Case Interview During a Meal


Hi Victor,

I've been reading your emails and following the LOMS program for the last two months. I had a quick question if you have time.

I have an interview with a partner at IBM Consulting in a few days. It is a lunch interview in a fit/case format.

If I get a verbal case, how do I structure a discussion without having the liberty to actually draw out a framework?

How do you generally structure discussions say about industries or business situations with a client if you don't have access to pen/paper?


My Reply:

You have a few options.

1) Bring a pocket size note pad so you have something to diagram on.

2) Use a paper napkin (and hope the restaurant isn't too nice so they use cloth instead of paper for napkins).

3) Use visual words... imagine there are four boxes, in Box 1 = customer; in Box 2 = competitor, etc...

4) Use packets of sugar or artificial sweetener to represent different categories.

You have to do a better job of not forgetting your own structure, and you have to go out of your way to convey things visually using words only.

I would also recommend taking a look at my post on how to do well on a video conferencing case interview and one on a telephone case interview -- both of which address similar issues.

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