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Asked by Dimitros on November 23, 2015

Is it normal for companies to give very specific case study questions, even to people who might not have worked that specific role but have knowledge of the business? Why is information with regards to ethnic and religious background collected during the application process? Does it affect my chances of being hired?

Answered by Sylvia, Hiring Expert at Hewlett-Packard, on November 24, 2015

Case studies are a great way for managers to determine your ability to think outside of the box, how you think critically, and how you strategize. Most universities also bring in case studies into the curriculum to prepare students for job roles that would require it. If your role requires you to be able to review and analyze a case study and this is all new to you there are sources online ad your university you can reach out to in order to be better equipment for your interviews and career path.
Regarding your second question, information such as your ethnical background does not hinder you from the application process. Some companies use that information for statistical purposes (i.e. diversity measures) and in most cases it is optional for you to include.
Best of luck during your interviews! 

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Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on January 14, 2016

Using a case study during an interview allows the company to assess a candidate’s ability to think on their feet and see them in action. This practice allows the interviewers to assess the candidate’s skills such as quantitative skills, analytical skills, flexibility, their ability to work under pressure, listening and communication skills and problem solving skills. If you are taking classes that have case studies, this is a great way to practice these skills since case studies are increasingly being used during the interview process. If your classes do not offer case studies, I suggest researching examples of case studies which will help you build your ability to demonstrate your skills during the event that a case study is used during an interview, while also knowing what to expect. Concerning your second question about diversity questions, companies may use this information for statistical purposes and does not hinder your chances during the interview process. If you feel uncomfortable providing this information, you have the option to opt out.

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Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at The Hershey Company, on May 12, 2016

Yes, it is normal for companies to give specific case study questions during the interview process. It’s a great way to get insight on how a candidate thinks and their problem solving skills. This is a great way to show case your skills and to stand out from other candidates. You have a chance to show your creativity, problem solving, communication and analytic skills. Regarding your second question it is important for a company to capture this information for statistical purposes and is not held against you and will not affect your chances of being hired. Most of these questions are optional if you choose not to disclose.

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