Bain London's first round behavioral interview

Bain MBB
New answer on Jan 18, 2021
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 13, 2021

Hi,

I have an upcoming first round interview at Bain's London office and wanted a few details about the behaviorial round. I have been told that there will be 4 hypothetical Qs and 4 previous experience based Qs.

What kind of questions can I expect and how do I prepare for it?

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Ian
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replied on Jan 13, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

For the 4 hypothetical Qs, you just need to practice these! Make sure you've practiced so that you can readily respond to any structure with clarity and organization. In terms of your 4 previous experience based Qs, see below for some key steps!

Step 1 - Categorize the main stories

There are 5-10 "themes" you need to prepare for. i.e. Leadership, teamwork, challenge, etc. (note: These all fit into the 3 McKinsey PEI themes) Figure out this list and make sure your stories cover this range (PM me and I can provide you with a template for this list)

Step 2 - Create FLEXIBLE stories that cover a range of categories

You need to create 4-6 stories that each cover a range of topics. They need to be powerful stories that can be adjusted and adapted based on the question asked.

One of my "core" or "killer" stories was usable for Initiative, Achievement, Leadership, Challenge, Change of direction, AND Persuasion.

Write down these stories along STAR or similar format...use bullet points

Interview questions notes

Step 3 - Organize these stories so you know which ones can be used for what and PRACTICE

Make sure you cover the whole gambit. Then, practice getting asked a question and thinking of which stories apply. I can assure you, no-one is coming up with full stories in a few seconds. Rather, they have practiced how to adapt an existing story to the question asked.

Interview stories notes

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Gaurav
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replied on Jan 13, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

basically, the goal when answering these questions is to show the interviewers your critical thinking and problem solving skills and how suitable you are for the job.

Behavioral questions can be like:

  • Why consulting? / Why company XX? / Why are you the perfect fit for this position?
  • Describe a time when you disagreed with a team member
  • Tell me about your biggest mistake at workplace
  • Name three improvements you made in your most recent position
  • PEI questions
  • Etc.

You can find other questions online, just pick some of them and start answering them in a way that makes sense:

  • Keep it short (1.5 minutes max)
  • Use storytelling techniques (Structure your speech!)
  • Try to get the interviewer to participate, e.g. while telling about your experience in place XX, ask them whether he has been there

The more questions you practice, the easier it becomes for you to come up with a nice and suitable answer.

Hope it helps,

Cheers,

GB

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Denis
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replied on Jan 13, 2021
Ex-Bain 5 yrs | Goldman Sachs Investment Banker NYC | MBA Chicago Booth | Passed > 13 MBB > 20 IB interviews

There are already superb answers to this question littered throughout PL from other great coaches.

Here a few quick thoughts.

They may ask you a mix of hypothetical situations (e.g. how d you behave if a client calls and asks for confidential information?) and Qs based on your past (e.g. tell me about a time when xxx).

Work out 5-10 stories (as few as possible, as much as required) to answer every sort of "Tell me about a time when" type of question. I urge candidates to use the STAR fashion (Situation, Task, Action, Result), but any other clear structure talking about those is fine too.

It comes down you being abe to draw a clear picture on what led you to sit in front of them that day (i.e. Why consulting and Why Bain). Most candidates still have too generic type of answers. Yes, MBB is quite similar in many ways, but so different in many other ways. Whenever the interviewer can literally copy paste some of your verbatim and spill it out in a BCG or MCK iview (or vice versa), the answer is weak. Sometimes generics cannot be avoided, but there is always a chance to make it more specific.

Certainly consider a coaching session with me if you are interested in refining your Why Bain and if you want to work out ways to package Bain specific info that make you walk and talk like a Bainie already in your answers.

Best,

Denis

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Jakub
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updated an answer on Jan 13, 2021
ex- McKinsey | Successful MBB candidates coach| MBA at Booth, University of Chicago

Hi!

the actual number and nature of questions will vary greatly from inteviewer to inverviewer. Bain, and MBB in general, ask the typical:

- what is the biggest challenge you have faced?

- tell me about a time you had to convince someone/a group to do something?

- what are you most proud of?

- etc.

Do remember to prepare for several of these types of questions so that you answer them in a structured and thought our way. These can really be the make or break of your candidacy provided your case performance is solid.

Happy to jump on a call and help you work through these!

Best,

Jakub

(edited)

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Antonello
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Content Creator
replied on Jan 18, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,

The standard fit part of the interview involves questions related to your experience to
assess your personal impact, leadership, and entrepreneurship.

I have specific sessions to prepare impactful stories about your background and to structure strong answers for the 3 most common questions (Why you? Why consulting? Why Bain?). Feel free to text me if curious to know how I usually work with candidates.

Best,

Antonello

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Clara
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Content Creator
replied on Jan 14, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

On top of the insights already shared in the post, 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.

Furthermore, you can find 3 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 (ENTREPRENEURIAL DRIVE) >https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/behavioral-questions-entrepreneurial-drive-fit-interview-preparation-211

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

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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