Pre-screen call with Bain Partner in Dubai

Bain & Company Phone interview pre-screening interview
New answer on Jul 24, 2020
3 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 30, 2020

Hi,

I am a project manager with an MBB firm in the UK and have a call coming up with a Bain partner who leads the industry hire for the Dubai office. They told me it will be to discuss my motivation and experiences and it is a pre-screening call. I was just wondering if anyone has been through this and has any advice. Thanks!

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Vlad
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replied on Jan 30, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

That will be just a standard conversation. Recommend you prepare the following:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why Consulting
  • Why Bain
  • Your questions to him

In "Tell me about yourself" you should be talking about your career path till now. You can finish this story with an argument about why consulting is the next logical career step.

I would recommend the following structure:

  1. Start with a 1 sentence summary of your background, why you are relevant for McKinsey and what's your unique selling point
  2. Talk about 3-4 of your roles (may be professional, education, extracurricular), 3 sentences each. The more experienced you are the more you should speak about professional roles. It can be also the distinct roles within the same organization. Typical structure: 1) What was the company 2) What you were responsible for 3) Greatest achievement in that role, that will stay in the memory of the interviewer (E.g. While working at Adidas supply chain I was personally responsible for the delivery of soccer balls to the Worldcup in Africa)
  3. The main reason why consulting (or McKinsey if you were a consultant before) is the next logical career step for you

“Why consulting?”, “Why McKinsey” or “Why BCG” questions are used to assess your motivation to be a consultant in general and to work in that particular firm. They will check how you have done your homework and what you’ve learned about them. They also want to make sure that you have a clear intention to work in consulting.

  • The answers to these questions are supposed to be short and take no more than 30 seconds each.
  • For each question, you should provide three bullets points with different reasons.
  • Make sure that you guide the interviewer through your reasoning. Words like “The first reason”, “Moreover”, “Finally” will help you.

When answering “Why consulting” questions, provide three reasons why you want to pursue a career in a consulting firm. A general rule is to find the reasons that are important for you and logically fit everything you have done before (e.g. you want to grow further in financial services and get exposure to these clients). You can always use some personal rationale like your experience of working with consultants on a client side.

"Why this company" is a more specific question and can include the following arguments:

  • The general marketing story the company is trying to sell (e.g. Bain is a small "Family" company)
  • Brand / positioning / market share in the region
  • More clients / projects / expertise in the industry you are interested in
  • More well-known stories of success in your city
  • Your friends working there
  • Your interactions with the other consultants before the interview
  • Your prior experience of working with the Firm on a client side
  • Office traditions
  • Work experience with firm alumni
  • etc

Best!

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Francesco
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replied on Jan 31, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

besides the questions mentioned by Vlad, which are indeed the most common ones, I would also recommend to prepare the following:

  • One leadership/teamwork story – how you lead a team: "Give me an example when you led a team"
  • One impact story – how you influenced someone: "Tell me about a time when you had to convince someone not agreeing with you"
  • One drive story – how you achieved a major goal: "What has been your major achievement so far"

These questions are more common at McKinsey but are sometimes asked as well at Bain, thus would prepare them as well.

You can find more on the previous topics at the following link:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/mckinsey-pei-difference-drive-and-personal-impact-918#a1780

Best,

Francesco

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Anonymous replied on Jul 24, 2020

Dear A,

Agree with other experts. This is mostly about your motivation and your personal story, especially the questions that Vlad has already mentioned.

I have few mentees whom I have helped to get into Bain Dubai, so if you need any further help, insights and advice, feel free to reach out to me.

Best,
André

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Vlad

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