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Help needed frameworks/answers for case interview questions

 
#1 Help needed frameworks/answers for case interview questions
21/10/2013 19:43

ss88

Hey all,

I'm in the middle of doing case interviews for a couple of firms, and I have now done about 15 case interviews. I now have some final rounds coming up, and while I've found that I've been very strong in market sizing/estimation questions, number/graph based cases and some of the more 'complex cases' - I've been struggling with some of the more 'simple' cases, many of which involve increasing revenue or some other quantity, and are to a certain extent open ended.

These are some questions I felt I didn't answer very well:

After talking about how I used to play competitive soccer in my college days I was asked: "How would you increase the number of spectators to your club soccer matches at your homeground?" after a discussion this was followed by: "It seems like soccer isn't that popular in your country.. How would you go about increasing the popularity of soccer in your country and doubling the number of people involved in the sport?

"How could XX airlines double their revenue from inflight food and beverages?"

"How would you reduce car accidents in your home town by 30%"

"How would you double the revenues from bananas at a certain grocery store?"

Also the latest question I was asked, maybe not so 'simple'

"You are an automobile manufacturer and you want to move into the luxury sector. Do you build your own brand or buy an existing one?"

Anyway I think the problem is that coming from an engineering background I have strong analytical skills, but struggle with structuring more open-ended or qualitative cases.

If anyone can provide some quick example solutions (even just the framework or the structure for the approach) to the above questions, it would be greatly appreciated, as I haven't really been able to get feedback on my performances.

Thanks a bunch in advance!

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#2 RE: Help needed frameworks/answers for case interview questions
22/10/2013 10:52

detoilet Consultant to ss88 (#1)

Some fun answers ( bored today)

How could XX airlines double their revenue from inflight food and beverages?"

On departure announce a 4 hour delay 10 mins after take off - and send round the trolley - then say actually no delay - standard Ryan Air code of practice

"How would you reduce car accidents in your home town by 30%"

Choice of 2

1. Introduce death penalty for anyone who has an accident; or

2. Ban women drivers

"How would you double the revenues from bananas at a certain grocery store?"

Give free bottle of vodka with every bunch

Also the latest question I was asked, maybe not so 'simple'

"You are an automobile manufacturer and you want to move into the luxury sector. Do you build your own brand or buy an existing one?"

or evaluate your current brand - ie upgrade it Rover was once on a level with Jags and Aston Martin which was just a common sports car like austin healey & mg

DC

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#3 RE: Help needed frameworks/answers for case interview questions
22/10/2013 17:23

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to detoilet Consultant (#2)

"How would you reduce car accidents in your home town by 30%"

The same way the liberals would reduce crime. Just redefine it so that almost nothing falls under that category. Always gotta be somebody else's fault - no sense of personal responsibility whatsoever.

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#4 RE: Help needed frameworks/answers for case interview questions
22/10/2013 17:27

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#3)

"You are an automobile manufacturer and you want to move into the luxury sector. Do you build your own brand or buy an existing one?"

Again, just redefine it, the same way the lefties/socialists would. Ergo your Lada becomes a luxury vehicle. The same way Skodas did. (Bushy waits for somebody to pipe up... "oh yeh but Skodas are actually pretty good these days"... to which Bushy says he once drove a diesel Skoda Octavia and put his foot flat to the floor in second gear and genuinely thought the engine had cut out or something because the acceleration was so unbelievably slow).

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#5 RE: Help needed frameworks/answers for case interview questions
22/10/2013 17:29

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#4)

"How could XX airlines double their revenue from inflight food and beverages?"

Do what detoilet says. And also maybe consider running an airline for fatties only.

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#6 RE: Help needed frameworks/answers for case interview questions
22/10/2013 17:33

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#5)

Anyway I think the problem is that coming from an engineering background I have strong analytical skills, but struggle with structuring more open-ended or qualitative cases.

Please, NEVER apologise for having an engineering background. People like you are the ones that build the world in which we all live. Why oh why is it that the brightest, most robust thinkers are often so humble and apologetic? If you're having problems with those questions (which in fact just indicates to me that you're actually thinking it through properly), just imagine how a graduate of a modern languages/drama/film studies/other fluff subject would have to wriggle and BS their way through it. You have real skills... hard analytical ones that people should value.

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#7 RE: Help needed frameworks/answers for case interview questions
23/10/2013 12:49

Camster to ss88 (#1)

Anyway I think the problem is that coming from an engineering background I have strong analytical skills, but struggle with structuring more open-ended or qualitative cases.

Nonsense. I also have an engineering background. If you ever developed products or featurees, you will know that this (open-ended, thin, skeletal, vague, etc.) is alwasy the case.

Take the automobile, moving into luxury question. In simple terms, you can do three things here. Buy. Build your own. Some semblance of partnership. You are meant to expand on this single sentence and build a story.

You need to to know just a few basic frameworks. Like:

-The above. How you build your business case? That's up to you, but consider the basics. I would concentrate on industry (and industry attractiveness), company, competition.

-If you get pricing strategy questions, the safest is to go for, well, what some consultancies even do! Total up costs, then add margin, i.e. cost-based pricing. If you want something more 'exotic', read up on context pricing, my specialty.

-For revenue and cost case studies, use the simple profit = revenue - cost formula. Look (and drill down) at revenue and cost separately.

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#8 RE: Help needed frameworks/answers for case interview questions
23/10/2013 12:54

Camster to ss88 (#1)

From the above, let's look at your questions:

-How to reduce accidents? Build up the case. Ask questions like breakdown of accident causes, location, etc. Always drill down or segment.

-Revenue questions? Answered.

-Automobile? Also answered.

The gist? Just because the interviewer says a single sentence, it does not mean that it is a "simple case". It can actually be a big and complex one. Asking the right questions is a fundamental skill in MC.

P.S. If all else fails, as DC says, bribe with vodka - lol.

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