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