Capital One Practice Case StudyIn today's Wall Street Journal, Joann Lublin has an article about the more numerous and more challenging hoops that some companies are having job seekers jump through in today's environment of relatively high unemployment.
Aside from the useful information in the article itself, Lublin points toward some further material elsewhere on the Internet that job seekers can consult to prepare themselves for a relatively demanding hiring process.
Of particular interest to me was the practice case study that Capital One has posted at their website to help applicants prepare for the actual case study discussion that is part of Capital One's hiring process "for all on-campus recruiting and analyst applicants, as well as for some management and information technology applicants," assuming the applicant gets past initial screening.
The case study sets up a problem, which happens to involve cross-selling a product from a third-party vendor, and then asks the applicant "to determine what are the most important factors that will help you decide to accept or reject" this particular cross-sell opportunity.
A model response is provided, followed by further details that enable the applicant to assess the potential profitability of the opportunity, taking into account such important considerations as mark-up over the vendor's wholesale price and marketing costs for Capital One.
The case study is well-presented and admirably concise. It's well worth a look, whether or not you're in the job market, because it provides good reminder of some fundamental business concepts, such as cost analysis, competitive analysis, opportunity cost, breakeven point, and systems thinking.