The Capital One case interview is an oddity in the banking industry. Capital One is one of the most well known banks in the world, but has adopted the most common recruiting assessment in the consulting industry: the case interview.
However, if you have been recruiting for the finance industry and have not prepared for consulting – have no fear. The Capital One case interview is much less intense than those you would commonly see in management consulting recruiting.
Why Does Capital One Even Have a Case Interview?
Fair question. Founded in 1994, Capital One is now the 10th largest bank in the world in terms of assets held (~$400B). The company has gained its competitive edge through its use and constant analysis of data when deciding how to market to customers and create high quality products. As a result, the company functions as a mix between a technology firm and a bank.
Capital One also has its own in-house consulting strategy group, which is extremely competitive to get into.
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The Capital One Interview Process
There are a wide variety of different interview processes depending on the role you are recruiting for at Capital One. This article focuses on the recruiting process for the following positions:
- Financial Analyst
- Operations Analyst
- Business Analyst
- Data Analyst
For these positions, the recruiting process includes the following 4 steps:
- Resume and cover letter screening
- Online assessment
- First round interview
- Final round on-site interview
The Capital One case interview starts in step 3 – the first round interview. There usually aren’t too many behavioral questions asked during this round. Instead, there is a focus on the case interview.
The final round consists of 4-5 interviews, with 3-4 case interviews and 1 behavioral interview.
Capital One Case Interview Components
The Capital One case interview consists of 3 main components:
- Business situation and framework
- Quantitative question
It’s important to note that Capital One’s case interview is interviewer-led, just like McKinsey. This means that you should do your best to push the case forward as much as you can, but your interviewer will be guiding you throughout most of the case by asking you questions to push your thinking and providing you with data.
Business Situation and Framework
Capital One’s case interview will start with the recruiter providing you with information about a business scenario. Just as in most other cases, the prompt will conclude with a broad question such as, “What are the key factors you would consider when developing a strategy to grow profits for ABC Corporation?”
Your job then is to ask questions to ensure you understand the client’s problems and the relevant context.
After that, you put together a framework to structure the way you want to tackle the problem presented. This framework should be logical and catered to the client’s main objective.
During this next step of Capital One’s case interview, the focus is on math. The interviewer will provide you with data and ask you to calculate information related to the case’s objective.
Note that you likely won’t be given all the information you need. Be sure to ask questions and for additional data – knowing how to ask the right questions and searching for the right data is a big part of the job at Capital One as well.
It’s also a good idea to brush up on your mental and fast math before your interview. Small mistakes in math can completely change your recommendation, so you want to be sure you’re sharp and calculating correctly.
During this final stage of the Capital One case interview, you will be asked to gather the information you’ve just learned and make a recommendation. Your recommendation should be logical, structured, and based on data.
For bonus points, you can also include next steps or mitigations to any risks you foresee. This will show the interviewer that you’re always looking to the future and set you apart from other candidates.
Capital One Case Interview Preparation
See below for some of the resources Capital One provides for its case interviews.
You can also find more Capital One sample cases in the MC Case Library. Within those cases you can see many capital one case interview questions, and how to answer them.
Capital One’s case interview is not as intense as management consulting interviews, but it will still be a challenge for most candidates. The case interview in part helps ensure that the firm only hires people of high caliber, so if you make it to the firm, you know you’ll be surrounded by smart and driven people.
One thing is clear: Capital One is a bank that does things differently – not just in finance but also in its recruiting process. Whether you’re recruiting or not, Capital One teaches us that it’s okay for companies to shake things up and not just go along with the status quo.
- Case Interview: Complete Prep Guide
- Case Interview Frameworks: Ultimate Guide
- Case Interview Math: 3 Tips To Crush It
- Free Case Interview Prep Course