Bain Partner Round

Bain & Company
New answer on Oct 29, 2020
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Oct 27, 2020

I'm preparing for the final round interviews and curious how "unstructured" cases are ideally solved? What are some question examples and what are partners looking for to make a decision?

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Robert
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replied on Oct 27, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

To start with, the main idea of second/final round interviews is to ensure your performance in those areas in which you did not convince Bain in the first round interviews. This can be either the case interview or the personal fit section, or both. Whatever it is, your weak points from first round interviews are where you can expect a strong focus in the second/final round interviews.

From a procedural point, the final round cases are to be solved in the same way as all other cases. The cases are not "unstructed" as such at all, you also need to be rigidly structured as in all other cases - I would rather call them less standardized. But still, same principle approach.

Usually partners are more strict in terms of a rigidly structured thought process, laser-sharp focus in solving the case, and also in terms of precise and concise communication.

Hope that helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Gaurav
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replied on Oct 27, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi A,

I agree with Robert that "unstructured" cases are more likely to be just less standardized. In fact, you can consider the case as a role play where your interviewer is a serious and picky customer.

Partners will mainly pay attention to the things that will affect their final decision about you: how well and special you fit with the company, how precise and structured you are solving a case.

Your approach should remain the same as for the first/second round interview preparation. Make sure you are well prepared and also well-rested. Do not overthink the pressure - you are already in the final round, so do your best to impress them!

Do you need any further help?

GB

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Henning
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replied on Oct 27, 2020
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Hi Anonymous!

Congratulations for making it to the final round! While these cases can sometimes feel a bit less structured, they are not. Solving them, you should use the exact same method as solving any other case. The difficulty is more in the fact that some senior interviewers don't want to you take notes, write down a strict framework etc., but they want you to engage in an interesting conversation around the caes.

Your job is then to apply the same way of structuring the case in the conversation, as you would do in a regular case: Communicate your framework verbally and run them through how you'd approach the case. Then you can execute against that in a more conversational style if required. It is however important for your to still keep the structure in your mind and work with that.

The preparation for these interviews is exactly the same as for regular ones. To be a bit more realistic, you could try to do it without taking extensive notes - a few scribbles here and there are allowed.

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Ian
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replied on Oct 29, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi,

First, remember that casing isn't just about memorizing every step, industry, case type, etc. It's about learning how to be adaptable and nimble. So, always be prepared for the unexpected.

1. All cases are structured, wheather you realise the structure or not. It's your job to keep it organised and keep it to a good flow/framework!

2. Figure out what data/information you need and ask for it: The interviewer won't just give it to you (just like your client won't know what you need from them). Use your framework to dive into areas! If your interviewer insists they don't have data in that area (after you've gone specific), then go into another area of your framework (or expand out).

3.In this case try and keep a mini framework in your head. You can write as you talk as well.

When you say "not those kinds of questions an interview-led style would ask" this shows me that you're limited in your preparation....don't come in expecting a certain format/style! Be ready to drive your own case if needed. Think if you were on a real life project and asked to lead it...this is what they need you to demonstrate!

Honestly, I think you could benefit from a session with a coach. Finding other PrepLoungers to case with is great to get you 80% of the way there, but coaches will really test your thinking and make sure you truly understand what you're saying/doing. Intimately understanding the case/situation/problem and knowing why you're asking x question is the key to being able to adapt to whatever you encounter during the interview.

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Clara
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replied on Oct 29, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Congrats for the inteview!

2nd round as you very well say are much less structured.

Bain, among the Big 3, is the most unstructured one.

Hence, really, you can expect any type of case -without slides, without charts, etc.-.

Good luck!

Cheers,

Clara

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Robert gave the best answer

Robert

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