How to prepare for a MBB written case

Bain Bain & Company written case
New answer on Mar 01, 2021
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 15, 2018

Bain, for example, now gives out one-hour written case and asks candidates to review a client's deck and comes up with a deck on recommendations. I have made many slides at work but hardly remember a time I completed a recommendation deck for clients in an hour. What is being evaluated here and how do I attack this giant time-sensitive written case? Any thoughts?


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replied on Nov 15, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


Bain Written Case is much easier than BCG since most of the slides a partially pre-filled. It has 2 parts:

  • Case information you have to go through
  • Slides with the missing info you have to complete

I have uploaded a sample here (message me to ask for a password):

Since each question in a written case has an exact correct answer, the success criteria is the number of questions answered correctly.

The best way to prepare is the following:

  1. Check if the calculator is allowed. If not - you have to train mental math. I posted the main tips here:
  2. Practice solving the cases - basically preplounge website is about it
  3. Practice reading cases fast and prioritizing the information. You can use 2 sources:
  • Written cases in the internet (You can find some of them in google or in case books)
  • Harvard cases - either buy or try to download somehwere in the web. You can find a couple of MIT cases here for free: The main problem - these free cases don't have any pre-defined questions.

Good luck!

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Wili on Jun 08, 2019

hi Vlad, can you share the password to the dropbox link? looking forward to hearing back from you soon. thank you

replied on Nov 15, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

It is mostly just a time management issue: you still need to display the same qualities as in a traditional case interview, but now also have to add 2 more things: (1) parse through a huge amount of data - most of which may not be relevant or useful, and (2) you need to prepare your presentation itself

I recommend you give yourself a very strict timeline. For example, assuming 1h to prep: 5 minutes to read the question and prepare the framework, 10 minutes to scan the data; 20 min to prepare the argumentation, 15 minutes to create the slides; 5 minutes for the wrap-up; whatever is left to review and get ready to give a verbal presentation

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Content Creator
replied on Mar 01, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Written case interviews are indeed becoming very fashionable nowadays as a way to interview!

In this case in particular, and given that you only have 1h, I would focus on 4 slides, 5 tops. More would probably make them be less well.

Remember that the skillset tested is the same than in the "usual" cases, hence, all the practice you may have done totally plays in your favor.

One important point to add is the need to be very 80-20, structured and to the point, since the prep time is very short, so we need discipline with the analysis to have enaugh time to prep the communication strategy.

There are many many entries in thsi same Q&A regarding written cases, hence, I would recommend you to look with the keywords "written case"

Hope it helps!



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Vlad gave the best answer


McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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