Gies College of Business | Groups

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Interview resources

The IBC interview process is rigorous, but you can succeed with preparation. There are two interviews: case interview first, then behavioral interview second. Here are some guidelines to help you prepare.

Behavioral interview

The purpose of the behavioral interview is to determine your ability to communicate professionally and to understand your level of self-awareness relating to your strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies. The following are examples of behavioral questions:

  • Tell me about how you work under pressure and give an example
  • Have you ever made a mistake? How did you handle it?
  • Give an example of how you work on a team?
  • What do you do if you disagree with someone at work?
  • What is your personal learning style?

Case interview

The purpose of the case interview is to assess your ability to analyze, process, and share information. Case interview questions do not always have one right answer, and many times are used to assess creativity and the ability to navigate through ambiguous situations. More important than the answer is the logic you followed to determine an answer and the manner in which you communicate your thoughts.

IBC’s case interview is uniquely designed to be a conversation between the interviewer and interviewee. You should be prepared to read and synthesize information, write down your thought process in a structured manner, draw conclusions from the results, then present your recommendation clearly to the interviewer. This process will take place when prompted with a question from your interviewer after reading about a business situation.
 

Sample IBC Case

Potential case types  

Profit improvement

  • What should Company A consider to improve revenue?
  • What should Company B consider to control costs (fixed costs and variable costs)?
  • Overall, what should Company C do about profits (profit equation)?

Industry analysis

  • Pharmaceutical A is choosing to invest in preventative Drug 1 or treatment Drug 2. What are the potential markets and criteria the company should address?
  • Assist Industrial Supply Company B evaluate the growth of fire safety equipment. How would you approach the problem? What would you recommend for the client to improve growth?

Market entry

  • After given information about a company’s interest in launching a new product, answer the question: should the company launch this product?

Investment

  • Advise the client: A US specialty electronics producer is considering to acquire a regional electronics producer in Korea. What factors should the company consider?
  • Advise the client: A foreign retailer is considering acquiring a US retail chain. What factors should the foreign company consider? 

Case interview strategies

Listen and understand

  • List the facts
  • Weed out irrelevant information
  • Paraphrase the question
  • Verify the objective of the case

Structure

  • Use framework to guide you (decision tree, chart, etc.)
  • Be creative and brainstorm

Analyze

  • Guide the interviewer through your thought process
  • Investigate risks and rewards of each option
  • Manage your time

Conclude

  • Summarize your findings
  • Hit the key points of your solution and explain why it makes sense
  • Be decisive and make a confident decision (sell it)

Defend

  • Anticipate questions relating to your analysis and recommendation
  • Remain friendly and professional

View the slides from our Case Preparation Workshop

→ Spring 2020 Case Prep Workshop

External resources

Styles of case interviews vary widely, so these resources simply provide general tips.