Case Interview - Tips and Technique Taking note in case interview

Dear Kim

During my case interview prep, my note often looks messy and I find it difficult to take a nice and neat notes. So I was just wandering, how do consultant handle taking note in case interview? Can you give me some suggestions on how I can improve my note-taking skills? Thanks a lot in advance!


My Reply

Hi, Alex! Thank you for the great question.

Taking note in case interview can be a daunting task! It depends on the situation to apply appropriate note-taking techniques.  In case of case interview, I suggest you having 3 types of paper to take notes. You may better to watch our “taking note in case interview” to grasp the idea more quickly. 

To sum up, I often pull out 3 separate pieces of paper, on top of each piece, I wrote very clear letters:

Data sheet

Presentation sheet


As their names suggest, each sheet is clearly designated to each specialized task.

  1. The data sheet is where you note down neatly and ideally in a table format all information, data, provided by the interviewer throughout the case. If you have additional data as the result of analyses or calculations performed, put them into the data sheet too.
  2. The presentation sheet is literally what you use when speaking to interviewers. For example, if you say: “… problem A can be broken down into B and C”, literally draw those on this sheet and point to each one as you speak.
  3. Lastly, the scratch paper is there for anything else you need to write out in interviews’ brainstorm ideas, calculations, etc. The purpose of this sheet is to make the other two clear and neat. So you don’t have to worry too much about what you write here on this scratch paper.

Notice that these three sheets actually refer to “groups” or “categories” of sheets, not necessarily exactly three pieces of paper. If you run out of paper in each category, feel free to take out a new piece and label them as “data sheet 2”, “presentation sheet 2 “, or “scratch paper x”.

Hope this answer will satisfy you! 

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