||Under this system of
organization, each brand or product within a company is operated as a separate business,
with each standing on its own merits among its competition. This brand independence
enables the company to market vigorously a number of different products--some competitive
with others in the same company.
top corporate management, members of the brand group are the only ones in a company who
deal with all aspects of the company's business. Brand managers plan, develop, and direct
the marketing efforts for a particular brand or product. They are generalists who
coordinate the activities of specialists in production, sales, advertising, promotion,
R&D, marketing research, purchasing, distribution, package development, and finance.
In brand/product management, individuals can expect early
responsibility which should enable them to learn quickly and to demonstrate ability by
contributing from the very outset to the operation of the brand(s) to which they are
Virtually all consumer goods companies use this system of
organization. A number of industrial goods companies also have brand/product management.
In consumer goods companies, in particular, brand management is considered the best
training ground for top corporate officers.
Successful brand managers are results oriented and creative;
possess strong interpersonal, communication, and analytical skills; and have
Brand management requires a broad background in marketing's
functional core: advertising, research, consumer behavior, and strategy. In addition,
analytical skills are extremely important and students are encouraged to prepare by taking
accounting and finance courses.
in the field of marketing research are involved with providing management with information
needed for decision making. Information about consumers, the marketing environment, and
the competition are needed to operate effectively in the marketplace today. The marketing
researcher may be involved with the decision maker in formulating the problem and
identifying the information required by the decision maker for resolving the problem.
He/she will generally be involved with designing the research project, including the data
collection method(s) to be used and the sample to be taken. Additionally, the market
researcher will be concerned with data tabulation, analysis, report preparation, and
presentation of findings to management.
opportunities exist within a variety of institutions, manufacturers, retailers, some
wholesalers, trade and industry associations, and governmental and other public agencies.
Strong analytical, methodological, and communications skills
the major problems facing modern managers is the question of how to plan and implement new
products and services. Millions of dollars are spent annually by large and small
organizations to launch new products and services. Many of these fail due to poor
planning. Persons who specialize in new product planning can find opportunities in the
marketing of consumer products, consumer services, hospital and medical services, and
public service programs. Persons involved in new product planning develop skills in
understanding marketing research, sales forecasting, and promotional planning.
Career opportunities exist in the consumer industries, advertising agencies,
consulting firms, public agencies, medical agencies, retailing management, and many more.
This broad set of industries offers a very promising career potential for the marketing
Formal positions in product planning are becoming plentiful.
Historically, such positions carry titles such as "assistant manager/director"
of product planning or new product development. Large firms have such positions in staff
departments. The MBA, though not a requirement everywhere, does appear to be the level
sought for these positions. Undergraduates are usually hired as "new product
New product work demands a unique combination of creative
and analytical talents. A "product planner" must be able to conceptualize new
ideas, research the new ideas, and evaluate them objectively for a market and financial
Unlike managing an existing business, new product
development is ever changing and requires a person with a high degree of tolerance for
uncertainty. Since products eventually succeed or fail, the planner has a definite
"report card" to let one assess one's own performance. The uncertainty and
pressures of new product work are compensated by the fun of giving birth to new entrants
to the market.
Anyone desiring this career path should take course work in
product planning, marketing research, consumer behavior and advertising. Courses in
capital budgeting, entrepreneurship, and sales forecasting would likewise be valuable.
opportunities in international marketing arise because of the wide variety of social,
economic, and political conditions confronting international marketing personnel as well
as the increased responsibility which decentralized decision making and greater distances
from head-quarters generally bring. Planning and managerial positions abroad usually go to
people who have had some international marketing experience at headquarters. Starting jobs
in international marketing at headquarters vary widely, but for a person with a master's
degree, it usually involves research, planning or coordinating activities.
economy's service sector now exceeds the manufacturing sector in terms of relative
contribution to the GDP. In addition, the service sector is there much of the economy's
most vigorous growth is occurring. As a consequence, numerous marketing positions are
available in banking and financial service institutions, health care organizations,
leisure oriented businesses, and in various other service settings.
Service sector career paths in many cases parallel those found in
traditional packaged goods brand management. For example, the individual who manages the
marketing of a bank's "NOW" account services is a generalist who coordinates the
activities of specialists in sales management, advertising, promotion, and market
research. These are high visibility opportunities that offer the possibilities of
advancement to top level marketing positions.
Entry level positions are increasingly available to those
with undergraduate business degrees, as well as those with MBAs. Positions are analogous
to those of the traditional packaged goods assistant brand manager. Other positions may be
available in sales capacities, or in a large service firm's market research department.
The latter would typically be available only to those with advanced degrees.
Individuals seeking service management positions should be
strongly motivated, tenacious, and posses a healthy competitiveness. They should also have
strong analytical and communications skills. Leadership ability is important because of
the need to coordinate the diverse activities of many marketing specialists. Because of
the intangible (relative to packaged goods) nature of most service sector products,
individuals should feel thoroughly comfortable dealing with product attributes and issues
that are harder to observe and classify.
marketing involves the planning, sale, and service of products used for commercial or
business purposes. These products may be simple, familiar products like office supplies or
complex products such as computer systems, machine tools and commercial aircraft.
Industrial products for purposes of study are usually categorized into supplies, capital
equipment, installations, raw materials, and component parts.
Some industrial products are purchased on a new or one-time purchase basis,
but most are purchased on a modified or straight re-buy basis from one of several
acceptable suppliers. This is done to get an assured source of supply at the most
favorable prices the competitive process offers.
Industrial marketing requires the ability to understand the
customers requirements, and to propose the purchase of the product that best fits the
customer's needs. In this type of endeavor, the marketing person often acts somewhat like
a consultant to the buyers in order to assist them in determining the most suitable
products for their needs. The successful industrial marketing person is self-reliant and
able to present the product line to the customer in the most favorable light.
Most industrial marketing activities involve a continuing
relationship between supplier and customer. In this circumstance, the selling relationship
is not really selling as it is commonly thought of, but one of maintaining and enhancing
an on-going business relationship. This means that the industrial marketing person must be
able to help serve the needs of a wide variety of industrial and commercial customers on a
continuing basis. The requirements for a successful career in industrial marketing are
that a person be energetic, self-motivated, and interested in the products and customers
who buy the products. Thus, good basic work habits, the ability to acquire product and
industry knowledge, and human relations skills are important.
recent channel for direct marketing to reach customers. E-commerce and online
advertising are thus far the biggest moneymakers on the Web, though both niches are
constantly evolving. When e-commerce first arrived on the scene, people thought that
e-malls, which like regular malls would provide a wide variety of products, were the way
to go. But by 1997, the online retail market was saturated.
- Net marketing is using tools like e-mail to help market your
- Web marketing involves developing a Web presence to help
market your product
Managers in this area must consider how the Internet can be
used across a range of functions, including advertising; brand creation, extension, and
growth; customer service; internal and external communications; market creation and
expansion; market research; and channel design.
|High Tech Marketing
|As the high-tech industry booms,
jobs proliferate. The U.S. Commerce Department has conducted studies that reveal that
between 1996 and 2006, the industry will employ over 1.3 million new systems analysts,
engineers, programmers, and computer scientists in the United States. That doesn't begin
to cover the legions of content providers, marketers and new media industry analysts the
booming high-tech industry will require. Here are some top jobs in high tech.
To succeed in such a fickle industry, firms must constantly search for new
applications for their products and create new ones to sell. That means that the duties of
marketers are more essential than ever. At some companies, marketers in the field (often
called product managers) identify product openings and work with engineers in research and
development to produce what consumers say they want. You don't necessarily need a
technical background to work as a marketer for a technology firm, but it's useful.
|Causal (Social) Marketing
marketing is the selling of ideas. In more complicated terms, it's the creation, execution
and control of programs designed to influence social change. It uses many principles of
commercial marketing - from assessing needs to identifying audiences, developing products
and measuring results. But it's also quite different. The goal of social marketing is not
just a one time business transaction. The goal of social marketing is to build a long-term
relationship between your organization and its different audiences. The success of the
'blue box' recycling program in Ontario shows how a well-planned social marketing campaign
can influence the way society thinks and acts.
are two keys to social marketing for organizations:
- first, understanding the attitudes of the society in which
an organization exists.
- second, tackling a social marketing campaign in an orderly,
Back to Top
||The 5 major decisions
in developing an advertising program - Mission, Money, Message, Media, and Measurement.
These are identified after a marketing manager has identified the target market and
differentiate a product or service by establishing a relationship between the consumer and
||The value of the
brand - creating measurable value for a brand name, often referred to as superbrands or
power brands; also includes the measures of such value which includes rankings of most
valuable brands, Return on Investment (ROI) for advertising spending or Brand awareness.
become complacent and the relationship between the brand and consumer is weakened allowing
private labels and generics to enter the market. To counter this, brand equity must
||Sellers often bundle
their products at a set price that is generally less of a cost than if purchased
||The results of a
campaign in terms of increased sales, increase in market share or change in level of
awareness; also includes assessment of the reasons for the campaign success or failure.
with each other to help retailers manage their categories in the stores in order to
maximize variety and profits. For each category, there is a portfolio of brands that
offers consumers products at prices they want to pay.
animated characters, animals, objects that are used to advertise a brand and that come to
be associated with the brand, e.g. Joe Camel for Camel cigarettes, Charlie Chaplin (played
by an actor) in IBM ads.
||A partnership between
two major brands that results in a joint new product. For example: Kelloggs
"Healthy Choice" cereal, American Airlines Visa card.
||A popular research
method for deriving the utility values that consumers attach to varying levels of a
product's attributes. Management can use the results to determine the most appealing
offer and estimated market share and profit the company might realize.
||Used by managers to
build a effective strategy for market penetration. The stages of the process are:
Awareness, Interest, Evaluation, Trial, Adoption. Consumer movement through
each of these phases should be managed.
||Research that focuses
on psychographics, e.g. the criteria for segmenting consumers by life-style, attitudes,
beliefs, values, personality, and buying motives.
||An effort by one
organization to win the support of the leaders of another organization by including them
in advisory councils, boards of directors, and the like. This is common among firms
that have complimentary products. It is also common to reduce conflict among channel
||Collaboration of two
or more advertisers and advertising in which the manufacturer of a product provides
materials to and reimburses a retailer for part or all of the retailer's advertising
||A marketing task that
requires finding ways to reduce the demand temporarily or permanently, because the demand
level is higher than an organization can or wants to handle. Demarketing seeks
discourage overall demand and consists of such steps as raising prices and reducing
promotion and services. Some organization may choose to do selective demarketing by
reducing the demand of the less profitable areas of the market.
||Advertising that uses
person-to-person communication through the mail rather than mass media. Advertising is
sent via fliers, letters, brochures or reprints.
marketing system that uses one or more advertising media to effect a measurable response
and/or transaction at any location.
||The removal of
intermediaries between manufacturers and consumers.
||A company either
charges less than its costs or less than it charges in its home market in order to enter
or win a market. The US Customs Bureau can levy a dumping tariff on the guilty
||Every Day Low Pricing.
||Free Standing Inserts.
Example - coupons provided in the Sunday paper. These are expensive for the
manufacturer and not as effective as first believed. Consumers have mostly been
"trained" to use these coupons.
Rating Point (GRP)
||Sum of all rating
points over a specific time period or over the course of a media plan. Each rating
point is equal to 1%. GRP is used in designing a media schedule in an attempt to
deliver a maximum number of GRPs at minimum cost. The GRPs are calculated by
multiplying the total reach (unduplicated audience) by the frequency (average amount of
exposure) of the medium in the proposed schedule.
||A matrix developed and
popularized by The Boston Consulting Group. It is divided into 4 cells, each
indicating a different type of business: Question marks (high growth market, low
relative market share), Stars (high growth market, high relative market share), Cash cows
(low growth market, high relative market share), Dogs (low growth market, low relative
market share). A company uses the matrix to determine whether its portfolio is
healthy. An unbalanced portfolio has too many dogs or question marks and/or too few
cast cows and stars.
||Gradually reducing a
product or business's costs while trying to maintain its sales.
various "new media" technology such as CD- ROM-based electronic kiosks, online
services (including Internet, AOL).
||The demand by
consumers for a strong need that cannot be satisfied by any existing product. The
marketing task is to measure the size of the potential market and develop effective goods
and services that would satisfy the demand.
variation to a product line, also can include brand extension, when an established brand
name is used in a new product category; for example - Jell-O pudding pops.
||Includes programs for
increasing customer loyalty including frequent flyer programs, frequent shoppers, etc.;
also includes general discussions of consumer brand loyalty and how to increase it.
Mix (4 P's)
||The set of marketing
tools that the firm uses to pursue its marketing objectives in the target market.
The 4 P's are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
||The ability to prepare
on a mass basis individually designed products and communications to meet each customer's
||A company other than
an ad agency that purchases media time and space. Often referred to as unbundling, since
the creative function is separate from the media portion.
||A narrowly defined
group, typically a small market whose needs are not being well served. A niche is
usually identified by dividing a segment of the market into subsegments or by defining a
group with a distinctive set of traits.
||Two attributes of a
products/services are placed on a map as they are perceived relative to competitors.
The map shows which brands are perceived as being similar and compete against each
other. One of the most important pieces of information conveyed by the map is it
identifies how every brand is perceived on each attribute. Product maps only require
rating data where consumers evaluate products/services on specific attributes.
||Marketing of a product
by its appearance or use in a movie or television show.
targets shoppers within the retail environment. Often aimed at impulse purchases. POP
includes counter displays, window displays, store banners, aisle displays, etc.
||Promoting a product to
an unexpected audience; makeover or re-stating of a product to attract a new audience.
e.g. Positioning orange juice as a soft drink to be used anytime, as opposed to a
||A set of all products
and items that a particular seller offers for sale to buyers.
vs. Pull Strategy
||Push strategy -
involves manufacturer marketing activities (primarily sales force and trade promotions)
directed at channel intermediaries.
strategy- involves marketing activities (primarily advertising and consumer promotions)
directed at the end users.
||When a manufacturer
wants the brand to be number 1 or 2 in the market - not number 3! Anything but
number 1 and 2 brands are often sold or discontinued; except for mature cash cows.
The key is to focus.
and techniques used to supplement traditional advertising, includes trade advertising, and
||Products offered to
consumers usually for free to introduce a new product.
to tease the public by offering only bits of information without revealing either the
sponsor of the ad or the product being advertised. The purpose of a teaser ad is to arouse
curiosity and generate attention for the campaign that follows.
Advertising on signs that are located outdoors in public
places. Examples include billboards, posters, buses, taxis and painted displays
||Campaign that focuses
on a family of brands, or a multi-product group. e.g. Panasonic ad showing VCR, TV,
Back to Top
* From Knock 'Em Dead 1999, Martin
||Use reference books in the library
(e.g. Job Bank, Standard & Poor's Register, Business-to-Business Yellow Pages, etc.).
Take notes on relevant information about the company that you can refer to in an
interview. For online resources, check out:
American Business Information - http://www.abii.com.
One of the largest brokers in the the nations. Their lists cover over 10 million
American List Counsel - http://www.amlist.com.
They maintain over 16,000 different lists. You can search online or request a free
||Use as a complement to direct
research. Direct research gives hard facts about a company, but the newspaper lists
immediate openings for jobs. Use newspaper ads to identify all companies that are
currently hiring, not just to identify specific job openings. Online resources are:
The New York Times - http://www.nytimes.com/classified/
Wall Street Journal - http://www.careers.wsj.com
National Business Employment Weekly - http://www.nbew.com
|Public and Private
||These agencies include state
employment agencies, private employment agencies and executive recruiters, and career
counselors. As an MBA the private agencies and executive recruiters would be
used. There are 3 types: permanent employment agencies where you pay the
fee, permanent agencies where the employer pays the fee, and contingency and retained
search firms. Be sure to understand which type you choose. Select only 2 or 3 in
your field. Do not mass mail your resume to every agent in town. This can lead
to multiple submissions of your resume to a single company. One resource is the Directory
of Executive Recruiters, Kennedy Publications.
|Your References as a
||Identify as many possible personal
references as possible at the beginning of the job search. The more options you
have, the better your chances at success. Use these contacts as job search
leads. Call or write the person briefly explaining your background and what you are
searching for. Ask these people for advice. Ask to meet for a cup of coffee or
lunch to discuss the type of opportunity for which you are looking.
|College Placement Offices
and Alumni Associations
||Just remember that the Career
Placement Center should not be your only resource and will not just hand you a job.
It can help you accelerate your job search process and aid you in finding your own
job. Don't wait until the last minute to get to know the folks in the placement
office - start early getting guidance and listening to their advice. Take advantage
of on campus company receptions and interviews, as well as interview and resume workshops
that are offered.
Also, take advantage
of the alumni directory. Most alumni are more than willing to assist you by
providing advice and additional contacts.
||Examples of these associations are
The American Marketing Association, The American Retail Federation, etc. Join these
organizations to show your commitment to the profession and expand your knowledge in a
given field. Use the membership directory for direct contacts and attend regularly
scheduled meetings to network with other professional members. Also, read the
newsletters that the associations publish for other inside tips and information.
||Look for announcements of these
fairs in the newspaper and on the radio. When you attend, go prepared. Take:
business cards, resumes, a notepad and pen in a folder. Visit every booth for
companies in which you are interested even if they are not hiring for the position you
would like (ask for contact names in your field). Definitely talk to someone at each
booth asking questions about the company and what they do before talking about
yourself. Be sure to collect business cards from everyone you speak with so that you
can follow up with a letter if you want. For most companies a job fair is a way to
collect resumes. They do not hire at the fair very often, but there are times when
employers will want to interview on the spot, so be prepared. Also, gather company
brochures and materials. When you attend the fair dress for business - first
impressions are important. Finally, arrange times and dates to follow up with each
|Trade and Business
||This includes professional
association periodicals, trade magazines, and the general business press. Contact
the individuals and companies mentioned and using the article to begin discussion.
These publications provide focused articles about interesting companies, industry
overviews and market developments, quotations, articles by industry professionals,
help-wanted sections, and advertisements for new products that can tell you about the
company's direction. You may want to keep a binder of pertinent articles that you
||Use others to assist in your job
search. Networking requires nurturing and development. These networks can be:
friends and relatives, coworkers, managers (past and present), service industry
acquaintances (banker, doctor, dentist, lawyer, etc.), other job hunters, and other
professionals in your field. Some tips for writing networking letters or making
calls to ask for assistance:
- establish connectivity by mentioning the last time you spoke
- tell why you are writing or calling
- ask for advice and guidance about your tactics, what the
happening companies are, and whether the person can take a look at your resume (for an
objective opinion) - don't ask if their company can hire you
- don't rely on a specific contact to get you in a certain
- let the contacts know what you are open for
- discuss the profession, industry, areas of opportunity, and
the people worthwhile to contact.
- at the end of the call, make sure the contact knows how to
get in touch with you
- say thank you when you do get help - follow it up in writing
- keep an open mind - you never know who your friends are
- whether your contacts help you or not, let them know when you
do get a job and keep in touch at least once a year
|The Electronic Job Hunt
||Tap into the huge reservoirs of
online data before launching a search or going to an interview. Use the web to look
up companies and research their products, job openings, mission, analyst reports, press
releases, and annual reports.
online job search resources such as:
The Monster Board - http://monsterboard.com
Career Mosaic - http://careermosaic.com
Hot Jobs - http://hotjobs.com
Career Path - http://careerpath.com
Career Web - http://careerweb.com
Vault Report, Inc. - http://vaultreports.com
Wetfeet - http://wetfeet.com
Informational interviews are ideal for making
contacts and getting the inside story. Although you're still on display, these
aren't the same as interviewing for a position. Informational interviews are either to
obtain information or referrals. They can be used to get the buzz on industries and
companies and find out how comfortable you feel in certain environments--in short, almost
anything you wish to pursue. Though the purpose may be different, follow the same
advice as for application interviews. Dress appropriately, find out as much as you can
about the company or individual, know what you're going to ask, be open to questions, and
send a thank-you letter.
There are six main goals of
- Establish rapport with the interviewers. Get
to know them.
- Let them know who you are. Be genuine
- Get advice on your job-search,
particularly on improving both your approach and your presentation.
- Find out about your job market. Ask
about latest developments, publications to read, or professional groups you should
- Get referrals. If you haven't received
names by an interview's end, it's appropriate to ask for other people with whom you might
- Be remembered favorably. Before
leaving, tell an interviewer that you would appreciate being kept in mind in case s/he
hears of anything.
Behavior based interviewing focuses on experiences,
behaviors, knowledge, skills and abilities that are job related. It is based on the belief
that past behavior and performance predicts future behavior and performance. You may use
work experience, activities, hobbies, volunteer work, school projects, family life -
anything really - as examples of your past behavior. Current employment literature
indicates that there is a strong trend towards this type of interviewing. In addition to
questions found in many current resources, you should also consider the following in your
Employers are looking for 3 types of skills: Content Skills,
Functional - also called Transferable Skills, and Adaptive - also called Self Management
Content Skills -- Knowledge that is work specific such as computer programming,
accounting, welding, etc. expressed as nouns.
Functional or Transferable Skills -- Used with people, information or things such as
organizing, managing, developing, communicating, etc. expressed as verbs.
Adaptive or Self-Management Skills -- personal characteristics such as dependable, team
player, self directed, punctual, etc. expressed as adjectives.
There are 3 types of questions
typically found in interviews:
Theoretical questions -- Questions that place
you in a hypothetical situation. These questions are more likely to test your skill at
answering questions rather than in doing a good job.
Leading questions -- Questions that hint at
the answer the interviewer is seeking by the way they are phrased.
Behavioral questions -- Questions that seek
demonstrated examples of behavior from your past experience and concentrate on job related
functions. They may include:
Open-ended questions -- these require more than
a yes of no response. They often begin with "Tell me...",
Example: Describe a time you had to be flexible in planning a work load.
Close-ended questions -- Used mostly to verify
or confirm information.
Example: You are focusing in marketing, is that correct?
Why questions -- Used to reveal rationale for
decisions you have made or to determine your level of motivation.
Example: Why did you decide to major in this program at Rice rather than at a
To best answer these types of questions, think
of "PAR for the Course". A complete answer to a behavior-based question must
explain the task or problem for which you were responsible, the specific action you took,
and the results of your actions. Your answer must contain all of these components to be a
PAR answer. Tell the interviewer a "story" (with a beginning, a middle, and an
end) about how you used a practical skill.
Problem (P) - Advertising
revenue was falling off for the Daily News and large numbers of long-term advertisers were
not renewing contracts.
Action (A) - I designed a new promotional packet to go with the rate
sheet and compared the benefits of DN circulation with other ad media in the area. I also
set-up a special training session for the account executives with a professor who
discussed competitive selling strategies.
Result (R) - We signed contracts with fifteen former advertisers for
daily ads and five for special supplements. We increased our new advertisers by twenty
percent (quantities are always good) over the same period last year.
To prepare for the behavioral
Analyze the type of positions for which
youšre applying. Try to get an actual job description. What skills are required by
Analyze your own background. What skills do
you have (content, functional, and adaptive) that relate to your job objective?
Identify examples from your past experience
where you demonstrated those skills. How can you "tell a story" about your use
of particular skills or knowledge? Concentrate on developing complete PAR answers and
remember that a good story has a beginning, middle and end.
Wherever possible, quantify your results.
Numbers illustrate your level of authority and responsibility.
Be prepared to provide examples of when
results didnšt turn out as you planned. What did you do then?
Before starting the interview process,
identify 2 to 3 of your top selling points and determine how you will convey these points
(with demonstrated PAR stories) during the interview.
Once employed, keep a personal achievement
diary to help document demonstrated performance (PAR stories).
the past few years, corporate recruiters have begun to utilize a different form of
interview question, i.e., the "Case Interview" question. This interview question
format consists of a question and answer format wherein the interviewer presents a
hypothetical business problem, either actual or made up and you have to develop a
"process" for answering the question as clearly and with as much detail as
possible. In many instances the actual answer is not obtainable. The gist of the
"case interview question is to sample how logical and creative you can be in
analyzing the question, developing a process for gathering the necessary information,
extrapolating information from general knowledge and formulating an answer based on
"all" the knowledge and resources you have at hand. (The process is as important
as the answer).
A 5 step approach to case interview questions:
Step 1 - Develop a frame or structure for the
question. Use "Big Picture Thinking" Work from the General to the Specific,
using what information you are given, what you already know and what additional
information the interviewer might give you if asked.
Step 2 - Prioritize and identify the basic issues
contained in the problem and use problem solving logic.
Step 3 - Narrow down your potential answers to the
most logical, using the 80/20 Approach.
Step 4 - Analyze the problem from all perspectives,
working from "Big Picture" information that suggests possible alternative
methods you can use to derive the best possible answer (guess).
Step 5 - Draw conclusions from your analysis,
demonstrate results based on information and logical conclusions.
Final tips for the case interviewee:
- Dont be thrown by the interviewers questions.
Realize that there are numerous good answers. The interviewer is using the case approach
to gain an understanding of your thought processes.
- Be concise. If asked for the "top two" issues,
confine your response to two items only. Avoid going into too much detail. The more
explicit your thinking the better.
- Provide logical back-up for your answers. Be sure to explain
what case facts led you to a conclusion, and how you reasoned from those facts to your
- Dont be afraid to ask clarifying questions. If you
dont understand the case facts, you will find it difficult to ace the interview.
- Remember common sense goes a long way. Also, try and relax in
Examples of Case Interview Questions (*)
Moving the Hub A major airline company is
thinking about moving their hub city in the hopes of saving money. How would you approach
this problem to analyze the cost-effectiveness of such a move?
Muddying the Waters There is a client in the
bottled-water industry. Their market is high in Southern California. Sales are increasing,
but profits are decreasing. What information do you need to assess what is happening?
Super Batteries A client has invented a new
type of a battery that is compact and has a much longer life than normal batteries. It
will only be about twice as expensive as ordinary batteries, but will last ten times as
long. Where would the market be for super batteries? What are the broader implications for
such a product?
Green Tires A client approaches you at a party
with an idea for selling green automobile tires. Without expertise in the auto or tire
industries, how would you estimate the overall market for tires, the percentage of people
who might be interested in green tires and the profitability of such an idea? What factors
need to be considered in determining profitability?
Coffee Vending in San Francisco A chain of
gourmet coffee shops from the Northwest is considering expansion into the San Francisco
area. They sell coffee, coffee beans, light snacks, and coffee-making equipment. This
chain has been highly successful in the Northwest and has an extensive distribution system
and well-known name there. What factors should they consider before opening in the San
Francisco Bay Area? What would you expect major cost areas to be in the new location? How
could you reduce those costs? How should the chain determine the locations of its Bay Area
stores? What other factors are important for this client to consider?
Interview Follow Up
thank-you letter is so basic that some employers will exclude you from the applicant pool
if you don't send one. Be prompt and personal, incorporating elements from your interview.
There's usually room for negotiating a better offer, whether for salary or benefits. If you're willing to walk, you
can be firm about your conditions. If you're not, be prepared to take no for an answer.
Always get the offer in writing.
There's no way to remove all risks
from a career decision, but you can increase your chances of making the right choice.
Revisit your criteria for choosing a career or job, weigh the advantages against
disadvantages, and consider the following factors:
Money: Does the job pay what I
need now, or will I feel resentful? Does the field offer salary levels that will meet my
Security: Is the job year-round
and full-time? How great is the turnover? What benefits does the job offer? Is the field
Mobility: Does the job allow
for or require one to move from place to place or stay in one location?
Flexibility: Would the job let
me keep my options open or does it require intense specialization? Does it permit
Qualifications: Am I qualified
for the work? Is on-the-job training offered to me help me qualify or prepare for future
Day-to-day Content: Will the
work keep me interested? Are the other workers in the field the kind of people I won't
mind spending time with?
Rewards: Does the job offer the
kind of rewards I need, along the lines of status, helping others, seeing finished
product, and using creativity?