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Passed first round at Bain. Have 4 months to prep for the 2nd round. Need Tips!

Anonymous A asked on Aug 18, 2019 - 1 answer


I have passed the first round at Bain and now have my second interview in January. Thus, I have around 4 months to prepare for the 2nd round. The feedback I got was:

1. Need to improve my prioritization skills (while looking at key elements of the structure to analyze first)

2. Diving into the data (graphs), not taking enough time to analyze it and missing some things.

Can you give me some tips on how to improve on this, given that I have ample of time?

Also, I am afraid of suffering from burnout or overpreparing. Can you suggest me some ways to tackle that?

Thank you!

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Vlad replied on Aug 18, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
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Several tips re prioritization:

  1. At the first level of your analysis try to maintain the levels in your structure correctly. Imagine you have a team and each bucket of your analysis is a dedicated person. The question to ask yourself is: "Is this bucket of analysis worth to be a workstream for a dedicated person on a real project?". (E.g. if you are acquiring a company you should analyze the company and the product will be just a sub-bullet in the company analysis. On the contrary - if you are launching a new product, you should have a dedicated person looking at the product first)
  2. Try to prioritize quantitative over qualitative. E.g. Instead of asking about regulation when analyzing the market, start with size and growth rates. The reason is - the chances of finding the insight in qualitative questions are much higher, which is crucial when the time for the case is limited
  3. Be very specific in your questions. E.g. when asking about the competition don't ask "Who are the competitors" or "How many players we have?". Be specific and ask what are the market shares of the competitors and their growth rates.

With the charts / tables you can use the following approach:

  1. Take a minute to look at the graph
  2. Read the graph title
  3. Look at the graph type and define the type (pie chart, line chart, etc)
  4. Look at the legend (ask for clarifying questions if necessary)
  5. Identify whats going on on the graph. Look for: Trends, % structures,
  6. Look for unusual things - correlations, outliers,
  7. Make 3-4 conclusions from the graph. Think of potential hypothesis on what could be the root cause / what are the consequences
  8. Prioritize the most important for your current analysis and move forward with the case

Sources to learn from (prioritized):

  1. Study "Say it with Charts" book by Barbara Minto
  2. Learn basic statistics (Any GMAT or MBA prep guides)
  3. Check all available MBB presentations and publications. Practice to derive conclusions and check yourself with the actual ones from the article / presentation
  4. GMAT IR part (Official guide and Manhattan prep)
  5. "Consulting Bible" and "Vault guide for consulting" - check the chapters on cases with graphs in these books

Good luck!

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