100 Best Case Study Questions for Your Next Customer Spotlight
Published: November 29, 2022
Case studies and testimonials are helpful to have in your arsenal. But to build an effective library, you need to ask the right case study questions. You also need to know how to write a case study .
Case studies are customers' stories that your sales team can use to share relevant content with prospects . Not only that, but case studies help you earn a prospect's trust, show them what life would be like as your customer, and validate that your product or service works for your clients.
Before you start building your library of case studies, check out our list of 100 case study questions to ask your clients. With this helpful guide, you'll have the know-how to build your narrative using the " Problem-Agitate-Solve " Method.
What makes a good case study questionnaire?
The ultimate list of case study questions, how to ask your customer for a case study, creating an effective case study.
Certain key elements make up a good case study questionnaire.
A questionnaire should never feel like an interrogation. Instead, aim to structure your case study questions like a conversation. Some of the essential things that your questionnaire should cover include:
- The problem faced by the client before choosing your organization.
- Why they chose your company.
- How your product solved the problem clients faced.
- The measurable results of the service provided.
- Data and metrics that prove the success of your service or product, if possible.
You can adapt these considerations based on how your customers use your product and the specific answers or quotes that you want to receive.
What makes a good case study question?
A good case study question delivers a powerful message to leads in the decision stage of your prospective buyer's journey.
Since your client has agreed to participate in a case study, they're likely enthusiastic about the service you provide. Thus, a good case study question hands the reins over to the client and opens a conversation.
Try asking open-ended questions to encourage your client to talk about the excellent service or product you provide.
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Categories for the Best Case Study Questions
- Case study questions about the customer's business
- Case study questions about the environment before the purchase
- Case study questions about the decision process
- Case study questions about the customer's business case
- Case study questions about the buying team and internal advocates
- Case study questions about customer success
- Case study questions about product feedback
- Case study questions about willingness to make referrals
- Case study question to prompt quote-worthy feedback
- Case study questions about the customers' future goals
Case Study Interview Questions About the Customer's Business
Knowing the customer's business is an excellent way of setting the tone for a case study.
Use these questions to get some background information about the company and its business goals. This information can be used to introduce the business at the beginning of the case study — plus, future prospects might resonate with their stories and become leads for you.
- Would you give me a quick overview of [company]? This is an opportunity for the client to describe their business in their own words. You'll get useful background information and it's an easy prompt to get the client talking.
- Can you describe your role? This will give you a better idea of the responsibilities they are subject to.
- How do your role and team fit into the company and its goals? Knowing how the team functions to achieve company goals will help you formulate how your solution involves all stakeholders.
- How long has your company been in business? Getting this information will help the reader gauge if pain points are specific to a startup or new company vs. a veteran company.
- How many employees do you have? Another great descriptor for readers to have. They can compare the featured company size with their own.
- Is your company revenue available? If so, what is it? This will give your readers background information on the featured company's gross sales.
- Who is your target customer? Knowing who the target audience is will help you provide a better overview of their market for your case study readers.
- How does our product help your team or company achieve its objectives? This is one of the most important questions because it is the basis of the case study. Get specifics on how your product provided a solution for your client. You want to be able to say "X company implemented our solution and achieved Y. "
- How are our companies aligned (mission, strategy, culture, etc.)? If any attributes of your company's mission or culture appealed to the client, call it out.
How many people are on your team? What are their roles? This will help describe key players within the organization and their impact on the implementation of your solution.
Case Study Interview Questions About the Environment Before the Purchase
A good case study is designed to build trust. Ask clients to describe the tools and processes they used before your product or service. These kinds of case study questions will highlight the business' need they had to fulfill and appeal to future clients.
- What was your team's process prior to using our product? This will give the reader a baseline to compare the results for your company's product.
- Were there any costs associated with the process prior to using our product? Was it more expensive? Was it worth the cost? How did the product affect the client's bottom line? This will be a useful metric to disclose if your company saved the client money or was more cost-efficient.
- What were the major pain points of your process prior to using our product? Describe these obstacles in detail. You want the reader to get as much information on the problem as possible as it sets up the reasoning for why your company's solution was implemented.
- Did our product replace a similar tool or is this the first time your team is using a product like this? Were they using a similar product? If so, having this information may give readers a reason to choose your brand over the competition.
- What other challenges were you and your team experiencing prior to using our product? The more details you can give readers regarding the client's struggles, the better. You want to paint a full picture of the challenges the client faced and how your company resolved them.
- Were there any concerns about how your customers would be impacted by using our product? Getting answers to this question will illustrate to readers the client's concerns about switching to your service. Your readers may have similar concerns and reading how your client worked through this process will be helpful.
- Why didn't you buy our product or a similar product earlier? Have the client describe any hesitations they had using your product. Their concerns may be relatable to potential leads.
- Were there any "dealbreakers" involved in your decision to become a customer? Describing how your company was able to provide a solution that worked within those parameters demonstrates how accommodating your brand is and how you put the customer first. It's also great to illustrate any unique challenges the client had. This better explains their situation to the reader.
- Did you have to make any changes you weren't anticipating once you became a customer? Readers of your case study can learn how switching to your product came with some unexpected changes (good or bad) and how they navigated them. If you helped your client with troubleshooting, ask them to explain that here.
How has your perception of the product changed since you've become a customer? Get the interviewee to describe how your product changed how they do business. This includes how your product accomplished what they previously thought was impossible.
Case Study Interview Questions About the Decision Process
Readers of the case study will be interested in which factors influenced the decision-making process for the client. If they can relate to that process, there's a bigger chance they'll buy your product.
The answers to these questions will help potential customers through their decision-making process.
- How did you hear about our product? If the client chose to work with you based on a recommendation or another positive case study, include that. It will demonstrate that you are a trusted brand with an established reputation for delivering results.
- How long had you been looking for a solution to this problem? This will add to the reader's understanding of how these particular challenges impacted the company before choosing your product.
- Were you comparing alternative solutions? Which ones? This will demonstrate to readers that the client explored other options before choosing your company.
- Would you describe a few of the reasons you decided to buy our product? Ask the interviewee to describe why they chose your product over the competition and any benefits your company offered that made you stand out.
- What were the criteria you used when deciding to buy our product? This will give readers more background insight into the factors that impacted their decision-making process.
- Were there any high-level initiatives or goals that prompted the decision to buy? For example, was this decision motivated by a company-wide vision? Prompt your clients to discuss what lead to the decision to work with you and how you're the obvious choice.
- What was the buying process like? Did you notice anything exceptional or any points of friction? This is an opportunity for the client to comment on how seamless and easy you make the buying process. Get them to describe what went well from start to finish.
- How would you have changed the buying process, if at all? This is an opportunity for you to fine-tune your process to accommodate future buyers.
- Who on your team was involved in the buying process? This will give readers more background on the key players involved from executives to project managers. With this information, readers can see who they may potentially need to involve in the decision-making process on their teams.
Case Study Interview Questions About the Customer's Business Case
Your case study questions should ask about your product or solution's impact on the customer's employees, teams, metrics, and goals. These questions allow the client to praise the value of your service and tell others exactly what benefits they derived from it.
When readers review your product or service's impact on the client, it enforces the belief that the case study is credible.
- How long have you been using our product? This will help readers gauge how long it took to see results and your overall satisfaction with the product or service.
- How many different people at your company use our product? This will help readers gauge how they can adapt the product to their teams if similar in size.
- Are there multiple departments or teams using our product? This will demonstrate how great of an impact your product has made across departments.
- How do you and your team currently use the product? What types of goals or tasks are you using the product to accomplish? Get specifics on how the product actively helps the client achieve their goals.
- If other teams or departments are using our product, do you know how they're using it? With this information, leads can picture how they can use your product across their teams and how it may improve their workflow and metrics.
- What was the most obvious advantage you felt our product offered during the sales process? The interviewee should explain the benefits they've gained from using your product or service. This is important for convincing other leads you are better than the competition.
- Were there any other advantages you discovered after using the product more regularly? Your interviewee may have experienced some additional benefits from using your product. Have them describe in detail what these advantages are and how they've helped the company improve.
- Are there any metrics or KPIs you track with our product? What are they? The more numbers and data the client can provide, the better.
- Were you tracking any metrics prior to using our product? What were they? This will allow readers to get a clear, before-and-after comparison of using your product.
- How has our product impacted your core metrics? This is an opportunity for your clients to drive home how your product assisted them in hitting their metrics and goals.
Case Study Interview Questions About the Buying Team and Internal Advocates
See if there are any individuals at the customer's company who are advocates for your product.
- Are there any additional team members you consider to be advocates for our product? For example, does anyone stick out as a "power user" or product expert on your team? You may want to interview and include these power users in your case study as well. Consider asking them for tips on using your service or product.
- Is there anyone else on your team you think we should talk to? Again, the more people can share their experience using your product, the better.
- Are there any team members who you think might not be the biggest fans of our product or who might need more training? Providing extra support to those struggling with your product may improve their user experience and turn into an opportunity to not only learn about their obstacles but turn them into a product fan
- Would you share some details about how your team implemented our product? Get as much information as possible about the rollout. Hopefully, they'll gush about how seamless the process was.
- Who from your company was involved in implementing our product? This will give readers more insight into who needs to be involved for a successful rollout of their own.
- Were there any internal risks or additional costs involved with implementing our product? If so, how did you address them? This will give insight into the client's process and rollout and this case study question will likely provide tips on what potential leads should be on the lookout for.
- Is there a training process in place for your team's use of our product? If so, what does it look like? If your company provided support and training to the client, have them describe that experience.
- About how long does it take a new team member to get up to speed with our product? This will help leads determine how much time it will take to onboard an employee to your using your product. If a new user can quickly get started seamlessly, it bodes well for you.
- What was your main concern about rolling this product out to your company? Describing their challenges in detail will provide readers with useful insight.
Case Study Interview Questions About Customer Success
Has the customer found success with your product? Ask these questions to learn more.
- By using our product can you measure any reduced costs? If it has, you'll want to emphasize those savings in your case study.
- By using our product can you measure any improvements in productivity or time savings? Any metrics or specific stories your interviewee can provide will help demonstrate the value of your product.
- By using our product can you measure any increases in revenue or growth? Again, say it with numbers and data whenever possible.
- Are you likely to recommend our product to a friend or colleague? Recommendations from existing customers are some of the best marketing you can get.
- How has our product impacted your success? Your team's success? Getting the interviewee to describe how your product played an integral role in solving their challenges will show leads that they can also have success using your product.
- In the beginning, you had XYZ concerns; how do you feel about them now? Let them explain how working with your company eliminated those concerns.
- I noticed your team is currently doing XYZ with our product. Tell me more about how that helps your business. Illustrate to your readers how current customers are using your product to solve additional challenges. It will convey how versatile your product is.
- Have you thought about using our product for a new use case with your team or at your company? The more examples of use cases the client can provide, the better.
- How do you measure the value our product provides? Have the interviewee illustrate what metrics they use to gauge the product's success and how. Data is helpful, but you should go beyond the numbers. Maybe your product improved company morale and how teams work together.
Case Study Interview Questions About Product Feedback
Ask the customer if they'd recommend your product to others. A strong recommendation will help potential clients be more open to purchasing your product.
- How do other companies in this industry solve the problems you had before you purchased our product? This will give you insight into how other companies may be functioning without your product and how you can assist them.
- Have you ever talked about our product to any of your clients or peers? What did you say? This can provide you with more leads and a chance to get a referral.
- Why would you recommend our product to a friend or client? Be sure they pinpoint which features they would highlight in a recommendation.
- Can you think of any use cases your customers might have for our product? Similar industries may have similar issues that need solutions. Your interviewee may be able to provide a use case you haven't come up with.
- What is your advice for other teams or companies who are tackling problems similar to those you had before you purchased our product? This is another opportunity for your client to talk up your product or service.
- Do you know someone in X industry who has similar problems to the ones you had prior to using our product? The client can make an introduction so you can interview them about their experience as well.
- I noticed you work with Company Y. Do you know if they are having any pain points with these processes? This will help you learn how your product has impacted your client's customers and gain insight into what can be improved.
- Does your company participate in any partner or referral programs? Having a strong referral program will help you increase leads and improve customer retention.
- Can I send you a referral kit as a thank-you for making a referral and give you the tools to refer someone to us? This is a great strategy to request a referral while rewarding your existing customers.
- Are you interested in working with us to produce additional marketing content? The more opportunities you can showcase happy customers, the better.
Case Study Interview Questions About Willingness to Make Referrals
- How likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or client? Ideally, they would definitely refer your product to someone they know.
- Can you think of any use cases your customers might have for our product? Again, your interviewee is a great source for more leads. Similar industries may have similar issues that need solutions. They may be able to provide a use case you haven't come up with.
- I noticed you work with Company Y; do you know if they are having any pain points with these processes? This will help you learn how your product has impacted your client's customers and gain insight into what can be improved.
Case Study Interview Questions to Prompt Quote-Worthy Feedback
Enhance your case study with quotable soundbites from the customer. By asking these questions, prospects have more insight into other clients and their success with your product — which helps build trust.
- How would you describe your process in one sentence prior to using our product? Ideally, this sentence would quickly and descriptively sum up the most prominent pain point or challenge with the previous process.
- What is your advice to others who might be considering our product? Readers can learn from your customer's experience.
- What would your team's workflow or process be like without our product? This will drive home the value your product provides and how essential it is to their business.
- Do you think the investment in our product was worthwhile? Why? Have your customer make the case for the value you provide.
- What would you say if we told you our product would soon be unavailable? What would this mean to you? Again, this illustrates how integral your product is to their business.
- How would you describe our product if you were explaining it to a friend? Your customers can often distill the value of your product to their friends better than you can.
- What do you love about your job? Your company? This gives the reader more background on your customer and their industry.
- What was the worst part of your process before you started using our product? Ideally, they'd reiterate how your product helped solve this challenge.
- What do you love about our product? Another great way to get the customer's opinion about what makes your product worth it.
- Why do you do business with us? Hopefully, your interviewee will share how wonderful your business relationship is.
Case Study Interview Questions About the Customers' Future Goals
Ask the customer about their goals, challenges, and plans for the future. This will provide insight into how a business can grow with your product.
- What are the biggest challenges on the horizon for your industry? Chances are potential leads within the same industry will have similar challenges.
- What are your goals for the next three months? Knowing their short-term goals will enable your company to get some quick wins for the client.
- How would you like to use our product to meet those challenges and goals? This will help potential leads understand that your product can help their business as they scale and grow.
- Is there anything we can do to help you and your team meet your goals? If you haven't covered it already, this will allow your interviewee to express how you can better assist them.
- Do you think you will buy more, less, or about the same amount of our product next year? This can help you gauge how your product is used and why.
- What are the growth plans for your company this year? Your team? This will help you gain insight into how your product can help them achieve future goals.
- How can we help you meet your long-term goals? Getting specifics on the needs of your clients will help you create a unique solution designed for their needs.
- What is the long-term impact of using our product? Get their feedback on how your product has created a lasting impact.
- Are there any initiatives that you personally would like to achieve that our product or team can help with? Again, you want to continue to provide products that help your customers excel.
- What will you need from us in the future? This will help you anticipate the customer's business needs.
- Is there anything we can do to improve our product or process for working together in the future? The more feedback you can get about what is and isn't working, the better.
Before you can start putting together your case study, you need to ask your customer's permission.
If you have a customer who's seen success with your product, reach out to them. Use this template to get started:
Thank you & quick request
Hi [customer name],
Thanks again for your business — working with you to [solve X, launch Y, take advantage of Z opportunity] has been extremely rewarding, and I'm looking forward to more collaboration in the future.
[Name of your company] is building a library of case studies to include on our site. We're looking for successful companies using [product] to solve interesting challenges, and your team immediately came to mind. Are you open to [customer company name] being featured?
It should be a lightweight process — [I, a product marketer] will ask you roughly [10, 15, 20] questions via email or phone about your experience and results. This case study will include a blurb about your company and a link to your homepage (which hopefully will make your SEO team happy!)
In any case, thank you again for the chance to work with you, and I hope you have a great week.
If one of your customers has recently passed along some praise (to you, their account manager, your boss; on an online forum; to another potential customer; etc.), then send them a version of this email:
Hey [customer name],
Thanks for the great feedback — I'm really glad to hear [product] is working well for you and that [customer company name] is getting the results you're looking for.
My team is actually in the process of building out our library of case studies, and I'd love to include your story. Happy to provide more details if you're potentially interested.
Either way, thank you again, and I look forward to getting more updates on your progress.
You can also find potential case study customers by usage or product data. For instance, maybe you see a company you sold to 10 months ago just bought eight more seats or upgraded to a new tier. Clearly, they're happy with the solution. Try this template:
I saw you just [invested in our X product; added Y more users; achieved Z product milestone]. Congratulations! I'd love to share your story using [product] with the world -- I think it's a great example of how our product + a dedicated team and a good strategy can achieve awesome results.
Are you open to being featured? If so, I'll send along more details.
Case Study Benefits
- Case studies are a form of customer advocacy.
- Case studies provide a joint-promotion opportunity.
- Case studies are easily sharable.
- Case studies build rapport with your customers.
- Case studies are less opinionated than customer reviews.
1. Case studies are a form of customer advocacy.
If you haven't noticed, customers aren't always quick to trust a brand's advertisements and sales strategies.
With every other brand claiming to be the best in the business, it's hard to sort exaggeration from reality.
This is the most important reason why case studies are effective. They are testimonials from your customers of your service. If someone is considering your business, a case study is a much more convincing piece of marketing or sales material than traditional advertising.
2. Case studies provide a joint-promotion opportunity.
Your business isn't the only one that benefits from a case study. Customers participating in case studies benefit, too.
Think about it. Case studies are free advertisements for your customers, not to mention the SEO factor, too. While they're not promoting their products or services, they're still getting the word out about their business. And, the case study highlights how successful their business is — showing interested leads that they're on the up and up.
3. Case studies are easily sharable.
No matter your role on the sales team, case studies are great to have on hand. You can easily share them with leads, prospects, and clients.
Whether you embed them on your website or save them as a PDF, you can simply send a link to share your case study with others. They can share that link with their peers and colleagues, and so on.
Case studies can also be useful during a sales pitch. In sales, timing is everything. If a customer is explaining a problem that was solved and discussed in your case study, you can quickly find the document and share it with them.
4. Case studies build rapport with your customers.
While case studies are very useful, they do require some back and forth with your customers to obtain the exact feedback you're looking for.
Even though time is involved, the good news is this builds rapport with your most loyal customers. You get to know them on a personal level, and they'll become more than just your most valuable clients.
And, the better the rapport you have with them, the more likely they'll be to recommend your business, products, or services to others.
5. Case studies are less opinionated than customer reviews.
Data is the difference between a case study and a review. Customer reviews are typically based on the customer's opinion of your brand. While they might write a glowing review, it's completely subjective and there's rarely empirical evidence supporting their claim.
Case studies, on the other hand, are more data-driven. While they'll still talk about how great your brand is, they support this claim with quantitative data that's relevant to the reader. It's hard to argue with data.
An effective case study must be genuine and credible. Your case study should explain why certain customers are the right fit for your business and how your company can help meet their specific needs. That way, someone in a similar situation can use your case study as a testimonial for why they should choose your business.
Use the case study questions above to create an ideal customer case study questionnaire. By asking your customers the right questions, you can obtain valuable feedback that can be shared with potential leads and convert them into loyal customers.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in June 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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Showcase your company's success using these free case study templates.
47 case interview examples (from McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc.)
One of the best ways to prepare for case interviews at firms like McKinsey, BCG, or Bain, is by studying case interview examples.
There are a lot of free sample cases out there, but it's really hard to know where to start. So in this article, we have listed all the best free case examples available, in one place.
The below list of resources includes interactive case interview samples provided by consulting firms, video case interview demonstrations, case books, and materials developed by the team here at IGotAnOffer. Let's continue to the list.
- McKinsey examples
- BCG examples
- Bain examples
- Deloitte examples
- Other firms' examples
- Case books from consulting clubs
- Case interview preparation
Click here to practise 1-on-1 with MBB ex-interviewers
1. mckinsey case interview examples.
- Beautify case interview (McKinsey website)
- Diconsa case interview (McKinsey website)
- Electro-light case interview (McKinsey website)
- GlobaPharm case interview (McKinsey website)
- National Education case interview (McKinsey website)
- Talbot Trucks case interview (McKinsey website)
- Shops Corporation case interview (McKinsey website)
- Conservation Forever case interview (McKinsey website)
- McKinsey case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
- McKinsey live case interview extract (by IGotAnOffer) - See below
2. BCG case interview examples
- Foods Inc and GenCo case samples (BCG website)
- Chateau Boomerang written case interview (BCG website)
- BCG case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
- Written cases guide (by IGotAnOffer)
- BCG live case interview extract (by IGotAnOffer) - See below
3. Bain case interview examples
- CoffeeCo practice case (Bain website)
- FashionCo practice case (Bain website)
- Associate Consultant mock interview video (Bain website)
- Consultant mock interview video (Bain website)
- Written case interview tips (Bain website)
- Bain case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
- Bain live case interview extract (by IGotAnOffer) - See above
4. Deloitte case interview examples
- Engagement Strategy practice case (Deloitte website)
- Recreation Unlimited practice case (Deloitte website)
- Strategic Vision practice case (Deloitte website)
- Retail Strategy practice case (Deloitte website)
- Finance Strategy practice case (Deloitte website)
- Talent Management practice case (Deloitte website)
- Enterprise Resource Management practice case (Deloitte website)
- Footloose written case (by Deloitte)
- Deloitte case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
5. Accenture case interview examples
- Case interview workbook (by Accenture)
- Accenture case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
6. OC&C case interview examples
- Leisure Club case example (by OC&C)
- Imported Spirits case example (by OC&C)
7. Oliver Wyman case interview examples
- Wumbleworld case sample (Oliver Wyman website)
- Aqualine case sample (Oliver Wyman website)
- Oliver Wyman case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
8. A.T. Kearney case interview examples
- Promotion planning case question (A.T. Kearney website)
- Consulting case book and examples (by A.T. Kearney)
- AT Kearney case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
9. Strategy& / PWC case interview examples
- Presentation overview with sample questions (by Strategy& / PWC)
- Strategy& / PWC case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
10. L.E.K. Consulting case interview examples
- Case interview example video walkthrough (L.E.K. website)
- Market sizing case example video walkthrough (L.E.K. website)
11. Roland Berger case interview examples
- Transit oriented development case webinar part 1 (Roland Berger website)
- Transit oriented development case webinar part 2 (Roland Berger website)
- 3D printed hip implants case webinar part 1 (Roland Berger website)
- 3D printed hip implants case webinar part 2 (Roland Berger website)
- Roland Berger case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
12. Capital One case interview examples
- Case interview example video walkthrough (Capital One website)
- Capital One case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
13. Consulting clubs case interview examples
- Berkeley case book (2006)
- Columbia case book (2006)
- Darden case book (2012)
- Darden case book (2018)
- Duke case book (2010)
- Duke case book (2014)
- ESADE case book (2011)
- Goizueta case book (2006)
- Illinois case book (2015)
- LBS case book (2006)
- MIT case book (2001)
- Notre Dame case book (2017)
- Ross case book (2010)
- Wharton case book (2010)
Practice with experts
Using case interview examples is a key part of your interview preparation, but it isn’t enough.
At some point you’ll want to practise with friends or family who can give some useful feedback. However, if you really want the best possible preparation for your case interview, you'll also want to work with ex-consultants who have experience running interviews at McKinsey, Bain, BCG, etc.
If you know anyone who fits that description, fantastic! But for most of us, it's tough to find the right connections to make this happen. And it might also be difficult to practice multiple hours with that person unless you know them really well.
Here's the good news. We've already made the connections for you. We’ve created a coaching service where you can do mock case interviews 1-on-1 with ex-interviewers from MBB firms . Start scheduling sessions today!
The IGotAnOffer team
Case Study Interview Examples: Questions and Answers
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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)
- Bain Case Interview Preparation
- BCG - Interactive Case
- Cornerstone Research Cases
- Deloitte - Case Interview Preparation
- Gotham Consulting Case Studies
- McKinsey Interview Prep
- Mercer Case Study
- Oliver Wyman - Practice Case Studies
- pwc Case Studies
9 Types of Questions in Actual Case Interviews
Case interviews at management consulting firms are among the most difficult job interviews, but they are also quite predictable. Once you know the types of questions they ask, preparation is straightforward.
Using years of experience at McKinsey, as well as field reports from thousands of candidates, I’ve crafted a list of 8 common case interview questions, and in this article, I’ll show you how to answer each of them.
Case interview questions – Overview
Types of case interview questions .
Most questions in case interviews belong to one of these 9 types:
1. Framework/issue tree questions 2. Market-sizing and guesstimate questions 3. Valuation questions 4. Brain teaser questions 5. Chart insight questions 6. Value proposition questions 7. Information questions 8. Math problems 9. Solution-finding questions
In this article, we’ll discuss how to answer each question, along with the necessary tips and tricks.
How to answer case interview questions
There are the fo ur basic steps to answer case interview questions:
- Step 1: Clarify any unclear points in the question
- Step 2: Announce approach and ask for time
- Step 3: Draw issue trees to solve the given problem
- Step 4: Pitch your answer and end with a takeaway conclusion.
This general outline may vary depending on each type and each question – for example, brain teasers or information questions need only the last step, while market-sizing and framework questions need all four steps to deliver the perfect answer.
Type 1 – Framework/Issue tree questions
These are on top of the list among popular case interview questions!
If the interviewer asks you to identify factors contributing to a problem or to break down an entity (such as the revenue of a business), he/she is telling you to draw an issue tree.
And to draw a spot-on issue tree, you need to master consulting problem-solving foundations , the MECE principle , and common consulting frameworks . You should check out our other articles on these topics before moving on, because mastering the issue tree is the key to acing every possible case interview.
You also need good business intuition to draw good issue trees, so that’s all the more reason to start reading every day.
Gastronomia – a gourmet restaurant chain has found the turnover rate among its highly-skilled chefs increasing dramatically for the last 3 years; this has led to a noticeable decline in food quality and increased training costs, among other negative effects.
Which factors would you consider when tackling this turnover problem?
Job: Factors from the job itself. Further divided into 3 sub-branches
- Compensations: are the salaries, bonuses, and benefits attractive enough?
- Difficulty: is the job too difficult?
- Nature: is the job too boring, too unengaging, too repetitive…?
Company: Factors from the work environment within the restaurant chain, surrounding the affected jobs. Further divided into 2 sub-branches
- Cultural environment: is the culture at Gastronomia compatible with the chefs?
- Physical environment: is the physical working environment at Gastronomia safe, comfortable, convenient…?
Competitors: Factors from outside the restaurant chain, related to competing job offers. Further divided into 2 sub-branches.
- Inside industry: are other restaurant chains competing with Gastronomia for skilled personnel?
- Outside industry: are there new career options or changes in existing alternatives that draw chefs away from restaurant chains like Gastronomia?
For detailed guides on issue trees, frameworks and their principles, see the articles on Issue Trees , Case Interview Frameworks, and MECE Principle
Type 2 – Market-sizing & guesstimate
These questions go along the lines of “How many trees are there in Central Park?” or “What’s the market size of pick-up trucks in the USA?”
The key to nailing market-sizing and guesstimate questions lies in not the closest results, but the most logical and structured approaches. In fact, the interviewer expects you to follow these four steps:
Step 1: Clarify: Make sure you and the interviewer are on the same page regarding every detail and terminology, so you won’t be answering the wrong question.
Step 2: Break down the problem: Break the item in the question (number of trees in Central Park, market size of pickup trucks) down into smaller, easy-to-estimate pieces.
Step 3: Solve each piece: Estimate each small piece one at a time; each estimation should be backed by facts, figures, or at least observations.
Step 4: Consolidate the pieces: Combine the previous estimations to arrive at a final result; be quick with the math, but don’t rush it if you aren’t confident.
Unless you come up with something about 10 times the reasonable estimate, don’t worry about being “wrong” – the interviewer is unlikely to have a “correct” number in mind, he/she just wants to see your structured mindset.
This question type is so common, we devote a whole article to it, and our Case Interview End-to-End Secrets Program have a separate package on these questions. Check out our comprehensive guide on Market-Sizing & Guesstimate Questions for more details!
Now, here’s a quick example for you to try and get used to this type:
How many smartphones are sold each year, globally?
- Smartphones are phones using exclusively touch-screens.
- “Sold” means sold to the end-consumers.
- The market size is calculated at present.
Break down the problem:
The global smartphone market can be divided into three segments – developed countries, developing countries, and undeveloped countries.
In each segment, the annual unit sales of smartphones depend on four variables:
- The percentage of “phone-owning age” people among the population
- The percentage of smartphone owners within the “phone-owning age” group.
- The average, annual, per capita “consumption” of smartphones for those owners.
Solve each piece:
- The population is 1.5 billion in developed countries, 5.5 billion in developing countries, and 1 billion in undeveloped countries.
- 80% of the world population is in the “phone-owning age” (Global life expectancy is 70 and everyone older than 15 years counts towards the “phone-owning age” group)
- 100% of the phone-owning age in developed countries will own a smartphone; the figure in developing countries is 75%, while in undeveloped countries it’s 10%.
- The average smartphone user replaces their phone every 3 years – so they “consume” 0.33 phones each year.
=> Estimated global smartphone market: 1.53 billion units per year
=> Actual 2019 global smartphone sales: 1.37 billion units (error margin: 11.7%).
This market-sizing question is solved using a four-step process, which is explained in this article: Market-Sizing & Guesstimate Questions
Type 3 – Valuation questions
Valuation questions are about estimating the monetary value of a business, and these are very popular in case interviews too!
Valuation questions are a blend of guesstimation/market-sizing, math, and business. They also require basic finance knowledge. There are three ways to estimate the value of a business:
- The NPV Method: take the net cash flow generated by the business, and discount it to the present to account for time value of money. Basically “this company is worth X dollars because it gives me Y dollars over Z years”. This approach works best when the cash flow from the business is positive and stable.
- The Market Method: take one index of the firm (which can be stocks or anything depending on the industry) and multiply it with an industry multiple (the value of one unit of the said index). In other words, “this company is worth AxB dollars because it has A traffic and each traffic is worth B dollars”. This approach works best when the market is transparent and data on similar firms are accessible – usually with major, established industries such as commercial airlines.
In real case interviews, you have to justify your approach then ask the interviewer to give you the necessary data.
Our client wants to sell his organic-food restaurant (called “Cato’s Cabbage Farm”) to retire. How much is his restaurant worth?
(Supposed the interviewer gives you the following data: his current income from the restaurant is $100,000 per year; two other restaurants in the neighborhood – one with 2 times more customers, and another about 0.75 times, have been sold at $1,800,000 and $1,000,000 respectively).
NPV Method: Cato’s Cabbage Farm value = $100,000 / 10% = $1,000,000
Assume the number of customers for Cato’s Cabbage Farm is 1 “customer unit”, then the two neighborhood restaurants get 2 and 0.75 “customer units”.
- Industry multiple: ($1,800,000+$1,000,000) / (2+0.75) = ~$1,018,182
- Cato’s Cabbage Farm value = $1,018,182 x 1 = $1,018,182
Type 4 – Brain teasers
Brain teasers are the least predictable case interview questions – but even these can be learned!
Brain teasers are riddles designed to test unconventional, creative, and logical thinking. A famous example of this is Accenture’s “How do you put a giraffe in a fridge?”.
Although not as popular as before, brain teasers might still appear in consulting interviews; therefore, you should spend some time to prepare.
Most brain teasers can be allocated into these seven types:
- Logical questions are pure logic riddles – there’s no trick, no illusion, no creativity.
In our Case Interview End-to-End Secrets Program , there are +200 brain teasers to help you prepare for these “unpredictable” questions. You can also read our article about Case Interview Brain Teasers for insights on all of these exciting brain teasers, as well as 30 example questions and answers!
How do you put a giraffe in a fridge?
Open the fridge, put the giraffe in, then close the fridge. The question never says how big the fridge or the giraffe is.
For the logic and approach behind each kind of brain teasers, see the article on Brain Teasers.
Type 5 – Chart insight questions
You can’t be a management consultant without mastering the use of charts – the complex, scary-looking real-world charts such as those included in our Case Interview End-to-End Secrets Program.
In management consulting and case interviews, most charts are one (or a combination) of these four basic types:
- Bar charts compare the values of several items at one point in time, or 1-2 items at several time intervals.
- Line charts illustrate time-series data, i.e trends in data over a continuous period.
- Pie charts illustrate proportions, i.e “parts of a whole” analyses.
- Scatter-plots use data points to visualize how two variables relate to each other.
To read these charts and answer chart-insights questions effectively, you must follow a structured, comprehensive process:
You can find a more detailed guide in the Charts section in our article about Consulting Math.
What can you draw from the following chart?
Trends in chart:
- Steady rise in the number of confirmed deaths to about 70-80 per million;
- Both changes started around March 10-11.
- These sudden rises can be explained by events occurring in early-March, and 2.
- If number of cases is kept low, the threat from COVID-19 will remain minimal, considering a mortality rate of only 2%.
Type 6 – Value proposition questions
No business or consulting candidate can succeed without understanding the customers!
Value-proposition questions are not only about correctly identifying customer preferences, but also about analyzing and delivering the answer in a structured fashion. The former relies heavily on business knowledge and intuition, but the latter can be trained methodically and quickly. Personally, I use a “double issue-tree” – essentially a table with customer segments on one axis and proposed values on the other:
For segmenting customers, you can use the following table. However, don’t over-rely on it, since there may be more relevant and insightful question-specific segmentations.
In some cases, clarification is also necessary – both to avoid “answering the wrong question” and to narrow down the range of customers/values you need to cover in the answer.
What will a customer consider when buying a Toyota sedan?
Clarification: A sedan must be branded “Toyota” to be a Toyota sedan – cars with other Toyota-owned brands such as Lexus or Ranz do not count in this question.
Toyota sedans occupy the entry-level and mid-range price segments, so Toyota customers will be more price-conscious than, for example, Lexus customers.
They are also less likely to lean considerably towards one particular factor, so achieving a balance is extremely important.
- Comfort: Toyota sedans are mostly for everyday use, so customers should feel comfortable being inside the car.
- Utility: Toyota sedans are used for multiple purposes, so convenience for a wide range of uses is important.
- Purchase price: A car can be an expensive investment while Toyota’s low-to-mid-range customers are more price-conscious, so having a cheap/reasonable price is important.
- Fuel and maintenance: Maintenance and fuel costs over time are likewise inversely related to the decision to buy a Toyota sedan.
- Performance: Customers are usually drivers themselves, who often pay attention to the technical characteristics of the car (speed, acceleration, handling, etc.)
- Visual design: The car should possess the same level of visual appeal as other competitors in the same segment.
- Build quality: Parts of the car should be assembled in a reasonably good manner.
- Branding: The car should come from a well-known, reputable brand
- Personal preferences: Some customers choose specific cars simply because they “like” the car.
Type 7 – Information questions
In any problem-solving process, information is one of the overarching concerns!
“Information questions” essentially ask if the piece of data you use is obtainable in the first place. In real consulting work, data is not always available – client team members may refuse to cooperate or there’s simply no data on the subject.
There are many kinds of information sources in case interviews/consulting works, but I’ll divide them into primary and secondary sources. Primary sources means you must do the research yourself (or pay someone else to do it for you), such as customer surveys or mystery shoppings. If someone already did that research, and you use their results, it’s called a secondary source – you can get these from the client , the consulting firm you work for, or third-parties such as market research firms or external industry experts.
You can find out more about these sources and how to cite them in real case interviews through this free Prospective Candidate Starter Pack, which contains a glossary of data sources in consulting.
Our Prospective Candidate Starter Pack has a sheet containing all the possible sources of information in case interviews and consulting projects, among numerous other free resources; you can download and use it to answer these questions, by subscribing to our newsletter at the end of this article.
How do you assess your target customer’s preferences for sports cars?
Primary sources: customer survey, customer interviews, Secondary sources: industry reports, client sales reports, third-party expert interview, client expert interview
Type 8 – Math problems
A lot of information in case interviews and consulting work comes in the quantitative form, so you won’t escape Math by joining the consulting industry!
When you have to do the math, perform back-of-the-envelope calculations in a structured fashion, and say out loud what you’re writing. For one thing, it’s safe; for another, you show that you’re careful, organized, and reliable – just like actual consultants.
We have a Math Practice Tool right here! Use it every day, and you’ll be a master of mental calculations in no time flat!
We have a dedicated article on Consulting Math, which you should definitely read.
Type 9 – Solution-finding questions
What’s the point of analyzing a problem, if not to solve it?!
When dealing with solution questions, keep these four points in mind:
- Firstly, in case interviews as well as real consulting projects, solutions must always solve every root cause of a problem, so remember to check if your solutions are relevant and comprehensive.
- Secondly, every solution must be actionable – if your solutions are too expensive, too time-consuming, etc. for the client, they’re useless.
- Thirdly, the interview expects a highly-structured answer; so segment your solutions based on their characteristics (long-term vs short-term is the easiest segmentation)
Last but not least, deliver at least two solutions, preferably three to five. Otherwise, you’ll appear uncreative and lazy to the interviewer’s eyes.
Nailing these questions relies on having excellent business intuition; our Case Interview End-to-End Program has a dedicated Business Intuition package, but you should also train a habit of reading consulting and business articles daily, to sharpen your business mind.
A restaurant that relies solely on on-premise dining found the loss of adjacent parking space (due to termination of contract) harming their revenue. How can they fix that?
The solutions for the restaurant’s parking space problem can be divided into two types:
- Short-term solutions: Find new parking space around the neighborhood, or renegotiate for old parking space (possibly at a higher price).
- Long-term solutions: Introduce takeaway items and off-premise dining.
Reminders on case interview questions
The questions are not clear-cut in candidate-led cases.
There are two extremes in consulting case interview format: interviewer-led (McKinsey) and candidate-led (BCG, Bain).
Interviewer-led cases, on one hand, consist of multiple, clear-cut questions in a larger business case context; the candidate navigates through these questions to arrive at the solutions.
Candidate-led cases, on the other hand, have one big problem, which the candidate must break down into small pieces to identify the root causes and deliver solutions.
This list, therefore, is much more relevant to the interviewer-led format; nonetheless, this guide is still quite beneficial for candidate-led cases, because when solving that big problem, you’ll have to tackle small issues similar to the 8 aforementioned question types.
Mastering the fundamentals is crucial to consistent performance
Although it’s good to study the case interview questions, it is no substitute for mastering the fundamental principles.
Learning the exercises without the basics is like building a house without a foundation. My poor neighbor’s house developed a huge crack right down the center because of its weak foundation, so make sure to build your case interview prep a strong one by knowing the basics first.
Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you’ll become much more flexible – this quality is getting increasingly important because case interviews are getting less predictable, and more realistic.
If you haven’t, I advise you to read these articles (especially the first 4) before practicing the question types:
- Case Interview 101
- Issue Tree – The Complete Guide
- MECE Principle
- Case Interview Frameworks
- McKinsey Case Interview – Interviewer-led Format
- BCG & Bain Case Interview – Candidate-led Format
Expect the unexpected
If you study those nine question types, rest assured that you’ve covered the majority of questions in case interviews.
However, these are not all the possible questions you might be given. In actual cases, there are always questions that cannot be categorized neatly. If you do not prepare for these questions, it’s easy to be thrown off-balance.
So, how do you prepare for “the unexpected”?
- Master the basics: Focus your efforts on the basics, once you’ve mastered them it’d be comfortable to move on to higher, more sophisticated levels.
- Business Intuition : You need business intuition for a business-related job, it’s simple as that. Nearly every case concerns business in one way or another – even public sector cases. This is why we also teach business intuition in our Case Interview E2E Secret Program.
- Have mock case interviews : Practice case interviews with ex-consultants will help you get a sense of what might happen or how you might be evaluated in actual cases. Highly experienced coaches from MConsultingPrep will review your performance, giving you the most valuable feedback and actionable tips & techniques.
Scoring in the McKinsey PSG/Digital Assessment
The scoring mechanism in the McKinsey Digital Assessment
Case Interview End-to-End Secrets Program
Elevate your case interview skills with a well-rounded preparation package
Six types of charts in case interview are: Bar/Column chart, Line chart, Percentage chart, Mekko chart, Scatter plot chart, Waterfall chart.
A case interview is where candidates is asked to solve a business problem. They are used by consulting firms to evaluate problem-solving skill & soft skills
Case interview frameworks are methods for addressing and solving business cases. A framework can be extensively customized or off-the-shelf for specific cases.
28 Case Interview Examples for Consulting Interview Prep (2023)
- Last Updated December, 2023
Former McKinsey Engagement Manager
How to Use Case Interview Examples
Video Case Interview Example: Questions & Answers
Tips for Acing Your Case
Free Case Interview Examples (Consulting Firms)
Free Case Interview Examples (Consulting Clubs)
Practice is the key to passing your consulting interviews. To practice, you’ll need some examples of case interview questions and answers to work with.
We’ve got links to loads of them below.
In addition, we have:
- Tips on how to use case interview examples to prepare for your consulting interviews,
- A video case interview example with My Consulting Offer founder Davis Nguyen, and
- Insight into the difference between average and exceptional answers to case interview questions.
Get ready to dive deep into structuring your analysis of business problems, identifying the key issues, and recommending solutions!
Keep reading to find out how to use case interview examples to ace your case.
How to Use Case Interview Examples to Ace Your Case
1. start your case interview preparation early..
You’ll need to practice dozens of case interview examples to get good enough to receive an offer from one of the top consulting firms. This is not something you can cram the night before an interview.
Start as soon as possible.
2. Don’t Read Straight through Sample Case Interview Examples or Passively Watch Videos.
Some people think that the best way to improve their chances of passing a case interview is by reading as many cases interview examples as they can.
This is like reading about how to play tennis but never picking up a racket. To get better at tennis, for example, you need to actually pick up a ball and be active. The same applies to your interview preparation.
Stop and think at each step in the case interview question. Come up with your own answer and say it out loud. Practice driving each part of the case interview example yourself.
- How would you structure your analysis of the problem?
- What questions would you ask the interviewer?
- How would you set up the case math problem?
- What recommendation would you make to the client?
After you’ve developed your answer, compare it to the suggested answer for the case.
What did you get right?
How did your answer and the case interview example answer differ?
Are there things you miss consistently across multiple case interview examples?
The answers to these case interview examples can look simple when you just read through them, but it’s not easy to come up with all the key aspects of the solution on your own.
Nail the case & fit interview with strategies from former MBB Interviewers that have helped 89.6% of our clients pass the case interview.
3. Find Partners to Practice Case Interviews with.
Teamwork is an important part of consulting work, so get ready for it now. Find a case interview practice partner, preferably someone else who’s applying to jobs in the management consulting industry because they’ll know more about what recruiters are looking for.
Practicing cases with a partner provides the opportunity to get feedback from someone else on what you’re doing well and what you need to improve. Additionally, you’ll learn a lot by watching how your partner solves sample case studies.
Look for aspects of their approach that are effective as well as what they could do better. Working with a partner will make your consulting interview practice feel more real.
Similar to how you need a tennis partner to feel what is like to play tennis, you need a case partner to experience what a case interview is like.
4. Master the 4 Parts of the Case Interview.
In our article on Case Interview Prep , we discussed the 4 parts of the case interview: the opening, structure, analysis, and conclusion. As you practice with consulting case interview examples, practice each of these 4 parts to ensure you’re strong at them all.
5. Avoid Case Burnout.
A case zombie is someone who’s grown tired of casing from doing too much of it. Their answers feel rehearsed, not conversational.
They may seem bored, not engaged in solving the problem. They’ll be less creative in their solutions. They certainly won’t pass the airport test!
Avoid becoming a case zombie by practicing smarter, not harder.
Video: Case Interview Examples – Questions & Answers
In the following case interview example, Davis Nguyen, founder of My Consulting Offer solves McKinsey’s SuperSoda case. The video is broken into 4 parts of the case interview.
Remember, don’t just watch the video. Stop the video and provide your own answer before listening to Davis’s answer to the case question.
Step 1: Case Interview Example Opening – Ensure you understand the client and the problem you’ll be solving in the case.
Step 2: case interview example structure – break the problem down into smaller parts. make sure you cover all key case issues., step 3: case interview example analysis – ask questions, gathering information from graphs and charts provided by the interviewer, do case math, and provide insight into the client’s business problem based on what you learn., step 4: case interview example recommendation – develop a rational recommendation for the client based on all you’ve learned throughout the case interview., tips for acing your consulting case interviews – the difference between average & exceptional, case interview opening.
The opening is a great point to ask “dumb” questions because, at this point, you’re not expected to know much about the client and their business.
Here your goal is to understand the client, their business, and what a successful project will look like.
Don’t shy away from asking for clarification on things that will help you better understand the business problem and solve it. For example, if you don’t know how life insurance works and the case is about life insurance, then ask.
After ensuring you understand the client and their problem, the next thing to ask about is key metrics of success.
For example, the client may want to find new avenues for growth. Are they looking for a 5% increase in revenue or to double their business?
Finding out what success looks like in the client’s eyes will ensure you work to deliver a solution that meets their expectations, not one that’s underwhelming.
After you find out what success looks like, ask further probing questions to better understand the client, their business, and any constraints on solving the case.
Examples of Relevant Questions to ask Your Interviewer
Examples of relevant questions about the client might include the geography they operate in or the sector of their industry they are strongest in.
Examples of relevant questions about their business might include what products or services are most profitable or most important to their customers.
Examples of relevant questions about the problem might include whether there are any costs that can’t be cut or what the maximum amount the client is able to invest in developing a new product.
Asking these types of questions up front will give you a better context for solving the client’s problem and make it more likely that you will solve the case interview.
Case Interview Structure
You’ll need a framework to make sure your analysis covers all key aspects of the consulting case.
You can use one of the many standard Case Interview Frameworks we’ve outlined , but top interviewees develop their own framework for analyzing the case interview question.
Their frameworks may include pieces of one or more of the standard frameworks but are tailored to the particular business problem they’re discussing.
Good frameworks are hypothesis-driven, that is to say they can be tested similar to the science experiment, so that the answer is either a “yes” or “no.” For example, examining your bank account to see, “if I have $400 for a ticket” is an example.
Second, good frameworks cover all topics relevant to the answer. For example, if the client is opening up a new hotel in a foreign country, checking out the existing competition should be part of the framework.
As you study more about interactive case interviews and practice them you’ll develop a sense for what factors are relevant or not relevant to the case at hand.
Finally, a good structure will be MECE or mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive.
This means the framework will break down the market or population being analyzed into segments that include every part of the whole (collectively exhaustive), and each segment of the market or member of the population will show up in one and only one category without overlap (mutually exclusive).
For example, if you divide the target market for a retail product into segments by age, these segments would be MECE:
- 40-49, etc.
The categories 15-25, 20-30, 27-35 would not be MECE because people could be counted twice.
Case Interview Analysis
In the analysis phase of your case interview example, you’ll ask questions to get the information you need to solve the client’s business problem. Your questions will likely lead you to one of the 4 types of analysis that are common in consulting interviews: market sizing, brainstorming, quantitative reasoning (case math), or reading exhibits.
No matter which of these types of analysis comes up, there’s a 4-step method that ensures you can crack the case.
This 4-step method is:
- Ask for data,
- Interpret the data,
- Provide insight, and
- Outline next steps.
The data you ask for will depend on the case interview question you’re solving. For example, if the question is about profitability, you’ll need to know about the client’s finances: dig into revenues and costs.
For example, if you find that the client’s revenues are flat while their costs have been rising, you’ll know that the problem is in the cost structure and that you’ll need to examine costs more closely.
Next, provide insight. As you examine costs further, you’ll find out why they’ve grown faster than revenues.
This insight will naturally lead to the next steps. What does the client need to do to get costs under control and fix their profitability problem?
You may need to go through this 4-step method a couple of times, focusing on different aspects of the client’s business problem.
Once you’ve examined and developed insight into all key aspects of the problem, your next step will be to conclude the interview with a recommendation for the client.
Case Interview Conclusion
At this point, you’ve hopefully cracked the case and are ready to present your recommendations to the client (your interviewer).
The best way to do this is to use the 5R approach:
- Recap – restate the business problem you’ve analyzed. In consulting this is done because a CEO might have hired 5 McKinsey teams and can’t remember which one you are on.
- Recommendations – Provide the solution your analysis led to. We lead with the recommendation because it is the most important piece of information. Stating it first and clearly puts everyone on the same page.
- Reasons – Summarize the key facts and insights that lead you to your recommendations.
- Risks – Outline any risks the client should be aware of as they implement your recommendations. No recommendation has a 100% probability of success. Clients need to be aware of business risks in the same way patients need to understand the side effects of drugs.
- Retaining the client – Provide next steps for how you can help the client ensure success. As consultants, we are paid for helping our clients. If there is a natural extension of the work as the client implements the team’s recommendations, we should tell them how we can provide further assistance (and ultimately make money for your firm).
While most candidates will address their recommendations and possibly the reasons for their recommendations, few will hit all these points.
In particular, outlining risks and further ways you can help the client will differentiate you from other candidates and help you to advance to the second round of interviews or get the offer.
Free Online Case Interview Examples from 7 Top Consulting Firms
Now that you’re familiar with how you should use case interview examples and what differentiates an average answer from an exceptional one, you need sample questions to practice with.
Below, we provide links to dozens to help you hone your business problem-solving skills.
1. McKinsey Case Interview Examples
Disconsa – Help a not-for-profit develop better financial-service offerings for remote Mexican communities.
Electro-Light – Help a beverage manufacturer prepare for a new product launch.
GlobalPharm – Help a pharmaceutical industry client manage with its merger and acquisitions strategy.
Transforming a National Education System – Help a country’s education ministry develop a new strategy for educating the country’s children.
2. BCG Case Interview Examples
Climate Challenge – Help a global consumer goods company reduce its environmental impact.
Driving Revenue Growth at a Healthcare Company – Help a medical devices and services company to increase revenues following an acquisition. (The same one that is highlighted above in our example)
3. Bain Case Interview Examples
Coffee Shop Co. – Help a friend decide whether they should open a coffee shop.
F ashionCo. – Help a fashion company understand why its revenues have been going down.
Private Equitas – Help a private equity company maximize its investment in a portfolio company.
4. Deloitte Case Interview Examples
Footloose – Help a footwear company improve their market share in the boots category.
Recreation Unlimited – Help a global apparel and sportswear company improve its digital customer experience and its revenue.
Agency V – Help a large federal agency recover from a front-page scandal that sparked investigations and congressional hearings.
Federal Benefits Provider – Help a federal agency that provides benefits to millions of U.S. citizens prepare for a major expansion of its mandate.
5. AT Kearney Case Interview Examples
Promotion Planning – Help a national grocery and drug store chain improve its product promotion strategy.
6. PWC Case Interview Examples
Modernizing a Hotel’s Loyalty Platform – Help simplify and modernize the platform, providing customers with immediate access to their data.
Green Energy – Help an energy company transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Nonprofit Impact – Help a community organization respond to client needs during the pandemic.
Love at First Byte – Help a data management client comply with new regulations.
Prioritizing Ethics and Integrity – Help a software company leverage data analytics to comply with regulations.
7. Accenture Case Interview Examples
Sustainability – Help drive sustainability for an auto manufacturer.
IT integration strategy – Driving merger integration by linking technology systems.
We have more on how to Accenture Case Interviews in our article.
8. Capital One Case Interview Examples
Ice Cream Corporation – Help the president of Ice Cream Corporation grow profits.
9. Oliver Wyman Case Interview Examples
Wumbleworld – Help a China-based theme park operator identify the reasons for declining profits and develop options for reversing the trend.
Aqualine – Help a manufacturer of small power boats determine why its sales growth has slowed and identify opportunities to boost sales.
10. LEK Case Interview Examples
Theater chain – Help a large theater chain identify revenue growth opportunities.
Free Online Case Interview Examples from Consulting Clubs
Need more case interview examples? Here are links to MBA case books compiled by INSEAD, Harvard, Wharton, Darden, and several other business schools.
Recent Consulting Case Interview Examples
- Darden School Of Business 2020-2021 Casebook
- NYU Stern MCA 2020-2021 Casebook
- The Duke MBA Consulting Club Casebook 2021-2022
- Kellogg Consulting Club 2020 Casebook
- FMS Consulting Casebook 2021-22
- INSEAD Consulting Club Casebook 2021
- IIMC Consulting Casebook 2021-22
- UCLA Case Book 2019 – 2020
- The Duke MBA Consulting Club Casebook 2018-2019
- Columbia Business School 2021 Casebook
- IIM Lucknow Casebook 2022
- Cornell MBA Johnson Consulting Club Casebook 2020-2021
Older Consulting Case Interview Examples
- 2019 Berkeley Haas School of Business Consulting Club Interview Preparation Guide and Case Interview Examples
- 2017-2018 McCombs University of Texas at Austin Consulting Case Interview Examples
- Columbia Business School Management Consulting Association Case Interview Examples 2017
- Duke Fuqua School of Business MBA Consulting Case Interview Examples 2016-2017
- NYU Stern MBA MCA Case Interview Examples: 2017
- UCLA Anderson School of Management Consulting Association Case Interview Examples 2015-2015
- Darden Consulting Club Case Interview Examples: 2014-2015
- Yale Life Sciences Consulting Case Interview Examples 2014
- ESADE MBA Consulting Club Case Interview Examples 2014
- Darden Consulting Case Interview Examples: 2012-2013 Edition
- Kellogg Consulting Club Case Interview Examples and Interview Guide: 2012 Edition
Even More Consulting Case Interview Examples
- The Cornell Consulting Club Interview Interview Examples
- Harvard Business School Management Consulting Club Case Interview Examples
- The MIT Sloan School of Management Consulting Club Case Interview Examples and Interview Guide – October 2001
- The Berkeley MBA Haas Consulting Club 2006 Case Interview Examples
- London Business School – The 2006 Consulting Club Case Interview Examples
- Columbia Business School Management Consulting Association Case Interview Examples – 2006
- Torch the Case – The NYU Stern Consulting Case Interview Examples – 2007 edition
- Michigan – the Ross School of Business Consulting Club 2010 Case Interview Examples
- Wharton Case Interview Examples by the Wharton Consulting Club – December 2010
- The Duke MBA Consulting Club Case Interview Examples – 2010-2011
- Case Interview Examples by the ESADE MBA Consulting Club 2011
- INSEAD Consulting Club Handbook and Case Interview Examples – 2011
Still have questions?
If you still have questions on case interview examples, leave them in the comments below. We’ll ask our My Consulting Offer coaches and get back to you with answers.
We have tons of other articles to help you get an offer from one of the top consulting firms. Check out our pages on:
- Case Interview Math
- Case Interview Types
- Case Interview Formulas
- Market Sizing Questions
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3 Top Strategies to Master the Case Interview in Under a Week
We are sharing our powerful strategies to pass the case interview even if you have no business background, zero casing experience, or only have a week to prepare.
No thanks, I don't want free strategies to get into consulting.
We are excited to invite you to the online event., where should we send you the calendar invite and login information.
Career in Consulting
280 Free Case Interview Examples
Do you want to get access to over 280 free case interview examples (with answers)?
If you have interviews planned at McKinsey , The Boston Consulting Group , or any other consulting firm, you are probably looking for case interview examples.
So, to help you prepare, I have compiled a list of 280 free case interview examples:
- Over 30 free case interview examples (+ interview prep tips) from the websites of top consulting firms
- More than 250 free case interview examples from top business school case books
Moreover, you’ll get my take on which case studies you will likely have in interviews.
In short, the resources listed hereafter will be very helpful if you are starting out or have already made good progress in preparing for your case interviews.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Consulting salaries report: what happened since 2020, get the latest data about salaries in consulting, mckinsey: tips and case interview examples.
McKinsey & Company’s website is definitely one of my favorites.
Because this gives so much insightful information about the role of a consultant and what the hiring process looks like.
Therefore, I highly recommend spending time on their website, even if you are not targeting McKinsey.
In the meantime, here are 8 McKinsey case interview examples
- National Education
- Talbot trucks
- Shops corporation
- Conservation forever
Check out the McKinsey Hub : A library of 20+ free resources that cover everything you need to secure a job offer at McKinsey.
Besides, here is another McKinsey case interview example.
This case interview question has been recently asked in a real interview:
𝘦𝘊𝘢𝘳𝘊𝘰, 𝘢 𝘑𝘢𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘶𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘤 𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘷𝘦𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘴, 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘨𝘨𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘵 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘉2𝘉 𝘴𝘦𝘨𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵. 𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘦𝘯𝘫𝘰𝘺 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘉2𝘊 𝘴𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘦, 𝘣𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘥𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘵. 𝘏𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳, 𝘦𝘊𝘢𝘳𝘊𝘰’𝘴 𝘴𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘮𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘶𝘮 𝘴𝘪𝘻𝘦 𝘣𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘶𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘢𝘳 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘌𝘖 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘰𝘶𝘵.
How would you approach this business problem?
When ready, check this video below where I present how to approach this problem.
BCG: Tips And Case Interview Examples
The Boston Consulting Group website states something very important: the goal of the hiring process is to get to know you better, which means, in the context of Consulting interviews, understanding how you solve problems .
Remember this: in case interviews, to show how you think is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than to find an answer to the case .
As a result, you will have case study questions to showcase your problem-solving skills. Likewise, fit interviews have the same purpose: to show what problems you faced and how you resolved them.
- BCG interview prep tips
- BCG’s interactive case tool
- BCG case interview example: climate change challenge
- BCG case interview example: GenCo
- BCG case interview example: FoodCo
Check out the BCG Hub : A library of 20+ free resources that cover everything you need to secure a job offer at BCG.
Bain: Tips And Case Interview Examples
Bain & Company’s website highlights something very important: successful applicants manage to turn a case interview into a conversation between two consultants .
In other words, you don’t want to appear as a candidate but as a consultant !
To do this, you need to master the main problem-solving techniques that consulting firms want to see.
- Bain interview prep tips here and here
- Bain case interview examples: coffee , fashioco
- Bain case interview sample videos: a first video , a second video
Check out the Bain Hub : A library of 20+ free resources that cover everything you need to secure a job offer at Bain & Company.
Deloitte: Tips And Case Interview Examples
As for the BCG’s section above, the Deloitte website clearly states that in case interviews , it is much more important to show how you think and interact with your interviewer than to find the right answer to the case.
- Deloitte interview prep tips
- Deloitte case interview examples: here (more than 15 case interview examples)
- Deloitte case interview example: Federal Agency
- Deloitte case interview example: Recreation Unlimited
- Deloitte case interview example: Federal benefits Provider
- Deloitte case interview example: Federal Civil Cargo protection Bureau
Get 4 Complete Case Interview Courses For Free
You need 4 skills to be successful in all case interviews: Case Structuring, Case Leadership, Case Analytics, and Communication. Join this free training and learn how to ace ANY case questions.
Oliver Wyman: Tips And Case Interview Examples
Like the Deloitte website, Oliver Wyman’s website points out that, above all, you must demonstrate your ability to think in a structured, analytical, and creative way.
In other words, there are no right or wrong answers, but only showing how you solve problems matters.
- Oliver Wyman interview prep tips
- Oliver Wyman case interview examples: here (Aqualine) and here (Wumbleworld)
Kearney: Tips And Case Interview Examples
Now it’s time to tell you something you could have heard a hundred times.
Yet too many candidates do it.
Do NOT force your solution to adapt to a standard framework . As a result, this will only take you to a place you don’t want to go: the pool of rejected candidates .
To learn more about this, check the “What Not To Do” section on the AT Kearney website .
- Kearney interview prep tips
- Kearney case interview examples: here and here
- Kearney case book: here
Strategy&: Interview Prep Tips
Strategy& doesn’t provide case study examples on its website, but it shares insights on career progression, which I recommend reading when you prepare for your fit interviews.
- Strategy& interview prep tips
Roland Berger: Tips And Case Interview Examples
I like the examples of case studies presented on the Roland Berger website .
Because the two examples of case studies are very detailed and illustrate the kind of solutions your interviewers expect during case discussions.
- Roland Berger interview prep tips
- A first Roland Berger case interview example: part 1 and part 2
- A second Roland Berger case interview example: part 1 and part 2
Alix Partners: Interview Prep Tips
Like Strategy&, Alix Partners doesn’t provide case study examples on its website.
However, they give an overview of what they are looking for: they want entrepreneurial, self-starter, and analytical candidates, which are skills that all consulting firms highly appreciate .
- Alix Partners interview prep tips
OC&C: Interview Prep Tips
Here are two case study examples from OC&C:
- Imported spirit
- Leisure clubs
253 Case Studies From Business School Case Books
Most of these 253 case study examples are based on case interviews used by consulting firms in real job interviews .
As a result, you can have a good idea of the case study questions you can have when interviewing at these firms .
The Full List Of 253 Free Case Study Examples
- Chicago business school
- Australian Graduate School of Management
- Columbia business school
- Harvard business school
- Wharton business school (2009)
- Wharton busines school (2017)
- Darden business school
Do you want to practice a specific type of case study? Now you can…
I have sorted this list of 253 case studies by type: profitability, market expansion, industry analysis, pricing, investment or acquisition, and guesstimates (also known as market sizing questions).
Bonus #1: Know The Types Of Cases You Are Likely To have During Your Interviews
- Profitability cases (29% of cases from that list)
- Investment cases (19% of cases from that list)
- Market sizing questions (15% of cases from that list)
As a result, assuming you’ll have 6 interviews (and therefore 6 case interviews) during the recruitment process:
- “Profitability cases are 29%” means that chances to have 2x profitability case studies during your recruitment process are very high
- “Investment cases are 19%” means that chances to have 1x investment case study during your recruitment process are very high
- “ Guesstimates are 15%” means that chances to have 1x market sizing question during your recruitment process are high
Bonus #2: The 10x Cases I Recommend You Doing Now
Over 250 examples of case interviews is a great list, and you may not know where to start.
So I’ve put a list of my 10x favorite case studies.
The 5 case studies I recommend doing if you are a BEGINNER
1. stern case book: drinks gone flat (starting at page 24).
This is a good introduction to a common type of case (declining sales here). I liked the solution presented for this case, particularly how it started by isolating declining sales (what range of products? Volumes or prices, or both?).
2. Stern case book: Sport bar (starting at page 46)
This is an investment case (should you invest in a new bar). Even if the solution presented in this case book is not MECE , it covers the most common quantitative questions you might have in such a case. I recommend doing this case.
3. Stern case book: MJ Wineries (starting at page 85)
This is a profitability case. I liked the solution presented in this case because it illustrates how specific good candidates should be. The case concerns wine, so a good candidate should mention the quality of lands and grapes as important factors.
4. AGSM case book: Piano tuners (starting at page 57)
This is a typical market sizing question. How to answer this type of question is a must-know before going to your interviews.
5. Darden case book: National Logistics (starting at page 49)
Again, this is a very common case (how to reduce costs). I liked the broad range of questions asked in this case, covering key skills assessed by consulting firms during case interviews: brainstorming skills (or creativity), quantitative skills, and business sense.
The 5 case studies I recommend if you are more ADVANCED in your preparation
1. stern: the pricing games (starting at page 55).
This case study asks you to help your client assess different business models. I liked this case because the range of issues to tackle is quite broad.
2. Wharton 2017: Engineer attrition at SLS Oil & Gas Services (starting at page 55)
I liked this case study because the case prompt is uncommon: your client has been facing a very high attrition rate among its population of Engineers. As a result, it’s very unlikely that your solution fits a well-known framework, and you’ll have to demonstrate your problem-solving skills by developing a specific solution.
3. Wharton 2017: Pharma Company Goes International, Outsources Benefits, Integrates New Technology (starting at page 95)
This case is about a client considering outsourcing a part of their activity. Even though I don’t know if this type of case study is very common, I had many case studies like this when I passed my interviews a few years ago. And I always found them difficult!
4. Insead: Gas retail case (starting at page 73)
The question in the problem statement is very broad, making this case difficult. So, only good candidates can have a structured case discussion here.
5. Darden: Fire Proof (starting at page 84)
This is a market entry case. Try to solve it by developing a structure as MECE as possible.
CareerInConsulting.com's Free Resources
Access my exclusive free training to help you prepare for your case interviews .
Besides, you can learn my step-by-step guide to answering market sizing questions .
You’ll get my formula to solve all market sizing questions.
Moreover, if you are a beginner, you can read my article on how to solve business cases (+ a 4-week prep plan to get case interview ready).
Also, check these 11 must-know frameworks to ace your case interviews.
Finally, you can read the articles in the blog section of my website.
That’s quite a list.
Now, I’d like to hear from you.
Which key insights were new to you?
Or maybe I have missed something.
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.
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