These exercises assess your ability to work efficiently and as effectively as possible while processing information, analysing problems, making decisions, and taking action in a business context.
You will be presented with either a range of typical paperwork or an email inbox. These are likely to include: documents, reports, phone messages, memos, letters and/or emails. You will be expected to work your way through the information within a specified time frame (typically 30-60 minutes) and prioritise the order for action, explain what action is required, and how you plan to deal with it, e.g. delegate an action to someone else, return a call, arrange a meeting, deal with a complaint, and so on.
Make sure that you understand the instructions and then read through all of the documents quickly but carefully before prioritising.
Online practice tests:
This could be a chronological interview a case study interview, a strengths based interview, a competency based interview or a combination of all of these. See the Interview section for further details.
You might be asked to prepare a presentation pre-interview, or given a problem to analyse and then present on at the interview. Either way, the interviewers will be looking at your ability to analyse, order information, and present confidently. Remember to structure your presentation with a concise introduction, main body of evidence (with a clear, structured argument) and conclusion.
You will find information on presentations at TARGETJobs.
Psychometric testing/Personality questionnaire
While you might have undergone psychometric testing prior to the assessment centre, some organisations ask you to complete additional testing on the day. Remember to practice the basics and see our guide to psychometric testing for further information.
Individual case study exercises
These are commonly presented as a hypothetical business problem that you will be asked to analyse and make recommendations on in a brief written or verbal report with an assessor. No previous experience of the business is needed and they will not be looking for management level skills but the ability to assess a large amount of information, think logically, and identify a solution. These exercises tend to be used in business consultancy, banking, financial services, accountancy and management consulting recruitment. Case study exercises can be used as a group or individual activity.
- Case Interview Free videos, handouts, and list of frameworks providing step-by-step instructions on how to tackle cases (registration required)
- Inside Careers Applications and interviews: case study tips
- Wikijob Includes some case study interview questions
- Bain & Company (Management consultancy) The interview preparation section includes three online practice interactive cases
- Marakon Practice case study included in the Careers section – Sample cases to help you familiarize yourself with the format, as well as test your problem-solving approaches
- Case in Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation Marc P Cosentino, 8th Edition, 2013, Burgee Press, in the PDC. (The book aims to demystify the consulting case interview, exploring the various types of case questions, and includes 40 strategy cases and ten case starts exercises)