Case interviews are pressurized situations where your anxiety levels are heightened and you don’t have the safety net of notes or the internet to fall back on.
For in-person interviews, it is common that one of the questions will have a mathematical element or be a market sizing question included. These require long maths calculations without a calculator. If you haven’t practiced long addition, multiplication, division, or subtraction recently then it is a good idea to do so. Being quick at maths shows your competent quantitative skills and reduces unnecessary pressure during the interview, increasing your overall performance.
As with maths, practicing case interviews is the best way to improve your performance. Through practice, you will begin to develop a robust approach that satisfies the structure and framework components of the case and you will recognize how to navigate the case successfully.
If you are applying to Bain then you are probably applying to other strategy consulting firms too, this practice will be relevant to all of the firms you apply to as they all use case interviews in their application process.
Apply structure to everything
The key requirement of a candidate in a case interview is the application of structure, specifically with a MECE approach. As mentioned above, you can even apply structure to the Personal fit questions and it is recommended you do so.
An example answer to the question ‘walk me through your CV’ would be to segment your experience into 1) Experience relevant to consulting 2) Experience not relevant to consulting and then briefly cover the experience you have in each bucket. This shows you understand what consulting is and what is relevant and also a key skill of a consultant – structured thinking.
If you can demonstrate robust structured thinking in your interview, you will score highly.