Bain Pre-Interview with Mini-Case

Bain minicase
Edited on Sep 14, 2020
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 12, 2020

Hi everyone!

I am invited to a pre-interview at Bain (Germany), which will consist predominantly of personal fit questions and one mini-case. What should I expect from this mini-case (what type of case etc.)? Any insights would be helpful!

(edited)

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Ian
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replied on Sep 12, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

First, congratulations!

Second, what do you think? :)

It'll be a case, but shorter/quicker.

So, prepare for all the same things! I.e. structuring, problem-solving, hypotheses, math, chart reading etc.

It'll likely be more focused on the case prompt + framework aspect AND will have a good amount of brainstorming. You should be prepared for charts/graphs, but they are certainly less likely. They will likely give you your information verbally (as in, yes, it has grown by x %, or yes this is the largest piece changes, etc.), and you will have to evolve your framework/hypothesis along the way.

Obviously, the type of case, as always, is completely unpredictable! With Bain, you always have more of a chance of PE/DD/M&A, but really anything is game!

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There will be a pretty strong emphasis on FIT. How do you nail the fit?

Resume walkthrough

  • Needs to be chronological
  • Only keep important details that make you look good (i.e. I worked across 7 industries and rose up the ranks twice in the course of that role)
  • Keep a theme of "why consulting"
    • I.e. at each step you need to show that you both got exposure to aspects of consulting AND thrived + enjoyed them
  • Finish with: And that's why I'm here today looking for consulting with your company

Why Consulting

  • You need to summarize what you did before along the theme of consulting aspects you liked and consulting aspects that were missing
  • You then combine those two - i.e. I know I like + am good at x, y, and z which is required for consulting, and I really am excited to get a, b, and c
  • You finish with a "mini" why x company

Why x company

  • Start with a "mini" why consulting
  • Then have 2-3 reasons why x company is your target
  • Every "reason" needs to incorporate 1) That you know they value x 2) That you not only value x but have exhibited it and done it in the past
  • Be very very mindful of what they want you to want

Personal Stories

Step 1 - Categorize the main stories

There are 5-10 "themes" you need to prepare for. i.e. Leadership, teamwork, challenge, etc. 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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Francesco
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replied on Sep 12, 2020
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Hi there,

The typical questions at Bain are the following:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why consulting
  • Why Bain
  • Why should we hire you

Also, not as common as at McKinsey but sometimes asked:

  • Give me an example when you led a team
  • Tell me about a time when you had to convince someone not agreeing with you
  • What has been your major achievement so far

To prepare your stories, I would recommend the following checklist:

  1. Understand the difference between, leadership, impact and drive areas. You can find a link with their differences here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/mckinsey-pei-difference-drive-and-personal-impact-918#a1780
  2. Identify good stories for each area. Ideally you want to have at least two stories for each area.
  3. Use a structure for your story. I would suggest to use the STARR model (Situation, Task, Action, Rational for Action, Results)
  4. Identify for each story one sentence clarifying what the story is about and start with it. Think of it as the title of a journal article.
  5. Practice live, collect feedback from people listening to you, reiterate until when you get fluent and persuasive

In terms of the case, it could be any type, so it is difficult to give tips there. If you are well prepared for standard cases though you should be fine.

Best,

Francesco

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Henning
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replied on Sep 12, 2020
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Hi Anonymous!

First of all, congratulations for making it there!

I've helped a few candidates to get offers from Bain Germany recently, so happy to help with this. For the FIT questions, you should prepare just as you would for a regular interview. Go through the typical questions and prepare your answers to project your best self. Expect them to ask a few questions on your CV and then dig down a bit into one of the experiences. Furthermore, make sure to be well prepared for the questions "Why consulting?" and "Why Bain?".

The mini case is typically a simple business case as you would use them for any other interview case as well. The interviewer then usually asks you to develop an approach on how to solve the case and discusses it with you a bit briefer than they would do in a real case. This means that your preparation should look just like it would for the actual interview cases. With a slight bias on the development of a strong and MECE framework.

I hope this helps. DM me if you need more details.

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Anonymous updated the answer on Sep 14, 2020

Hi A,

My congratulations!

Well, I would recommend preparing for the regular fit questions and standard cases. The only difference, a mini-case might obviously take less time.

  • Fit (~90% of questions) & PEI questions (~10%). Prepare a few good stories to tell and also make sure you can answer such regular fit questions as "Why consulting?" or "Why Bain?", etc.

  • Cases. You have to practice different types of cases so cracking a mini-case would be a similar process but, obviously, shorter.

Good luck!

Best, André

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