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How to take notes in Consulting Case Interview

How to take notes in Consulting Case Interview

In every consulting case interview I do, even before the case actually starts, I pull out three separate pieces of paper, on top of each piece, I write … not necessarily in big letters but very clearly label each as:

Data sheet
Presentation sheet
Scratch

As their names suggest, each sheet is clearly designated to a specific task.

The data sheet is where you note down neatly and ideally, in a table format, all of the information and data provided by the interviewer throughout the case. If you have additional data as the result of analyses or calculations performed, put them into the data sheet too.

The presentation sheet is literally what you use when speaking to interviewers. For example, if you say: “… problem A can be broken down into B and C”, literally draw those on this sheet and point to each one as you speak.

Lastly, the scratch paper is there for anything else you need to write out in interviews… brain storm ideas, calculations, etc. The purpose of this sheet is to make the other two clear and neat. So you don’t have to worry too much about what you write here on this scratch paper.

Notice that these three sheets actually refer to “groups” or “categories” of sheets, not necessarily exactly three pieces of paper. If you run out of paper in each category, feel free to take out a new piece and label them as “data sheet 2”, “presentation sheet 2 “, or “scratch paper x”.

See our Candidate-led Case Interview video for the overview and other important tips in Case Interview!

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  • Jason Chaw

    Great tips on note-taking. Now I have a basic picture of organizing that whole lot of information. Thank you Kim!