Below we provide a selection of sample consulting case questions.
The questions are broken down into seven (7) question types to make them easier to digest.
1. Declining Profitability
- Our client is eBay. Its share price fell from $310 to $200 per share on reports of declining profits. What’s going on and how can we turn this around?
- A large American beverage company acquired a fruit juice company for $350 million five years ago with the goal to increase revenues tenfold. Revenues have instead fallen 50% to $20 million. What’s going on and how can we turn this around?
- Our client is a mid-sized retail bank in Kazakhstan. The bank has achieved sustained revenue growth over the last two years but its profits have consistently declined. What is causing the decline in profits? What can we do about it?
2. Entering a New Market
- Your client is a low-cost airline headquartered in Philadelphia with frequent service to cities along the East Coast of the United States. The CEO is interested in expanding service into a small town in the Midwest; let’s call it Greenville. What is your recommendation?
- A large Korean electronics company is thinking about entering the market for tablet computers. Is this a good idea?
- A South Korean company is acquiring a U.S. smart phone maker. What factors do they need to take into account?
3. Pricing Strategy
- The CEO of a large Asian electronics firm has come out with a new smart phone, which is much like the iPhone. How should it price this product?
- Dr Pepper is trying to boost profitability by raising prices. It’s focusing on supermarkets. How is raising prices likely to affect profitability? Should it go ahead with the plan?
- Toyota has invented a car with incredible durability, it can be driven a thousand times further than cars currently on the market before needing to be serviced. The CEO asks you, “How should Toyota price this car?”
4. Growth Strategy
- Our client is the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. They want to develop a growth strategy for the next five years. What would you advise them to look at, and what are your recommendations for growth?
- You have been brought in as the CEO of Blackberry. The company started making handheld wireless devices in 1999 and gained substantial market share in the initial smart phone market prior to the release of the iPhone in 2007. The company missed the trend towards touchscreen smart phones and has fallen into serious financial difficulty. How can we regain market share, and return Blackberry to its former glory?
- Emirates Airline is considering signing an agreement with Ben and Jerries Ice-cream, which would allow them to serve several flavours of ice cream on Emirates flights. Is it a good idea for Emirates to sign this agreement?
- Virgin Galactic has developed a new rocket that can take off and land like a normal plane. Virgin Galactic wants to give customers the opportunity to see the earth from space and experience low gravity on a five hour flight. The prototype rocket will cost $1 billion to produce. Each additional rocket will cost $100 million.
- Estimate the size of the global market
- What price should Virgin Galactic charge for a ticket?
- How many rockets should it produce?
- Should it sell rockets to competitors?
- P&G has just discovered a new lightweight metallic compound that could be used to produce metal containers like soft drink cans. What should they do with it?
- Coca Cola has a bottling plant in Mumbai. Over the past three months, inventory has tripled and customer complaints have doubled. What should the company do?
- Cabana Surfboards manufactures surfboards at a factory in California. It is currently summer, and Cabana is having trouble meeting demand. Cabana’s surfboards are distributed through surf shops located near popular tourist beaches and, in recent years, Cabana has developed a strong reputation among first time surfers. What should the company do to keep up with demand?
- A leading financial services company is trying to reduce operating expenditures. How can it achieve its savings target?
6. Competitive Response
- CanadaCo, the largest discount retailer in Canada, currently holds the dominant market share in the industry. USCo, the largest discount retailer in the United States, has decided to expand into Canada by purchasing CanadaCo’s competition. How should the CEO of CanadaCo respond?
- Our client, let’s call them AcmeCo, is a specialty shoe manufacturer with retail stores in New York, San Francisco and London. AcmeCo has discovered that Nike is planning to enter its segment of the market. What should it do?
- Our client is Kellogg’s, a leading international manufacturer of branded cereals. Over the past five years, supermarkets and distributors in America have started selling private label goods including private label cereals. Private label goods are produced by manufacturers and sold by retailers and supermarkets directly to the end user. The private label trend has started to impact Kellogg’s market share. How should Kellogg’s respond to this competitive threat?
- Radioshack, an American consumer electronics giant of yesteryear, faced chaotic trading on Wednesday as analysts predicted the company would report its 10th straight quarter of losses. Assuming RadioShack averts bankruptcy and achieves a successful refinancing, what should the strategy be to turnaround and save this iconic company?
[For more information on consulting interviews, please download “The HUB’s Guide to Consulting Interviews“.]