What is a Case Study?
A case study is a form of assessment in which you are expected to analyse a situation and respond to it accordingly. You are to achieve based on the information you receive and deduce during the assessment. Case studies are in-depth activities, and it is important to prepare for them thoroughly. Examining styles vary across industries and they could be verbal or written.
Recruiters might not give your vital information as they expect you to be on your toes, probing for further data as necessary as this is a logical thing to do. They want to see how apt your inquiries are, whether or not you can discern what you need to know, versus what evidence is useless.
The toughest interviews will involve no resource provision, and you must think outside of the box. Make rational judgements and proceed, providing evidence as to why you believe so. The methodology illustrated tests your cognitive processes and intellect, appraising your scientific reasoning, ability to pick out critical points, conceptual propensities, proposals for action, the practicality of your resolutions, and evidence substantiating your claims.
Tips for Success:
- Your journey matters more than your answer.
- Highlight your logical processes, focused thought patterns and clear-cut reasoning skills that result in reasonable solutions.
- Perhaps do some research on data analysis methods:
- Porter’s Five Forces.
- Value Chain Analysis.
- Four P’s of Marketing.
- SWOT Analysis.
Ascertain which technique is relevant to the situation. More than anything, make sure your answers are organised – this applies if none of the above techniques is helpful in the scenario you have been given.
- Identify the major areas in your case study that are vital to the resolution of the issue. For example, a history of debt in a company would mandate examining the accounting statements of revenue.
- Break down the areas identified into sub-sectors/topics. For example, maybe the reasons for debt could be the excessive inventory a company has bought and the subscription model that it utilises to get products out – an ineffective method of securing profits given the scenario.
- Now, start reasoning, deducing potential ways to combat the problem given the sub-points identified. For instance, speak more in-depth about the points: change to a non-subscription model, and do not buy any more inventory until the current stock is sold. Increase advertising to increase sales and thus, the purchasing of product quantities. Detail methods to fix the excess inventory stores.
- Graphs and statistical data depictions will increase the efficacy of your performance, as this enhances the validity of your information. Map out the key factors you have drawn from the information so that you can make a much less fallible argument.
- Recommending actions to take shows extra initiative, and this might help solve an actual issue in the company.
- Do not try to fit into any of the above methods mentioned. It is not necessary to use one of these techniques. Work with all the skills you have learned throughout your education. Show your interviewer that you understand these business concepts well enough that you can apply them to the specifics of the market issue being presented in the case.
Case studies are subjective, and there is no one right answer. It is more about justifying your capabilities for the job through your analytical skills, knowledge of the industry and your understanding of core issues.
Here are some scenario problems you might be asked:
- How could you bring your commodity out into the international economy, considering potential obstacles, advantages and techniques to increase profit to its maximum potential: the location of manufacturing, outsourcing of labour?
- How could X Corporation get over their long-term internal strife, considering three crucial areas that you can distinguish? Rank them in order of increasing priority? Devise a method to attack this predicament and bring the firm back to success, supporting your answer with logical argumentation.
- A Chocolate Manufacturer is on a negative gradient regarding profitability. The market investigation team has deduced that there need to be new commodities created to compensate for decreased demand. Devise a method to maximise the success of the company via retailing tactics, covering pricing, packaging, distributors, etc.
- A high fashion brand is no longer profitable. Make a report that outlines the challenges it faces using the accounting books. With a risk analysis of the records, determine the value of reworking this company. Can this company be saved?
- A modern global chain opens in Paris. What tactics would you use to account for the differences in demographics and potential hurdles that result from this difference, as well as from simply opening a new store and getting it to reach profitability?
- Pay close attention and retain all the data swiftly.
- Isolate fundamental flaws, organise them in a hierarchy of gravity and use deductive means to succeed.
- Your turnover rate should be high and reliable, quality and speed.
- Structure time deftly under pressure.
- Keep in mind the tools you have and their numbers.
- Target the consumer requirements.
- Use unique, out-of-the-box ideas.