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Case Study Interview Questions and Answers

One of the most challenging aspects of case interviews is that after you are provided with the problem, there are an infinite number of ways the case can go. While that is true, there are types of questions that you’ll run across more frequently than others. Once you start recognizing these patterns, you will be able to create frameworks more accurately and efficiently. In this article, we’re be providing case study interview questions and answers for the top 5 most common business problems presented during case interviews.

Top 5 Case Study Interview Questions and Answers

Increasing profits, entering a new market, developing a new product, pricing strategies, mergers & acquisitions.

Case Study Interview Questions and Answers, answers case study questions and answers, questions and answers case study, consulting case study interview

Ultimately, any client’s goal is to increase profits. As a result, profitability is the most important objective in consulting case study interviews. Knowing how to analyze the major components of profitability is imperative for any aspiring consultant.

The profitability framework is broken into two components: revenue and costs. A profitability view requires looking into both components. Within each of these components, you can structure your framework to analyze the drivers within (price, quantity, variable costs and fixed costs) or the overall situation (big picture and potential solutions).

Case Study Interview Prompts Examples

Potential Profitability Framework Categories & Questions:

Big picture

Ways to Increase Revenue

Variable Costs

Fixed Costs

Big Picture

Ways to Decrease Costs

Companies often need to enter new markets to grow business. New markets represent new opportunities but also additional challenges. Case study interview frameworks for new markets should include categories and questions that are open-ended, since there are a wide range of possibilities to consider.

Potential Market Entry Framework Categories & Questions:

Market situation.


Market Entry Considerations

Similar to new markets, companies need to develop new products in order to grow. This problem is intimidating for most clients due to potential high costs and a fear of the unknown. Your case study interview framework should dive deep into the new product before anything else.

Potential New Product Framework Categories & Questions:

New product and product portfolio.

Market Strategy


Case Interview Bootcamp

Black belt interviewer.

Another common case study interview question revolves around pricing strategy. Prices usually greatly impact volume and ultimately profits, so this case study objective comes up quite frequently.

Potential Pricing Framework Categories & Questions:

Product information.

Competitive Analysis

Pricing Strategy

Because they aren’t as common, M&A problems often can catch candidates off guard. You’re not recruiting for a finance position, but it’s still important to have a decent understanding of how mergers & acquisitions work.

Potential M&A Framework Categories & Questions:

Target market.

Target Company

Post-Acquisition Strategy

Concluding Thoughts

These common case study interview questions and answers are a great place to begin your case interview prep! This guide covers the majority of case studies that will come your way.

However, keep in mind that the best consulting frameworks are catered to the specific prompt. So while it’s helpful to know these business concepts and questions, they’re not enough to prepare you for all case study interviews.

Advanced candidates blend case study frameworks to best answer the problem at hand. Until you can do that, you’re not completely ready for an interview. Looking for expert help to get over the hump? Schedule a coaching session with an expert MBB coach today.

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100 Best Case Study Questions for Your Next Customer Spotlight

Brittany Fuller

Published: November 29, 2022

Case studies and testimonials are helpful to have in your arsenal. But to build an effective library, you need to ask the right case study questions. You also need to know how to write a case study .

marketing team coming up with case study questions

Case studies are customers' stories that your sales team can use to share relevant content with prospects . Not only that, but case studies help you earn a prospect's trust, show them what life would be like as your customer, and validate that your product or service works for your clients.

Before you start building your library of case studies, check out our list of 100 case study questions to ask your clients. With this helpful guide, you'll have the know-how to build your narrative using the " Problem-Agitate-Solve " Method.

Download Now: 3 Free Case Study Templates

What makes a good case study questionnaire?

The ultimate list of case study questions, how to ask your customer for a case study, creating an effective case study.

Certain key elements make up a good case study questionnaire.

A questionnaire should never feel like an interrogation. Instead, aim to structure your case study questions like a conversation. Some of the essential things that your questionnaire should cover include:

You can adapt these considerations based on how your customers use your product and the specific answers or quotes that you want to receive.

What makes a good case study question?

A good case study question delivers a powerful message to leads in the decision stage of your prospective buyer's journey.

Since your client has agreed to participate in a case study, they're likely enthusiastic about the service you provide. Thus, a good case study question hands the reins over to the client and opens a conversation.

Try asking open-ended questions to encourage your client to talk about the excellent service or product you provide.

Free Case Study Templates

Tell us about yourself to access the templates..

case study questions, attributes of helpful questions

Categories for the Best Case Study Questions

Case Study Interview Questions About the Customer's Business

Knowing the customer's business is an excellent way of setting the tone for a case study.

Use these questions to get some background information about the company and its business goals. This information can be used to introduce the business at the beginning of the case study — plus, future prospects might resonate with their stories and become leads for you.

How many people are on your team? What are their roles? This will help describe key players within the organization and their impact on the implementation of your solution.

case study questions to ask, how does our product help your team or company achieve its objectives?

Case Study Interview Questions About the Environment Before the Purchase

A good case study is designed to build trust. Ask clients to describe the tools and processes they used before your product or service. These kinds of case study questions will highlight the business' need they had to fulfill and appeal to future clients.

How has your perception of the product changed since you've become a customer? Get the interviewee to describe how your product changed how they do business. This includes how your product accomplished what they previously thought was impossible.

case study questions examples, what were the major pain points of your process prior to using our product?

Case Study Interview Questions About the Decision Process

Readers of the case study will be interested in which factors influenced the decision-making process for the client. If they can relate to that process, there's a bigger chance they'll buy your product.

The answers to these questions will help potential customers through their decision-making process.

case study questions examples, would you describe a few of the reasons you decided to buy our product?

Case Study Interview Questions About the Customer's Business Case

Your case study questions should ask about your product or solution's impact on the customer's employees, teams, metrics, and goals. These questions allow the client to praise the value of your service and tell others exactly what benefits they derived from it.

When readers review your product or service's impact on the client, it enforces the belief that the case study is credible.

case study questions to ask, are there any metrics or KPIs you track with our product?

Case Study Interview Questions About the Buying Team and Internal Advocates

See if there are any individuals at the customer's company who are advocates for your product.

Case Study Interview Questions About Customer Success

Has the customer found success with your product? Ask these questions to learn more.

Case Study Interview Questions About Product Feedback

Ask the customer if they'd recommend your product to others. A strong recommendation will help potential clients be more open to purchasing your product.

case study question examples, do you have any feature requests or suggestions for our team?

Case Study Interview Questions About Willingness to Make Referrals

case study questions to ask, can you think of any use cases your customers might have for our product?

Case Study Interview Questions to Prompt Quote-Worthy Feedback

Enhance your case study with quotable soundbites from the customer. By asking these questions, prospects have more insight into other clients and their success with your product — which helps build trust.

case study questions to ask, what is your advice to others who might be considering our product?

Case Study Interview Questions About the Customers' Future Goals

Ask the customer about their goals, challenges, and plans for the future. This will provide insight into how a business can grow with your product.

Case study questions examples, what are the growth plans for your company this year? Your team?

Before you can start putting together your case study, you need to ask your customer's permission.

If you have a customer who's seen success with your product, reach out to them. Use this template to get started:

Thank you & quick request

Hi [customer name],

Thanks again for your business — working with you to [solve X, launch Y, take advantage of Z opportunity] has been extremely rewarding, and I'm looking forward to more collaboration in the future.

[Name of your company] is building a library of case studies to include on our site. We're looking for successful companies using [product] to solve interesting challenges, and your team immediately came to mind. Are you open to [customer company name] being featured?

It should be a lightweight process — [I, a product marketer] will ask you roughly [10, 15, 20] questions via email or phone about your experience and results. This case study will include a blurb about your company and a link to your homepage (which hopefully will make your SEO team happy!)

In any case, thank you again for the chance to work with you, and I hope you have a great week.

[Your name]

case study questions and answers for interview

If one of your customers has recently passed along some praise (to you, their account manager, your boss; on an online forum; to another potential customer; etc.), then send them a version of this email:

Hey [customer name],

Thanks for the great feedback — I'm really glad to hear [product] is working well for you and that [customer company name] is getting the results you're looking for.

My team is actually in the process of building out our library of case studies, and I'd love to include your story. Happy to provide more details if you're potentially interested.

Either way, thank you again, and I look forward to getting more updates on your progress.

case study questions and answers for interview

You can also find potential case study customers by usage or product data. For instance, maybe you see a company you sold to 10 months ago just bought eight more seats or upgraded to a new tier. Clearly, they're happy with the solution. Try this template:

I saw you just [invested in our X product; added Y more users; achieved Z product milestone]. Congratulations! I'd love to share your story using [product] with the world -- I think it's a great example of how our product + a dedicated team and a good strategy can achieve awesome results.

Are you open to being featured? If so, I'll send along more details.

case study questions and answers for interview

Case Study Benefits

1. Case studies are a form of customer advocacy.

If you haven't noticed, customers aren't always quick to trust a brand's advertisements and sales strategies.

With every other brand claiming to be the best in the business, it's hard to sort exaggeration from reality.

This is the most important reason why case studies are effective. They are testimonials from your customers of your service. If someone is considering your business, a case study is a much more convincing piece of marketing or sales material than traditional advertising.

2. Case studies provide a joint-promotion opportunity.

Your business isn't the only one that benefits from a case study. Customers participating in case studies benefit, too.

Think about it. Case studies are free advertisements for your customers, not to mention the SEO factor, too. While they're not promoting their products or services, they're still getting the word out about their business. And, the case study highlights how successful their business is — showing interested leads that they're on the up and up.

3. Case studies are easily sharable.

No matter your role on the sales team, case studies are great to have on hand. You can easily share them with leads, prospects, and clients.

Whether you embed them on your website or save them as a PDF, you can simply send a link to share your case study with others. They can share that link with their peers and colleagues, and so on.

Case studies can also be useful during a sales pitch. In sales, timing is everything. If a customer is explaining a problem that was solved and discussed in your case study, you can quickly find the document and share it with them.

4. Case studies build rapport with your customers.

While case studies are very useful, they do require some back and forth with your customers to obtain the exact feedback you're looking for.

Even though time is involved, the good news is this builds rapport with your most loyal customers. You get to know them on a personal level, and they'll become more than just your most valuable clients.

And, the better the rapport you have with them, the more likely they'll be to recommend your business, products, or services to others.

5. Case studies are less opinionated than customer reviews.

Data is the difference between a case study and a review. Customer reviews are typically based on the customer's opinion of your brand. While they might write a glowing review, it's completely subjective and there's rarely empirical evidence supporting their claim.

Case studies, on the other hand, are more data-driven. While they'll still talk about how great your brand is, they support this claim with quantitative data that's relevant to the reader. It's hard to argue with data.

An effective case study must be genuine and credible. Your case study should explain why certain customers are the right fit for your business and how your company can help meet their specific needs. That way, someone in a similar situation can use your case study as a testimonial for why they should choose your business.

Use the case study questions above to create an ideal customer case study questionnaire. By asking your customers the right questions, you can obtain valuable feedback that can be shared with potential leads and convert them into loyal customers.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in June 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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47 case interview examples (from McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc.)

One of the best ways to prepare for   case interviews  at firms like McKinsey, BCG, or Bain, is by studying case interview examples. 

There are a lot of free sample cases out there, but it's really hard to know where to start. So in this article, we have listed all the best free case examples available, in one place.

The below list of resources includes interactive case interview samples provided by consulting firms, video case interview demonstrations, case books, and materials developed by the team here at IGotAnOffer. Let's continue to the list.

1. McKinsey case interview examples

2. BCG case interview examples

3. Bain case interview examples

4. Deloitte case interview examples

5. Accenture case interview examples

6. OC&C case interview examples

7. Oliver Wyman case interview examples

8. A.T. Kearney case interview examples

9. Strategy& / PWC case interview examples

10. L.E.K. Consulting case interview examples

11. Roland Berger case interview examples

12. Capital One case interview examples

13. Consulting clubs case interview examples

Practice with experts

Using case interview examples is a key part of your interview preparation, but it isn’t enough.

At some point you’ll want to practise with friends or family who can give some useful feedback. However, if you really want the best possible preparation for your case interview, you'll also want to work with ex-consultants who have experience running interviews at McKinsey, Bain, BCG, etc.

If you know anyone who fits that description, fantastic! But for most of us, it's tough to find the right connections to make this happen. And it might also be difficult to practice multiple hours with that person unless you know them really well.

Here's the good news. We've already made the connections for you. We’ve created a coaching service where you can do mock case interviews 1-on-1 with ex-interviewers from MBB firms . Start scheduling sessions today!


Any additional resources?

Have we missed any additional case interview resources available for free? Please post them in the comments section below so we can add them to our list.

The IGotAnOffer team

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case study questions and answers for interview

Case Study Interview Examples: Questions and Answers

case study questions and answers for interview

What Is a Case Study Interview? Sample Case Study Questions and Answers

What is a case study interview, standard case interview question, logical case study interview questions, business case study questions.

There are many types of job interviews that you will face in your job hunt- HR interviews , behavioral interview questions , panel interviews , group interviews , screening interviews , etc., are just a few to name. But each of them is equally challenging, some more than others.

Today, we will discuss another addition in this series of job interviews, Case Study interviews.

In this blog, we will dive deep into understanding what are case study interviews all about, followed by some crucial sample case study interview questions and answers to help you ace your upcoming interview.

Let’s begin!

A case study interview is one where recruiters ask hypothetical business-related questions, to which the candidates have to provide recommendations accordingly.

The reason for these case study interview questions is to test the candidate's problem-solving abilities and quick-thinking capabilities.

Although every interview requires thorough preparation, case study interviews need a little more attention to ace.

Case study interview questions

It is important to know about the types of case study interview questions before we go looking for answers. Case study interview questions are of 4 types, namely:

Here are a few sample case study questions and answers to help you understand better.

How would you introduce a product into a foreign market? What are the risks and benefits to consider i.e., producing in your own country vs producing in the new country, etc.?

“My first step will be to study the targeted market and understand the customers’ demands and requirements. Next, examine the cost of production in the new country and compare it to domestic production. Once we have answers to these crucial factors, my next step is to draw up a marketing strategy that will appeal to new customers.Every customer base reacts differently to different advertisements. This makes it crucial to nail the right marketing recipe especially when introducing your product to a new customer base.”

If a company is struggling, should it be restructured? Identify its three main problems. What is the most important problem the company is facing? How would you recommend the company address this problem? How would you turn this company around? Provide your reasoning.

“If I see a company struggling, my first action will be to identify the problem areas and break it down to the most critical one. Once that is done, I will suggest a few reforms the company can undertake and give them 6 months to a year’s time. If the condition still does not improve, I would suggest a performance analysis of the problem areas, ask them to take a call accordingly. I am not pro to downsizing hence I suggest it as the final option when all other reforms have failed.”

Why are manhole covers always round and not square?

“The reason why manhole covers are round is because a square cover if turned diagonally will fall right through. On the other hand, round covers will get stuck if turned diagonally.”

There are 23 football teams playing in a tournament. What will be the least number of games played to find a tournament winner?

“Given there are 23 teams contending and each round will only present 1 winner, the final winner can only be declared after 22 rounds.”

How will you put a giraffe in a fridge?

“I’ll open the fridge, put the giraffe in and shut the door.”

Tip: Remember, no specifics were provided. So, keep your answer simple and witty.

A woman and daughter walked into a restaurant. A man walked past and the women both said “Hello, Father”. How is this possible?

“The answer is rather simple and have only 2 options. He’s either a church priest or his name is Father.”

How will you work with an underperforming team member?

“To work with an underperforming teammate, my first step will be to understand what drives them and the reason for their lack of optimum productivity. Once I have this information, I will try to give them a friendly advice and try to encourage them more to perform better with small gestures like a team lunch. If I am on the same work level with my teammate, I am not the right person to remind them of the implications of lagging behind. Hence my approach to keep them encouraged.”

Market sizing case study questions

These case study interview questions should be tackled carefully. Here are a few tips to face such case study questions and answers;

Hope these sample case study interview questions and answers were helpful.

In addition, when preparing to answer these questions, always carry a pen and notepad to note down information, basic calculations, etc. Secondly, ask more questions to collect more information you find lacking.

Apart from these, always practice case study interview questions and answers at home to build confidence.

All the Best!

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case study questions and answers for interview

Crack the Case Interview with this Guide and Sample Questions and Answers

Consulting is among the most sought profession by business management graduates. The top three consulting firms are abbreviated as MBB ( McKinsey , Boston Consulting Group , and Bain ), also known as the Big Three .

case study questions and answers for interview

Since most consultancy firms work on various kinds of problems, they look to hire people with the best critical thinking abilities who can tackle challenges faced by their clients by applying well-known frameworks for problem-solving.

Hence, most consulting firms rely on case studies as a crucial part of the interview process. Nailing these case studies can be the difference between landing a role as a consultant or leaving empty-handed from an interview.

However, most case studies can be solved with existing frameworks like Porter's five forces, SWOT analysis , and the 4 Ps. Learning these frameworks and walking through them during the interview helps differentiate yourself as a star candidate.

We strongly believe it's a great place to start your preparation before investing in our more comprehensive Consulting Case Interview Course, which features more than 2,000 questions.

Consulting Case Study Course

Everything You Need To Break into the Top Consulting Firms

Land at an Elite Consulting Firm with the Most Comprehensive Case Interview Prep Course in the World.

Consulting Case Interview Example

Every case study interview starts by providing some background information on the case, which helps you understand the problem you are tasked with finding a solution to.

It is essential to separate the necessary information from the useless ones, as this skill is highly sought after. 

Also, make sure to note down all the critical relationships between the date provided. For example, suppose the case first mentions that profits have been declining, and later mentions something about reducing marketing costs. In that case, it's a good idea to jot down that it might be a factor in lowering profits (reduction in marketing costs means lower revenue, which in turn means lower yields).

case study questions and answers for interview

For this sample case, we will use the example of Cali Cable and present it just like how an interviewer would.

Sample Case Prep: Cali Cable

Cali Cable is a small business that operates in northern California. Their core business is installing cable infrastructure in residential neighborhoods so that the homes have access to cable television. Cali Cable has manufactured its own cable since it has been in existence. 

However, the factory is out of date and must be shut down. The CEO does not want to open a new factory because it will be expensive, costing as much as $15 per foot of cable. Therefore, he is considering outsourcing cable manufacturing from either a local supplier, an Asian supplier, or an Eastern European supplier. 

He is experiencing problems with the local supplier, so he asked the COO to find the most cost-effective way to find a reliable cable supplier elsewhere. You are assigned to work with the COO to find the best course of action.

case study questions and answers for interview

Sample Consulting Interview Questions and Frameworks

Based on the case study above, the interviewer will proceed to ask you questions that test your critical thinking and analysis skills. Hence, it is very important to properly understand the case first, ask the right questions, and follow a proven approach.

1. How should the COO approach outsourcing?

A 2x2 for an outsourcing case is a valuable framework.

case study questions and answers for interview

The candidate should also consider the costs and risks of outsourcing. The tree below could be useful.

case study questions and answers for interview

2. The COO approaches you. She has collected some data and wants you to analyze it and prepare a PowerPoint presentation slide for a meeting with the CEO. The template for the slide is as follows.

case study questions and answers for interview

The COO has found that the Asian supplier will charge $7 per foot of cable with a fixed payment of $600,000 per year. The Eastern European supplier will charge $6 per foot of cable and $800,000 in fixed costs. Complete the blank slide for the COO plotting the total cost per foot for the two different options for 100K, 200K, 300K, and 400K feet.

The candidate is instructed to create her own slide on her scratch paper.

case study questions and answers for interview

You should immediately recognize the economies of scale resulting from the fixed  cost structure of the two outsourcing options. If not, try to explain the graph. All three plants cost $10 per foot at 200,000 units, but the Asian and Eastern European plants enjoy the benefits of scale beyond this point. The Eastern European plant becomes the clear cost leader past 200,000 units.

3. The COO thinks she has a good feel for demand based on historical data. She calls you and says, 'for the past few years, Cali Cable has used about 50 miles of cable per year, so we'll order 50 miles of cable from our new supplier for next year.' What should you tell her?

Considering the standard deviation and service level, how much cable should be ordered annually how much will cali cable save compared to the local supplier if it goes with the eastern european option.

Because the COO wants to satisfy demand 98% of the time, the 400,000 feet of cable is the relevant footage on the x-axis of the cost graph. With the Eastern European plant costing $8 per foot for 400,000 units, Cali Cable will save $800,000 per year ($2 times 400K feet).

4. What else should the COO consider to reduce costs?

Consider at least four different options. We have highlighted the four below:

5. What are some of the risks to outsourcing to Asia or Eastern Europe?

There are many different risks to consider. We have named a few below under the relevant bucket.

6. Using the PowerPoint slide you prepared with the COO, present your recommendation to the CEO.


The CEO wants the most cost-effective supplier, but the candidate should also mention the reasons behind the decision and the risks involved. A possible recommendation: 

"For our cost structure to remain competitive, it looks like outsourcing is the best option. As long as the outsourced cable meets our quality standards, it appears to align with our corporate strategy . Cali Cable should consider outsourcing its cable from Eastern Europe because it is a low-cost option. 

Show the PowerPoint slide. Due to the fixed cost structure, Cali Cable will enjoy economies of scale with both offshore options, but Eastern Europe appears to be the most attractive. Cali Cable will save $800,000 per year compared to the local supplier and $200,000 per year compared to the Asian supplier. 

Before proceeding, I'd like to find out more about the risks associated with the Eastern European supplier, such as their reliability, quality, ordering processes, and ability to integrate with our supply chain."

case study questions and answers for interview

This free guide covers one whole case study question from start to finish and will drastically improve your chances of securing an offer with your dream job.  You can find more tips, tricks, and examples in the free Case Interview Guide created by our friends at Management Consulted.  

How are management consulting case interviews graded?

Interviewers usually grade the candidates over a variety of qualities using a scale ranging from 1 to 10, with one meaning poor and ten meaning star.

We look into the various qualities that are evaluated, as well as questions used to measure them. These questions should give you a good feel for what you need to focus on to ace these consulting interview cases.


Math Proficiency


case study questions and answers for interview

Full WSO Consulting Case Interview Prep Guide & Additional Resources

The case study covered in this free guide was obtained directly from WSO's very own Consulting Case Interview Guide, which features:

Think about it - if this page alone can set you miles ahead of the competition, imagine what our complete course can do for you.

The WSO Case Interview Course will guide you through each step of the interview process and ensure you're in the strongest position to land the job at a top-tier consulting firm. Check it out below!

Additional interview resources

To learn more about interviews and the questions asked, please check out the additional interview resources below:

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100 Case Study Interview Questions [Updated for 2020]

Case study interview questions and answers.

Tips for responding to case interview questions Take notes Work on your math abilities Pose questions Organise your response Practise with

Table of content

Case interview questions

Case interviews at management consulting firms are among the most difficult job interviews, but they are also quite predictable. Once you know the types of questions they ask, preparation is straightforward. Using years of experience at McKinsey, as well as field reports from thousands of candidates, I’ve crafted a list of 8 common case interview questions, and in this article, I’ll show you how to answer each of them.

Case interview questions – Overview

Types of case interview questions .

Most questions in case interviews belong to one of these 9 types: 1. Framework/issue tree questions 2. Market-sizing and guesstimate questions 3. Valuation questions 4. Brain teaser questions 5. Chart insight questions 6. Value proposition questions 7. Information questions 8. Math problems 9. Solution-finding questions In this article, we’ll discuss how to answer each question, along with the necessary tips and tricks.

How to answer case interview questions

There are the fo ur basic steps to answer case interview questions:

This general outline may vary depending on each type and each question – for example, brain teasers or information questions need only the last step, while market-sizing and framework questions need all four steps to deliver the perfect answer.

Type 1 – Framework/Issue tree questions

case study questions and answers for interview

If the interviewer asks you to identify factors contributing to a problem or to break down an entity (such as the revenue of a business), he/she is telling you to draw an issue tree. And to draw a spot-on issue tree, you need to master consulting problem-solving foundations , the MECE principle , and common consulting frameworks . You should check out our other articles on these topics before moving on, because mastering the issue tree is the key to acing every possible case interview. You also need good business intuition to draw good issue trees, so that’s all the more reason to start reading every day.

case study questions and answers for interview

Job: Factors from the job itself. Further divided into 3 sub-branches

Company: Factors from the work environment within the restaurant chain, surrounding the affected jobs. Further divided into 2 sub-branches

Competitors: Factors from outside the restaurant chain, related to competing job offers. Further divided into 2 sub-branches.

For detailed guides on issue trees, frameworks and their principles, see the articles on Issue Trees , Case Interview Frameworks, and MECE Principle

Type 2 – Market-sizing & guesstimate

These questions go along the lines of “How many trees are there in Central Park?” or “What’s the market size of pick-up trucks in the USA?” The key to nailing market-sizing and guesstimate questions lies in not the closest results, but the most logical and structured approaches. In fact, the interviewer expects you to follow these four steps:

Unless you come up with something about 10 times the reasonable estimate, don’t worry about being “wrong” – the interviewer is unlikely to have a “correct” number in mind, he/she just wants to see your structured mindset. This question type is so common, we devote a whole article to it, and our Case Interview End-to-End Secrets Program have a separate package on these questions. Check out our comprehensive guide on Market-Sizing & Guesstimate Questions for more details! Now, here’s a quick example for you to try and get used to this type:

Market-Sizing & Guesstimate Questions

How to Estimate Logically and Structurally

Break down the problem: The global smartphone market can be divided into three segments – developed countries, developing countries, and undeveloped countries. In each segment, the annual unit sales of smartphones depend on four variables:

Solve each piece:

=> Estimated global smartphone market: 1.53 billion units per year => Actual 2019 global smartphone sales: 1.37 billion units (error margin: 11.7%) This market-sizing question is solved using a four-step process, which is explained in this article: Market-Sizing & Guesstimate Questions

Type 3 – Valuation questions

Valuation questions are a blend of guesstimation/market-sizing, math, and business. They also require basic finance knowledge. There are three ways to estimate the value of a business:

In real case interviews, you have to justify your approach then ask the interviewer to give you the necessary data.

Type 4 – Brain teasers

Brain teasers are riddles designed to test unconventional, creative, and logical thinking. A famous example of this is Accenture’s “How do you put a giraffe in a fridge?”. Although not as popular as before, brain teasers might still appear in consulting interviews; therefore, you should spend some time to prepare. Most brain teasers can be allocated into these seven types:

In our Case Interview End-to-End Secrets Program , there are +200 brain teasers to help you prepare for these “unpredictable” questions. You can also read our article about Case Interview Brain Teasers for insights on all of these exciting brain teasers, as well as 30 example questions and answers!

Brain Teaser Questions

Cracking the Most Unpredictable Interview Questions with 30 Examples

Answer Key Open the fridge, put the giraffe in, then close the fridge. The question never says how big the fridge or the giraffe is. For the logic and approach behind each kind of brain teasers, see the article on Brain Teasers.

Type 5 – Chart insight questions

You can’t be a management consultant without mastering the use of charts – the complex, scary-looking real-world charts such as those included in our Case Interview End-to-End Secrets Program. In management consulting and case interviews, most charts are one (or a combination) of these four basic types:

To read these charts and answer chart-insights questions effectively, you must follow a structured, comprehensive process:

You can find a more detailed guide in the Charts section in our article about Consulting Math.

case study questions and answers for interview

Type 6 – Value proposition questions

No business or consulting candidate can succeed without understanding the customers! Value-proposition questions are not only about correctly identifying customer preferences, but also about analyzing and delivering the answer in a structured fashion. The former relies heavily on business knowledge and intuition, but the latter can be trained methodically and quickly. Personally, I use a “double issue-tree” – essentially a table with customer segments on one axis and proposed values on the other: For segmenting customers, you can use the following table. However, don’t over-rely on it, since there may be more relevant and insightful question-specific segmentations.

In some cases, clarification is also necessary – both to avoid “answering the wrong question” and to narrow down the range of customers/values you need to cover in the answer.

Cost factors

Physical factors

Emotional factors

Type 7 – Information questions

“Information questions” essentially ask if the piece of data you use is obtainable in the first place. In real consulting work, data is not always available – client team members may refuse to cooperate or there’s simply no data on the subject. There are many kinds of information sources in case interviews/consulting works, but I’ll divide them into primary and secondary sources. Primary sources means you must do the research yourself (or pay someone else to do it for you), such as customer surveys or mystery shoppings. If someone already did that research, and you use their results, it’s called a secondary source – you can get these from the client , the consulting firm you work for, or third-parties such as market research firms or external industry experts. You can find out more about these sources and how to cite them in real case interviews through this free Prospective Candidate Starter Pack, which contains a glossary of data sources in consulting. Our Prospective Candidate Starter Pack has a sheet containing all the possible sources of information in case interviews and consulting projects, among numerous other free resources; you can download and use it to answer these questions, by subscribing to our newsletter at the end of this article.

Type 8 – Math problems

When you have to do the math, perform back-of-the-envelope calculations in a structured fashion, and say out loud what you’re writing. For one thing, it’s safe; for another, you show that you’re careful, organized, and reliable – just like actual consultants. We have a Math Practice Tool right here! Use it every day, and you’ll be a master of mental calculations in no time flat! We have a dedicated article on Consulting Math, which you should definitely read.

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Type 9 – Solution-finding questions

When dealing with solution questions, keep these four points in mind:

case study questions and answers for interview

Last but not least, deliver at least two solutions, preferably three to five. Otherwise, you’ll appear uncreative and lazy to the interviewer’s eyes. Nailing these questions relies on having excellent business intuition; our Case Interview End-to-End Program has a dedicated Business Intuition package, but you should also train a habit of reading consulting and business articles daily, to sharpen your business mind.

Reminders on case interview questions

The questions are not clear-cut in candidate-led cases.

There are two extremes in consulting case interview format: interviewer-led (McKinsey) and candidate-led (BCG, Bain).

This list, therefore, is much more relevant to the interviewer-led format; nonetheless, this guide is still quite beneficial for candidate-led cases, because when solving that big problem, you’ll have to tackle small issues similar to the 8 aforementioned question types.

Mastering the fundamentals is crucial to consistent performance

Although it’s good to study the case interview questions, it is no substitute for mastering the fundamental principles. Learning the exercises without the basics is like building a house without a foundation. My poor neighbor’s house developed a huge crack right down the center because of its weak foundation, so make sure to build your case interview prep a strong one by knowing the basics first. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you’ll become much more flexible – this quality is getting increasingly important because case interviews are getting less predictable, and more realistic. If you haven’t, I advise you to read these articles (especially the first 4) before practicing the question types:

Expect the unexpected

If you study those nine question types, rest assured that you’ve covered the majority of questions in case interviews. However, these are not all the possible questions you might be given. In actual cases, there are always questions that cannot be categorized neatly. If you do not prepare for these questions, it’s easy to be thrown off-balance. So, how do you prepare for “the unexpected”?

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Sample case study questions and answers

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Case Study Interview Examples and Questions

19 Data Science Case Study Interview Questions (with Solutions)

19 Data Science Case Study Interview Questions (with Solutions)

Data science case study interview questions are often the most difficult part of the interview process. Designed to simulate a company’s current and past projects, case study problems rigorously examine how candidates approach prompts, communicate their findings and work through roadblocks.

Practice is key for acing case study interviews in data science. By continuously practicing test problems, you will learn how to approach the case study, ask the right questions from your interviewer and formulate answers that are both illustrative of your abilities and crafted within the time constraints of the question format.

There are four main types of data science case studies:

How Case Study Interviews Are Conducted

Oftentimes as an interviewee, you want to know the setting and format in which to expect the above questions to be asked. Unfortunately, this is company-specific: Some prefer real-time settings, where candidates actively work through a prompt after receiving it, while others offer some period of days (say, a week) before settling in for a presentation of your findings.

It is therefore important to have a system for answering these questions that will accommodate all possible formats, such that you are prepared for any set of circumstances (we provide such a framework below).

Why Are Case Study Questions Asked?

Case studies assess your thought process in answering data science questions. Specifically, interviewers want to see that you have the ability to think on your feet, and to work through real-world problems that likely do not have a right or wrong answer. Real-world case studies that are affecting businesses are not binary; there is no black-and-white, yes-or-no answer. This is why it is important that you can demonstrate decisiveness in your investigations, as well as show your capacity to consider impacts and topics from a variety of angles. Once you are in the role, you will be dealing directly with the ambiguity at the heart of decision-making.

Perhaps most importantly, case interviews assess your ability to effectively communicate your conclusions. On the job, data scientists exchange information across teams and divisions, so a significant part of the interviewer’s focus will be on how you process and explain your answer.

Quick tip: Because case questions in data science interviews tend to be product- and company-focused, it is extremely beneficial to research current projects and developments across different divisions , as these initiatives might end up as the case study topic.

How to Answer Data Science Case Study Questions (The Framework)


There are four main steps to tackling case questions in Data Science interviews, regardless of the type: clarify, make assumptions, gather context, and provide data points and analysis.

Step 1: Clarify

Clarifying is used to gather more information . More often than not, these case studies are designed to be confusing and vague. There will be unorganized data intentionally supplemented with extraneous or omitted information, so it is the candidate’s responsibility to dig deeper, filter out bad information, and fill gaps. Interviewers will be observing how an applicant asks questions and reach their solution.

For example, with a product question, you might take into consideration:

Step 2: Make Assumptions

When you have made sure that you have evaluated and understand the dataset, start investigating and discarding possible hypotheses. Developing insights on the product at this stage complements your ability to glean information from the dataset, and the exploration of your ideas is paramount to forming a successful hypothesis. You should be communicating your hypotheses with the interviewer, such that they can provide clarifying remarks on how the business views the product, and to help you discard unworkable lines of inquiry. If we continue to think about a product question, some important questions to evaluate and draw conclusions from include:

The goal of this is to reduce the scope of the problem at hand, and ask the interviewer questions upfront that allow you to tackle the meat of the problem instead of focusing on less consequential edge cases.

Step 3: Propose a Solution

Now that a hypothesis is formed that has incorporated the dataset and an understanding of the business-related context, it is time to apply that knowledge in forming a solution. Remember, the hypothesis is simply a refined version of the problem that uses the data on hand as its basis to being solved. The solution you create can target this narrow problem, and you can have full faith that it is addressing the core of the case study question.

Keep in mind that there isn’t a single expected solution, and as such, there is a certain freedom here to determine the exact path for investigation.

Step 4: Provide Data Points and Analysis

Finally, providing data points and analysis in support of your solution involves choosing and prioritizing a main metric. As with all prior factors, this step must be tied back to the hypothesis and the main goal of the problem. From that foundation, it is important to trace through and analyze different examples– from the main metric–in order to validate the hypothesis.

Quick tip: Every case question tends to have multiple solutions. Therefore, you should absolutely consider and communicate any potential trade-offs of your chosen method. Be sure you are communicating the pros and cons of your approach.

Note: In some special cases, solutions will also be assessed on the ability to convey information in layman’s terms. Regardless of the structure, applicants should always be prepared to solve through the framework outlined above in order to answer the prompt.

The Role of Effective Communication

There have been multiple articles and discussions conducted by interviewers behind the Data Science Case Study portion, and they all boil down success in case studies to one main factor: effective communication.

All the analysis in the world will not help if interviewees cannot verbally work through and highlight their thought process within the case study. Again, interviewers are keyed at this stage of the hiring process to look for well-developed “soft-skills” and problem-solving capabilities. Demonstrating those traits is key to succeeding in this round.

To this end, the best advice possible would be to practice actively going through example case studies, such as those available in the Interview Query questions bank. Exploring different topics with a friend in an interview-like setting with cold recall (no Googling in between!) will be uncomfortable and awkward, but it will also help reveal weaknesses in fleshing out the investigation.

Don’t worry if the first few times are terrible! Developing a rhythm will help with gaining self-confidence as you become better at assessing and learning through these sessions.

Product Case Study Questions


With product data science case questions , the interviewer wants to get an idea of your product sense intuition. Specifically, these questions assess your ability to identify which metrics should be proposed in order to understand a product.

1. How would you measure the success of private stories on Instagram, where only certain close friends can see the story?

Start by answering: What is the goal of the private story feature on Instagram? You can’t evaluate “success” without knowing what the initial objective of the product was, to begin with.

One specific goal of this feature would be to drive engagement. A private story could potentially increase interactions between users, and grow awareness of the feature.

Now, what types of metrics might you propose to assess user engagement? For a high-level overview, we could look at:

However, we would also want to further bucket our users to see the effect that Close Friends stories have on user engagement. By bucketing users by age, date joined, or another metric, we could see how engagement is affected within certain populations, giving us insight on success that could be lost if looking at the overall population.

2. How would you measure the success of acquiring new users through a 30-day free trial at Netflix?

More context: Netflix is offering a promotion where users can enroll in a 30-day free trial. After 30 days, customers will automatically be charged based on their selected package. How would you measure acquisition success, and what metrics would you propose to measure the success of the free trial?

One way we can frame the concept specifically to this problem is to think about controllable inputs, external drivers, and then the observable output . Start with the major goals of Netflix:

Looking at acquisition output metrics specifically, there are several top-level stats that we can look at, including:

With these conversion metrics, we would also want to bucket users by cohort. This would help us see the percentage of free users who were acquired, as well as retention by cohort.

3. How would you measure the success of Facebook Groups?

Start by considering the key function of Facebook Groups. You could say that Groups are a way for users to connect with other users through a shared interest or real-life relationship. Therefore, the user’s goal is to experience a sense of community, which will also drive our business goal of increasing user engagement.

What general engagement metrics can we associate with this value? An objective metric like Groups monthly active users would help us see if Facebook Groups user base is increasing or decreasing. Plus, we could monitor metrics like posting, commenting, and sharing rates.

There are other products that Groups impact, however, specifically the Newsfeed. We need to consider Newsfeed quality and examine if updates from Groups clog up the content pipeline and if users prioritize those updates over other Newsfeed items. This evaluation will give us a better sense of if Groups actually contribute to higher engagement levels.

4. How would you analyze the effectiveness of a new LinkedIn chat feature that shows a “green dot” for active users?

Note: Given engineering constraints, the new feature is impossible to A/B test before release. When you approach case study questions, remember to always clarify any vague terms. In this case, “effectiveness” is very vague. To help you define that term, you would want to first consider what the goal is of adding a green dot to LinkedIn chat.

Data Science Product Case Study (LinkedIn InMail, Facebook Chat)

5. How would you diagnose why weekly active users are up 5%, but email notification open rates are down 2%?

What assumptions can you make about the relationship between weekly active users and email open rates? With a case question like this, you would want to first answer that line of inquiry before proceeding.

Hint: Open rate can decrease when its numerator decreases (fewer people open emails) or its denominator increases (more emails are sent overall). Taking these two factors into account, what are some hypotheses we can make about our decrease in the open rate compared to our increase in weekly active users?

Data Analytics Case Study Questions

Data analytics case studies ask you to dive into analytics problems. Typically these questions ask you to examine metrics trade-offs or investigate changes in metrics. In addition to proposing metrics, you also have to write SQL queries to generate the metrics, which is why they are sometimes referred to as SQL case study questions .

6. Using the provided data, generate some specific recommendations on how DoorDash can improve.

In this DoorDash analytics case study take-home question you are provided with the following dataset:

With a dataset like this, there are numerous recommendations you can make. A good place to start is by thinking about the DoorDash marketplace, which includes drivers, riders and merchants. How could you analyze the data to increase revenue, driver/user retention and engagement in that marketplace?

7. After implementing a notification change, the total number of unsubscribes increases. Write a SQL query to show how unsubscribes are affecting login rates over time.

This is a Twitter data science interview question , and let’s say you implemented this new feature using an A/B test. You are provided with two tables: events (which includes login, nologin and unsubscribe ) and variants (which includes control or variant ).

We are tasked with comparing multiple different variables at play here. There is the new notification system, along with its effect of creating more unsubscribes. We can also see how login rates compare for unsubscribes for each bucket of the A/B test.

Given that we want to measure two different changes, we know we have to use GROUP BY for the two variables: date and bucket variant. What comes next?

8. Write a query to disprove the hypothesis: Data scientists who switch jobs more often end up getting promoted faster.

More context: You are provided with a table of user experiences representing each person’s past work experiences and timelines.

This question requires a bit of creative problem-solving to understand how we can prove or disprove the hypothesis. The hypothesis is that a data scientist that ends up switching jobs more often gets promoted faster.

Therefore, in analyzing this dataset, we can prove this hypothesis by separating the data scientists into specific segments on how often they jump in their careers.

For example, if we looked at the number of job switches for data scientists that have been in their field for five years, we could prove the hypothesis that the number of data science managers increased as the number of career jumps also rose.

9. Write a SQL query to investigate the hypothesis: Click-through rate is dependent on search result rating.

More context: You are given a table with search results on Facebook, which includes query (search term), position (the search position), and rating (human rating from 1 to 5). Each row represents a single search and includes a column has_clicked that represents whether a user clicked or not.

This question requires us to formulaically do two things: create a metric that can analyze a problem that we face and then actually compute that metric.

Think about the data we want to display to prove or disprove the hypothesis. Our output metric is CTR (clickthrough rate). If CTR is high when search result ratings are high and CTR is low when the search result ratings are low, then our hypothesis is proven. However, if the opposite is true, CTR is low when the search result ratings are high, or there is no proven correlation between the two, then our hypothesis is not proven.

With that structure in mind, we can then look at the results split into different search rating buckets. If we measure the CTR for queries that all have results rated at 1 and then measure CTR for queries that have results rated at lower than 2, etc., we can measure to see if the increase in rating is correlated with an increase in CTR.

Modeling and Machine Learning Case Questions

Machine learning case questions assess your ability to build models to solve business problems. These questions can range from applying machine learning to solve a specific case scenario to assessing the validity of a hypothetical existing model . The modeling case study requires a candidate to evaluate and explain any certain part of the model building process.

10. Describe how you would build a model to predict Uber ETAs after a rider requests a ride.

Common machine learning case study problems like this are designed to explain how you would build a model. Many times this can be scoped down to specific parts of the model building process. Examining the example above, we could break it up into:

How would you evaluate the predictions of an Uber ETA model?

What features would you use to predict the Uber ETA for ride requests?

Our recommended framework breaks down a modeling and machine learning case study to individual steps in order to tackle each one thoroughly. In each full modeling case study, you will want to go over:

11. How would you build a model that sends bank customers a text message when fraudulent transactions are detected?

Additionally, the customer can approve or deny the transaction via text response.

Let’s start out by understanding what kind of model would need to be built. We know that since we are working with fraud, there has to be a case where either a fraudulent transaction is or is not present .

Hint: This problem is a binary classification problem. Given the problem scenario, what considerations do we have to think about when first building this model? What would the bank fraud data look like?

12. How would you design the inputs and outputs for a model that detects potential bombs at a border crossing?

Additional questions. How would you test the model and measure its accuracy? Remember the equation for precision:


Because we can not have high TrueNegatives, recall should be high when assessing the model.

13. Which model would you choose to predict Airbnb booking prices: Linear regression or random forest regression?

Start by answering this question: What are the main differences between linear regression and random forest?

Random forest regression is based on the ensemble machine learning technique of bagging . The two key concepts of random forests are:

Random forest regressions also discretize continuous variables, since they are based on decision trees and can split categorical and continuous variables.

Linear regression, on the other hand, is the standard regression technique in which relationships are modeled using a linear predictor function, the most common example represented as y = Ax + B.

Let’s see how each model is applicable to Airbnb’s bookings. One thing we need to do in the interview is to understand more context around the problem of predicting bookings. To do so, we need to understand which features are present in our dataset.

We can assume the dataset will have features like:

Which model would be the best fit for this feature set?

14. Using a binary classification model that pre-approves candidates for a loan, how would you give each rejected application a rejection reason?

More context: You do not have access to the feature weights. Start by thinking about the problem like this: How would the problem change if we had ten, one thousand, or ten thousand applicants that had gone through the loan qualification program?

Pretend that we have three people: Alice, Bob, and Candace that have all applied for a loan. Simplifying the financial lending loan model, let us assume the only features are the total number of credit cards , the dollar amount of current debt , and credit age . Here is a scenario:

If Candace is approved, we can logically point to the fact that Candace’s $10K in debt swung the model to approve her for a loan. How did we reason this out?

If the sample size analyzed was instead thousands of people who had the same number of credit cards and credit age with varying levels of debt, we could figure out the model’s average loan acceptance rate for each numerical amount of current debt. Then we could plot these on a graph to model the y-value (average loan acceptance) versus the x-value (dollar amount of current debt). These graphs are called partial dependence plots.

Business Case Questions

In data science interviews, business case study questions task you with addressing problems as they relate to the business. You might be asked about topics like estimation and calculation, as well as applying problem-solving to a larger case. One tip: Be sure to read up on the company’s products and ventures before your interview to expose yourself to possible topics.

15. How would you estimate the average lifetime value of customers at a business that has existed for just over one year?

More context: You know that the product costs $100 per month, averages 10% in monthly churn, and the average customer stays for 3.5 months.

Remember that lifetime value is defined by the prediction of the net revenue attributed to the entire future relationship with all customers averaged. Therefore, $100 * 3.5 = $350… But is it that simple?

Because this company is so new, our average customer length (3.5 months) is biased from the short possible length of time that anyone could have been a customer (one year maximum). How would you then model out LTV knowing the churn rate and product cost?

16. How would you go about removing duplicate product names (e.g. iPhone X vs. Apple iPhone 10) in a massive database?

See the full solution for this Amazon business case question on YouTube:

case study questions and answers for interview

17. What metrics would you monitor to know if a 50% discount promotion is a good idea for a ride-sharing company?

This question has no correct answer and is rather designed to test your reasoning and communication skills related to product/business cases. First, start by stating your assumptions. What are the goals of this promotion? It is likely that the goal of the discount is to grow revenue and increase retention. A few other assumptions you might make include:

How would we be able to evaluate this pricing strategy? An A/B test between the control group (no discount) and test group (discount) would allow us to evaluate Long-term revenue vs average cost of the promotion. Using these two metrics how could we measure if the promotion is a good idea?

18. A bank wants to create a new partner card, e.g. Whole Foods Chase credit card). How would you determine what the next partner card should be?

More context: Say you have access to all customer spending data. With this question, there are several approaches you can take. As your first step, think about the business reason for credit card partnerships: they help increase acquisition and customer retention.

One of the simplest solutions would be to sum all transactions grouped by merchants. This would identify the merchants who see the highest spending amounts. However, the one issue might be that some merchants have a high-spend value but low volume. How could we counteract this potential pitfall? Is the volume of transactions even an important factor in our credit card business? The more questions you ask, the more may spring to mind.

19. How would you assess the value of keeping a TV show on a streaming platform like Netflix?

Say that Netflix is working on a deal to renew the streaming rights for a show like The Office , which has been on Netflix for one year. Your job is to value the benefit of keeping the show on Netflix.

Start by trying to understand the reasons why Netflix would want to renew the show. Netflix mainly has three goals for what their content should help achieve:

One solution to value the benefit would be to estimate a lower and upper bound to understand the percentage of users that would be affected by The Office being removed. You could then run these percentages against your known acquisition and retention rates.

Learn More About Feature Changes

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More Data Science Interview Resources

Case studies are one of the most common types of data science interview questions . Practice with the data science course from Interview Query, which includes product and machine learning modules.

Sample case study questions and answers

Company ABC is struggling, should it be restructured? Identify the three main problems it's facing. What is the most important problem the company is facing?

Case Interview Examples

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Post-Acquisition Strategy How much is our client going to be paying? Is the price fair? How will the deal be financed? Will our client be

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Case Study Interview Examples (With Tips to Answer Them)

All case interview examples are taken from real life case interviews. approach but are more effective when used to answer different types of questions.

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Preparing For Shell Interview Questions: A Guide To Ace Your Technical Interview

case study questions and answers for interview

If you are looking to land a job in the tech industry , you know that having a great resume and interviewing well are essential components to securing your dream job. One of the most important pieces of the interview process is the technical interview, which usually involves fielding questions about coding and software engineering. One of the most popular types of questions asked in technical interviews is shell interview questions, which are designed to test your knowledge and command of the Unix shell. In this article, we will explore why shell interview questions are so important and how you can best prepare for them. We will also provide some common shell interview questions and answers so you can get a better understanding of the types of questions you might be asked.

Why Do You Want To Join Here?

Why Do You Want To Join Here?

I am interested in joining this organization because I believe that I can be an asset to the team. I am a hardworking and dedicated individual who can bring a strong work ethic and a positive attitude to the table. I am also eager to learn new skills and gain more knowledge in the field. Additionally, I am passionate about the mission of this organization and I believe that working with the team will be an incredibly rewarding experience. I am confident that my skills and dedication will be beneficial to the organization and that I can help it grow and achieve its goals.

Join The Forward-thinking: Ready To Make A Difference

As a result of my unique talents and abilities, I am delighted to be joining this forward-thinking organization and contributing to its success. I have the necessary industry insight and experience to succeed in this role and add value to the company because of my involvement in this field. My previous roles, such as saving the company a significant amount of money, have proven to me that I can make a significant difference in this position, and I am eager to do the same. I am flexible and available to work whenever and however I need to be. I look forward to the opportunity to grow and learn with this organization and can’t wait to get started with my new team.

What Does Shell Look For In Employees?

What Does Shell Look For In Employees?

Shell looks for employees who demonstrate a passion for their work and a commitment to their organization. They want employees who are self-motivated, have a positive attitude, and take initiative. They also look for employees who are able to think critically and creatively, have strong problem-solving skills, and have good communication skills. Additionally, Shell wants employees who are able to work in a team environment and have excellent customer service skills . Lastly, they value employees who are willing to learn and grow with the company and have an eagerness to take on new challenges.

Join Shell: Find Fulfillment And A Sense Of Purpose

Shell is looking for enthusiastic, dependable, and confident individuals who can contribute to the company’s success. Relationships are valued as well as the ability to work effectively with others in a diverse team, according to the company. There are no major changes in the workplace at a Shell station, and there is no significant pay raise. Despite this, the recruitment process is very short, with candidates being invited for an assessment within three weeks of the completion of the initial interview. Shell takes pride in its ability to hire people who bring enthusiasm, passion, and passion to their work.

Shell Interview Questions And Answers

Preparing for a shell interview can be a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and understanding, you can ace it. Common shell interview questions can range from basic to more complex topics such as Linux commands, scripting, debugging, system administration, and more. It’s important to understand the basics of the operating system and scripting language , as well as have general familiarity with the system’s architecture and capabilities. You should also be prepared to answer questions about your experience and the specific challenges you’ve faced in the past. Additionally, be sure to brush up on your problem-solving skills and be prepared to discuss how you would implement solutions to address specific scenarios. With the proper preparation and practice, you’ll be ready to tackle any shell interview questions and answers.

Unlock The Power Of The Shell: Understanding $$ And $!

It is a powerful program that allows users to run and manage other programs on their computer. This is especially useful in Unix, where Bash is the name of the implementation. To complete a wide range of tasks, you must enter commands at the command-line prompt in Bash. Move (mv), copy (cp), create (nano), and delete (rm) are some of the most basic shell commands . A better understanding of the difference between $! and $$ is also required – $$ represents the process id of the process that currently has the task, whereas $! displays the process id of the process that has recently been removed. These commands make it simple for users to manage their files and folders, ensuring that their computers run smoothly.

Shell Case Study Interview

A shell case study interview is a type of job interview in which the interviewer presents a hypothetical business problem or situation and then asks the candidate to analyze the situation and provide a solution. It is a popular technique used in the recruitment process for many positions, including management and consulting jobs. The interviewer will present a business scenario and ask the candidate to analyze the situation, provide a solution, and discuss the potential implications of their proposed solution. The interviewer will then ask the candidate to explain their thought process and the logic behind their decision-making. This type of interview is a great way for employers to assess a candidate’s problem-solving skills, analytical abilities, and their ability to think on their feet.

Acing The Shell Interview: Tips For Success

Shell isn’t as difficult as it appears, as long as you have a clear goal in mind for what you want to do there, have done extensive preparation in advance, and are willing to work hard. During the final assessment interview , two senior members of Shell’s operations team will participate in a live online session. To impress Shell recruiters, you should demonstrate both your skills and knowledge as well as your passion for working for Shell. Your chances of being hired are increased if you do so.

Shell Graduate Program Interview Questions

When interviewing for a shell graduate program, you should be prepared to answer questions related to your academic and professional experience. Interviewers may ask questions about your research methods, problem-solving abilities, and experience working with data. They may also ask you to explain complex concepts or theories related to your field of study. Additionally, you should be prepared to discuss your goals and objectives for the program, as well as your overall career plans . Be sure to have examples of past projects and accomplishments ready to discuss, and be prepared to talk about challenges you have faced and how you overcame them. Lastly, be prepared to answer questions about why you want to pursue a career in the shell graduate program.

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Top 10 Data Science Case Study Interview Questions for 2023

Data Science Case Study Interview Questions and Answers to Crack Your next Data Science Interview. Last Updated: 02 Feb 2023

According to Harvard business review, data scientist jobs have been termed “The Sexist job of the 21st century” by Harvard business review . Data science has gained widespread importance due to the availability of data in abundance. As per the below statistics, worldwide data is expected to reach 181 zettabytes by 2025

case study interview questions for data scientists

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“Data is the new oil. It’s valuable, but if unrefined it cannot really be used. It has to be changed into gas, plastic, chemicals, etc. to create a valuable entity that drives profitable activity; so must data be broken down, analyzed for it to have value.” — Clive Humby, 2006

Table of Contents

What is a data science case study, why are data scientists tested on case study-based interview questions, research about the company, ask questions, discuss assumptions and hypothesis, explaining the data science workflow, 10 data science case study interview questions and answers.

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A data science case study is an in-depth, detailed examination of a particular case (or cases) within a real-world context. A data science case study is a real-world business problem that you would have worked on as a data scientist to build a machine learning or deep learning algorithm and programs to construct an optimal solution to your business problem.This would be a portfolio project for aspiring data professionals where they would have to spend at least 10-16 weeks solving real-world data science problems. Data science use cases can be found in almost every industry out there e-commerce, music streaming, stock market,.etc. The possibilities are endless. 

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Data Science Interview Preparation

A case study evaluation allows the interviewer to understand your thought process. Questions on case studies can be open-ended; hence you should be flexible enough to accept and appreciate approaches you might not have taken to solve the business problem. All interviews are different, but the below framework is applicable for most data science interviews. It can be a good starting point that will allow you to make a solid first impression in your next data science job interview. In a data science interview, you are expected to explain your data science project lifecycle , and you must choose an approach that would broadly cover all the data science lifecycle activities. The below seven steps would help you get started in the right direction. 

data scientist case study interview questions and answers

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Business Understanding — Explain the business problem and the objectives for the problem you solved.

Data Mining — How did you scrape the required data ? Here you can talk about the connections(can be database connections like oracle, SAP…etc.) you set up to source your data.

Data Cleaning — Explaining the data inconsistencies and how did you handle them.

Data Exploration — Talk about the exploratory data analysis you performed for the initial investigation of your data to spot patterns and anomalies.

Feature Engineering — Talk about the approach you took to select the essential features and how you derived new ones by adding more meaning to the dataset flow.

Predictive Modeling — Explain the machine learning model you trained, how did you finalized your machine learning algorithm, and talk about the evaluation techniques you performed on your accuracy score.

Data Visualization — Communicate the findings through visualization and what feedback you received.

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How to Answer Case Study-Based Data Science Interview Questions?

During the interview, you can also be asked to solve and explain open-ended, real-world case studies. This case study can be relevant to the organization you are interviewing for. The key to answering this is to have a well-defined framework in your mind that you can implement in any case study, and we uncover that framework here.

Ensure that you read about the company and its work on its official website before appearing for the data science job interview . Also, research the position you are interviewing for and understand the JD (Job description). Read about the domain and businesses they are associated with. This will give you a good idea of what questions to expect.

As case study interviews are usually open-ended, you can solve the problem in many ways. A general mistake is jumping to the answer straight away.

Try to understand the context of the business case and the key objective. Uncover the details kept intentionally hidden by the interviewer. Here is a list of questions you might ask if you are being interviewed for a financial institution -

Does the dataset include all transactions from Bank or transactions from some specific department like loans, insurance, etc.?

Is the customer data provided pre-processed, or do I need to run a statistical test to check data quality?

Which segment of borrower’s your business is targeting/focusing on? Which parameter can be used to avoid biases during loan dispersion?

Make informed or well-thought assumptions to simplify the problem. Talk about your assumption with the interviewer and explain why you would want to make such an assumption. Try to narrow down to key objectives which you can solve. Here is a list of a few instances — 

As car sales increase consistently over time with no significant spikes, I assume seasonal changes do not impact your car sales. Hence I would prefer the modeling excluding the seasonality component.

As confirmed by you, the incoming data does not require any preprocessing. Hence I will skip the part of running statistical tests to check data quality and perform feature selection.

As IoT devices are capturing temperature data at every minute, I am required to predict weather daily. I would prefer averaging out the minute data to a day to have data daily.

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Now that you have a clear and focused objective to solve the business case. You can start leveraging the 7-step framework we briefed upon above. Think of the mining and cleaning activities that you are required to perform. Talk about feature selection and why you would prefer some features over others, and lastly, how you would select the right machine learning model for the business problem. Here is an example for car purchase prediction from auctions -

First, Prepare the relevant data by accessing the data available from various auctions. I will selectively choose the data from those auctions which are completed. At the same time, when selecting the data, I need to ensure that the data is not imbalanced.

Now I will implement feature engineering and selection to create and select relevant features like a car manufacturer, year of purchase, automatic or manual transmission…etc. I will continue this process if the results are not good on the test set.

Since this is a classification problem, I will check the prediction using the Decision trees and Random forest as this algorithm tends to do better for classification problems. If the results score is unsatisfactory, I can perform hyper parameterization to fine-tune the model and achieve better accuracy scores.

In the end, summarise the answer and explain how your solution is best suited for this business case. How the team can leverage this solution to gain more customers. For instance, building on the car sales prediction analogy, your response can be

For the car predicted as a good car during an auction, the dealers can purchase those cars and minimize the overall losses they incur upon buying a bad car. 

Data Science Case Study Interview Questions and Answers

Often, the company you are being interviewed for would select case study questions based on a business problem they are trying to solve or have already solved. Here we list down a few case study-based data science interview questions and the approach to answering those in the interviews. Note that these case studies are often open-ended, so there is no one specific way to approach the problem statement.

1. How would you improve the bank's existing state-of-the-art credit scoring of borrowers? How will you predict someone can face financial distress in the next couple of years?

Consider the interviewer has given you access to the dataset. As explained earlier, you can think of taking the following approach. 

Ask Questions — 

Q: What parameter does the bank consider the borrowers while calculating the credit scores? Do these parameters vary among borrowers of different categories based on age group, income level, etc.?

Q: How do you define financial distress? What features are taken into consideration?

Q: Banks can lend different types of loans like car loans, personal loans, bike loans, etc.  Do you want me to focus on any one loan category?

Discuss the Assumptions  — 

As debt ratio is proportional to monthly income, we assume that people with a high debt ratio(i.e., their loan value is much higher than the monthly income) will be an outlier.

Monthly income tends to vary (mainly on the upside) over two years. Cases, where the monthly income is constant can be considered data entry issues and should not be considered for analysis. I will choose the regression model to fill up the missing values.

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Firstly, I will carefully select the relevant data for my analysis. I will deselect records with insane values like people with high debt ratios or inconsistent monthly income.

Identifying essential features and ensuring they do not contain missing values. If they do, fill them up. For instance, Age seems to be a necessary feature for accepting or denying a mortgage. Also, ensuring data is not imbalanced as a meager percentage of borrowers will be defaulter when compared to the complete dataset.

As this is a binary classification problem, I will start with logistic regression and slowly progress towards complex models like decision trees and random forests.

Conclude — 

Banks play a crucial role in country economies. They decide who can get finance and on what terms and can make or break investment decisions. Individuals and companies need access to credit for markets and society to function.

You can leverage this credit scoring algorithm to determine whether or not a loan should be granted by predicting the probability that somebody will experience financial distress in the next two years.

2. At an e-commerce platform, how would you classify fruits and vegetables from the image data?

Q: Do the images in the dataset contain multiple fruits and vegetables, or would each image have a single fruit or a vegetable?

Q: Can you help me understand the number of estimated classes for this classification problem?

Q: What would be an ideal dimension of an image? Do the images vary within the dataset? Are these color images or grey images?

Upon asking the above questions, let us assume the interviewer confirms that each image would contain either one fruit or one vegetable. Hence there won't be multiple classes in a single image, and our website has roughly 100 different varieties of fruits and vegetables. For simplicity, the dataset contains 50,000 images each the dimensions are 100 X 100 pixels.

Assumptions and Preprocessing—

I need to evaluate the training and testing sets. Hence I will check for any imbalance within the dataset. The number of training images for each class should be consistent. So, if there are n number of images for class A, then class B should also have n number of training images (or a variance of 5 to 10 %). Hence if we have 100 classes, the number of training images under each class should be consistent. The dataset contains 50,000 images average image per class is close to 500 images.

I will then divide the training and testing sets into 80: 20 ratios (or 70:30, whichever suits you best). I assume that the images provided might not cover all possible angles of fruits and vegetables; hence such a dataset can cause overfitting issues once the training gets completed. I will keep techniques like Data augmentation handy in case I face overfitting issues while training the model.

End to End Data Science Workflow — 

As this is a larger dataset, I would first check the availability of GPUs as processing 50,000 images would require high computation. I will use the Cuda library to move the training set to GPU for training.

I choose to develop a convolution neural network (CNN) as these networks tend to extract better features from the images when compared to the feed-forward neural network. Feature extraction is quite essential while building the deep neural network. Also, CNN requires way less computation requirement when compared to the feed-forward neural networks.

I will also consider techniques like Batch normalization and learning rate scheduling to improve the accuracy of the model and improve the overall performance of the model. If I face the overfitting issue on the validation set, I will choose techniques like dropout and color normalization to over those.

Once the model is trained, I will test it on sample test images to see its behavior. It is quite common to model that doing well on training sets does not perform well on test sets. Hence, testing the test set model is an important part of the evaluation.

The fruit classification model can be helpful to the e-commerce industry as this would help them classify the images and tag the fruit and vegetables belonging to their category.The fruit and vegetable processing industries can use the model to organize the fruits to the correct categories and accordingly instruct the device to place them on the cover belts involved in packaging and shipping to customers.

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3. How would you determine whether Netflix focuses more on TV shows or Movies?

Q: Should I include animation series and movies while doing this analysis?

Q: What is the business objective? Do you want me to analyze a particular genre like action, thriller, etc.?

Q: What is the targeted audience? Is this focus on children below a certain age or for adults?

Let us assume the interview responds by confirming that you must perform the analysis on both movies and animation data. The business intends to perform this analysis over all the genres, and the targeted audience includes both adults and children.

Assumptions — 

It would be convenient to do this analysis over geographies. As US and India are the highest content generator globally, I would prefer to restrict the initial analysis over these countries. Once the initial hypothesis is established, you can scale the model to other countries.

While analyzing movies in India, understanding the movie release over other months can be an important metric. For example, there tend to be many releases in and around the holiday season (Diwali and Christmas) around November and December which should be considered. 

End to End  Data Science Workflow — 

Firstly, we need to select only the relevant data related to movies and TV shows among the entire dataset. I would also need to ensure the completeness of the data like this has a relevant year of release, month-wise release data, Country-wise data, etc.

After preprocessing the dataset, I will do feature engineering to select the data for only those countries/geographies I am interested in. Now you can perform EDA to understand the correlation of Movies and TV shows with ratings, Categories (drama, comedies…etc.), actors…etc.

Lastly, I would focus on Recommendation clicks and revenues to understand which of the two generate the most revenues. The company would likely prefer the categories generating the highest revenue ( TV Shows vs. Movies) over others.

This analysis would help the company invest in the right venture and generate more revenue based on their customer preference. This analysis would also help understand the best or preferred categories, time in the year to release, movie directors, and actors that their customers would like to see.

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4. How would you detect fake news on social media?

Q: When you say social media, does it mean all the apps available on the internet like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTub, etc.?

Q: Does the analysis include news titles? Does the news description carry significance?

Q: As these platforms contain content from multiple languages? Should the analysis be multilingual?

Let us assume the interviewer responds by confirming that the news feeds are available only from Facebook. The new title and the news details are available in the same block and are not segregated. For simplicity, we would prefer to categorize the news available in the English language.

Assumptions and Data Preprocessing — 

I would first prefer to segregate the news title and description. The news title usually contains the key phrases and the intent behind the news. Also, it would be better to process news titles as that would require low computing than processing the whole text as a data scientist. This will lead to an efficient solution.

Also, I would also check for data imbalance. An imbalanced dataset can cause the model to be biased to a particular class. 

I would also like to take a subset of news that may focus on a specific category like sports, finance , etc. Gradually, I will increase the model scope, and this news subset would help me set up my baseline model, which can be tweaked later based on the requirement.

Firstly, it would be essential to select the data based on the chosen category. I take up sports as a category I want to start my analysis with.

I will first clean the dataset by checking for null records. Once this check is done, data formatting is required before you can feed to a natural network. I will write a function to remove characters like !”#$%&’()*+,-./:;<=>[email protected][]^_`{|}~ as their character does not add any value for deep neural network learning. I will also implement stopwords to remove words like ‘and’, ‘is”, etc. from the vocabulary. 

Then I will employ the NLP techniques like Bag of words or TFIDF based on the significance. The bag of words can be faster, but TF IDF can be more accurate and slower. Selecting the technique would also depend upon the business inputs.

I will now split the data in training and testing, train a machine learning model, and check the performance. Since the data set is heavy on text models like naive bayes tends to perform better in these situations.

Conclude  — 

Social media and news outlets publish fake news to increase readership or as part of psychological warfare. In general, the goal is profiting through clickbait. Clickbaits lure users and entice curiosity with flashy headlines or designs to click links to increase advertisements revenues. The trained model will help curb such news and add value to the reader's time.

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5. How would you forecast the price of a nifty 50 stock?

Q: Do you want me to forecast the nifty 50 indexes/tracker or stock price of a specific stock within nifty 50?

Q: What do you want me to forecast? Is it the opening price, closing price, VWAP, highest of the day, etc.?

Q: Do you want me to forecast daily prices /weekly/monthly prices?

Q: Can you tell me more about the historical data available? Do we have ten years or 15 years of recorded data?

With all these questions asked to the interviewer, let us assume the interviewer responds by saying that you should pick one stock among nifty 50 stocks and forecast their average price daily. The company has historical data for the last 20 years.

Assumptions and Data preprocessing — 

As we forecast the average price daily, I would consider VWAP my target or predictor value. VWAP stands for Volume Weighted Average Price, and it is a ratio of the cumulative share price to the cumulative volume traded over a given time.

Solving this data science case study requires tracking the average price over a period, and it is a classical time series problem. Hence I would refrain from using the classical regression model on the time series data as we have a separate set of machine learning models (like ARIMA , AUTO ARIMA, SARIMA…etc.) to work with such datasets.

Like any other dataset, I will first check for null and understand the % of null values. If they are significantly less, I would prefer to drop those records.

Now I will perform the exploratory data analysis to understand the average price variation from the last 20 years. This would also help me understand the tread and seasonality component of the time series data. Alternatively, I will use techniques like the Dickey-Fuller test to know if the time series is stationary or not. 

Usually, such time series is not stationary, and then I can now decompose the time series to understand the additive or multiplicative nature of time series. Now I can use the existing techniques like differencing, rolling stats, or transformation to make the time series non-stationary.

Lastly, once the time series is non-stationary, I will separate train and test data based on the dates and implement techniques like ARIMA or Facebook prophet to train the machine learning model .

Some of the major applications of such time series prediction can occur in stocks and financial trading, analyzing online and offline retail sales, and medical records such as heart rate, EKG, MRI, and ECG.

Time series datasets invoke a lot of enthusiasm between data scientists . They are many different ways to approach a Time series problem, and the process mentioned above is only one of the know techniques.

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6. How would you forecast the weekly sales of Walmart? Which department impacted most during the holidays?

Q: Walmart usually operates three different stores - supermarkets, discount stores, and neighborhood stores. Which store data shall I pick to get started with my analysis? Are the sales tracked in US dollars?

Q: How would I identify holidays in the historical data provided? Is the store closed on Black Friday week, super bowl week, or Christmas week?

Q: What are the evaluation or the loss criteria? How many departments are present across all store types?

Let us assume the interviewer responds by saying you must forecast weekly sales department-wise and not store type-wise in US dollars. You would be provided with a flag within the dataset to inform weeks having holidays. There are over 80 departments across three types of stores.

As we predict the weekly sales, I would assume weekly sales to be the target or the predictor for our data model before training.

We are tracking sales price weekly, We will use a regression model to predict our target variable, “Weekly_Sales,” a grouped/hierarchical time series. We will explore the following categories of models, engineer features, and hyper-tune parameters to choose a model with the best fit.

- Linear models

- Tree models

- Ensemble models

I will consider MEA, RMSE, and R2 as evaluation criteria.

End to End Data Science Workflow-

The foremost step is to figure out essential features within the dataset. I would explore store information regarding their size, type, and the total number of stores present within the historical dataset.

The next step would be to perform feature engineering; as we have weekly sales data available, I would prefer to extract features like ‘WeekofYear’, ‘Month’, ‘Year’, and ‘Day’. This would help the model to learn general trends.

Now I will create store and dept rank features as this is one of the end goals of the given problem. I would create these features by calculating the average weekly sales.

Now I will perform the exploratory data analysis (a.k.a EDA) to understand what story does the data has to say? I will analyze the stores and weekly dept sales for the historical data to foresee the seasonality and trends. Weekly sales against the store and weekly sales against the department to understand their significance and whether these features must be retained that will be passed to the machine learning models.

After feature engineering and selection, I will set up a baseline model and run the evaluation considering MAE, RMSE and R2. As this is a regression problem, I will begin with simple models like linear regression and SGD regressor. Later, I will move towards complex models, like Decision Trees Regressor, if the need arises. LGBM Regressor and SGB regressor.

Sales forecasting can play a significant role in the company’s success. Accurate sales forecasts allow salespeople and business leaders to make smarter decisions when setting goals, hiring, budgeting, prospecting, and other revenue-impacting factors. The solution mentioned above is one of the many ways to approach this problem statement.

With this, we come to the end of the post. But let us do a quick summary of the techniques we learned and how they can be implemented. We would also like to provide you with some practice case studies questions to help you build up your thought process for the interview.

7. Considering an organization has a high attrition rate, how would you predict if an employee is likely to leave the organization?

8. How would you identify the best cities and countries for startups in the world?

9. How would you estimate the impact on Air Quality across geographies during Covid 19?

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10. A Company often faces machine failures at its factory. How would you develop a model for predictive maintenance?

Do not get intimated by the problem statement; focus on your approach -

Ask questions to get clarity

Discuss assumptions, don't assume things. Let the data tell the story or get it verified by the interviewer.

Build Workflows — Take a few minutes to put together your thoughts; start with a more straightforward approach.

Conclude — Summarize your answer and explain how it best suits the use case provided.

We hope these case study-based data scientist interview questions will give you more confidence to crack your next data science interview.

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Unix Commands Interview Questions

Are you searching for Unix Commands Interview Questions and Answers? You can stop your search. MindMajix provides you with the top 50 Unix commands interview questions with proper answers in this blog. MindMajix's subject expert team has prepared the questions and answers from various topics, including Unix commands, pipes, link types, shells, file systems, permissions and grants, and much more. By going through all these well-versed Unix command interview questions, you will succeed in your interview, Undoubtedly.

Know that computer scientists in Bell laboratories invented the Unix operating system in 1969. Unix is a family of computer operating systems. Unix is popular for its flexibility, portability, adaptability, interoperability, and many more. Not only limited to this, but you can also perform multiple operations since the Unix operating system is a multitasking and multiuser operating system.

When it comes to Unix commands, you can perform various functions using them. For example, you can create, move, and remove files and folders using Unix commands. In this blog, the MindMajix subject expert team has devised Unix commands interview questions and answers with great care. If you go through all these top 50 Unix commands interview questions, it will be beneficial to face your interviews with courage and confidence. 

Importantly, the MindMajix subject expert team has prepared these interview questions and answers considering all levels of learners. So, you can find the Unix commands questions and answers from this blog according to your expertise. The team has divided the blog into different sections as follows

Top 10 Unix Commands Frequently Asked Questions

Unix Commands Interview Questions For Beginners

1. what is unix.

Unix is also referred to as Unics. UNIX stands for UNiplexed Information Computing System. It is one of the most famous operating systems. It is a multiuser as well as a multitasking operating system that provides flexibility and adaptability. Kernel, file system, Shell, and programs are the core components of UNIX.

2. What do you understand by filters in Unix?

A filter in Unix is a program that receives a standard input, processes the input, and delivers a standard output. You can also use the program between two programs in a pipeline.

3. What are the Different File Types of Unix?

The following are the different file types of Unix.

4. What is the Process in Unix?

The process is nothing but an instance of a program that runs on a computer. A process starts when a program is initiated. A process or parent process can trigger a subprocess known as the child process. If you terminate a parent process, the child process also gets completed.

5. What do you mean by Kernel in Unix?

The kernel is the hub of the Unix operating system. The function of the kernel is to allocate time and memory to programs. Mainly, it manages file storage. Also, it initiates communication when receiving system calls.

6. Can you describe the general format of Unix command syntax?

The Unix command syntax consists of three parts: the command, a list of options, and arguments.

7. What is the Use of Unix Wildcard?

The wildcard is the symbol used to replace unknown characters. Asterisk (*) and question mark (?) are Unix's two commonly used wildcards. You can use an Asterisk wildcard to replace unknown characters, whereas a question mark wildcard can replace only one unknown character. More to the point, you can use an asterisk to replace an empty string.

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8. What do you mean by pipes and links in Unix?

A pipe is used to redirect the output of a command to another. Similarly, you can use pipes to redirect the output of a process or program. In other words, you can combine two or more commands using pipes. It is essential to note that pipes are unidirectional.

Links act as the pointer to a file or directory. There are two types of links such as soft links and hard links. Soft links are also known as symbolic links.

9. What do you understand by the Zombie Process in Unix?

The Zombie Process is also referred to as the defunct process. Generally, the zombie process occurs in parent-child functions. Once the child function completes the execution, it sends an exit message to the parent function. Only when the parent function acknowledges the exit message the child function can exit. In the meantime, the child function is in a zombie state.

10. What is the use of the chmod Command?

Chmod refers to change mode. This command is used to change access permissions of files and directories based on the specified mode in the command. Note that mode is usually identified with octal numbers or letters.

11. What is Command Substitution?

In this process, any command's output is substituted as another command's argument. Command substitution is usually expressed in double-quotes.

12. What do you Understand by a Superuser?

Superuser is the privileged account that can access any file or command. The super status is required to perform many administrative tasks and execute associated commands. The root is the user name of this account. If you want to become a super user, you can achieve this in two ways. One way is logging into the root directory. Another way is executing the su command.

13. What is Superblock?

It is a collection of metadata describing a file system's properties. It describes file systems along with inode and entry. The properties can be block size, filled blocks, block group size, magic number, pointers, and location of inode tables.

14. What is the use of the Grep Command?

Grep refers to the global search for regular expression and print. This command is used to search and match text files. This command searches files for a pattern of characters in text files. After the execution, it displays all the lines of the pattern. The pattern is usually expressed in a regular pattern.

15. What is the use of mount and unmount Commands?

Generally, files are structured in a tree format. And the files are distributed across many devices. The mount command is used to attach a file to the big tree. On the other hand, unmount command detaches a file from the big tree.

16. What is the difference between Absolute Path and Relative Path?

17. what is inode.

An inode is an entry that contains all the information about a file. It is created on a disk. An inode contains information such as where the file begins, file size when the file was changed along with time, all the associated read and write, execute permissions, the file owner, and many others.

18. What do you mean by the File System in Unix?

A file system is a logical method to store and manage information in the form of files, folders, as well as directories. Know that a file is the smallest unit to store data. Directories contain files and folders. In the Unix file system , all the Directories are organized in a tree structure. This entire system, including files, directories, and folders, is the file system in Unix.

19. Can you brief about the daemon?

Daemon is nothing but a background process that performs a task or set of functions. The background processes include memory management, printer jobs, file system management, network connections, etc.

20. What is the role of the fork ( ) system call?

This system call creates a new process from an already-existing process. The new process is known as the child process, and the primary process is known as the parent process. 

Intermediate Level Unix Commands Interview Questions

21. what is shell and shell variable.

22. How would you find a File in Unix?

We can use the ‘find' command to identify Unix files. The following is the syntax of the find command.

23. How would you copy a File from one host to another in Unix?

We can use the scp command to copy files from one host to another. Using this command, you don't need to start an FTP session or log into the remote systems. Note that this command uses SSH to transfer data. So, if you want to share files or directories in remote systems, you must apply a password or passphrase.

24. List out the Network Commands in Unix.

Following are the various network commands used in Unix.

25. What do you mean by kill ( ) system call and return value in Unix?

With the kill ( ) system call, you can send any signal to any process or process group. The syntax for this system call is given as follows:

If a signal is sent successfully, then zero will be returned. If not, the value -1 will be returned. Note that at least one signal must be sent successfully to return a zero.

26. Can you differentiate the  ‘cmp’ and ‘diff’ commands in Unix?

27. how would you remove a file in unix.

We can use the rm command to remove files from Unix. If you want to delete a file, you need to get write permission on the parent directory as well as execute permission.

For example, if you want to remove a text file, you can use write the command as follows

28. What is the difference between the cat command and the more command?

Both cat and more commands display file contents. However, they differ in displaying the contents. The Cat command's output is the entire file content on a single page, whereas more command outputs file contents page by page.

29. How would you find out whether a system is 32-bit or 64-bit?

We can find this in two ways. One way is using the “uname – a" command, and another way is using the “arch” command.

30. Can you name some File Manipulation Commands?

31. what do you mean by networking stack and protocol.

Know that TCP/IP is the networking stack protocol for the Unix kernel. TCP refers to the transmission control protocol. It manages a virtual circuit layer that ensures bidirectional data transmission. IP stands for internet protocol that manages packet transmission between user processes and the networking layer. TCP/IP has four layers as shown below.

32. Why do we use the tee Command?

We use the tee command for two purposes. One purpose is that the tee command receives data from a standard input and sends the data to a standard output. Another purpose is that it redirects the input into a specified file.

33. What do you understand by Wildcard's Interpretation?

When a command line consists the wildcard characters such as * and ?, they will be replaced with the shell.

34. How does the Unix system identify that one command ends and another start?

Semicolons and ampersand characters denote the end of a command. Similarly, the newline character generated by the enter and return key helps to show a command that ends and another start.

35. What do you mean by Aliasing Mechanism?

It is the short form of long commands. By using aliasing, you can reduce the time to type long commands again and again. Below is an example of an alias.

Advanced Level Unix Commands Interview Questions

36. how would you find a hostname if you have an ip address in your network.

We can find the hostname using the nslookup command.

37. Can you write a Unix Command to shut down in 15 minutes and reboot?

We can use /sbin/shutdown –r +15 to shut down a Unix system and then reboot the system.

38. Write a Unix Command to identify the files that must not have the word ‘wonderful’.

We can use grep –vi wonderful *.txt command to find the files that don’t have the word wonderful.

39. How would you display files in the current directory in color and long format?

We can use the command ls-l-color to display files in the current directory in color and long format.

40. How would you Change any user type to a super user type?

We can use the su command for the same. At the same time, you must enter the password to access the privileges granted to you.

41. What are the Various IDs used in Unix Processes?

PID, PGID, and PPID are the three IDs used in Unix Processes.

42. How does system boot-up occur in Unix?

It occurs in the following five phases.

43. How would you check disk space using the Unix command?

We can use the %quota –v command to check the space left in disk space. So, it will know the space left in the disks and clean them regularly.

44. How would you check the size of files using a Unix Command?

We can use the %du  - s * - command to know the size of various files in the file system of directories and sub-directories. So you can remove unwanted files and empty spaces.

45. Which Unix Command would you use to compress and decompress files?

We can compress files using gzip command. The syntax is given as follows

Similarly, you can decompress files using gunzip command. The syntax is given as follows

46. What do you Understand by Permissions in Unix?

Generally, users are segregated into three groups in Unix: users, groups, and others. The user is the person who created the file. The group is the users with the privileges to access the file as the owner does. Others are the people who have offered access to the file.

Users can read, write and execute when it comes to access rights. Read permission represents that users can only read the contents of the file. Write permission indicates that users can change the contents of the file. Execute permission means that users can only execute the file.

47. How would you Change the Permissions of a File in Unix?

We can use the chmod Command to change the permissions of a file. The syntax for the command is given as follows

This command allows groups, Users, and others to read and write as well as execute.

48. What Commands would you use to get User Information?

49. What is the Crucial Function of a Pipe?

You can use the pipe function if you like to run two or more commands simultaneously. While executing pipe functions, the output of one program goes as the input to another program.

You can execute grep and sort commands using pipe functions.

50. How would you differentiate swapping from paging?

Most common unix commands faqs, 1. what is a file system in unix.

Essentially, a file is the collection of data. Unix has different types of files, such as special files, ordinary files, and directories. Directories are the file types in which ordinary and special files and folders are stored.

2. How to identify the users who are currently logged in using the Unix command?

We can use the who command to identify the users currently logged in now.

3. Which Unix command would you use to view the names of users logged in?

We can use the user command to view the names of users currently logged in users.

4. Is Unix a Programming Language?

No. Unix is an operating system.

5. What language is used to write the Unix Operating System?

C language is used to write the Unix operating system.

Tips for Unix Commands Interview preparation

We hope that the Unix commands interview questions and answers provided in this blog post sharpened your knowledge in a better way. We advise you to learn the concepts deeply to ace your Unix command interview soon. This way, MindMajix offers a Unix Training Course and certification with which you can enrich your knowledge and add a feather to your skillset. Apart from this, you can find all other courses on the MindMajix training page. We are sure that you will be one step ahead among your competitors after taking a MindMajix course.

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Remy Sharp

Madhuri is a Senior Content Creator at MindMajix. She has written about a range of different topics on various technologies, which include, Splunk, Tensorflow, Selenium, and CEH. She spends most of her time researching on technology, and startups. Connect with her via LinkedIn and Twitter .


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