A case study exercise is used to assess a number of skills including information analysis, communication skills and decision-making. This pack provides you with comprehensive explanations along with other useful tips that will help you understand how to succeed on the day.
The format for these tests will introduce you to a series of hypothetical scenarios that you will need to decipher. They will normally be accompanied with documents such as reports, business-related statistics or market research. You will need to analyse the information provided to you and find an answer or solution to the questions you have been faced with. Throughout the assessment you may be provided with additional information to see how you cope under pressure and whether you are able to find an appropriate solution.
At the end of the task you will be asked to present either a written or verbal report. At this point, you will be assessed on your communication skills and ability to express your ideas in a clear and concise manner.
Case study tasks will often be associated with the job role, and even the company you have applied to. The idea is that it will give you a taste of what a normal day in the role would be like.
Be mindful that sometimes you will be asked to complete this task as a team. This is so the assessor can evaluate how you work within a team environment. We would recommend looking at our personality test packages so that you can identify the type of person they are looking for according to the job role and ensure you demonstrate these traits as part of the team scenario.
Depending on the role you are applying for, there are two types of case studies as outlined below.
1) Subject-related case study exercises
These are normally used for specific industries such as financial or legal where you will be expected to demonstrate your existing knowledge and experience. For example, a common case study used within the banking sector presents you with a set of financial accounts along with a request for a customer loan. In this instant you would be expected to demonstrate affordability calculations and reasoning to support your decision of whether you lend to this client or not.
2) General case stud exercises
General case studies are typically ones that are relevant across all industries. They do not require specific knowledge but more common sense. The most common example used is an irritated client scenario. The employer will be looking for you to demonstrate problem solving, lateral thinking and interpersonal skills.
The types of skills that case study exercises demonstrate include:
Analytical / communication (both oral and written) / creativity / strategic / time management / organisation / handling stressful situations / professionalism.