As with most consultancies, interviews are predominantly based on case studies. Applicants will be given information relating to a particular business issue, and asked detailed questions on finances, strategy and any other issue relating to this. The applicant may well be given additional information as the interview goes on, forcing them to rethink or adapt their conclusions or approaches to problems. Graduates on internet forums have reported recent interview questions to be:
- Our company could go online but analysis of competitors shows we lag behind in total shop area. What should we prioritise?
- How many steps did you take to get here?
- A client has experience a surge in demand for their product, walk me through your analysis.
- What is the size of the UK market for water machines?
- What would a UK-based alcoholic beverage manufacturer have to consider in order to try to expand its market share?
OC&C makes it clear that it does not expect candidates to completely solve the problems that come up in case studies. This is not what assessors are looking for. As the firm states, case studies are there ' to test your ability to think logically and analytically under pressure, your commercial awareness and your ability to focus on, and prioritise, the key issues'.
Interviewers – quite possibly senior management or partners in OC&C – will also ask typical questions of the ‘Why OC&C’ and ‘Why strategy consultancy’ type. However, assessors are not looking for trite answers, and the company advises candidates to be cautious. Profess a lifelong desire to write computer code for a large multinational, or to have been impressed by the calibre of OC&C's healthcare finance division, and you may well find the rest of the interview a bit of a rocky ride.