Roland Berger interviews consist of case interviews and behavioral or fit interview questions. You may also get a group case interview. The interview process is quite rigorous and there are typically two rounds of interviews before an offer decision is made.
- First round: Two 30- to 40-minute interviews with more junior consultants. A few behavioral or fit interview questions may be asked, but most of the time will be spent solving case interviews.
- Second round: Three 30- to 40-minute interviews with more senior consultants. One of these interviews will be focused on behavioral or fit interview questions while the remaining two interviews are focused on case interviews. There may also be an additional group case interview.
If you have an upcoming interview with Roland Berger, we have you covered. In this article, we’ll walk you through:
- The 6 steps to solve any Roland Berger case interview
- Roland Berger case interview examples
- How to ace the Roland Berger group case interview
- The 10 most common behavioral or fit interview questions
- Recommended case interview prep resources
The 6 Steps to Solve Any Roland Berger Case Interview
You will not receive a consulting job offer from Roland Berger unless you nail every single case interview.
A case interview is a special type of interview that every single consulting firm uses. Roland Berger’s case interviews simulate the consulting job by placing you in a hypothetical business situation where you are asked to solve a business problem.
Roland Berger’s case interviews are generally candidate-led. This means that you will be expected to lead the direction of the case. You’ll be responsible for asking the right questions, probing for data, and proposing each next step.
Roland Berger’s case interviews can cover any industry or any function. Although you cannot predict the exact case interview question, each case interview follows a similar flow and structure.
Roland Berger’s website provides some tips and tricks on how to tackle case interviews, but their advice is fairly broad and generic.
Instead, you can follow these six steps to solve any Roland Berger case interview.
1. Understand the case
Your Roland Berger case interview will begin with the interviewer giving you the case background information. While the interviewer is speaking, make sure that you are taking meticulous notes on the most important pieces of information. Focus on understanding the context of the situation and the objective of the case.
Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions if you do not understand something. You may want to summarize the case background information back to the interviewer to confirm your understanding of the case.
The most important part of this step is to verify the objective of the case. Not answering the right business question is the quickest way to fail a case interview.
2. Structure the problem
The next step is to develop a framework to help you solve the case. A framework is a tool that helps you structure and break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable components. Another way to think about frameworks is brainstorming different ideas and organizing them into different categories.
Before you start developing your framework, it is completely acceptable to ask the interviewer for a few minutes so that you can collect your thoughts and think about the problem.
Once you have identified the major issues or areas that you need to explore, walk the interviewer through your framework. They may ask a few questions or provide some feedback.
3. Kick off the case
Once you have finished presenting your framework, you’ll start diving into different areas of your framework to begin solving the case. How this process will start depends on whether the case interview is candidate-led or interviewer-led.
If the case interview is a candidate-led case, you’ll be expected to propose what area of your framework to start investigating. So, propose an area and provide a reason for why you want to start with that area. There is generally no right or wrong area of your framework to pick first.
If the case interview is interviewer-led, the interviewer will tell you what area of the framework to start in or directly give you a question to answer.
4. Solve quantitative problems
Roland Berger case interviews may have some quantitative aspect to them. For example, you may be asked to calculate a certain profitability or financial metric. You could also be asked to estimate the size of a particular market or to estimate a particular figure.
The key to solving quantitative problems is to lay out a structure or approach upfront with the interviewer before doing any math calculations. If you lay out and present your structure to solve the quantitative problem and the interviewer approves of it, the rest of the problem is just simple execution of math.
5. Answer qualitative questions
Roland Berger case interviews may also have qualitative aspects to them. You may be asked to brainstorm a list of potential ideas. You could also be asked to provide your opinion on a business issue or situation.
The key to answering qualitative questions is to structure your answer. When brainstorming a list of ideas, develop a structure to help you neatly categorize all of your ideas. When giving your opinion on a business issue or situation, provide a summary of your stance or position and then enumerate the reasons that support it.
6. Deliver a recommendation
In the last step of the Roland Berger case interview, you’ll present your recommendation and provide the major reasons that support it. You do not need to recap everything that you have done in the case, so focus on only summarizing the facts that are most important.
It is also good practice to include potential next steps that you would take if you had more time or data. These can be areas of your framework that you did not have time to explore or lingering questions that you do not have great answers for.
Roland Berger Case Interview Examples
Roland Berger provides two examples of case interviews on their website. They are linked below:
- Transit-oriented development case: This profitability case focuses on helping a local public transit operator improve its profits. This case is split into two videos, part one and part two.
- 3D printed hip implant case: This market entry case focuses on helping the client assess whether additive manufacturing and the selling of hip implants is an attractive business. This case is split into two videos, part one and part two.
In addition to these examples, we have compiled case interviews that Roland Berger has given to candidates in the past. These should give you an example of the types of industries and questions you could see in your upcoming interview.
Example #1: Organic meat producer to enter meat processing business
Your client runs a small agriculture business in Kansas. They sell organic grass-fed beef to high-end restaurants and boutique supermarkets. Revenue growth is strong, but profits are shrinking.
Your client is considering entering the meat processing business to curb against shrinking profits and take full control of their product. Should they enter the meat processing business?
Example #2: Improving customer satisfaction index
Maersk is a big logistic company that is the largest container ship operator and supply vessel operator in the world. Maersk wants to improve their customer satisfaction index. What should they do?
Example #3: Drug inventory software company acquisition
Our client is an information technology and software corporation that provides technology software to retail pharmacies and drug stores. Their primary product is a highly customizable drug inventory tracking system. Due to the necessary customization, the time from sale to delivery is 12 months on average.
Recently, the CEO of the company is considering buying a competitor that sells similar drug inventory tracking products to pharmacies. However, their product is less customizable and the average time from sale to delivery is only 2 months.
Should this acquisition be made? Why or why not?
Example #4: Meeting surged demand
A North American brewing company is famous for over ten brands of beer. Recently, demand for one of their beer brands has skyrocketed due to exposure on a popular American sitcom. The CEO of the company wants your help to adapt to the increase in demand.
What recommendations would you give?
Example #5: App growth strategy
Our client is a software and information technology company that provides an on-demand video communication service that uses portable devices such as laptop web cameras or smartphones to provide sign language or foreign language interpreting services to customers in need.
Over the past few years, our client has found success in the airline industry, establishing a business partnership with every major airline company. Now, the CEO wants to grow their business even further and wants your advice on developing a viable growth strategy.
Example #6: Coal profitability decline
Your client is an electricity company that services almost two-thirds of households in the American Midwest. Our client has 15 plants that produce electricity using coal obtained from their own coal mines and from third party coal providers.
Recently, the client has seen the profitability from their coal generated electricity decline. What is causing this and what should they do about it?
How to Ace the Roland Berger Group Case Interview
For some offices, Roland Berger uses a group case interview in their final round of interviews. This special type of case interview focuses on assessing how well you can collaborate and work with other people. Teamwork is an essential skill to have.
Here’s what you should expect:
- You’ll be put into a group with 3 to 5 other candidates
- The interviewer will hand out the case background materials
- You’ll have 10 to 15 minutes to review the materials and prepare
- The group will have an open discussion for 15 to 20 minutes
- During this discussion, interviewers will be observing candidates and will not interfere
- Afterwards, the interviewer will ask the group specific questions for 15 to 20 minutes
Your goal in a group case interview is to add value to the group. There are six different ways that you can do this:
- Lead or facilitate the discussion: You can propose what topics to discuss, the order they should be discussed in, and how much time should be allocated towards each topic. If the group gets off track, you can bring the group’s focus back together.
- Expand upon other people’s ideas: If a group member suggests a great idea or raises a good point, build upon it and make it even better.
- Synthesize information: You can summarize information that other people have said and reconcile different viewpoints and ideas together.
- Keep track of time: You can volunteer to keep track of time and make sure that the group is on track.
- Play devil’s advocate: You can help your group develop strong ideas by testing the team’s thinking by considering potential risks or downsides of their ideas.
- Take notes: You can keep track of what other people are saying so that you can recall what has been discussed if any group members have questions.
An important thing to remember about group case interviews is to treat your group members as teammates instead of competition. This is not an exercise in which you are competing with others.
Interviewers are trying to determine whether you would be a great teammate. Multiple people or even all people in your group can receive job offers. Therefore, focus on adding value to the group rather than on making yourself look better than your group members.
The 10 Most Common Behavioral or Fit Interview Questions
In addition to case interviews, you will also be asked behavioral or fit interview questions. There are ten questions that Roland Berger most commonly asks candidates.
1. Why are you interested in working at Roland Berger?
How to answer: Have at least three reasons why you’re interested in working at Roland Berger. You can speak to their expertise in the automobile and industrial industries. You can talk about the professional development and mentorship opportunities. Finally, you can speak to their entrepreneurial, empathetic, and grounded work culture.
2. Why do you want to work in consulting?
How to answer: Again, have three reasons why you’re interested in consulting. You could mention the fast career growth opportunity, the opportunity to develop soft and hard skills, or the level of impact that you can make by working with large companies on their most challenging issues.
3. Walk me through your resume
How to answer: Provide a concise summary of your work experience, starting with the most recent. Focus on emphasizing your most impressive and unique accomplishments. At the end, tie your experiences to why you are interested in consulting.
4. What is your proudest achievement?
How to answer: Choose your most impressive, unique, or memorable accomplishment. Structure your answer by providing information on the situation, the task, the actions you took, and the results of your work.
5. What is something that you are proud of that is not on your resume?
How to answer: This is a great opportunity to highlight an accomplishment that is not related to your professional work experience. Perhaps there is a non-profit that you volunteer at, a side project or business that you work on, or a hobby that you have won awards or recognition for. Choose something that is impressive and interesting.
6. Tell me about a time when you led a team.
How to answer: If possible, choose a time when you directly managed a person or a team. For this question and the following questions, make sure that you structure your answer. Structure your answer by providing information on the situation, the task, the actions you took, and the results of your work. This is known as the STAR method and is commonly used to answer behavioral or fit interview questions.
7. Give an example of a time when you faced conflict or a disagreement.
How to answer: When answering this question, focus on emphasizing the steps you took to resolve the conflict or disagreement. Speak to the interpersonal skills you had to use in order to mediate the situation. Interviewers want to know that you are a great mediator and that you can handle conflict in a constructive way.
8. Tell me about a time when you had to persuade someone.
How to answer: Choose a time when you were able to change someone’s mind. Focus on emphasizing the steps that you took to persuade that person and what impact and results this had. Interviewers want to know that you are a great communicator and a good people person.
9. Describe a time when you failed.
How to answer: Choose a time when you failed to meet a deadline or did not meet expectations. Focus on emphasizing what you learned from the experience and how you used that experience to deliver even better results in the next opportunity that you got. Interviewers want to see that you don’t get discouraged from failure and that you treat those experiences as learning opportunities.
10. What questions do you have for me?
How to answer: This is a great opportunity to get to know the interviewer on a more personal level. Ask them questions about their experience in consulting or their career. Express genuine interest in what they have to share and ask follow-up questions. The more you can get the interviewer talking about themself, the more likely they will have a positive impression of you.
Recommended Case Interview Prep Resources
We hope that you found this article on Roland Berger case interviews helpful. If you are considering which resources to use in your case interview prep, we recommend the following:
- One Week Case Interview Course: A comprehensive case interview course that condenses all of the case interview strategies, techniques, and practice you need into a 15 – 25 hour course. Learn through 50+ concise video lessons and 20 full-length practice cases with detailed solutions.
- Hacking the Case Interview: In this book, learn exactly what to do and what to say in every step of the case interview. This is the perfect book for beginners that are looking to learn the basics of case interviews quickly.
- The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook: In this book, hone your case interview skills through 65+ problems tailored towards each type of question asked in case interviews and 15 full-length cases based on real case interviews. This book is great for intermediates looking to get quality practice.