Is now a good time to apply to Bain (Central European offices) for full-time position?

Bain & Company blacklist Coronavirus interviews MBB rejection video interview
New answer on Aug 23, 2020
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 02, 2020

Hi,

as the question reveals, I am interested in working for Bain.

In fall 2018, I applied for the first time on-campus for US offices, and got directly rejected. Not knowing that the ban period (1-2 years, as far as I know) applies worldwide, I re-applied for Middle East in February 2019 and for my home country (Central Europe) in summer 2019. Most probably I got directly rejected by HR because I was flagged in the system.

Then, I reapplied in fall 2019 for Central Europe and US, and in winter 2019 one more time for Central Europe again, and got directly rejected. I'm not sure though if I was still flagged in the system or not (since all these applications were sent after less than 1.5 years from my first rejection)...

In each application, I used a different email and switched between full first name and nickname, but most probably it did not work.

Since my first rejection, I got my Master's degree from a target university in the US and got an offer from a Tier3 consulting company, where I will start in a month.

Since over 1.5 years after my first rejection have passed, it could be the case that I am not in the blacklist anymore. ​On the one hand, I am tempted to apply now because there is a lot of uncertainty regarding how badly the corona-crisis will affect the consulting branch, means it could be the case that Bain does not hire (or hire way less) new Associates for a few months/years in the future. On the other hand, I'm afraid that just finishing my Master's degree and graduating from university is not such a huge progress in comparison to my first application from 2018 (although I can add several university projects and courses on my CV).

Would your advice for me be to apply now, or better wait one more year, work in the company I am now and then re-apply?

Thanks and stay healthy!

(edited)

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Francesco
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replied on Apr 03, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi there,

the best thing to do in your case would be to get a connection inside the company. This could help in two ways:

  • Understand if Bain is still recruiting (some offices already suspended hiring)
  • Get possibly a referral, which is going to increase your chances to be invited

You can find more on referrals at the link below:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176

You don’t necessarily need a partner referral, although it would be the strongest one of course. Having said that, it would be a good idea to wait at least one year since your last application to show some improvements, even if you apply via referral.

Not sure why you are targeting only Bain, but a good idea would be to also consider BCG and McKinsey as part of your applications to increase chances to land in MBB.

Best,

Francesco

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Udayan
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updated an answer on Apr 02, 2020
Top rated MBB coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases

Being rejected 3 times by Bain in 2 years means that it probably is not the best time to apply. The idea about the 2 year wait is that you need to have accomplished something that has significantly changed the strength of your application. In your case it appears that you did not adhere to the wait requirement and continued to apply 3 times in just over one year. If you apply again there is an eqaully high likelihood of you not getting past a screening round.

Additionally there is the added complexity of Covid-19 where no one wants to commit to hiring more people and there's a lot of uncertainty in general.

As suggested by others, the only way to go about this now is to get a Partner referral. My personal feeling is that this still may not be enough given the 3 rejections and the economic climate. My bias would be to keep the job you have, perform really well and revisit this in 3 years

Best,

Udayan

(edited)

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Daniel
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replied on Apr 02, 2020
McKinsey / ex-Interviewer at McKinsey / I will coach you to rock those interviews

Hi! In times likes ours the best thing to do is to get a referral from a partner. This will almost certainly get you an invitation for an interview. I wouldn't recommend to go through a normal application process now.

Best,
Daniel

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Clara
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replied on Apr 03, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Given the details you give, and the fact you have gone through 3 rejections, plus the current situation... I would advise you to wait.

Work on getting a partner referral to maximize your chances to make the most out of this time.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Robert
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replied on Apr 02, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Consulting firms work best historically if there is a clear upwards or downwards trend. At this moment all firms I am in contact with slow down their recruiting acitivities and try to wait a bit until the initial dust settles and the situation becomes more transparent.

From that perspective it's currently not an ideal time to apply unfortunately - especially if you plan to go through the standard recruiting process via online application.

Situation is different if you have a referral on partner level - this will at least secure your interviews. Always good, but now even more important than in boom times.

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

Robert

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Vlad
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replied on Apr 02, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

You should apply via a refferal

There are certain criteria for the referral:

  1. The consultant makes you a reference in the system and uploads your resume. Usually, he has to indicate why he thinks you are a good candidate
  2. You skip some steps in the recruiting process (CV screening at McK, Test at Bain)
  3. The consultant gets referral bonus ($) if you get a job offer

As you can see simply mentioning a person in your CL does not change the process at all.

The conversion to reference will be higher among consultant / manager level people who are still interested in the referral bonus. The basic idea is to ask these people for a mock interview.

Here are some tips on how you can do that:

1) Leverage your own network - find friends or friends of friends who can practice cases with you or make you a reference.

2) Attend company events. Consulting companies do a lot of events both for graduates and experienced hires. Find the social network groups related to consulting or websites, subscribe to newsletters and stay tuned. Also, check if they have events in your University since you are a PHD.

While some of the events will be open to everyone, others will require a resume and a cover letter, so make sure to prep.

3) Talk to people on the events and send Thank You notes. After each event, there is a Q&A session where you can talk to consultants 1 on 1 or in a group. Ask for contact info or send a thank you note after the event ("I just wanted to thank you for visiting our University... It was especially interesting to hear about... Would be happy to keep in touch and apply in the nearest future.). Alternatively, you may use linkedin for that. If you are an experienced hire I strongly suggest to ask for a 1 on 1 meeting in a thank you note.

4) 1 on 1 meetings. All people like giving an advice. So don't hesitate to ask consultants for a career advice. Tell your story and ask how consulting fits into it

5) Mock interview Depending on where you are in your prep process you may ask a consultant for a mock interview. Consultants are very much opened to help even if it is a cold call e-mail. The main problem is a lack of time on their side. So don't be afraid to remind about yourself if the consultant has already committed but finds it hard to find the time

6) Talking to partners If you are an experienced hire I suggest to talk directly to the partners in your industry or the partner responsible for experienced hires (in consulting partners also have additional roles). Get an intro from the HR or from your friends working there. Partners care a lot about experienced hires with relevant industry expertise. Chances to get referral are much lower though. They also will not be interested in giving mock interviews.

7) If you are an MBA graduate Just talk to your section mates and ask for a reference or a mock interview - they will be happy to help. Make sure you attend all the consulting events.

Good luck!

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Anonymous replied on Aug 23, 2020

Dear A,

What you can do are:

1. Get to know hwther Bain is hiring

2. Ask HR, if your are banned or now. It's ok to ask

3. Apply with referrals.

If you need any further help or advice, feel free to reach me out.

Best,
André

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Antonello
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replied on Apr 30, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,
unfortunately, nobody now is able to predict the precise effects on each business. The 2 true facts today are that interviews are taking place regularly but online instead than face to face, and that many new consulting projects are being paused. Therefore if this lockdown continues for long it can cause a shrinking in new hires.

Best,
​Antonello

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Luca
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replied on Apr 03, 2020
BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score

Hello,

If you have been rejected already 2 times, the only way to have good chances in this period of COVID would be a referral.

Best,
Luca

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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