Management Consulting Prep

Case Interview by firms Accenture Case Interview

If we could pick a consulting firm to win the aggressive campus recruiting award, it would probably be Accenture. Today, let’s turn our attention to learning more about their recruiting process and specifically the Accenture case study interview.

Who are Accenture

If you ask an Accenture recruiter this question, he/she would give you a lengthy and generic description, something like … a leading consulting firm that values sustainability and getting the best people … That description can very well fit almost every consulting firm out there.

To be simple and short, the 2 basic things you should remember are:

  1. Accenture used to be the “consulting” department of the former “Big 5” Accounting firm: Arthur Anderson. Of course Anderson is gone now (after the Enron scandal in 2001) so we only have the Big 4, but the consulting department separated before that. When that department left Anderson, it had to change its name, so now we have Accenture Consulting!

  2.  Like most of the consulting practices of the Big 4 accounting firms, Accenture‘s is not purely management consulting but rather mixed. For PwC or KPMG, that may be finance, risk, tax, etc. For Accenture, it’s IT.

Accenture's recruitment

The recruiting process of Accenture is very similar to the Big 4 Accounting firms, featuring 3 rounds in most situations (with a few exceptions here and there)

  • Round 1: Networking and resume
  • Round 2: On-campus interview
  • Round 3: Office visit

Round 2 mostly consists of behavioral and experience interviews. The case interview typically appears in the last round. I’ll skip through the first two rounds and only focus on the most difficult and relevant topic: the case interview part.

Accenture Case Interview

Almost everybody out there is overly stressed about how to deal with Accenture cases. I got a ton of questions about how to prepare specifically for Accenture. I’ve read even more on various forums and discussion threads.

Well, I studied a whole lot of field reports and sample case studies from Accenture and I found out that people really overrate the difference between Accenture case study interviews and any other typical case interview. So let’s clear out some of the grey areas here together.

In some specific interviews for particular positions, Accenture may have IT-focused interviews, but NOT for case interviews for management consulting positions. Except for some case contexts which may be related to IT (e.g: Uber‘s profit‘s going down), you can expect to solve the case content-wise just like you would do for any other typical case interview.

This is probably true. Of the field reports I’ve studied, most cases were divided into multiple questions, each super specific and to the point. To some extent, those questions were  not even too closely related to each other. The case as a whole is more like a casual business discussion on some pressing issues.

Interestingly, this style is somewhat similar to McKinsey’s interviewer-led style!

This is also true. But that’s actually also true for almost any other firm. Market-sizing and guesstimate questions are popular and there’s no exception here.

Similar to the one above, almost every case interview out there does test some maths. So this is true, but does Accenture focus more maths than other firms? I don’t see any reports or statistics showing that.

So what’s the takeaway here? Well, don’t worry too much about the myth that Accenture cases are different from other typical cases. There are always exceptions but that also happens in interviews from the same firm. Just go ahead and study for Accenture case interviews  just as you would  for other firms, especially McKinsey.

If case interview is new to you, a really good place to start is the Case Interview Fundamentals playlist on our amazing Youtube Channel:

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