Gartner Case Interviews: Everything You Need to Know
Gartner consulting interviews consist of case interviews or case study interviews, a written case interview with a presentation, and behavioral or fit interview questions. There are typically three rounds of interviews that candidates must go through before being extended an offer.
- First round: A 30 to 40-minute phone screen with a recruiter. The interview will be focused on behavioral or fit interview questions.
- Second round: Two 30- to 40-minute interviews with Gartner consultants or partners. The interview will be a mix of case interviews and behavioral or fit interview questions.
- Third round: Three 30- to 40-minute interviews that will be a mix of case interviews and behavioral or fit interview questions. There will also be an additional one-hour written case interview with a presentation.
If you have an upcoming interview at Gartner, don’t worry because we have you covered. In this article, we’ll cover:
- The 6 steps to solve any Gartner case interview
- How to ace the Gartner written case interview presentation
- The 10 most common behavioral or fit interview questions
- Additional case interview resources we recommend
The 6 Steps to Solve Any Gartner Case Interview
Acing your case interviews or case study interviews is the single most important factor that determines whether or not you will receive a consulting job offer from Gartner.
A case interview is a special type of interview that nearly every single consulting firm uses. Gartner case interviews simulate the consulting job by placing you in a hypothetical business situation in which you are asked to solve a business problem.
Gartner case interviews, also known as case study interviews, are all candidate-led. You will be in the driver’s seat of the case interview and will be expected to ask the right questions, probe for data, and propose each next step to solve the case.
Follow these six steps to solve any Gartner case interview or case study interview:
1. Understand the case
The case will begin with the interviewer giving you the case information. While the interviewer is speaking, make sure that you are taking meticulous notes on the most important pieces of information. Focus on understanding the context of the situation, the company, and the objective of the case.
2. Verify the objective
Understanding the business problem and objective of the case is the most important part of the case interview. Not addressing the right business question is the quickest way to fail a case interview.
Make sure that you ask clarifying questions to better understand the business situation and problem. Then, confirm that you understand the case objective with the interviewer. This ensures that you start the case on the right track.
3. Create a framework
Develop a framework to help you tackle the business problem. A framework is a tool that helps you structure and break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable components. With a framework, you’ll be brainstorming different ideas and organizing them into different categories.
Afterwards, walk the interviewer through your framework. They may ask a few questions or provide some feedback to you.
4. Develop a hypothesis
After creating a framework, you should develop a hypothesis. A hypothesis is an educated guess on the answer based on the data and information that you have so far.
Your hypothesis does not need to be correct. You’ll be continuously testing and refining your hypothesis throughout the case. The purpose of having a hypothesis is to guide your analysis and ensure that you are spending your time answering the right questions.
5. Test your hypothesis
The majority of the case will be spent testing your hypothesis.
After stating your hypothesis, it is up to you to lead the direction of the case. Depending on the context of the case, you may want to ask for data to do some analysis. You may also want to explore qualitative questions that you have. As you uncover more information, your hypothesis will likely have to change.
Sometimes, your hypothesis will be completely wrong and you’ll need to develop a completely new hypothesis to test. Other times, your hypothesis may be on the right track, but you’ll need to refine or narrow it down further.
Throughout the rest of the case, you’ll be answering a mix of quantitative and qualitative questions. Make sure that after each question, you explain how your answer impacts your hypothesis or answer to the case.
6. Deliver a recommendation
In the last step of the case interview, you’ll present your recommendation and provide the major reasons that support it. You do not need to recap everything that you have done in the case, so focus on summarizing only the facts that are most important.
It is also good practice to include potential next steps that you would take if you had more time or data. These can be areas of your framework that you did not have time to explore yet or lingering questions that you do not have great answers for.
How to Ace the Gartner Written Case Interview
Here’s how the Gartner written case interview works:
- A Gartner recruiter or consultant will give you a packet of information that contains all of the information you need to solve a case study
- You’ll have one week to prepare a solution to the case study to present to a panel of Gartner consultants
- During your interview, you’ll have 30-minutes to present your solution to a panel of 4-5 Gartner managers or partners
- Afterwards, you’ll answer questions from the panel for 30-minutes
Follow the steps and tips below to ace your Gartner written case interview.
1. Understand the business problem and case objective
The first step in completing a written case interview is to understand what the objective is. What is the primary business question you are trying to answer with the data and information provided?
Answering or solving the wrong business problem is the quickest way to fail a written case interview. Therefore, the first thing you should do is to read the instructions and the case background information so that you clearly understand the primary question you are trying to answer.
2. Read the list of major questions
You may be provided with a list of 3 – 4 key questions that you will be expected to address or answer.
Once you understand the overall business problem and case objective, read through the list of key questions. This will tell you what the most important areas of the case are. These will be the questions that you want to investigate and answer first.
If the written case interview is more open-ended and does not provide you with a list of key questions, skip this step and move onto the next step.
3. Quickly flip through the material to identify what information exists
The next step is to flip through the information packet that is provided to see what information is available. Identify what data you have and what data you do not have.
The goal in this step is not to read and analyze every slide. That would take too much time.
Instead, you want to get a sense of what data and information is out there. This will help you decide and prioritize which slides are most important to read and analyze in more detail later.
4. Create a framework
Before you begin reading and analyzing the information in the slides in more detail, you should create a basic framework to help guide your analysis.
Select 3 to 4 broad areas that you think are the most important to analyze. In other words, what are the 3 to 4 things you need to know to answer the primary question of the written case interview?
If the written case interview has provided you with a list of 3 – 4 key questions, make sure to include these important areas in your framework.
Sometimes, these 3 – 4 key questions are your entire framework and you will not need to add anything else. Other times, you may identify important areas from flipping through the slides that you want to add to your framework in addition to these 3 – 4 key questions.
5. Match information that exists to areas in your framework
Now that you have a solid framework to guide your analysis, the next step is to identify what information you can use to answer each area of your framework.
Since you have already flipped through the material and catalogued what information exists, you can match different pieces of information that exist to areas in your framework.
6. Read and analyze the material
The framework you created tells you what questions you need to answer. From the previous step, you know where the information to answer each question resides. All that is left to do is to read and analyze the information that is relevant to each area of your framework.
As you answer the major questions in your framework, make sure to write a one or two sentence summary of the key takeaway or answer. This will help you remember the work that you have done and make it easier to decide on a recommendation.
7. Decide on a recommendation
Once you have finished reading and analyzing all of the important and relevant material, you should have a list of key takeaways or answers to the major areas of your framework.
In this step, you’ll read through the key takeaways and decide on what recommendation they collectively support.
You should not expect every key takeaway to support your recommendation. Often, you’ll have key takeaways that support your recommendation, but also key takeaways that go against your recommendation.
If this is the case, you’ll need to mediate conflicting insights and decide on which insights are the most important. Remember that there is typically no right or wrong recommendation. As long as your recommendation is supported by data and evidence, you will be in great shape.
8. Structure your presentation slides
When you have decided on a recommendation and have the supporting data and evidence for it, you’ll want to create a structure for your presentation slides.
A simple, but effective structure you can use is:
- Slide 1: Present your recommendation and the three reasons that support it
- Slide 2: Present your first reason and the data that supports it
- Slide 3: Present your second reason and the data that supports it
- Slide 4: Present your third reason and the data that supports it
- Slide 5: Summarize everything that you’ve covered so far
- Slide 6: Present potential next steps
Depending on the complexity of the case study, you may need more than three reasons to support your solution or recommendation.
9. Fill in your slides
Once you have the structure of your presentation slides, the next step is to fill in the slides with content.
When filling in slides, make sure you use descriptive slide titles that clearly communicate the main message of the slide.
Additionally, try to make your slides easy to digest. Each slide should have one key message.
10. Review your slides and prepare for potential questions
Review your slides one more time to check for any mistakes or errors. You should also spend some time cleaning up the slides to make them look neat and polished.
Afterwards, you can brainstorm potential questions you could be asked during your presentation. The panelists listening to your presentation may want to know how you performed your analysis or reached your conclusions. They may also challenge your assumptions or interpretations of the data.
Preparing for potential questions that could be asked will help your presentation go much more smoothly and you’ll feel much more confident while presenting.
The 10 Most Common Behavioral or Fit Interview Questions
In addition to case interviews, you will likely be asked a few behavioral or fit interview questions. There are ten questions that are most commonly asked.
1. Why are you interested in working at Gartner?
How to answer: Have at least three reasons why you’re interested in working at Gartner. You could mention that you loved the people that you have met from Gartner so far. You can talk about Gartner’s global presence and the opportunity to do challenging, groundbreaking work. Finally, you can talk about Gartner’s outstanding company culture.
You can find more information to answer the “why Gartner?” question on Gartner’s website.
2. Why do you want to work in consulting?
How to answer: Again, have three reasons why you’re interested in consulting. You could mention the fast career growth opportunity, the opportunity to develop soft and hard skills, or the level of impact that you can make by working with large companies on their most challenging issues.
3. Walk me through your resume
How to answer: Provide a concise summary of your work experience, starting with the most recent. Focus on emphasizing your most impressive and unique accomplishments. At the end, tie your experiences to why you are interested in consulting.
4. What is your proudest achievement?
How to answer: Choose your most impressive, unique, or memorable accomplishment. Structure your answer by providing information on the situation, the task, the actions you took, and the results of your work.
5. What is something that you are proud of that is not on your resume?
How to answer: This is a great opportunity to highlight an accomplishment that is not related to your professional work experience. Perhaps there is a non-profit that you volunteer at, a side project or business that you work on, or a hobby that you have won awards or recognition for. Choose something that is impressive and interesting.
6. Tell me about a time when you led a team.
How to answer: If possible, choose a time when you directly managed a person or a team. For this question and the following questions, make sure that you structure your answer. Structure your answer by providing information on the situation, the task, the actions you took, and the results of your work. This is known as the STAR method and is commonly used to answer behavioral or fit interview questions.
7. Give an example of a time when you faced conflict or a disagreement.
How to answer: When answering this question, focus on emphasizing the steps you took to resolve the conflict or disagreement. Speak to the interpersonal skills you had to use in order to mediate the situation. Interviewers want to know that you are a great mediator and that you can handle conflict in a constructive way.
8. Tell me about a time when you had to persuade someone.
How to answer: Choose a time when you were able to change someone’s mind. Focus on emphasizing the steps that you took to persuade that person and what impact and results this had. Interviewers want to know that you are a great communicator and a good people person.
9. Describe a time when you failed.
How to answer: Choose a time when you failed to meet a deadline or did not meet expectations. Focus on emphasizing what you learned from the experience and how you used that experience to deliver even better results in the next opportunity that you got. Interviewers want to see that you don’t get discouraged from failure and that you treat those experiences as learning opportunities.
10. What questions do you have for me?
How to answer: This is a great opportunity to get to know the interviewer on a more personal level. Ask them questions about their experience in consulting or their career. Express genuine interest in what they have to show and ask follow-up questions. The more you can get the interviewer talking about themself, the more likely they will have a positive impression of you.
Recommended Case Interview Prep Resources
We hope that you found this article on Gartner interviews helpful. If you are considering which resources to use in your case interview prep, we recommend the following:
- One Week Case Interview Course: A comprehensive case interview course that condenses all of the case interview strategies, techniques, and practice you need into a 15 – 25 hour course. Learn through 50+ concise video lessons and 20 full-length practice cases with detailed solutions.
- Hacking the Case Interview: In this book, learn exactly what to do and what to say in every step of the case interview. This is the perfect book for beginners that are looking to learn the basics of case interviews quickly.
- The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook: In this book, hone your case interview skills through 65+ problems tailored towards each type of question asked in case interviews and 15 full-length cases based on real case interviews. This book is great for intermediates looking to get quality practice.