Information Questions

As you know, a big part consulting is getting data and deriving conclusions from it.
Therefore in case interviews and especially interviewer-driven case interviews, information questions are usually asked.

1. Example of Information Questions

Type 1 – broad: Ok, that is an interesting hypothesis (guess). What information do you need to test it?
Type 2 – sources:  So you want to find out the market share of the client? How would you do that?

With Type 1 of Informational Questions, you can typically say: I would like to have information on the market share of the client for Product A.

With Type 2 of Informational Questions, you are asked to provide detailed resources of information. You will have to say: Several ways to get this information are reviewing annual reports, buying market reports, interviewing industry experts, etc.

Informational resources library – Type 2

A good way to prepare for Type 2 questions is to have an Informational Resources Library. This is beneficial in two ways:

First, some informational sources can be used in many different situations and cases. Having examples of them ready to give out is always a good practice.
Secondly, the process of gathering and maintaining this library is actually very good training for your mind.

Possible resources could be:

  • Customer surveys
  • Mystery shopping
  • Interviews with clients
  • Reviewing clients documents (organization charts for example)
  • Press search
  • Interviews with industry experts
  • Analyst / company / industry reports
  • Buy reports from market research companies (AC Nelson for example)

Usually, these questions will be asked together.

First, the interviewer wants you to give a broad overview of what information you should have. Then, you are asked to give out some sources for that information.

2. Practice on Informational Questions

Situation 1:
Hypothesis: The reason for declining sales is that the client exercises too many cost saving strategies that lead to low-quality products
What information do you need to test that hypothesis?

Situation 2:
The client wants to find out if the supplier is able to manufacture and deliver supplies on time. How are they going to that?

Situation 3:
Hypothesis: The reason for the declining profit is that the client’s labor system is too complicated. What information do you need to test that hypothesis?

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