Accenture Case Interview Style

dxdx's picture
Rank: Monkey | 30

Hi guys,

I have a ACN strat case interview lined up next week (the 75 min ones).

I was wondering as to the style of ACN's case interviews:

Are they more interviewer-led or candidate-led?

Also, is there a large tendency to squeeze in a quantitative component into the middle of it (ie, guesstimate this, or spread the numbers based on exhibits A/B/C)?

Lastly what kind of cases do they usually query candidates on?

cheers.

Accenture Case Study Details

Our users shared that the case studies are usually interviewee led but the case itself is determined by the interviewer who had experience working on the situation. Our users felt that the quantitative element was not overwhelming.

John-Doe8 - Consultant:

They use an interviewee led style, and the case is developed by the interviewer. What this means practically is that you shouldn't expect highly developed charts or data tables, and be prepared to ask good questions that test a running hypothesis once you set up your initial framework.My ACN case interviews were the easiest ones that I went through (did receive an offer); the quantitative portions were very straight forward.

Pro tip 1: After your conclusion, make sure you include a next steps section. For example: "I would perform or commission a follow up study to determine definite answers to issue X and Y, as well as have a team interview professionals in Y company to determine realistic options for implementing the plan we discussed above". Because Accenture is a large firm with a heavy focus on implementation style work, their ideal world is to own a project from start to finish.

Pro tip 2: Ask the interviewer about the engagement once you finish the case. Because they worked on the case, they will be very excited to talk about it and share their experience. It's usually an interesting story, and your curiosity will leave a positive impression.

6pence - Consultant:

It's usually interviewee led but can turn into more of a back and forth depending on the interviewer. For example, you (as the interviewee) might be asked the initial question to which you might ask clarifying questions. The interviewer might respond with answers and/or guidance. It's a back and forth process.

You can read more about Accenture Interviews in the WSO Company Database guide.

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Comments (17)

Jan 19, 2015

Their cases typically vary in type and content based on the interviewer. The one common thread is that they are supposed to be developed by the interviewer base on a past or current engagement they participated/participate in. Hence, that will dictate the type of questions they ask.

- I would say they are typically a dialogue between then interviewer and interviewee. The amount of speaking time is usually dictated by the amount of detail they give you.
(e.g. Some cases are designed to overfeed you with irrelevant detail to test your ability to weed out the trash and find the essential facts. Others give very little detail in order to test your ability to ask insightful questions to elucidate the problem at hand.)

- Some questions can have a quantitative component (simple math) if say, they want you to perform some market sizing. Others will have almost no math involved and will simply test your reasoning abilities.

I guess in summary, the answer you didn't want to hear but which I'm going to give you is that "It depends" on the interviewer and their experiences / personality. Its very difficult to generalize what type of question you are going to see but I would highly recommend (if possible) asking the recruiter for the name(s) of the interviewer(s) and doing some Google and LinkedIn searches. If you find out your interviewer's background, (e.g. M&A practice in oil and gas) then you could possibly anticipate a case based on an example from the energy industry with the potential for a quantitative component.

Hope this helps and good luck!

    • 1
Jan 20, 2015

cheers for the reply!

however, when you say 'dialogue', what exactly do you mean? how does this differ from a typical case interview?

Jan 20, 2015

Similar to what John-Doe reported its usually interviewee led but can turn into more of a back and forth depending on the interviewer. For example you (as the interviewee) might be asked the initial question to which you might ask clarifying questions. The interviewer might respond with answers and/or guidance. Its a back and forth process.

In regards to how it differs from the "typical" case interview, in this regard it doesn't really differ. The main point to focus on is that the questions are not pulled from a bank but were created by the interviewer.

Jan 19, 2015

They use an interviewee led style, and the case is developed by the interviewer. What this means practically is that you shouldn't expect highly developed charts or data tables, and be prepared to ask good questions that test a running hypothesis once you set up your initial framework. My ACN case interviews were the easiest ones that I went through (did receive an offer); the quantitative portions were very straight forward, which makes sense because the interviewers are busy consultants who created the cases themselves (as opposed to something from a bank which has been meticulously created to test a candidate's quantitative reasoning).

Pro tip 1: After you conclusion, make sure you include a next steps section. For example: "I would perform or commission a follow up study to determine definite answers to issue X and Y, as well as have a team interview professionals in Y company to determine realistic options for implementing the plan we discussed above". Because Accenture is a large firm with a heavy focus on implementation style work, their ideal world is to own a project from start to finish. Show that you'll be a forward looking member of the team.

Pro tip 2: Ask the interviewer about the engagement once you finish the case (time permitting). Because they worked on the case, they will be very excited to talk about it and share their experience. It's usually an interesting story, and your curiosity will leave a positive impression.

    • 1
Jan 20, 2015

thanks a lot for the comment and pro-tips!

Jan 20, 2015

False, you do go through case interviews at Accenture. However, they are MUCH easier than MBB + OW/Booz/Monitor... pretty straightforward and quite basic with some simple math. If you've done any practice for the top strategy consulting firms, you'll be fine for Accenture's interviews.

On another somewhat related note, for those interested in "interning" at Accenture (MCDP)... you aren't guaranteed to get staffed! I talked to some of my friends who interned there and they just wrote proposals and worked on biz dev the whole summer -- did not work get staffed on any cases...... pretty lame imo

    • 1
Jan 20, 2015

False, you do go through case interviews at Accenture. However, they are MUCH easier than MBB + OW/Booz/Monitor... pretty straightforward and quite basic with some simple math. If you've done any practice for the top strategy consulting firms, you'll be fine for Accenture's interviews.

On another somewhat related note, for those interested in "interning" at Accenture (MCDP)... you aren't guaranteed to get staffed! I talked to some of my friends who interned there and they just wrote proposals and worked on biz dev the whole summer -- they did not get staffed on any cases...... pretty lame imo

    • 1
Jan 20, 2015

Thanks for the help ocho, I appreciate it. Is there a reason for this? Is Accenture not considered "as prestigious"? They have a solid spot in the Vault rankings and they claim to be the biggest management consulting firm out there (Is bigger really always better?)...

    • 1
Jan 20, 2015

Forget the Vault rankings, nobody in the industry pays attention to them.

They aren't considered as "prestigious" in terms of strategy consulting... because that is not really what they do. Almost ALL consulting firms use "management consulting" as a branding phrase now, entailing everything from IT to marketing to finance to strategy etc... but MBB + elite boutiques are focused more so on "strategy" type projects. At Accenture you won't be doing too many of the same projects you'l be doing at the other shops, the work will likely have an IT focus/slant somehow. Having said that, Accenture is very well-known for its IT work and certainly not a "bad" place to work... its just that they don't really have that much overlap with MBB + Booz/OW/Monitor/etc

    • 1
Jan 20, 2015

Actually i just completed my 3rd round interview at their Chicago office last week. Accenture does not do a case interview for entry level consulting analysts. The 3rd round is a mix of the previous ones (behavioral and resume quetions). Also, your recruiter should tell you the format of the interviews. Good luck!

Jan 20, 2015

Granted this is 2 years old, but for me SI&T does not do a case, all behavioral / resume based stuff. MC does a case or cases. Very easy straightforward and able to make mistakes.

Jan 20, 2015

McKinsey and BCG have a 6 to 1 consultant to partner ratio. Accenture has a 60 to 1 consultant to partner ratio. It's worth thinking about.

Not sure what this is based of, but my group in Accenture has 12:1 Non-Partner to Partner ratio. It's more like 4.75:1 if you are talking about actual Consultant:Partner. It is still very difficult to make Partner from Senior Manager, but 60:1 is not the case (unless it's for System Integration, Outsourcing, etc.).

Jan 20, 2015

Thanks for all the help guys.

redninja, are you saying that it's hard to move up at Accenture? Hard to get noticed there vs at other shops? I appreciate the help, just not completely sure what you're trying to say.
For the time being, it looks like that is essentially my only option in "Management Consulting"

Kathy Ngo, I PM'd you with some specific questions

Pointassist300, on the website for entry level consultants, I see "Systems Integration Consulting, Technology Consulting or Management Consulting." Is strategy only an MBA level entry? Or am I misunderstanding the labeling (total n00b if you can't tell...).

Jan 20, 2015

If there's a 60:1 ratio, and you can't figure out the implications of that....then maybe you shouldn't be in consulting, hahahah.

Jan 20, 2015
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