You have reached the point in the case interview where you have put forth your best analysis of the scenario, worked through the calculations, evaluated options and now need to close the interview. When closing the interview, it is crucial to leave a good last impression. How do you do this in a case interview?
Summarize Your Findings
It is important to quickly run through your findings, being able to summarize the information and your recommendations helps pull the interview to a close. It also demonstrates that you are able to take a vast amount of information, analyze the data, and make a succinct synopsis of the scenario.
Answer the Question
It happens more often than you would think, but in the throes of plowing through data, trying to think on your feet, add in the pressure of a job interview, and many candidates forget to answer the question that was asked. If the employer would like you to analyze some data and make a recommendation of whether or not to enter a market, you must give your answer and back it up with facts through analysis. Don’t let “Analysis Paralysis” happen.
Defend Your Findings…Unless You Are Proven Wrong
Some firms like to simulate a stressful situation and will challenge a candidate’s findings or recommendation. There are times when the interviewer is very convincing: “You are wrong in your recommendation and I will tell you why….” Remember that there is rarely a right answer in a case interview and you have to evaluate if the interviewer is trying to challenge you to see if you will buckle under stress or did he/she point out flaws in your calculations or methodology and convinced you of your error. If the employer is saying you are wrong and backing up his judgement with opinion or assumptions, he is probably stress-testing you. If she points out a major flaw in your analysis, it is best to admit your mistake and move on with the interview.
Closing a case interview is very important as one needs to pull together and synthesize the information in a coherent summary for the employer. In any consulting, financial advising, or other position where presentation to stakeholders is required (try to think of any jobs where this is not the case) – the ability to present a summary of your findings and subsequent recommendations is a necessary skill.