Case situation note taking

At the beginning of a case, the interviewer will tell you about the situation / problem a company is facing and needs help with. During that part of the case, it's important that you take notes to remember the key information. However, taking too many notes can actually play against you as it will decrease the mental bandwidth you have available to listen to the interviewer.

Our recommendation during the situation is to focus on listening first, and to take notes as a second priority. You can achieve this by focusing your notes on the following things:

  • Keywords. You should write down things like the company name, the industry, and keywords related to the problem / objective of the case. Avoid writing full sentences, focus on just words that feel important when your interviewer tells you about the situation.
  • Number and units. You should write down all numbers that your interviewer talks about and the corresponding units. In virtually all cases you will need to use these numbers later on in the interview.

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