NACE Logo NACE Center Logo
National Association of Colleges and Employers NACE Center for Career Development and Talent Acquisition®
mobile menu
  • Maximize Effectiveness of Case Interviews

    May 11, 2018 | By NACE Staff

    Best Practices
    A recruiter conducts a case interview.

    TAGS: best practices, recruiting methods, interviewing, nace insights

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    Want to get the most out of your case interviews? One of the keys to doing so is by ensuring students are prepared for this interview format, which differs markedly from that of more traditional behavioral interviews.

    Behavioral interviews seek to understand candidates’ past experiences and how these candidates performed in different situations, explains Ryan Robinson, senior campus recruiter with Capital One.

    “The purpose [of behavioral interviews] is to gauge how their past performance would translate into future performance in the available role,” Robinson continues. “With case interviews, candidates are not asked to draw on past experiences; rather, they are presented with a business scenario and are asked to consider different variables that could impact recommendations. Calculations are often required, and candidates will draw conclusions based on the limited data that is available.”

    Adds Kelsey Indorf, campus recruiting manager with Capital One: “The purpose is to gauge candidates’ comfort with data, with incorporating new info, with drawing reasonable conclusions, and with making sound business recommendations.”

    Although case interviewing continues to increase in popularity among employers, it’s not a format that students encounter often. Thus, employers need to ensure they communicate their intention to conduct case interviews on campus.  

    “In general, career services professionals are excellent at prepping students for interviews,” Robinson says. “As employers’ selection processes continue to evolve, we want to help career services stay current. We think that case interviewing will continue to increase in popularity, and employers need career services to help students get ready for this type of interview.”

    Robinson and Indorf recommend that organizations that are conducting case interviews maximize their efforts by:  

    • Making sure that students understand that they will be conducting case interviews. Students may be expecting behavioral interviews, and may not anticipate case interviews unless the employer shares that information in advance.
    • Offering up a sample case, prep materials, and/or an associate contact who can ensure that the student is comfortable with the case interview format.
    • Providing information about the types of cases your organization uses, prep materials that could be shared, what makes a student successful during the case interview process, and more.
    • Participating in mock interviews.
    • Ensuring that the actual case is free from bias. As employers seek to hire diverse new candidates, it’s important to confirm that the selection process supports this initiative.

    “Career services offices advise students to build resumes and to practice behavioral interview questions early in their academic careers,” Indorf says. “Employers should recommend to their career services partners that they introduce case interview prep at the same time. For students, familiarity and practice with case interviews can be the key to landing their dream job.”

    Ryan Robinson and Kelsey Indorf will discuss case interviews during their presentation titled “Helping Students Land Their Dream Jobs” at the 2018 NACE Conference & Expo.