Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Management Consulting Case Interviews (business)

REVIEWED BY: Marguerite Zelle




BLOG DESCRIPTION: Everything related to management consulting, including consulting industry trends, latest news, list of top consulting firms, consulting job search, resume CV and cover letter writing, job applications, job interviews, interview preparations, case studies and a collection of case interview questions used by major consulting firms over the years.

MY REVIEW: This is an interesting blog, in particular for managers and manager consultants. Indeed - anyone who runs a business will find this blog of interest.

Only one solution per question is given, but it still gives rise to thinking, to problem solving, to alternate ideas.

(Here's a more comprehensive description of the purpose of this blog from its website: This blog site was started in summer 2010. Currently it is collaboratively maintained by a group of PhD candidates from various academic disciplines (Math, Econ, Physics, EE, Computer Science, Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, Anthropology, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Biological Sciences) at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University as well as several MBA students at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (formerly Chicago GSB) and Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.

The main purpose of this blog is to network with people from different background (undergraduate, MBA, PhD, JD, MD, Master students, working professionals, et al) who are interested in getting into management consulting and to prepare people for consulting case interviews. If you have any good thoughts about the site or want to join our team, feel free to send us an email: consultingcase101-at-gmail-dot-com)


Sample post
What is the Sex Ratio in India?
Case Type: math problem.
Consulting Firm: Triage Consulting Group first round job interview.
Industry Coverage: Government & Public Sector.

Case Interview Question #00141: In one rural state of India, people have strong preference for boys over girls. There is no “one-child” or any other family planning policy. So every family in the state continues to have children until they have a boy. If their first child is a girl, they will just have another child. If they have a boy, they will stop. The Indian Bureau of Census is quite concerned about it. They want you to find out the overall sex ratio (proportion of boys to girls) in the state.

Possible Answer:
This case is more like a brain-teaser than probability-based math problem. The interviewee has to realize that because there is no measure to artificially reduce the population of baby girls (sex-selective abortion or infanticide), the sex ratio in the state remains natural, approximately 50:50.

■ Imagine you have 100 couples who have 100 babies. 50 will be girls. 50 will be boys. (Total babies made: 100, with 50 boys and 50 girls)
■ The 50 couples who had girls will have 50 more babies. Half (25) will be girls. Half (25) will be boys. Add 25 boys to the 50 already born and 25 girls to the 50 already born. (Total babies made: 150, with 75 boys and 75 girls.)
■ The 25 couples that had girls will have 25 more babies. Half (12.5) will be boys and half (12.5) will be girls. Add 12.5 boys to the 75 boys already born and 12.5 girls to the 75 already born. (Total babies: 175 with 87.5 boys and 87.5 girls).
■ And so on, maintaining a 50/50 population

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