Frameworks (such as those considered in this section) may help you to organise the information you have received whilst opening the case in order to ask the questions necessary to fill in the gaps and to provide concise, structured solutions that interviewers (and in practice, clients) can easily follow. We will now provide an overview of key case study frameworks and concepts, before going on to explain how you can apply these whilst undertaking a case study interview.
There are different types of business problems interviewers may expect candidates to tackle.
- Profitability problems may have a quantitative focus and relate to a company’s revenue, costs and profit margins (and how these elements could be improved). The Profitability Framework may be of some use when tackling these types of problems.
- More conceptual problems may have a greater emphasis on qualitative issues such as risks, marketing, strategy and human capital. The Business Situation Framework is typically very useful when answering questions that focus on these types of issues. Some problems may also incorporate elements of the two. However, if you are familiar with these two frameworks, you should have little problem solving a majority of cases.
- This section next covers general considerations relating to mergers and acquisitions, which can be applied to cases that involve a company considering merging with or acquiring another company.
- Finally, market sizing/brainteaser questions are considered, alongside examples of how to tackle them.
When applying frameworks, analyse different branches of the frameworks in a logical order. Do not jump between different elements of the framework without completing your analysis at each stage. Only move onto the next branch once you have reached a dead end or discounted the current branch you are assessing. It is also advisable to summarise your findings before switching to a completely different branch, as this helps to reinforce your thought process to the interviewer).
By Jake Schogger - City Career Series