The term case interview refers to a type of job interview that includes answering a question about a business-related challenge or situation. Case interviews are meant to assess the job applicant’s business, communication, and analytical acumen.
Typically, a case interview would be just one phase of the entire interview process. For example, the case interview can be combined with more traditional questions or a behavioral interview. The distinguishing feature of the case interview is the business scenario presented to the candidate, which may be one the interviewer actually faced, and solved, in the past.
Case interviews are oftentimes used by management consulting firms and investment banks. The business scenario will challenge the interviewee’s intelligence, analytical capabilities, business acumen, as well as their ability to communicate effectively. The dialog will be two way, allowing the job candidate to ask questions in addition to explaining how they are going about solving this challenge.
In practice, there may not be just one correct answer. While coming to a logical conclusion is important, the purpose of the case interview is to understand the process the applicant goes through when solving the problem. Typically, the interviewee will be allotted fifteen minutes to develop their answer.