Interviews are already intimidating for many students and grads – add in a case study, and you’ve reached another level of job search anxiety.
Case interviews are a common component of entry/student level hiring processes. Case interviews showcase a candidate’s ability to employ logic under pressure, structure their analysis and communicate their thoughts and process – candidates are presented with hypothetical situations, and are asked to work through underlying issues in order develop and present recommendations at the end of the interview.
Preparing Gen Y candidates for a case interview can add strategic value to your recruitment efforts. We’ll explain why, and outline 5 simple steps you can take to ensure every candidate has a career-hatching case interview.
Why should I support Gen Y’s interview success?
Actively supporting student and grads through the interview process at your firm can strengthen your employer brand. When you’re known for investing in Gen Y success (at any level), your actions will inspire quality talent to engage with your brand.
You’ll also differentiate yourself from the competition. Being seen as “different” is a driving factor for many employer brands vying for Gen Y’s attention. Providing candidates with key tips on how to approach a case interview is a unique way to attract and engage top talent.
Ultimately, you want to feel confident in the recruitment decision you’ve made, and know that the applicant who impressed you during recruitment can impress your hiring team during the interview. To do this, you need to make sure that students and grads feel comfortable going into the interview so they’ll be focused on demonstrating strength, not nerves.
How can I help Gen Y prepare for a case interview?
There are a few different ways to show your support. You can start by:
- Managing expectations from the get-go. In your conversations with students and grads, talk about case interviews and why they’re an integral step in launching a career in consulting. The majority of students and grads will already be familiar with case studies, but you can share online resources with those who might need a refresher. Here are a few TalentEgg articles to share:
- Organizing a networking event around key hiring periods. Host an event where students and grads can interact with Gen Y staff who have successfully gone through the interview process. This can help to encourage peer-to-peer learning and can give potential candidates a chance to gain valuable insight from your current staff. If it’s not possible to host an in-person event, host a virtual info session instead! Moving the conversation online can help widen your brand’s reach and engage more talent. Be sure to ask Gen Y team members to log on and participate too.
Case study: Accenture and PwC have both hosted virtual info sessions with TalentEgg in the past, as a way to engage potential candidates and field questions about their respective application and interview processes.
- Hosting a TalentEgg Challenge. Challenges are online case competitions that enable you to build your talent pipeline and screen potential applicants. Students and grads are given a chance to practice their consulting skills by developing solutions to your Challenge question. They’re given an opportunity to demonstrate their skills, and you’re able to see their work in action.
Once candidates receive an invitation for an interview, you can:
- Create an overview document of relevant info for candidates to review before their interview. The goal is to provide them with company-specific info that can help them frame their interview strategy. Information could include: the basic functions or capabilities of your firm, a list of industries your clients are in, or some background on each team member conducting the interview. The document could also contain general advice, including suggestions for practicing their responses (in front of friends, recording themselves on webcam), or a list of other interview sections to consider (written aspect, behavioural questions, group portion).
- Provide candidates with samples of old cases so they can practice with “specific” examples in mind. Aggregate websites with general case examples do exist, but sending branded cases will indicate to candidates that your firm is unequivocally invested in their success.
After the interview, keep engagement with your employer brand strong by:
- Providing candidates with a few notes on their case performance. Touch base with the interview team to see if they have any insight to share – this could be of value to students and grads who did not make it past the interview round and want to improve their skills for next time.
Discussion: How do you support Gen Y through the interview process?