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    The medias watching Vault!

    Heres a sampling of our coverage.

    Unflinching, fly-on-the-wall reports... No one gets past company

    propaganda to the nitty-gritty inside dope better than these

    guys.

    Knight-Ridder newspapers

    Best way to scope out potential employers...Vault has sharp

    insight into corporate culture and hiring practices.

    Yahoo! Internet Life

    Vault has become a de facto Internet outsourcer of the

    corporate grapevine.

    Fortune

    For those hoping to climb the ladder of success, [Vaults]insights are priceless.

    Money.com

    Another killer app for the Internet.

    New York Times

    If only the company profiles on the top sites would list the real

    information... Sites such as Vault do this, featuring insights and

    commentary from employees and industry analysts.

    The Washington Post

    A rich repository of information about the world of work.

    Houston Chronicle

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    CAREER

    GUIDE

    VAULT CASE

    INTERVIEW

    P R A C T I C E G U I D E 2

    M O R E C A S E I N T E R V I E W S

    CASEINTERVIEW

    2008 Vault.com Inc.

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    CAREER

    GUIDE

    VAULT CASE

    INTERVIEW

    P R A C T I C E G U I D E 2

    M O R E C A S E I N T E R V I E W S

    CASEINTERVIEW

    2008 Vault.com Inc.

    RISHI MARWAH, SRIDHAR PARAMESHWARAN,ROBERT VUJOVICH AND THE STAFF OF VAULT

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    Copyright 2008 by Vault.com Inc. All rights reserved.

    All information in this book is subject to change without notice. Vault makes no claims as to

    the accuracy and reliability of the information contained within and disclaims all warranties.

    No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,

    electronic or mechanical, for any purpose, without the express written permission of

    Vault.com Inc.

    Vault, the Vault logo, and The Most Trusted Name in Career InformationTM are trademarks

    of Vault.com Inc.

    For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, contact Vault.com

    Inc., 150 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011, (212) 366-4212.

    Library of Congress CIP Data is available.

    ISBN 13 : 978-1-58131-546-2

    ISBN 10 : 1-58131-546-5

    Printed in the United States of America

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    ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

    We are extremely grateful to Vaults entire staff for all their help in the editorial,

    production and marketing processes. Vault also would like to acknowledge the

    support of our investors, clients, employees, family and friends. Thank you!

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    Visit the Vault Finance Career Channel at www.vault.com/consulting with

    insider firm profiles, message boards, the Vault Finance Job Board and more. ixA R E E RL I B R A R Y

    INTRODUCTION 1

    Basic Structure of a Case Interview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

    Dos and Donts in the Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

    Basic Structure of the Non-Case Part of the Interview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

    Dos and Donts of the Non-Case Part of the Interview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

    Practicing Interviewing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

    Case Interview Categories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

    SAMPLE CASES 17

    Amusement Park Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19

    Bicycle Manufacturer Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

    B2B Fertilizer Manufacturer Acquisition Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31

    Chinese Chemical Market Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37Coffee Chain Market Entry Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42

    Consumer Products Growth Strategy Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46

    Credit Card Company Revenue Growth Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51

    EU Customs Brokers Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56

    Eyewear Chain Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61

    Health Care CPG Consumer Loyalty Program Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65

    Housing Loans Market Entry Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71

    IT Benchmarking and Business Alignment Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77

    IT Outsourcing Strategy Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83

    Medical Devices Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87

    NGO Partnership Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92

    Nonprofit Brand Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97

    Norwegian Widgets Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103

    Online Gambling Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109

    Organic Fast-Food Chain Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115

    Outsourcing Commercial Debt Collection Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122

    Table of Contents

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    PetCo Revenue Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .127

    Pro Bono Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131

    Publishing Company M&A Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135Regional Bank Commercial Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143

    Satellite Communications Systems Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .149

    Specialty Kitchenware Brand Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .154

    Telecom Equipment/Services Provider Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .159

    FINAL ANALYSIS 169

    APPENDIX 173

    Sample Guesstimates/Brainteasers 175

    Sample Non-Case Interview Questions 176

    Acing the Case: Checklist 181

    Vault Case Interview Practice Guide 2: More Case Interviews

    Table of Contents

    2008 Vault.com Inc.xC A R E E RL I B R A R Y

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    For better or for worse, the case interview is, in many ways, the biggest hurdleto a job at a consulting firm. If you ever want to be a consultantor a strate-

    gic planner, a corporate or business development manager, or many other strate-

    gic roles in businessa case interview may be a screening tactic that youll

    have to excel at in order to get the job.

    Luckily, case interviewing is a learned skill. People are not born great case in-

    terviewers. Instead, successful case interviewers are those that combine the

    thoughtful analysis of a problem and structured thinking that theyve learned

    over the years in other work or academic environments, with a healthy dose ofcase interviewing practice, to master the case interview. This book will help

    you with that practice. It will walk you through how to prepare for the inter-

    view: the structure of the interview, what to expect from the interview and what

    theyre testing for in different parts of the interview, and then, it will help you

    practice for the case interview and help you to become successful at it!

    Basic Structure of a Case Interview

    The case interview is usually composed of two parts: 1) a 30- to 45-minute

    business case, and 2) a 30- to 45-minute get to know you interview. Some-

    times, this format will vary slightlywith two interviewers each doing a 30-

    minute case and a 15-minute get to know you conversation. Either way, you

    will usually meet with two separate interviewers and do about an hour of case

    interviewing and a half-hour of get to know you. (Having two interviewers

    allows a firm to have more than one person weigh-in their opinion on a candi-

    date.) Most of this book is focused on how to prepare you for these, the mosttypical, formats for case interviews. However, it should be noted that some

    firmsor sometimes just some renegade interviewersdeviate from this for-

    mat, and this book will address less typical case interview formats as well. But

    for now, onto what youre most likely to get in a case intervi