Grant Thornton Case Interview: Everything You Need to Know
Grant Thornton consulting interviews consist of case interviews, behavioral or fit interview questions, and a written case interview for some candidates. There are typically three rounds of interviews that you will need to go through in order to receive a consulting job offer from Grant Thornton.
- First round interview: 30-minute phone screen with an HR recruiter. Expect to be asked questions on your resume and experiences as well as on your interest in Grant Thornton.
- Second round interview: Two 30-minute interviews with managers or partners. Expect to be asked behavioral or fit interview questions along with a mini case interview.
- Third round interview: Two to three 30- to 45-minute interviews with partners. Expect the usual behavioral or fit interview questions. You may also be given a written case interview for this round.
If you have an upcoming consulting interview with Grant Thornton, we have you covered. In this article, we’ll cover exactly what you need to do to crush your interviews and land the job offer. In this article, we’ll cover in detail:
- The 5 steps to solve any Grant Thornton case interview
- The 8 steps to crush your Grant Thornton written case interview
- The 10 most common Grant Thornton behavioral interview questions
- Recommended case interview prep resources
The 5 Steps to Solve Any Grant Thornton Case Interview
A case interview is a special type of interview that nearly every consulting firm uses. Grant Thornton places a heavy emphasis on case interviews during their interview process.
Grant Thornton case interviews simulate the consulting job by placing you in a hypothetical business situation in which you are asked to solve a business problem. You’ll spend about 30 minutes collaborating with the interviewer to reach an ultimate answer or recommendation.
Grant Thornton case interviews are generally candidate-led. This means that you will be expected to lead the direction of the case. You’ll be responsible for asking the right questions, analyzing data, driving discussion, and proposing each next step.
Case interviews can cover any industry or any type of business problem. Although you cannot predict the exact case interview question that you’ll get, each case interview follows a similar flow and structure:
- Understand the case
- Structure the problem
- Kick off the case
- Solve quantitative problems and answer qualitative questions
- Deliver a recommendation
1. Understand the case
Your case interview will begin with the interviewer giving you the case background 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 and the objective of the case.
Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions if you do not understand something. You may want to summarize the case background information back to the interviewer to confirm your understanding of the case.
The most important part of this step is to verify the objective of the case. Not answering the right business question is the quickest way to fail a case interview.
2. Structure the problem
The next step is to develop a framework to help you solve the case. A framework is a tool that helps you structure and break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable components. Another way to think about frameworks is brainstorming different ideas and organizing them into different categories.
Before you start developing your framework, it is completely acceptable to ask the interviewer for a few minutes so that you can collect your thoughts and think about the problem.
Ideally, you want your framework to be as MECE as possible. MECE stands for mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. You want each element of your framework to have zero overlap with the other elements. Additionally, you want the sum of the elements of your framework to cover all of the important issues or areas of the case.
Once you have identified the major issues or areas that you need to explore, walk the interviewer through your framework. They may ask a few questions or provide some feedback.
3. Kick off the case
Once you have finished presenting your framework, you’ll start diving into different areas of your framework to begin solving the case. How this process will start depends on whether the case interview is candidate-led or interviewer-led.
If the case interview is a candidate-led case, you’ll be expected to propose what area of your framework to start investigating. So, propose an area and provide a reason for why you want to start with that area. There is generally no right or wrong area of your framework to pick first.
If the case interview is interviewer-led, the interviewer will tell you what area of the framework to start in or directly give you a question to answer.
4. Solve quantitative problems and answer qualitative questions
Your case interviews will most likely have some quantitative aspect to them. For example, you may be asked to calculate a certain profitability or financial metric. You could also be asked to estimate the size of a particular market or to estimate a particular figure.
The key to solving quantitative problems is to lay out a structure or approach upfront with the interviewer before doing any math calculations. If you lay out and present your structure to solve the quantitative problem and the interviewer approves of it, the rest of the problem is just simple execution of math.
When doing the math, make sure to talk through your thinking and calculations out loud. The interviewer should be able to easily follow what you are doing in each step of your calculations. Once you have calculated the answer, explain how your answer impacts the recommendation that you are beginning to form.
Your case interviews will likely also have qualitative aspects to them. You may be asked to brainstorm a list of potential ideas. You could also be asked to provide your opinion on a business issue or situation.
The key to answering qualitative questions is to structure your answer. When brainstorming a list of ideas, develop a structure to help you neatly categorize all of your ideas. When giving your opinion on a business issue or situation, provide a summary of your stance or position and then enumerate the reasons that support it.
When you finish answering a qualitative question, connect your answer back to the case objective. How does your answer impact the recommendation that you are beginning to form?
5. 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 only summarizing 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 or lingering questions that you do not have great answers for.
The 8 Steps to Crush your Grant Thornton Written Case Interview
In addition to traditional case interviews, you may be asked to do a written case interview. This is an exercise in which you’ll be provided with a packet of materials and asked to do analyses to develop a recommendation. You’ll then create slides to present to your interviewers in the following interview round. Sometimes, this is given as a take-home assignment.
Although this style of case interview is different from the in-person case interview you’ll typically be given, the strategies and approaches are quite similar. Follow these eight steps to nail your written case interview.
1. Understand the business problem and 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?
2. Read the list of major questions
Some written case interviews will provide you with a list of 3 – 4 key questions that you will be expected to address or answer. Read through these questions first since these will be the questions that you will want to prioritize.
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. Skim the materials
Next, 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, by seeing what information exists, you will be able to better prioritize what you spend your time reading and analyzing.
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. If you are provided with a list of key questions or pre-filled slide templates, then this will likely be the foundation of your framework.
Otherwise, based on what information exists in the information packet, identify the three to four key questions you need to answer or investigate.
5. Read and analyze the material
Afterwards, read and analyze the information that is relevant to each area of your framework. As you begin answering questions and drawing insights, make sure to write a one or two sentence summary. This will make it easier to decide on a recommendation later.
6. Decide on a recommendation
Review the list of key takeaways that you have summarized from answering all of the major questions in your framework. Decide on what recommendation these findings collectively support.
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.
7. Create your slides
Once you have a recommendation, it is time to start filling in your slides. You should use the following structure when creating your slides:
- 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: Propose potential next steps
8. Prepare for potential questions
If you have any time remaining, brainstorm potential questions the interviewer may ask you during your presentation. They may want to know how you performed your analysis or how you reached your conclusions.
Preparing for these potential questions will help your presentation go much more smoothly. You will also feel much more confident while presenting.
The 10 Most Common Grant Thornton Behavioral Interview Questions
In addition to case interviews, you will also be asked behavioral or fit interview questions. These types of questions are much more predictable than case interviews, making them easier to prepare for.
Below are the ten behavioral or fit questions that Grant Thornton most commonly asks candidates.
1. Why are you interested in working at Grant Thornton?
How to answer: Have at least three reasons why you’re interested in working at Grant Thornton. You can speak to Grant Thornton’s deep expertise across private sectors, public sectors, and not-for-profit organizations. You can talk about the people from Grant Thornton that you’ve met so far and your positive impressions of them, which is a reflection of the firm’s people. Finally, you can bring up Grant Thornton’s collaborative, respectful work culture that places a heavy emphasis on each person’s professional development.
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 opportunities, the opportunity to develop versatile soft and hard skills, the opportunities to make large impacts on large organizations, or the highly collaborative nature of work.
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, unique, and memorable accomplishments. At the end of your answer, briefly tie your experiences to why you are interested in consulting and why you would be a great fit.
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. Highlight what aspects or qualities of your achievement made you feel proud.
5. What is something that you are proud of that is not on your resume?
How to answer: This is an 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 an interesting hobby that you have won awards or recognition for. Choose something that showcases your qualities outside of a traditional work setting.
6. Tell me about a time when you led a team.
How to answer: Ideally, choose a time or experience when you directly managed a person or a team. Explain the challenge that the team faced, how you handled leading the team, and then quantify the impact and results of your leadership. Highlight the leadership skills that you exhibited and how you worked effectively with others.
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. Then, explain the impact that these interpersonal skills made on 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 convincingly changed 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 see that you are a great communicator and have great people skills.
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. Make sure to choose an actual failure instead of an experience that was a success in disguise. Focus on emphasizing what you learned from the experience and how you used that experience to deliver 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 failures 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 and curiosity in what they have to share 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 Grant Thornton consulting case 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.