(On a break) Deloitte S&O BA l Certified by Cornell University for Interview Prep l First timers get 50% off second case
Book a coaching

For case interviews at Bain, should you lay out a full structure (McKinsey-style) or build a structure as you go through the case?

Someone asked on Jul 29, 2017 - 2 answers
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
replied on Jul 30, 2017
(On a break) Deloitte S&O BA l Certified by Cornell University for Interview Prep l First timers get 50% off second case


Thank you for your question.

The short answer is yes, but you need to be aware of the fact that this doesn't mean that your structure / approach will remain fixed throughout the case. At first, you will use your structure as a guide to determine what areas you will look into during a case. If things go well, you capture all the necessary data from your approach and then are able to make a conclusion based on the information provided. However, there are cases where you have to apply more considerations to your approach; therefore, you will sometimes find yourself modifying the structure in one way or another.

Sometimes, the interviewer may question your approach if he/she thinks that it is not correct or will not work for the case. So, make sure you are able to pick-up any queues from the interviewers in case they notice something is "off" from your structure - this isn't bad and will not get you dinged, just make sure you're able to recover from this by listening and paying attention to the key information points from the case.

Hope this helps!



Francesco replied on Jul 31, 2017
#1 Expert for coaching sessions (2.000+) | Ex BCG | 1.000+ reviews with 100% recommendation rate

Hi Anonymous,

my suggestion would be to keep a full structure for Bain as well. In my experience Bain has been the company a bit more “unstructured” during finals, with questions mainly related to market sizing, while at McKinsey and BCG I found more traditional cases also during the finals (first round was basically the same for all). At Bain I also found a bit more fit questions compared to McKinsey and BCG (both these elements may be due to the geography of the interview, which in my case was Italy). Having said that, as mentioned, I would present at the beginning of the interview an initial structure equivalent to the one used with McKinsey.



Related BootCamp article(s)

Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases

Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly

0 Comment(s)

Related case(s)

Bain case: Asian lubricants producer

Solved 82.8k times
4.7 5 26604
| Rating: (4.7 / 5.0)

LubricantsCo, a very successful Asian premium producer of lubricants in their native region, would like to further increase their revenue and profit. The product range ranges from lubricants in the automotive sector (e.g. motor and gear oil) to industrial applications (e.g. fats, heavy-duty oils). ... Open whole case

Bain Case: Old Winery

Solved 23.3k times
4.4 5 611
| Rating: (4.4 / 5.0)

You have inherited the “Old Winery” from your grandfather, a winery which has been family owned for five generations and can be dated back to the 16th century. Half of the eleven hectares are used to grow white grapes, the other half to grow red grapes. They are grown in the conventional way, i.e. ... Open whole case

Bain Questions

Solved 19.3k times
4.6 5 230
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me about a difficult situation you had to cope with. Tell me of a task which you didn’t like doing and explain why you performed it nevertheless. Why do you do things? What do you like doing most / What is your favorite hobby? Walk me through a situation where you showed leadership skills. Open whole case