David Shakirov ’22

Hacking the Case Interview—Consulting Case Course, Professional Development Course

This summer, I had the opportunity to take a professional development course called, Hacking the Case Interview. In this course, I learned how to approach, solve, and master the case interview process for a career in consulting. The case interview is one of the most import parts of the interview process, so being able to do well is key.

The course started by identifying two things—what case interviews are, and the general skills that case interviewers are looking for in candidates. More specifically, case interviews are a conversation between you and the interviewer, where the latter is gauging your business acumen, analytical skills, communication prowess, and quantitative abilities. The course is broken into five parts: case background, structuring a framework, solving quantitative problems, answering qualitative questions, and delivering a recommendation. It is important to mention what your understanding of the background is, and what your proposed framework for the rest of the case study will be. Both are reassuring to the interviewer that you possess analytical skills and business prowess. The course made it important to differentiate between answering qualitative questions and solving quantitative problems. While it is important to flex your math muscle during these interviews, it is even more necessary to be able to think like a consultant. Hence, drawing qualitative conclusions means you have critical thinking and analytical abilities, which I think are both fostered really well at Williams given the liberal arts focus. Finally, being able to synthesize all of your findings, and emphasizing the most important ones, in addition to next steps, is probably the most important part of the entire case.

The course was incredibly helpful and I think that the summer is an opportune time to focus on professional development. Being at home during the pandemic also helped in terms of timing.

I would like to send my gracious thanks to Peter and Laurie Thomsen for their generous support. It is important to provide professional opportunities to Williams students, especially as they come from a liberal arts education and not a pre-professional background. It is my view that the return on this type of investment is incredibly high for the Williams community. ASIP bears intellectual fruits to the student, which allows them to reach higher highs professionally. Thank you to the many alums and the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for fostering this type of fruitful ecosystem.