“The guide every M.B.A. or any aspiring consultant needs to ace some of the toughest job interviews.” Case in Point is the go-to book for consulting candidates and those preparing for an interview.
Case in Point Summary
Case in Point is a decent book for those that are completely new to case interviews. It covers a lot of information on what to expect in a consulting interview, the different types of cases, and general consulting interview advice. It also provides plenty of practice cases to read and work through.
However, the Ivy Case Method to solve cases has major issues and is not the most robust or effective way to solve cases. Additionally, the practice cases are not that representative of actual cases you’ll see in your interviews.
For these reasons, Case in Point may not be the best case interview prep book in the market. However, the book does provide a lot of information and may be worth a read for those that don’t have a strong business background.
Many case interview prep books don’t cover behavioral or fit interview questions. Case in Point is thorough in covering all of the types of consulting interview questions you can expect.
However, some of the information and advice is fairly generic and the author does not go into too much depth on some of these topics. For example, the book does not provide a structure or explicit strategy on how to answer behavioral interview questions.
Nevertheless, this section provides a decent introduction on what you can expect to be asked in a consulting interview. To learn the best way to answer each of these questions, you’ll likely need to use other case prep resources.
The book covers the fundamentals of market sizing very well. The author provides a great overview and solid examples. However, know that many consulting firms are using market sizing and estimation questions less and less in their interviews.
The book provides a step by step approach in working through a case interview. There are four main steps: summarizing the case information, verifying the objective, asking questions, and laying out a structure. However, the information provided is terse and specific examples are not provided.
Most cases you encounter in your consulting interviews won’t fit nicely into the 12 frameworks provided. Relying on memorizing these 12 types of cases and follow up questions is not a recommended strategy because interviewers will know that you are using memorized frameworks and not thinking critically for yourself.
The book provides 28 practice cases, which is much more than your average book. They cover a wide variety of different types of cases, including strategy, operations, marketing, and human capital.
These practice cases are written in two different formats. In the first format, the cases are written in the form of dialogue between the interviewer and the candidate. This format is helpful to see what a case interview sounds like.
The second format is called “partner cases,” which doesn’t have any clear structure. Data and key insights are provided, but there is no clear progression for readers to follow.
Be wary of exclusively using these cases to practice because many of these cases are too short and not representative of cases you’ll actually see in a case interview. Some readers mention that the cases are not challenging and complex enough. Additionally, the commentary at the end of each case is not the most helpful because it doesn’t break down the most direct and appropriate answer to each question.
Since it has been the best-selling case interview book on Amazon, know that most of your competition will also be reading and using Case In Point. Solely relying on the strategies and techniques in this book will not help you stand out from the crowd.
In summary, Case in Point is probably best for people that are unfamiliar with case interviews and are looking for an introduction to the concept of case interviews. You’ll definitely need to use this book in conjunction with other case interview prep books to learn more effective case interview strategies and techniques.
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About the Author
Cosentino is the president of CaseQuestions.com and the former Associate Director of Career Services at Harvard for 18 years. Marc is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School, Harvard’s Program on Negotiation and the University of Denver.