Statistics to know for a Case Interview

Many candidates for consulting positions are interested in the statistics they need to know for their case interview and case study preparation. This often occurs to them shortly before the case interview with applicants feeling like they need to “cram.” For the most part, the case study portion of the interview process is designed to test your communication and critical thinking skills, your general business acumen, and your ability to solve problems creatively.

For example, firms may want you to be able to understand a case interview graph and communicate the key insight, but all the facts and data is generally given to you. Most of the technical knowledge required will involve the things you spent your whole time in school and in the workforce learning. But there are some specific statistics, facts, and figures you’ll want to brush up on before the case interview. We’ll walk you through some of them here.

What Facts and Statistics Should I Know for the Case Interview?

The case interview is not designed to test your intricate knowledge of recent market activity, exchange rates, complex economic figures, or anything along those lines. Yes, you might need to analyze case interview graphs of some sort during the process, but your case study preparation should not focus on specific economic analyses or complex concepts. But as you go about the case study preparation process, there are some statistics you’ll be counted on to have memorized.

For the most part, these are simple figures to do with population sizes, GDP, and some basic demographic information for major international markets. These are the sorts of things a trustworthy consultant would know offhand, without having to reference. Assuming you’re interviewing for a consulting firm in the United States, the bulk of the information you’ll need to know will be figures related to the US, its main trading partners & competitors, as well as certain global figures.

World Population

You’ll be expected to know the approximate global population (7.4 billion), the Gross World Product (basically the sum total of all the world’s GDPs, about $85 trillion in US Dollars), as well as the global life expectancy (about 71 years old).

World Statistics To Know For Case Interview:

  • Global Population: 7.4 billion
  • Gross World Product: $85 Trillion (USD)
  • Global Life Expectancy: 71 Years

USA Population

The US has the world’s biggest economy, with a GDP of $20.5 trillion, a population of 330 million people, and a life expectancy of 80 years. Beyond those stats, there are some additional figures it’ll be helpful to learn about the US. For instance, the US has 124 million households, with an average household size between 2.5-3 people, and a median household income of $50,000. Roughly 30% of the US population has a bachelor’s degree, 25% are under the age of 18, and 13% are senior citizens (65 or older). The smartphone penetration rate is about 70% and the annual rate of growth in GDP is roughly 2%. The most populous cities are New York City (8.4 million people), Los Angeles (3.4 million), and Chicago (2.9 million). The standard corporate tax rate is 35%. Case interview graphs would commonly deal with these types of figures.

USA Statistics To Know For Case Interview:

  • USA GDP: $20.5 Trillion
  • USA Population: 330 Million
  • USA Life Expectancy: 80 Years

Population of Asia

Asia is the most populous continent, with 4.4 billion people. China is the world’s most populous country, with 1.4 billion people, and the world’s second largest economy, with a GDP of over $15 trillion. India is the second most populous country, with 1.3 billion people, and a GDP of $3 trillion. Japan is the world’s third largest economy, with a GDP of $5.8 trillion, and a population of 126 million people. Japan also has the world’s highest life expectancy, at 84 years.

Asia Statistics To Know For Case Interview:

  • Asia Population: 4.4 Billion
  • China Population: 1.4 Billion
  • China GDP: $15 Trillion
  • India Population: 1.3 Billion
  • India GDP: $3 Trillion
  • Japan Population: 126 Million
  • Japan GDP: 5.8 Trillion
  • Japan Life Expectancy: 84 Years

Europe Population

All told, over 740 million people live in Europe. Europe also has several of the world’s most powerful economies. Germany is the world’s fourth largest economy, with a GDP of $4.5 trillion and a population of 83 million people. France’s population is 67 million and its GDP is $2.7 trillion.

Europe Statistics To Know For Case Interview:

  • Europe Population: 740 Million
  • Germany Population: 83 Million
  • Germany GDP: $4.5 Trillion
  • France Population: 67 Million
  • France GDP: $2.7 Trillion

UK Population

The UK is one of the largest countries and economies in “Europe,” although business people often talk of the UK separately from “the continent” of Europe. The UK has a population of 64 million people and a GDP of $2.8 trillion.

UK Statistics To Know For Case Interview:

  • UK Population: 64 Million
  • UK GDP: $2.8 Trillion

Africa

While no single African country is as economically relevant to the United States as, say, China or the United Kingdom, the continent taken as a whole is highly relevant. The population of the African continent is 1.3 billion people, and the collective GDP is $2.6 trillion.

Africa Statistics To Know For Case Interview:

  • Africa Population: 1.3 Billion
  • Africa GDP: $2.6 Trillion

Latin America

Latin America has a total population of 626 million people. The largest national economies are Brazil (GDP: $2.25 trillion) and Mexico (GDP: $1.2 trillion).

Latin America Statistics To Know For Case Interview:

  • Latin America Population: 626 Million
  • Brazil Population: 210 Million
  • Brazil GDP: $2.25 Trillion
  • Mexico Population: 128 Million
  • Mexico GDP: $1.2 Trillion

Tip: Overall, aim to know the populations of 2 countries per continent (on top of India and China). These will give you good benchmarks for the rest of the continent.

Mathematical Figures

There probably won’t be much time in your case study preparation to learn a totally new mathematical or statistical discipline. Instead, just try to quickly brush up on the knowledge you gained in the math, business, and econ classes you took in college and grad school. Further, take a look at some practice case study questions to make sure you haven’t lost any fluency when it comes to reading graphs and charts, as case interview graphs are common. It’s also a good idea to make sure you know the rough percentage-equivalents for fractions between ½ (50%) and 1/20 (5%) – this is where our free math drills really help.

Conclusion

It might seem like business consultants working at the top firms must know everything, from the morning’s exchange rates to the share prices of each of the S&P 500 companies. But really, even successful consultants have to look for information everyday. So don’t think you have to have the whole world memorized in order to ace your case interview. Really, you just want to demonstrate your knowledge of some of the most economically relevant statistics for the world’s major economies. So, while there are some basic figures and statistics you need to know for your case interview, this is to give you the ability to dive right into problems and show off your fluency with the world of business and economics. You can’t expect a major consulting firm to hire you if it seems like you were born yesterday.

https://managementconsulted.com/statistics-to-know-for-case-interview/

By Denise Byrnes
Denise Byrnes Associate Director Denise Byrnes