IQVIA Case Interview: Everything You Need to Know
For those interviewing at IQVIA, formerly IMS Consulting Group, their interviews consist of case interviews, written case interviews, and behavioral or fit interviews.
IQVIA typically has two rounds of interviews before extending offers to candidates:
- First round: Two 30-minute interviews. These interviews are primarily focused on case interviews with a few behavioral or fit interview questions.
- Second round: Three to four interviews that are 30 to 40 minutes each. These interviews consist of case interviews, a written case interview, and behavioral or fit interviews.
If you are applying to IQVIA from a non-target school, you may be subject to a 30-minute phone screen with a recruiter before the first round of interviews. This phone screen primarily consists of questions about your resume and a few behavioral interview questions.
The entire IQVIA interview process typically takes four weeks to complete. You can read more about the IQVIA interview process on their website.
If you are interviewing for IQVIA for expecting to interview with them, we have you covered. In this article, we’ll cover:
- The 6 steps to solve any IQVIA case interview
- IQVIA case interview examples
- How to ace the IQVIA written case interview
- The 10 most common behavioral or fit interview questions
The 6 Steps to Solve Any IQVIA Case Interview
IQVIA case interviews are all candidate-led. This means that you will be expected to drive the direction of the case. You will suggest what areas to explore, what analyses to do, and what the next step should be.
Your interviewer may provide you with additional information during the case interview, but it will be up to you to ask them for the information that you need.
Follow these six steps to solve any IQVIA case 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.
IQVIA Case Interview Examples
Example #1: Type 2 Diabetes Drug
Baxter is a large pharmaceutical company based in the United States. The company primarily focuses on pharmaceutical products to treat kidney disease, hemophilia, and immune disorders. They recently got U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for a new anti-diabetic drug that is expected to have extremely high demand.
To meet this demand, Baxter either needs to expand its current factory in Texas or build a new one in Virginia, which is closer to one of its distribution centers. How would you help Baxter make this decision?
Example #2: Emergent BioSolutions
Emergent BioSolutions is a multinational specialty pharmaceutical company. They develop vaccines and antibody therapeutics for rare diseases, infectious diseases, oncology, and autoimmune disorders.
Emergent BioSolutions is a market leader in the Koot disease market. Koot is a rare disease that affects the part of the human brain that controls balance. Emergent BioSolutions is looking for ways to further grow their market share in the Koot disease market. What should they do?
Example #3: Patent Expiration
Your client is a multinational pharmaceutical and biologics company headquartered in the United Kingdom. They have a portfolio of products in the disease areas of cancer, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disease, neuroscience, and respiratory disease.
One of your client’s most commercially successful drug, which treats acid reflux disease, will be going off patent next year. What can they do to mitigate their expected decline in revenue?
Example #4: Pharmaceutical Investment
Our client is a medium sized pharmaceutical company with $8B in annual revenue and 3,000 employees. The CEO is looking to invest $2B in its business. What investment opportunities should our client consider?
Example #5: Pharmaceutical Revenue Growth
Eli Lily is a global pharmaceutical company that has a portfolio of products in areas such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disease, and respiratory disease. They have a strong presence in the rare disease business, which is defined as medical conditions that have fewer than 200,000 affected people in the United States.
Historically, the rare disease market is not cost effective to research given the small population of affected people. However, due to regulations that have made research into rare disease treatments cheaper, pharmaceutical companies have begun to invest more in this area over the past few years.
Our client would like to grow its rare disease business, ideally doubling revenue within five years. What would you recommend to make this happen?
Example #6: Capacity Ramp Up
Our client is an American biotechnology product development and life sciences supply chain company. They are a major supplier to manufacturers of biological drugs known as biologics. These are pharmaceutical drugs that are manufactured in, extracted from, or synthesized from biological sources.
Biologics are manufactured through a complex process and our client provides the reaction tanks, chemicals, pipes, and other inputs needed in the manufacturing process.
The biologics industry has been growing at an annual growth rate of 15% per year, but our client has only been growing at 5%. What is causing this slower than expected growth rate and what can be done to address this?
How to Ace the IQVIA Written Case Interview
For some offices, IQVIA uses a written case interview in their final round of interviews. This special type of case interview focuses on assessing how well you can analyze information and communicate your insights.
Here’s what you should expect:
- IQVIA will provide you with the case background material
- You will have about 40 minutes to review the material and prepare 4 to 8 slides
- You will give a presentation to your interviewer, who will challenge your assumptions and ask follow-up questions
To solve any written case interview, follow these eight steps.
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 making 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
If the written case interview provides you with pre-filled slide templates, make sure to use those instead. You may still want to create an executive summary slide.
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 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 you should prepare for.
1. Why IQVIA?
How to answer: Have at least three reasons why you’re interested in working at IQVIA. You could mention that you loved the people that you have met from the company so far. You can talk about IQVIA’s deep expertise in the life sciences sector and the opportunity to work with industry-leading clients. You can speak to IQVIA’s specialization in pricing, brand and commercial strategy, and portfolio analysis. Finally, you can talk about IQVIA’s collegial, collaborative, and fun company culture.
2. Why 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 and why you would be a great fit for IQVIA.
4. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
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. Explain why the accomplishment is so meaningful to you and what qualities that reveals about you as a person.
5. Tell me about something 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. Select an accomplishment that is impressive and interesting.
6. Tell me about a time when you had to lead 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 similar questions, make sure that you structure your answer. Provide 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 the most common way of answering behavioral or fit interview questions.
7. Describe a time when you faced conflict or disagreement.
How to answer: When answering this question, focus on emphasizing the steps you took to resolve the conflict or disagreement. Speak about the interpersonal skills you had to use in order to mediate the situation. Interviewers want to know that you can handle conflict in a constructive way.
8. Give an example of a time when you successfully persuaded someone.
How to answer: Choose a time when you were able to change someone’s mind who originally disagreed with you. Focus on emphasizing the steps that you took to persuade that person and what impact this had on the organization. Interviewers want to know that you are a great communicator and have strong people skills.
9. Tell me about a time when you failed.
How to answer: Choose a time when you failed to meet a deadline or did not meet expectations. You do not want to pick a failure that is too big or embarrassing. 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 strive to learn from your past failures and are always working to get better.
10. Are there any questions that you have for me?
How to answer: This is a fantastic opportunity to get to know the interviewer on a more personal level. Ask them questions about their experience in consulting. Ask what their favorite case was or what they are looking to do next in their career. The more you can get the interviewer talking about themself, the more likely they will be to have a positive impression of you.
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