EY-Parthenon is, today, one of the largest global strategy consulting organizations, with more than 7,000 constants. It’s bigger than BCG or Bain. The firm has its roots in accounting, with Ernst and Young. EY-Parthenon is the strategy arm of a huge company that also provides operational and technology consulting, corporate finance advisory, tax, audit, and assurance services. The EY-Parthenon Case Interview is a pivotal step for aspiring consultants who wish to work for this world-renowned firm. Aspiring management consultants often wonder what to expect from the EY-Parthenon case interview process. To be honest, it’s not that different from the case interview process at other top firms. But it has its unique elements which we’ll cover below.
Here’s a quick overview. The case study interview process at EY-Parthenon is designed to test your analytical and problem-solving skills. You can expect to be presented with a business problem that will require you to use data interpretation, Excel modeling, and other skills to come up with a solution. The interviewer will be looking for evidence of your ability to think critically, structure a clear and convincing argument, and communicate effectively. While the case interview may seem daunting at first, it’s important to remember that the interviewer is not looking for a ‘right’ answer, but rather for evidence of your potential as a consultant. With some preparation and practice, you will be able to showcase your skills and impress the interviewer.
EY-Parthenon is widely known for their rigorous and challenging case interview process. In this article, we will explore the core skills that EY-Parthenon looks for when hiring their consultants, as well as a detailed description of what to expect during the case interview process and our tips for crushing it.
Keys To The EY-Parthenon Case Study Interview
These are our keys to the EY-Parthenon Case Study Interview:
- Don’t ignore the behavioral questions
- The final round of the interview at EY is known to be behavioral-heavy. Be prepared for questions of fit, even as you fundamentally focus on preparing for the EP-Parthenon case interview.
- The classic study, recommend, defend approach is utilized by interviewers during the EY case study interview.
- In addition to observing your critical thinking and logic skills, they are looking for specific personality traits during the EY-Parthenon case interview. Try to show off the following traits when you share stories about yourself and answer questions:
- Strong communicator
- Team player
- Consider trade-offs and verbalize those when weighing decisions.
- The interviewers want to see your thought process. One of the biggest mistakes made during case interviews is not writing things down or talking things out to demonstrate to the interviewer how you are approaching the problem. If you just stare and think, the interview has no idea if you are tracking or how you came up with your recommendation or answer. Verbalizing your thought process shows them that you are an analytical thinker who can see problems from a variety of perspectives and make decisions on which route is the best way to go.
Core Skills EY-Parthenon Is Looking For
The EY-Parthenon case interview is designed to test a range of skills that are essential for success as a management consultant. EY-Parthenon places a strong emphasis on analytical skills. Their case interviews are designed to test a candidate’s ability to think logically and critically about complex problems. EY-Parthenon also looks for candidates with strong verbal and written communication skills. As consultants, they will be required to present their findings and recommendations to clients in a clear and concise manner. Lastly, EY-Parthenon also looks for candidates who are team players and have the ability to work effectively in a collaborative environment.
While the EY-Parthenon case interview can be daunting, it is important to remember that they are looking for a certain set of skills that are essential for success as a management consultant. This isn’t just about testing and evaluating. It’s also about seeing if you are genuinely a good fit for the job. By preparing in advance and demonstrating these core skills, you will increase your chances of impressing the EY-Parthenon recruiters and landing a job offer.
What To Expect In A EY-Parthenon Case Interview
The EY-Parthenon case interview is designed to test your ability to think on your feet and navigate complex business problems. Again, this is something management consultants must do almost every day. To prepare for the EY-Parthenon case interview, you should first familiarize yourself with the structure of the EY-Parthenon interview. The EY-Parthenon case interview is divided into three sections: the describe, the recommend, and the defend. In the describe section, you will be given a brief description of a business problem. In the recommend section, you will be asked to recommend a course of action. In the defend section, you will be asked to defend your recommendation. To ace the EY-Parthenon case interview, you need to be able to think critically and quickly. You also need to be able to articulate your thoughts clearly and persuasively.
EY-Parthenon Case Interview Timeline
The EY-Parthenon case interview timeline is relatively straightforward. After an initial application with a resume and cover letter, expect the following two-or-three round process:
Round one: A 30-minute recruiter call primarily focused on fit and behavioral questions.
Round two: Two 30-minute interviews with a consultant or a manager at the firm. One is a behavioral interview and the other is an individual case interview.
Round three: three 30-45 minute interviews with a manager or a partner at the firm. One is a group case interview, one is a focused, individual case interview, and one is a behavioral/fit interview. The questions will mostly be different from this round to the one prior, with a different case to be reviewed.
After that, you will either be notified that you will be receiving a job offer, or that you have not been selected.
EY-Parthenon Case Interview Framework
Developing EY-Parthenon case interview frameworks will make the case interview process run smoothly and efficiently. A framework creates structure and allows you to break down complicated questions into simpler components. Putting these ideas into categories allows organization for the case interview process. Expect the interviewer to ask about your framework and provide feedback- make sure to think carefully about selecting a framework that is appropriate for the objective of the case. But more than just memorizing a framework, it’s important to have a command of all the frameworks. Then assess the business problem and use relevant parts of different frameworks to match the problem, essentially creating a custom framework.
In fact, one of the ways an otherwise well-prepared interviewee can go wrong is to be over reliant on a predetermined framework. Some common frameworks include:
- Profitability = revenue – costs, with costs sometimes split into fixed vs. variable
- Porter five forces for determining the attractiveness of a market: competitive intensity, substitutes, supplier power, new entrants, customer power
- SWOT: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats
- 4Ps for marketing: price, placement, promotion, product
- See more here.
But choosing to use a framework that doesn’t fit the situation can actually do more harm than good. Also, a more complex or fancy framework isn’t always better. If you simply say, you know, I’m going to evaluate this situation from an internal and an external perspective, that’s structure. That’s a framework. And that can be a better option, perhaps, than a more complex framework.
Each candidate is given a 15-20 page informational pack and 10 minutes to sift through the key points. Be prepared to ask three high-quality questions based on the information you’ve read.
EY-Parthenon Interview Questions
EY interview questions for the case interview are, of course, specific to each case, so they will be different from interview to interview. Questions may look like the following:
- A health insurance company is interested in entering the market in Indonesia. Should they do so? Why or why not?
Or something like this:
- A car company is opening a new plant in the United States. They are choosing between Indiana and Arkansas. Which state is more beneficial to their needs? (You will be given information about their sales, as well as state real estate prices and other relevant information.)
A math question could be something like this:
- A client has inherited $1 million dollars and they want to invest in real estate. They are interested in doing so on a tropical island, specifically a $100,000 investment in property in Puerto Rico. Would you recommend this? Would another spot be better?
Or something like this:
- A client has $400,000 saved, and wants to know whether an investment in green energy or oil is a more lucrative investment, and which markets to jump into. What would you advise?
See sample case interviews in the MC Case Bank here.
EY-Parthenon Case Interview Behavioral/FIT Questions
The EY-Parthenon behavioral interview questions are on-par with what you can expect from an interview for any top-tier management consultant. Be prepared to answer the following questions:
- Why EY-Parthenon?
- Walk me through your resume.
- Why consulting?
- What accomplishment are you most proud of?
- Tell me about a time when you had to lead a team.
- Tell me about something that is not on your resume.
- Describe a time when you faced conflict or disagreement.
- Tell me about a time when you failed.
- Give an example of a time when you successfully persuaded someone.
- Are there any questions that you have for me?
- This answer must always be YES! This is a chance to show that you’ve researched the company. Ask about a previous project they did, or a setback they had to overcome, or something specific to their operations.
EY Video Interview Questions
We scoured the internet so you don’t have to. Here are some potential EY video interview questions based on what’s been asked in the past:
- Describe how you approach learning and applying a new skill.
- Tell me how you approach explaining complex things in simple terms.
- Tell me about a time when you stepped up as a leader.
There are more videos on cases and the case interview here in our YouTube channel.
EY-Parthenon Case Interview Prep
Preparation is key to ace the EY-Parthenon case interview. While it may have similarities to companies like Bain or BCG, the EY process requires specific preparation. The company wants to know that EY is your top choice (even if it isn’t), so make sure to express your interest in the company by knowing specifics about their work, accomplishments, and practice areas. Here are five key points to consider for EY case interview prep:
Make sure you understand the case
Immediately be prepared to take notes on the key pieces of information related to the case. Hone in on the context of the situation, the objective of the case, and the company involved.
Confirm the objective
This is absolutely critical. If you aren’t 100% clear on the objective, then anything ensuing can be inaccurate and unrelated to the company’s goal. Ask clarifying questions as needed to make sure that you understand completely.
Develop some sort of framework or basic structure for answering the questions and working the case
See above- frameworks are incredibly helpful to staying on course.
Form and test a hypothesis
This is the bulk of the case interview. Developing a relevant hypothesis that can solve the company’s core problem, and then testing that hypothesis, is the crux of the case interview process.
Recommend a solution
Presenting the recommendation is the final section of the case interview. Do not simply recap the case- the interviewer knows what the case is about. Rather, make a clear recommendation. Justify the decision you’ve made for the company with evidence as to why that would work. Relate this recommendation to the original objective. If possible, provide next steps beyond the recommendation for implementation options.
Also, note that case interviews at EY-Parthenon tend to be candidate-led. The style is similar to how BCG or Bain approaches the case interview. McKinsey, on the other hand, may tend to use more interviewer-led cases. A candidate-led case simply means that you need to ask the right questions to get to the type of data you’ll need from the interviewer to crack the case.
Alternatively, in an interviewer-led case, the person conducting the interview will more forcefully take charge and ask specific math-based or qualitative questions about the case.
EY-Parthenon Case Study Interview Examples
There are different EY case study interview examples depending on the type of question. For a market sizing question, you may expect something like “How many people use Tik Tok per day in the US?” Estimating the global market for different products, and other brain teasers, do occur.
But, just as often, given its propensity to use candidate-led cases, the interviewer might simply ask you to evaluate a situation faced by an actual client the interviewer has worked with in the past. They might ask how to improve the profitability of a distributor, whether a client should enter a new geography, or how to advise a client on how to gain market share.
EY-Parthenon Interview Variations
There are not a ton of ways that EY case interview prep varies from other top management consulting firms. However know that application of data, business acumen, approach, analytical and creative thinking, and communication skills will be tested. The specific structure of the EY interview is as follows:
- Presented with a problem
- Analysis of root cause
- Create and validate the hypothesis
- Math calculations (not always)
- Test of creativity (not always)
Also, while above we stated that EY-Parthenon cases tend to be candidate-led, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, they can be more interviewer led.
Variations in the case interview are often driven by the role that the candidate is applying for. Below are some examples:
EY Technology Consulting Interview
As for the EY technology consulting interview, there are some different qualifications and skills being looked for that are specific to dealing with technology. Being aware of tech news and tech developments worldwide is a major advantage for aspiring tech consultants at EY. Consider having a social media account that only follows major tech news and tech companies. Even simply reading the major headlines and synthesizing the information can give a general awareness of the state of tech worldwide.
EY-Parthenon Written Case Interview
The EY Parthenon written case interview is a verbal reasoning test for all candidates. This is a standard practice for management consulting interviews. Strong language skills are a prerequisite of being a consultant, being such a face-to-face position. The written portion will also test situational judgment skills. This will be targeted to the specific consulting role that you are applying for. Expect to analyze various job scenarios, similar to the speaking interview section.
EY-Parthenon Group Case Interview
Expect the following for the EY Parthenon group case interview.
- You will be in a group of 3-5 applicants.
- Interviewers will observe the entire process.
- You are allotted one hour to review case background materials, debate with the group, and prepare a 15-minute presentation.
- Present your 15-minute presentation. Every group member should speak.
- The interviewer will probe with follow-up questions.
Guidelines to Ensuring a Solid Performance:
- Don’t dominate the conversation, but take the spotlight when appropriate.
- You don’t want to come off as a person who likes to hear themselves talk and doesn’t listen to others, but you also don’t want to let others completely take charge, because the interviewers won’t get to see you solving the problems and coming to conclusions if you don’t verbalize.
- Treat the group members as teammates, not competitors
- The case interview is designed to be collaborative. Ultimately, you need these people to show off your problem-solving skills and your ability to work mindfully with others.
- Don’t talk over other people
- Listening is a key part of the process. Take what others say and build off of it, or challenge it if you don’t think it’s the best route to take.
- Involve group members
- Ultimately, this is a collaborative process. Show that you are secure enough in your performance to give other people airtime. This demonstrates that you are a thoughtful and considerate team member.
- Don’t spend too much time interviewing silently as a group
- The goal is to show that you can take initiative and sift through the core elements of the case quickly. Group discussion is your opportunity to shine, so get to that portion ASAP
- Don’t dominate the conversation, but take the spotlight when appropriate.
Ways to Impress the Interviewers:
- Synthesize information that other people have brought up and reconcile opposing takes or ideas together. This shows that you’re a quick and analytical thinker who can connect the dots.
- Volunteer to manage the clock to ensure that the group doesn’t spend too much time on one part of the process
- Take notes so you can bring up key pivotal moments if asked about the process later
- Play devil’s advocate to stimulate debate and demonstrate that you can see the “other side” of the case, but be careful to not sound argumentative
- Expand on someone else’s idea to strengthen the argument to show critical thinking and collaborative skills.
Applying to be a management consultant can be a daunting task. Not only do you need to have the right skills and experience, but you also need to be able to demonstrate your analytical and problem-solving abilities. EY-Parthenon case interviews are an important part of the EY management consulting interview process. A successful case interview will demonstrate your problem solving, analytical, and communication skills.
To prepare for your interview, familiarize yourself with the EY culture and values, and review common EY-Parthenon case interview questions. During the EY-Parthenon case interview, you will be asked to solve a business problem through analysis and presentation. Be sure to structure your argument clearly and support your recommendations with data.
Practice makes perfect, so consider doing a few mock EY-Parthenon case interviews with friends or family before your real EY-Parthenon case interview. Better yet, hire an case coach that will give you expert feedback. With preparation and practice, you can ace your EY-Parthenon case interview and take one step closer to becoming a management consultant at EY.
- What are Behavioral Interviews?
- Case Interviews 101: Interviewer Led vs. Interviewee Led Cases
- Case Interview Frameworks: Ultimate Guide
- Case Interview: Complete Prep Guide