Finding a job! For me the time is there and probably for a lot of others too (only the very lucky ones already found theirs). It’s a very exciting, but especially nerve-wracking period, as you don’t get this job without any effort. Before the actual application process begins, you mig
ht visit inhouse-days and recruitment events of the companies you’re interested in, to gain more insights and find some orientation. These days are also the perfect chance to put yourself forward with the company.
Most of the times you’ll be confronted with a business case and have to present your thoughts and solution to the company at the end, together with a team. The case will be related to the industry of the particular company you’re visiting and will be representative of assignments the company deals with regularly. I’ve got some ideas of my own to help you handle them in a successful way, so here they come:
How to deal with a case?
Usually you work with 3-4 others during the case, so the company can observe how you interact within a team. The company can observe which kind of person you are within a team: are you a leader, a mediator or a follower? Be conscious of your attitude within this team. Of course, you should always be yourself, but try to be a potential candidate for the recruiter. Is the company asking for future leaders as their potential employees? Try to show some of you leadership skills and collaborate with your peers!
Bear in mind that the case never has a right or wrong answer. It’s about your line of reasoning which needs to be logical and structured: multiple answers are possible. So, be structured with the way you’re solving a case. Make notes, and express your assumptions in terms of figures and the sources you based them on: use actual information, rather than common knowledge. Also incorporate the values of the company into your reasoning, so the company can see you really think from the organization’s perspective.
1. Always ask questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions – but try to ask questions which are not too obvious. Some people say there are no stupid questions… but there are. So be aware of this! This is your chance to show that you understand what the company deals with and what factors to consider, so inquire about the right aspects. Another advantage of asking one or more questions, is that a recruiter is more likely to gain an image of you and will recognize you easier the next time he or she sees you (e.g. at the upcoming interview).
2. Volunteer for presenting
Ultimately you’ll need to present your case. Probably in teams of four people, two will present: make sure you present your case for your group (even though it is easier to let others do it)! Again, this is the opportunity to show yourself and make the recruiter remember you. Present your ideas in a stunning pitch of a few minutes and show persuasiveness about why your solution is going to work.
3. Practice, practice, practice
Last but not least: practice beforehand! There are so many example cases available on the internet which you can practice in advance. Practicing, alone or with friends, gives you an advantage over the other participants during a case. In Dutch: ‘’een goede voorbereiding is het halve werk’’!
Hopefully these tips will help you next time you’re solving a case in a way that you absolutely outperform your peers. I bet your dream job will come true!
Guest article by Nicoline Russel