Knowing how to write a strong case interview framework is critical to securing a consulting offer
One of the most significant traits of a good management consultant is being structured. The ability to lay out a solid framework is the very first sign that you have a structured, top-down approach to solving a business problem.
A practical framework splits the solution into main blocks that do not overlap. This shows you can split problems into small parts and deal with each one separately. A strong framework covers all crucial points in a case and enables you to show that you analyze situations comprehensively. The solution may be in the details of many different areas. With a comprehensive framework, you can cover all important details.
How To Write a Strong Case Interview Framework: Best Practice Approach
There are three fundamental principles to build a successful framework. First, you need to clarify the case question to make sure that you understand it well. Next, you need to ensure your structure is easy to navigate. Its sections need to be both mutually exclusive and collectively comprehensive.
- Clear question
- Easy-to-navigate structure
- Mutually exclusive, collectively comprehensive sections
Once you’ve included these three fundamental principles, you should construct a case-specific framework to solve the particular problem. Finally, your framework should include quantitative analyses to back up your recommendation with facts and figures.
While the ideal framework varies depending on the case type and main question, the fundamental approach is often the same. It is split across three main blocks as follows.
The qualitative assessment section is where we understand the context of the case and assess the attractiveness of the opportunity. This includes the company itself and its products, customers, and competition. Once we have covered the qualitative analysis, we can use the quantitative assessment and crunch some numbers. This is the section where we will find a solution to our problem. After finding our solution and backing it up with quantitative and qualitative facts, we can begin the risk evaluation, assessing the potential risks that can emerge if we pursue that solution.
Case Interview Framework Example
As mentioned above, the framework examples may differ for different cases. Yet, just to illustrate, we laid out a new product launch framework in this article.
Let’s go through one of our case studies, Pudong Hospital. The client is a hospital chain in China. They provide most medical services such as surgery to consultancy and have more than 15 medical departments. However, they lack several medical services, such as pathology, nuclear medicine, and biochemistry. They plan to add pathology services to their offerings to provide complete cancer treatment to their patients. Therefore, they want to build their pathology department and terminate their contract with their external partner. They ask for our opinion to decide whether they should proceed with this plan.
Here is an ideal framework to approach this case:
1. Strategic fit: We can check how this investment would serve the client’s overall strategy and segment strategic areas into two:
i. Vision: If successful, will this investment help the client to grow into other fields in the future?
ii. Resources & capabilities: Does the client have enough physical (e.g., building, equipment, etc.) and people resources to launch the new department?
iii. Processes: Can the client easily change its processes to adopt the new department?
i. Customers: Who are the client’s current customers and how will this investment transform the client’s customer base in the future?
ii. Competition: Who are the key competitors? Can the client be competitive in the market after launching the new product?
iii. Image: How will the client’s growth affect its brand image in the market?
2. Financial assessment: What are the potential financial benefits of the new system?
a. How can the client increase profits with this investment?
1. Number of treatments
2. Price per treatment
1. Investment cost
2. Change in the cost structure
a. Variable costs
b. Fixed costs
b. Will achievable profit levels meet their financial objectives?
c. Can the client afford this investment?
3. Risks: What are the potential risks for the client with this growth option?
a. How will launching the pathology department affect the client’s relationship with its current partners? Will termination of its contract with the existing laboratory partner negatively impact any other part of their business?
b. Can the client successfully adapt its processes to run the new department?
c. Will the client have enough demand for pathology services to reach and sustain target profitability levels?
How to Practice Writing a Strong Case Framework
Enroll in our Get the Offer Course, which will grant you access to all you need to improve your case interview frameworks. The course includes the following:
10 framework videos
Walk yourself through Prepmatter frameworks across all 10 case topics: market entry, investment, M&A, product launch, growth strategy, competitive response strategy, profitability, pricing, operations, and public/social impact
10 case interview videos
See how candidates apply their frameworks and learn from the simultaneous feedback in 10 live case interviews
40+ case studies
Solve Prepmatter case studies with your partner, which span across all possible case types and industries
50 structuring drills
Improve your structuring skills by answering 50 questions that may come up in your interview, categorized across 10 case topics
Knowing how to write a strong case interview framework is critical to securing a consulting offer. Ask your Prepmatter coach to prepare you specifically for the framework and structuring sections of case interviews.