Operations
- Service Operations
You’ll notice that practices at Deloitte, in contrast to MBB, are organized less by industry and more by function. Why is this? It has to do with who Deloitte is selling to. While MBB firms are focused on CEOs and reorganizing entire businesses, Deloitte focuses on a level below that – a particular function, like accounting/finance, HR, or operations. That means Deloitte is usually talking to someone at the VP level, a level below the C-suite. If they are working with C-level clients, the clients are often heading up operating units, portfolio companies or organizations beyond the Fortune 500.
It’s important here to note that Deloitte’s tax and auditing practice dominates in the Fortune 500 segment – just so you can begin to navigate who’s who in the Deloitte zoo. It’s also important to know that, while Deloitte’s other practices are technically a part of the same company, if you’re aiming for S&O but not there yet, you’d much rather be in one of the other Deloitte Consulting practices – Technology or Human Capital – than in a separate legal entity (like Audit) altogether. The transfer possibilities, which we’ll talk about later, will be much easier – and the skill sets will be highly transferable.
Deloitte has 150+ total offices worldwide. 75 of those have S&O presence.
Deloitte has one of the most consistent global brand names out there, and tons of offices around the world. One of the benefits of working for them is that they make possible a lot of inter-country transfers. If you’re a non-U.S. resident looking to work in consulting in the U.S., transitioning from a foreign Deloitte office to one of their U.S. location is an excellent way to do that.
Not only are they everywhere – and we mean everywhere (Deloitte S&O hires in the town of Harrisburg, PA where you won’t find any other major consulting firms) – they have very big offices. The downside of this is that there isn’t a lot of interconnectedness within the office; the upside is that in terms of lifestyle and raising a family, there are a lot of options in terms of where you can live.
Deloitte is quirky in that it’s probably one of the most common firms that people go back to after leaving and working somewhere else. You’d rarely see someone return to MBB after a career on the outside – it just doesn’t happen. Why is Deloitte different? They have a strong global network and they’re open to rehiring people later in their career. In fact, Deloitte is very clear that, in contrast to MBB, theirs is not an “up or out” culture – because they have so many options for consultants to tailor-make a career, they emphasize that the firm is a great place to grow a whole career – not just to get training for a future as a CEO.
Undergrads come in as Analysts while MBAs and APDs will usually come in as Consultant. After that, you progress to Senior Consultant, Manager, Senior Manager, and finally Principal/Director.
One exit opportunity is internal – you can move to a different area in Deloitte. Like we’ve said, there are tons of locations, a variety of practices, and a breadth of opportunities to explore within the business. Other firms aren’t big enough to offer such variety; there’s just not enough space. At BCG, for example, if you become an expert in something, you’re going to become more and more specialized in that area. The only direction you can go – at all of the MBBs – is up or out. A note about inter-Deloitte transfers, however – it’s really important that you try as hard as you can to start where you want to end – so if you want to go to S&O, apply there – the firm’s party line is that you can’t switch (we understand this, but have anecdotal evidence to the contrary).
There’s nothing super surprising about the other exit options, including career consulting (going to MBB or a boutique firm), moving to a start-up, or working in strategy for Fortune 500s. There is something, however, that you’re less likely to do when you leave Deloitte as compared to MBB – you won’t find yourself in private equity, and this is a pretty popular option for alumni from the top echelon.
- Orin C. Smith – CEO of Starbucks
- Abby Noble – Head, Latin America and Africa, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and World Economic Forum
- Allison McGee – VP Health Plan Services and Strategic Development, Health Data Management Solutions
- Rick Vanzura – Executive VP and Co-COO, Panera Bread
- Kate Zhou – Founder and CEO, Kate Zhou Handbags
- Ken Zeff – COO, Green Dot Public Schools
- Omar Douglas – Director of Organizational Effectiveness, General Mills
- Art Martinez – Deputy Director, Strategic Planning & Portfolio Management, Global Health Policy & Advocacy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- Fred Goodwin – CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland
- Sergio Marchionne – CEO of Fiat
- Bill Owens – 40th Governor of Colorado
- Pierre Pettigrew – Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Peter Cosgrove – Chief of the Australian Defence Force
- Allison McGourty – Founder of Lo-Max Records
- Sam Morgan – Founder of TradeMe
DELOITTE CONSULTING (S&O) CULTURE
Terms we associate with Deloitte are “ethics,” “integrity,” and “code of conduct” – that’s probably due to their foundation in accounting and auditing. What we don’t associate Deloitte with is “entrepreneurship,” “innovation,” and “out of the box.” This isn’t to say you won’t find Deloitte consultants who have these characteristics – it’s just that the firm, in general, isn’t known for these things. Instead, they’ve built a name for themselves by doing things consistently and delivering on time. Whereas a CEO would hire thought leaders from MBB to come in and turn a company around, a VP of Supply Chain would hire Deloitte to come in and deliver an operations solution that works because it’s been done again and again.
While they’re not necessarily creative, Deloitte consultants are very good financial modelers. They don’t do as much one-on-one customer research as an MBB consultant would, but their modeling skills rock. MBB recruiters know this and know that they can build on the training foundation Deloitte is so good at offering its consultants; if a consultant can think outside the box as well, the rest can be taught.
Like any consulting firm, Deloitte offers great benefits and perks, plenty of opportunity to learn and grow, and lots of travel. In fact, while MBB usually runs on 4-days-a-week with Fridays in the home office, because of Deloitte S&O’s operational nature the firm is on a standard 5-day-a-week travel program – so they push the travel-heavy end of the spectrum.
When it comes to local office culture – a huge draw at places like Bain – Deloitte fails the test. Because they’re so gigantic – you’ll find 1000 people at a Deloitte office and 50-100 at a typical BCG office – local office culture and connectivity are almost non-existent at Deloitte. The repercussions extend to a weaker mentoring/coaching environment and no clear bond among Deloitte alum.
Think of it like the difference between going to Harvard vs. UT Austin for undergrad. At Harvard you can vouch for the caliber of your classmates – you have similar academic backgrounds, you took similar coursework to graduate, and you get to know one another on the small campus. When you meet another Harvard grad, you “get” each other. At UT Austin, on the other hand, you’ve got a huge variety of fellow students alongside you at college – from cheerleaders and professional athletes, all the way up to individuals pursuing their Ph.Ds in Astrophysics.
DELOITTE CONSULTING (S&O) INTERVIEWS AND RECRUITING
Deloitte case interviews are not as quantitative or as long as MBB case interviews. That is, if you’re using MBB as a standard for case practice, you’ll be well-prepared for a Deloitte interview. Expect at most 2 quantitative cases at a max of 30 min (more often around the 20-minute mark), and a heavy emphasis on market sizing – with an even heavier emphasis on fit questions.
Interviewers at Deloitte are usually more interested in your upfront structure and your answer as opposed to your mental math and quantitative horsepower. Interviews are most similar to Mark Cosentino’s Case in Point, which – while not the best prep step out there for MBB interviews – is a great DIY resource for Deloitte case interview prep.
You can find lots of information about Deloitte’s internship program on their website – including Q&As, opportunities, and, of course, accolades the firm has received (they were listed among Vault’s top 10 internships in 2011). While Deloitte closes fewer consultants from its internship program for full-time hires (many prospects use a Deloitte S&O summer as a launching pad to banking or MBB consulting), the summer is a top internship for other reasons – good projects and great training. The firm also offers a variety of case competitions and conferences for undergrads, MBAs, and other advanced degrees – all great ways to get to know the company culture and gain consulting experience.
Deloitte also offers a 1-month pre-MBA internship – consisting of 1 week of training and 3 weeks working on a project. This is a great opportunity for people who want to feel out consulting before fully committing, and of course, an excellent way to beef up your resume. According to a recent client, we worked with, the interview process for the pre-MBA internship consists of three fit interviews and one case interview, with a focus on demonstrating clear communication, confidence, and structured thinking (no surprise!). Read his whole story here.
At the end of the day, Deloitte is going to hire in a big way from second-tier schools – those schools that fall 20-50 in the major undergrad college rankings, like big state schools, and the top 5-20 MBA programs. They will also hire from top schools, like the Ivies, and from Harvard and Stanford, but they’re not necessarily going to hire the very top performers/leaders from those schools. For example, Deloitte S&O will attract the president of a sorority but not the president of the class.
Are you an undergrad, MBA or intern who’s interested in working at Deloitte, but you don’t know how much you’ll make? Check out our latest Management Consulting Salaries post to find out!
Deloitte S&O does most of its recruiting out of these schools:
- Brigham Young University
- Chicago Booth School of Business
- Columbia Business School
- Duke University
- Duke’s Fuqua School of Business*
- Georgetown University
- Harvard Business School
- Indiana University
- Kellogg School of Management
- MIT Sloan School of Management
- McCombs Schools of Business
- Michigan Ross School of Business – Graduate Program
- Michigan State University
- New York University
- Northwestern University
- Stanford University
- Texas A&M University
- Wharton School at U Penn
- UC Berkeley
- University of Illinois
- University of Michigan
- University of Notre Dame
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Texas Austin
- Washington University
If you’re not sure whether or not you’re at a Deloitte target school (or if you’re curious about international target schools), check their website here.
*Duke Fuqua is one of the biggest schools that Deloitte pulls from. We loved how one of our clients termed it: “Deloitte owns Duke.” And it goes both ways – Deloitte feeds Fuqua with MBA candidates and on the flip side hires MBAs from Fuqua. It’s a win-win (if you go to Duke!).
Deloitte offers informational sessions at many of these schools – don’t miss them! They are key opportunities for face-time with recruiters and consultants. Get your resume ready before you go – there’s nothing worse than showing up unprepared and without a plan of attack. If you need help, learn about our resume editing service or email us.
Recruiters are given a lot of power at Deloitte. They’re the ones who are primarily responsible for hiring – unlike at MBB firms, where the partners are major decision-makers for hiring and the recruiters are more administrators of the process. Because Deloitte S&O is so big, recruiters have to be the gatekeepers – otherwise, total chaos would ensue.
Build a relationship early and often with recruiters – at career fairs, conferences, and events. If you know people at Deloitte, get the inside scoop on which offices are most attractive (read: which offices are hiring). It’s a different process to MBB firms, where they either want you or not, and office location has a slight element of strategy to it but is really secondary.
Networking still plays an important role at Deloitte, but it’s more for gathering information rather than getting the interview. We’ve known people who have been recommended for a position at Deloitte by senior partners – after 2-3 informational sessions and a resume review – but were turned down in a recruiter review, with no partner recourse.
The point here is that your application is everything at Deloitte. Make sure it’s air-tight before sending it off to the eagle eyes of their recruiters. If you need help, we’re here – you can always work with us for the best chance.
Diversity groups at Deloitte are called “Business Resource Groups.” Here’s a list of the main groups offered at Deloitte:
- Ability First & Allies BRG (Ability BRG)
- Armed Forces & Allies BRG
- Asian-American Alliance & Allies BRG (ABRG)
- Black Employee Network & Allies BRG (BEN)
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Employees and Allies (GLOBE and Allies BRG)
- Hispanic/Latino(a) Employee Network & Allies BRG (HNet)
- International Network & Allies BRG (International BRG)
- Women’s Initiative
As with other firms, networking inside these groups is a huge bonus – shared interests/backgrounds are great conversation starters.