Capital One BA Final Round

Hello all,

Before I saying anything, I've looked through every thread about this topic on WSO, read every entry on Glassdoor (multiple times), and still have some questions regarding this final round. I hope I have placed this thread in the right forum.

I'm a recent graduate of a target with a strong GPA but I didn't spend a lot of time working on finding a job during recruitment season partly because I was a liberal fairy-boy who didn't want to work and partly because personal circumstances required graduating early and the decision was made toward the end of OCR season. Alas I am here.

In spite of the aforementioned circumstances, I've done pretty OK so far in finding a job, and have netted a final round interview with Capital One. You all may call me ignorant, but this is about the best job opportunity that I could ever hope for. Reasons being that it is located close to my family (Virginia), based on my research has great prospects for mobility and gaining experience, and the pay is pretty sweet.

I've been preparing heavily for the case interview aspect of the interview that is coming up in a few days (this Friday). I've read Cosentino's books, watched the lectures of CaseInterview.com, practice maybe 12 cases with friends over Skype, and just acquired a copy of the Vault guide to case interviews. I'm not great at them, but I'm not totally inept. However, my understanding is that the cases faced in CapOne final rounds aren't your prototypical MBB/management consulting cases. I haven't found many cases that are so heavily focused on numbers (Glassdoor users mention an estimation case [this is no big deal], a case about Subway incorporating $5 footlongs, a case about a ferry boat, and a case about Dominoes Pizza kicking the 30 mins or free program) in any of these resources. I know they are going to ask me to calculate break-even volume/sales/share/cost or NPV, but I haven't found many cases that ask the same of me.

tl;dr version: I REALLY want this job. Like REALLY badly. Really. I have been practicing cases like a fiend but am weak on mental math (I heard you get a calculator...?) and rusty on simple math in general. Does anyone have a resource with cases that focus on break-even analysis or NPV? Anyone out there recently had a final round with Capital One that can bring some insight into this discussion?

One thing I've read is that really want people who stick around and I'm going to try to truthfully convey that to them during the interviews, tho I don't know how far it'll go. I definitely want to stick around for a lot of reasons and would accept an offer on the spot.

Thanks all, hope I can get some advice somewhere out there.

Comments (40)

 
Oct 4, 2011 - 5:32pm

I can't speak specifically to the cases seeing as I haven't ever done one in an interview, but can give you some advice on the how to come off as a person they should hire.

If you really want the job you should definitely tell each of your interviewers exactly that Cap1 is your first choice and that you have a strong desire to build a career there (or something along those lines). Also, focus on telling your story concisely and tying it into why you want to work for Cap1 specifically (e.g. do some research on the culture and make sure to tie it in). Don't overdo it and seem desperate--just try to come off as a motivated, ambitious, and driven individual.

Do all of the above and I'd bet that will weigh more on their hiring decision than your performance on the case interview.

 
Oct 4, 2011 - 5:47pm

Cases are basically some basic analysis.

For example, "given these 5 parameters how would you mail this letter, to how many people?"

I think it's pretty standardized across the firm and they just want to see that you can think. Not a lot of it is really that difficult and even I stumbled briefly on one and still got an offer.

Disclaimer this is from pre-financial meltdown.

 
Oct 4, 2011 - 5:59pm

I interviewed with them coming out of undergrad and got the Dominoes case. Honestly, it was so easy that I don't remember how the math went at all. You sound like you have prepared plenty for the level of case they will be giving - the challenge isn't really in the math so much as the common sense application of what calculations to perform.

I ended up turning down their final rounds (joined an MBB instead), so I can't tell you for sure whether it gets more intense in later rounds. I will say that several people I graduated with work there and they seem to value common sense over any kind of advanced math skill or financial knowledge. Don't know if you took it, but their problem-solving test is basically middle-school math largely in graph or word problem form. Their cases seem to focus on the same skill set.

Good luck.

 
Oct 5, 2011 - 12:43am

I also got to their final round and the cases were not your typical consulting case, as you mentioned. They all incorporate some type of simple, mental math. The ones I got involved break even points and profit calculations, followed by basic business-acumen testing.

I honestly would focus more on doing simple, mental math than studying and memorizing case frameworks. If anything, look at profit frameworks and do a lot of those.

Good luck and I hope you get the job! It's a sick campus and a very nice place to work. All the people I met there seemed extremely happy. Did I mention that the campus is SICK?

 
Oct 5, 2011 - 11:24am

yeah almost all of the math is stuff you can quickly do in your head, they just want to know you can logically think, they won't through like a regression at you.

They're turn around time is very quick from what I remember, I got an offer on my drive to the airport from their office after my interview.

 
Oct 20, 2011 - 11:15pm

The case interview is a very dynamic conversation with your interviewer. I had one on campus which was a good learning experience. The interviewer seemed to appreciate me saying my thought process out loud and explaining my answers in detail.

For those of you who have interviewed at the Capital One facilities - what is the candidate dress code like? The recruiter email says they extend their business casual attire to candidates, but I don't want to appear over or under dressed. Any thoughts?

 
Oct 23, 2011 - 8:51pm

Capital One Case Interview (Originally Posted: 02/09/2015)

I have a case interview with Capital One this upcoming Thursday. I am currently going over their old cases, however, I ran into a problem with this one specific case.

"For this case, we are going back in time where there was no differentiation in the credit card industry: credit cards almost all were offered with a one-size-fits-all 19.8% APR, and a $20 Annual Membership Fee (AMF). In this setting, Citibank, as the market leader, decided to lower the rate they were offering (to both existing customers as well as new) to 16%. We are trying to decide how Capital One should react to increasing market pressure."

Step 1: Correct response : We may increase the balance customers are willing to carry by offering a lower rate

Step 2:
Data given
Average balance is 1000
Revenue is given above
Expenses are ( VC = 5%, VC = 4%, and FC = 4%)
Profit = 80 = (.19x-20) -(.05x+.04x-40)

Breakeven analysis :
80 = (.16x + 20) – (.04x + .05x + 40)
80 = .07x – 20
x = 1428.57

Step 3: 43% increase in average balance is realistic or not? (Up to the candidate to explain)

Step 4: The interviewer will now provide new information - if Capital One continues to price people at 19%, we will lose 20% of our customers. However, if we drop them down to 16%, we will retain them all. What should Capital One do?

Second breakeven analysis:
.8(80) = 64 (since we would make money on 20% less customers)
64=.07x–20

I am stuck at the second break even analysis because I do not understand why we are using 16% APR and still lose 20% customers. Will someone explain this to me?

 
Oct 23, 2011 - 8:53pm

The second question is not a breakeven question. They are asking which scenario generates more profit: 19% APR with 20% fewer customers or 16% APR with 100% of current customers.

Good luck to you. I've got a Capital One interview a week after you.

"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." - Albert Einstein
 
Oct 23, 2011 - 8:55pm

aicccia is right that the second question doesn't look like a breakeven question. There are a couple things that are unclear, namely was the assumption of a 43% increase in average balance unrealistic? If so, what should we assume for average balance with 16% APR?

Filling in for what I assume the interviewer is asking, it appears Capital One should drop its rate. Holding the rate steady profit equals:
(80% customer retention) × [0.19*(1000) - 0.19*(1000) - 20] = 64

Cutting the rate, profit equals:
(100% customer retention) × [0.16*(1429) - 0.16*(1429) - 20] = 80

Now if the average balance assumption was unrealistic, and average balances are 1000 under both APR rates, the answer is reversed.

 
Oct 23, 2011 - 8:54pm

dos_passos, sorry that is not possible since my friend took screenshots of the case during a practice case on campus.

aicccia, I agree that the second question does not sound like a breakeven question. However it was solved using a breakeven analysis. Next, the interviewer will ask if 20% increase in average balance is realistic.

 
Oct 23, 2011 - 8:57pm

The entire question and answer.

The interviewer will now provide new information - if Capital One continues to price people at 19%, we will lose 20% of our customers. However, if we drop them down to 16%, we will retain them all. What should Capital One do?
Good candidates will recognize they need to redo the work from step 2 after having revised their "starting point" for how much we are making.

New starting point:
A. .8(80) = 64 (since we would make money on 20% less customers)
Revised break even given the new starting point
B. 64=.07x–20 x = 1200

Again the interviewer will ask the candidate if a 20% increase in average balance is likely and again the candidate should have some logic for their answer. There is no need to change the answer from step 3 to step 4.

 
Oct 23, 2011 - 8:58pm

yeah that's really confusing. The question explicitly says, "what should Capital One do?" Finding a new breakeven balance does not answer the question of what they should do.

"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." - Albert Einstein
 
Oct 23, 2011 - 9:05pm

Capital One BA Internship Interview (Originally Posted: 10/31/2012)

Just curious to hear from anyone who has already gone through Cap One internship recruiting this season as I prepare for my interview next week.

From what I gathered, full time interviews typically involve a case type interview. Is this the same for internship recruiting? Does anyone have some suggestions on specifics I should review beforehand?

Thanks guys.

 
Oct 23, 2011 - 9:06pm

I did both internship recruiting there and full time. The interview is pretty much the same exact thing for both. Most of the case interviews are sort of like your BCG/McKinsey type, but more straightforward. Most of them will be cost - benefit analysis and looking at break even points. ie: We have a new credit card with this fee and this cost blah blah blah, how many people do we need to sign up to break even. Everything is pretty straightforward.

 
Oct 23, 2011 - 9:07pm

Breezy:
I did both internship recruiting there and full time. The interview is pretty much the same exact thing for both. Most of the case interviews are sort of like your BCG/McKinsey type, but more straightforward. Most of them will be cost - benefit analysis and looking at break even points. ie: We have a new credit card with this fee and this cost blah blah blah, how many people do we need to sign up to break even. Everything is pretty straightforward.

Does Cap One hire straight out of undergrad for the west coast region?

 
Oct 23, 2011 - 9:08pm

Capital One BA Case preparation (Originally Posted: 03/01/2014)

I've received an interview opportunity for the Capital One BA role; it says I will be having a phone interview going through one of their cases, and that I could expect to be on the phone for about 30 minutes. I've seen many postings about Cap One on the forums on WSO, but not many seem to directly address how you would best prepare for these Cap One cases.

To be honest, I have never prepared for cases before in general and am pretty blind to it. I've subscribed to Victor Cheng's website, and have started reading Case in Point, but the consensus seems that Cap One cases are quite different from these traditional Consulting cases.

Could anyone give me pointers on how I would best prepare for the Cap One BA Case Interview? It would help out a lot; this is a good opportunity for me and would really appreciate any help I could get as I prepare for it.

 
Oct 23, 2011 - 9:09pm

I honestly haven't seen the answer to this question anywhere on WSO. I'd do a search for CapOne Business Analyst interview. One of the top results will be glassdoor, go through the results, write down the questions, and try and see if anyone gave the answer.

A big part of this is seeing how you work through the problem. You need to know your stuff.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
 
Oct 23, 2011 - 9:10pm

D M, Thank you for your input. I'm still preparing; hopefullu all will go well. I'm just trying to get the hang of how to think in the case frameworks. Thanks for your response again

 
Oct 23, 2011 - 9:11pm

No problem, let us know afterwards what it was like - the info would be much appreciated

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
 
Oct 23, 2011 - 9:16pm

Capital One Case Inteview (Originally Posted: 08/11/2015)

I've got a Capital One onsite interview coming up and wanted some insight into the case studies given for a senior business analyst. I've done both samples they provide which were simple and some other samples which were much harder (mathceasy thinking harder). Can anyone provide input? I've read other forums about cap one but nothing specific. Thanks in advance!

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