Advancements in technology have made their way into the case interview process. The interview chatbot is one tool that, at least in part, attempts to substitute human functions in the interview process. To date, BCG is the leader in utilizing a chatbot case (known as Casey Chatbot) in the consulting space. The BCG chatbot case hasn’t yet been rolled out across levels and geographies, but we expect that this could happen by 2023.
An interview chatbot can either be pre-programmed or be controlled by AI (artificial intelligence). But what is the chatbot and – more importantly – should you be using it as a tool to prepare for case interviews?
What Is An Interview Chatbot?
An interview chatbot, whether it is AI-powered or otherwise, is a piece of software mimicking human interaction for the purposes of candidate evaluation. Depending on the degree of sophistication, candidates interacting with chatbot software may feel like they are interacting with a human being. This all depends on the range of responses it is capable of handling. The chatbot case interview isn’t dynamic – no matter your responses, it will move you on to the next predefined part of the case. So, chatbot case interviews are interviewer-led!
Considerations In Using Interview Chatbots for Case Prep
Some companies have rolled out case training chatbots that help consulting candidates prep for case interviews. In fact, we recently launched one at Management Consulted! It is a part of our Black Belt and All Access Pass packages, as well as available to our university partners.
While the concept seems cool, is it an effective alternative to traditional case prep methods? Let’s explore.
Benefits of Interview Chatbots
Interview chatbots used in case prep have the potential to lessen the need for human case practice partners. You can work with an AI chatbot instead of working with non-expert peers.
In addition, an interview chatbot eliminates human bias. You don’t run the risk of a friend going easy on you or giving harmful feedback.
Finally, if you’re interviewing at BCG, it will be helpful to do a handful of chatbot cases to gain experience with the unique format prior to the real thing. Beware, though – any chatbot practice case that doesn’t include a timer won’t prepare you. One of the most difficult aspects of the BCG chatbot case is that you only have 25 minutes to complete it.
Drawbacks of Interview Chatbots
While chatbots can prove useful, they are yet to reach the stage where they can be trusted without any supervision. A chatbot, AI-powered or otherwise, has some searing limitations when it comes to case interview prep.
Before we discuss the cons of interview prep chatbots, let’s look at how a case interview is structured and the skills it tests for.
A typical case study interview is 30-40 minutes long. In that time, it tests your ability to break down a business problem, structure an approach to solve it, do the necessary mathematical analysis to come to a quantifiable solution, and clearly communicate a final recommendation to the interviewer.
Given this complicated process of conversation and multi-pronged evaluation, chatbots are not yet sophisticated enough to own the entire evaluation process. The range of emotions, the ability to gather human thoughts, and the ability to measure the validity of a response may just be too human for a chatbot to capture and evaluate.
Not to mention, an interview chatbot has limited ability to give feedback – an invaluable piece of the process. Part of the power of a human case partner is the targeted feedback you get to understand your strengths and weaknesses, and where to prioritize in the limited time you possess to prepare.
Human vs Chatbot
The best solution is to work with an expert human partner. Our team of ex-MBB coaches are here to get you ready for your case interviews. They’ve got an 80% success rate and have helped candidates land offers at over 170 firms.
Since the case study interview is used to simulate a client conversation, unless we have AI-powered CEOs, a chatbot is not the best option for this.
Best Way to Prep for Case Studies
The best way to prepare for your upcoming case interview still involves human beings. Because the case interview aims to understand your ability to understand a client’s problems, solve them with limited information, and convince the client of the proposed solution, working with an expert interviewer who has helped others successfully navigate the process is the only way to adequately prepare.
Other Uses for Interview Chatbots
Even if chatbots aren’t the most effective for case prep, there are other valuable use cases for them. Chatbots are what can be termed as the ‘gradual next step’ in the intersection of HR and technology. The growing number of job seekers globally and the sheer volume of applications have prompted companies to look for scalable solutions to increase the number of candidates they evaluate without sacrificing time or quality.
For companies, the most obvious advantage is the ability to process a much larger number of applications. If we think of a recruitment funnel, a chatbot is very useful for weeding out a significant portion of obviously unqualified candidates at the initial stage of the funnel.
An AI-based chatbot can be programmed to check for certain requirements in a candidate to proceed to the next round of the interview process. In addition, chatbots can reduce labor costs by eliminating human interviewers at certain steps of the process.
Additionally, chatbots can eliminate human biases. This allows the recruiters to evaluate numerical results after the fact. Chatbots are not unduly impacted by unconscious bias or a candidate’s likability.
Chatbot case interviews are beginning to pop up in consulting. However, using a chatbot to prepare for your case interview is not the ideal way to prepare. When you work with our team, a Management Consulted expert builds a personalized preparation plan for you and then works with you to execute it through multiple live practice sessions.