I have recently become aware of your website and all the wonderful help that you offer . . . thank God!!!

I have been following closely and have recently purchased LOMS.

I now have an interview in a week’s time with one of the big four firms. It’s a miracle that I even got the invite (considering I have applied a hundred times before to big 4 firms and have never got an invite) – I used your tips for writing a cover letter.

I am nothing like most of the poeple your work is directed at, no target schools or any such admirable qualities but I am a qualified accountant with 6 years post qualification experience in public sector – local government precisely. I applied via the experienced hires route and the role is “financial management – advisor – public sector.”

I have asked the HR advisor if she can give me some more information about my interview but all she has advised is that it is a first round interview that is competency based and should last for about an hour. I have the details of the interviewer, time, place, etc.

I have asked if this will involve cases but she has either chosen not to respond or forgotten to do so.

Should I just go ahead and assume it will be a case interview? I’m already listening to/practising with the LOMS and hope to have done so a few times by the time of the interview, or should I persist in asking the HR person – will it count against me that I didn’t persist in asking or are they assuming that I should know because I’m an experienced hire?

Also, considering I’m being recruited to join their public sector advisory team, will the same kind of cases in the LOMS apply (as they are all profit making companies) and public sector companies are usually non-profit?

Please advise.

My Reply:

To be conservative, you have to assume you will get a case. When you use LOMS, try to focus on the underlying principles at play rather than the specific techniques.

(Organizing your thoughts into logical groupings, taking a complex problem and separating the problem into component parts, solving each part one at a time driven by a hypothesis.)

I would also recommend reading Chapter 9 in my Case Interview Secrets book on “The Issue Tree.” That is where I cover that topic in the most specific and current detail. If you get government or non-profit cases, you most likely won’t be using the frameworks in LOMS (though the overall approach in LOMS is VERY useful for you to learn). You want to get accustomed to creating your own issue tree or custom framework.

If you persist in asking the HR person for more info or don’t, it won’t count against you either way. Just don’t be annoying and be prepared for anything (I know it’s not what you want to hear, but it is the truth).