2 weeks to prepare for Bain first round interview. I haven't prepped earlier. How should I go about it? Need a strategy

Bain First Round
New answer on May 03, 2021
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 30, 2021

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Hello!

Agree with other coaches, 2 weeks is super tight and the smartest thing to do is to buy some time. I did it myself back in the day, and every time that I have advised one of my coachees to do so, it has been the best solution!

In any case, you have 2 main workstreams ahead:

1. FIT INTERVIEW

The "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

You can see plenty of reviews from candidates who purchased it already.

Furthermore, you can find 5 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

Intro and CV questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/introduction-and-cv-questions-fit-interview-preparation-200

Motivational questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/motivational-questions-fit-interview-preparation-201

Behavioural questions (LEADERSHIP) >https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/behavioral-questions-entrepreneurial-drive-fit-interview-preparation-211

Behavioural questions (ENTREPRENEURIAL DRIVE) > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/behavioral-questions-entrepreneurial-drive-fit-interview-preparation-238

Behavioural questions (LEADERSHIP) > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/advanced/behavioral-questions-personal-impact-fit-interview-preparation-239

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes for the Integrated FIT Guide, since we still have some left from the launch!

2. BUSINESS CASE

You don´t have any more time to the classics of Viktor Cheng, "Case in point" book, etc. You need to get hands on asap:

1. Practice cases with partners asap, as many as you can do.Find experienced partners who can provide a good feedback

2. Practice your math skills, both in your cases and with ad hoc exercisess, such as:

1. ​Multiplying double digit numbers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ndkkPZYJHo

2. Leveraging math tools (Mimir math for iOS), Math tool on Viktor Cheng website to practice

Furthermore, you should practice as much as you can, and ensure that you cover:

1. Profitability cases- basic profitability framework.

2. Idea generation cases: for any specif issue

3. Growth cases: market penetration, new product launch, product mix change, etc.

4. Pricing cases

5. M&A cases

6. Valuation cases

7. Value chain cases

Given you are under this much time contraint, consider working with a coach to foster speed and ensure you have a tailored plan to be very targeted. PM me interested!

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Was this answer helpful? 23

First of all, 2 weeks is really tight. I typically recommend 4-8 weeks. Shorter preparation is possible, but it's a challenge. See below my general recommendation. It is typically no problem to ask for a delay of the interview so you have some more time to prepare.

In my experience, practicing 15-20 cases is sufficient, if you do it strategically. My recommendation is as follows:

  • Read up on the typical approaches and standard frameworks to get the concept.
  • Then, do 5-6 cases to get a practical feeling for what a case is like. Start with easier ones - e.g. market size mini cases, simple profit tree cases, etc. This will help you develop a rudimentary sense for how cases work
  • The next 5-6 cases should cover cases from all major types and help you gain the experience and comfort with standard frameworks and the thinking required for solving the cases.
  • Lastly, you will want to do 6-7 cases to hone your skills. Practice with people who understand what they are doing - experienced interviewers, coaches, etc. that can give you 1-2 main items of feedback after each case that you can then practice to apply and improve on in the next case. During this time, you should also practice to move away from off-the-shelf frameworks and tailor, or - even better - develop your frameworks specifically during the case.

The further you move towards the final interview, the more important it is to practice with experienced interviewers. While you can easily ask any friend or practice with peers for the first few cases, you should aim for qualified, professional feedback as you approach the finishing line.

However, keep in mind, that this requires a strong plan and strategic approach to the preparation. I regularly see people doing 30-40 or even more cases. While this can also lead to success, in my eyes, it is a bit of a waste of time, especially for experienced hires that often also have a regular job to do while preparing for the consulting interviews.

Let me know if this helps. I'm also happy to elaborate any of the above in more detail. DM me if you like.

Was this answer helpful? 20

Hi there,

2 weeks is a very very tight timeline. I've managed to get candidates offers in 2 weeks, but I highly highly recommend a coach.

This is a tough process to go alone even if you have multiple months to prepare.

Was this answer helpful? 13

Hi there,

I helped several candidates to land offers from Bain (you can check my profile for references). Many people need 100+ hours starting from zero to be offer-ready, if you have the chance it would make sense to reschedule to have time to prepare well.

In terms of the steps to follow I would recommend the following:

  1. Define a calendar for your preparation. Identify how many hours you have before the interview and allocate a time slot for preparation in your calendar for each day, working on the points below.
  2. Read Case In Point or Case Interview Secrets for a general understanding of what a consulting interview is. Don’t focus on the structures proposed in the books, as they are not good enough nowadays.
  3. Start reading good MBA Consulting Handbooks – you can find several for free online (Insead is a good one to start). Read the cases and try to apply your structure to solve them. Whenever you see there is something missing, upgrade your structure with the new insides. Try to read at least a new case per day – in this way you will absorb better the information with constant learning.
  4. After the first 5-10 cases in books/handbooks and basic theory, start to practice live. PrepLounge can be helpful to connect with other candidates for that. There is a relevant part of the interview score that is based on your communication, which you cannot practice at all if you read cases only. Keep track of your mistakes and see if you repeat them. If so, try to identify the source of the mistake (feedback of experienced partners would be particularly useful for this). Be sure to focus on both the fit and the case part. The latter should also cover math and graph analysis.
  5. Before the interviews, be sure to prepare your questions for the interviewer – great way to show you prepared in advance and to connect with the interviewer for a good final impression.

If you want to spend few hours only instead of 100+ and cover everything mentioned above, I developed a program precisely for that. Plus, I can share with you real questions asked at Bain (I have a db with 700+ MBB questions you won't find anywhere else - you can check on my profile if I cover your particular office).

You can click on the following link to learn more:

https://u.preplounge.com/63phuq

Please feel free to PM me if you need more information.

Best,

Francesco

Was this answer helpful? 11

If you only have 2 weeks and want to be 100% ready for the interview, you should follow a plan that is customized for YOUR SPECIFIC NEEDS AND PROFILE.

All of the advice above is sound and solid. However, an Experienced Coach can buy you a lot of precious time and make sure you are focusing on the right things FOR YOU right from the start.

Feel free to reach out as I do not require candidates to have any sort of previous preparation.

Was this answer helpful? 1
Clara gave the best answer

Clara

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