Recently a student sent me this case interview practice suggestion about recording and then analyzing your own performance in a case interview. I think this is a great idea and wish I had thought if it myself when I was preparing.

Below is the student’s tip as well as my response where I go into a little more detail on how this tip is beneficial.

Practice Tip:

“I have benefited very much from your “Look Over My Shoulder®” (LOMS) program.

One of my case practice partners told me about it and we have both (separately) purchased it.

I want to let you know how I am using it, as it may be a useful methodology for some of your other clients.

My friend actually purchased LOMS before I did.  So, he has been giving me the cases which you used for LOMS and I have been recording these practice sessions (using Audacity… a “totally awesome” freeware program for recording audio on alaptop/pc).

Once I have my practice session, I then listen to the example sessions from LOMS.  Then I listen to my own performance on the case.  This has been very helpful for me.

I realize that this methodology requires that one has a partner who has just listened/studied the LOMS cases without actually doing the case. I fortunately have that situation.

Note: My service now offers LOMS buyers the option of practicing with other LOMS buyers so it is very easy to find a partner that can do this with you)

My Response:

Thanks for passing along the suggestion.

I wish I had thought of this when I was preparing. The closest I ever came to this was taking a public speaking course in college, which included video tape analysis. It’s one thing to know what to do, it’s another thing to see yourself (literally) doing it… or in my case not doing it correctly.  I got better so much faster and when I did make mistakes, I was very aware of it — and it made it much easier to correct.

If you look at the language patterns and thought patterns of the candidates’ interviews in Look Over My Shoulder®, you’ll notice that there absolutely IS a pattern of how candidates dig themselves into a “hole” that’s difficult to recover from.

In particular, the point at which a candidate is “stuck” is not where the mistake was made. Being stuck is simply a symptom of a mistake made much earlier in the interview — 10-20 minutes earlier.

The problem is in the middle of the interview, a candidate cannot see this connection (though they all universally get it after the fact, when they’ve had some time to reflect on the approach they took).

In the middle of a live interview, it’s very hard to be self-aware and critical of your decisions. It is the review of your response after the fact that can help engineer bad habits out of you which is why this practice tip of recording your response and then listening and analyzing is such a good idea.