How do Case Study Exercises work?
During an assessment day, it is common that you need to undertake a case study exercise. These exercises place candidates in real-life situations where they are tasked with solving problems faced by professionals in the real world. A case study typically involves being given various documents containing different information, either detailing a problem or situation that needs dealing with and requiring the candidate to resolve the issue at hand by formulating a plan. The problems or situation in the case study will be similar if not identical to problems encountered in the role itself. Candidates are also provided with background information to the elements of the case study, whether these be details of fictitious companies or sales figures, or other. The resolutions or solutions provided by the candidate regarding the problems are part of the assessment centre performance rating.
Why are case study exercises used?
Case study exercises are proficient predicators of role performance as they will resemble the work being done on the job. Therefore, case study exercises typically tilt highly on an assessment centre rating for candidates. Likewise, if a presentation exercise is required after the case study, based on details brought up during the case study, then your case study rating will likely impact your presentation exercise rating. Equally, this may manifest into the role play exercise which will do a similar thing to the presentation exercise – carrying on the case study situation. It is also entirely possible for the case study to be continued in a group exercise – which evaluate a candidate’s ability to work in a team. Given all this, you will need to perform well in the case study exercise to ensure a high rating.
What will the case study exercise be like?
As mentioned, the case study exercise you will be asked to perform will be similar to the type of work you will have to do in the role you are applying for.
The case study exercise may be purchased off the self from a test provider who specialise in the test style. This will mean that it won't be fully specific to the company you are applying to, but will be related to the role. Likewise, it can be designed bespoke if the organization requires specific role assessment. It's likely the larger and harder to get into the company is, the more tailored their excercises will be.
How can I prepare for the case study exercise?
Analysing technical documents and company reports may be helpful practice in preparation for a case study exercise. This will give a chance to familiarize yourself with the types of information typically found in these documents, and thus the case study exercise. Practicing case study exercises will also act as great preparation and they will provide a great insight into how they work and how they are to be handled. This will also prevent any unnecessary unknowns you could have before taking a case study exercise, as you will have already experienced how they work in practice.
We have an assessment centre pack which contains an example of the exercises you could face.