If you live outside the USA – in Europe and Australia especially – you will get case studies and group presentations at investment banking interviews and assessment centers (or “assessment centres” if we want to be authentic).
And if you want to land investment banking offers, you need to know how to prepare and how to answer case study-based questions.
That’s where these free case study questions and worked examples (PDF) will come in handy.
The theory is simple: traditional job interviews do a poor job of determining the best candidates.
Interviewers are biased by your appearance and the first few minutes of what you say, and can’t assess how well you’ll perform via a 30-minute discussion.
Case studies show bankers what you’ll be like on the job and are therefore a much better indicator of how well you’ll perform.
The case study is often your final interview – so if you screw it up, you will just barely miss getting an offer.
And if you’re outside the US, you’re a lateral hire, or you’re at the MBA-level, you will almost certainly get a case study at some point.
There are 2 types:
Usually the case study centers on a question such as:
As you might have guessed, you need to make a concrete decision to succeed with case studies.
For the “on the spot” case studies, there will rarely be much financial modeling or valuation work – you don’t have enough time.
You might look at companies’ valuation multiples and use those to decide whether they’re undervalued, overvalued, or valued correctly – but it usually doesn’t go beyond that.
For the “take-home” case studies, there will be more modeling and you will have to do a simple valuation or merger/LBO model.
And sometimes they might just say, “Create a DCF for Company X” – in which case it’s less of a case study and more of a modeling test.
At an assessment center, a typical time split for a 1-on-1 case study where you present your findings to bankers by yourself might be:
If it’s a group presentation, you might get 1-2 hours for preparation and 15 minutes for the presentation instead.
For take-home case studies, you might get up to a week to prepare and then around 30 minutes for your presentation.
I’m glad you asked.
As well as the examples, you get suggested presentation sequences, and tips on how to present and successfully work in a group.
Only one problem: it’s almost impossible to find real case study questions used at banks.
So I would suggest the following if you want to practice:
For the second option, just pick a simple question such as, “Should they raise debt or equity?” or “Which company should they acquire?”
Then, do your own research and create a 5-10 page presentation that answers the question, following the outlines suggested in the guide above.
The BIWS Interview Guide has 578+ pages of technical and fit questions & answers, personal pitch templates, 17 practice case studies, and more."VIEW THE GUIDE AND ACE YOUR INTERVIEWS"