Preparing for Bain cases

Bain Bain & Company case interview preparation
Recent activity on Nov 27, 2018
2 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 27, 2018

I've been practicing cases for Bain. So far, I have been doing whatever interviewer-led cases that comes on my way, but my strategy from now on is to look into practicing Bain-type of cases. Could someone shed some light on what Bain cases are like in comparision to other firms, and how I should plan for practicing Bain type of cases? I am an experienced hire.

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Jacopo
Expert
updated an answer on Nov 27, 2018
Project leader BCG, Bain and A.T. Kearney / 200+ real interviews

Hi,

In my personal experience, cases at Bain are very similar to those of the other companies using the candidate-led type (BCG, Oliver Wyman, A.T. Kearney, Roland Berger, L.E.K,…).

Having said that, two important points come to my mind:

  • Bain cases are candidate-led; this holds true even if some interviewers at Bain tend to be more active at guiding the conversation towards specific points/questions or present you with slides with insightful data. In any case, the interaction is always less structured than interviewer-led cases at McK
  • Some comments in other threads in this forum identify three recurring types of cases at Bain: PE/M&A, market sizing, and profitability. That is certainly true for certain geographies/cities (e.g. Paris and London)…but might vary significantly for other regions

My recommendation is to continue your preparation with generic candidate-led cases + some examples from Bain. I can think of 2 sources:

  1. there are a few public examples available online (some are also available here on Preplounge; google will help too :))
  2. MBA casebooks – with a simple search you will be able to find some samples (e.g. ‘HBS Management Consulting Club’ has a couple)

Another obvious (and more expensive) source of Bain cases are the paid experts :) I have experience with several real Bain interview cases (from my own experience while at the firm and other Bainies colleagues)...but I won’t be able to share the details here :)

As a last important point, let me remind you that some Bain offices use a written case for certain candidates. If that is your case, you will be informed by the recruiting team.
Written cases include 20+ pages of documents which you need to analyse to answer a few client questions on 3 to 5 slides and present them to your interviewer. In addition to the skills that are tested in standard oral case interviews, written cases also test two extra skills: ability to identify key pieces of information that are in pages of less relevant content in order to develop insights ability to develop and deliver high quality slides.
Unfortunately there are not many written cases available online. You can find an example (also largely available online) in my public folder here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bk3q9ijqa4a6tri/AACCymvYb6Vyyz87F0IX1ktFa?dl=0
If you want to know more about written cases, you can read a more detailed post here https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/bain-written-case-1743

Feel free to get in touch for any question/doubt,
Jacopo

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Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 27, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Some general tips:

  1. Bain does not have a lot of PEI questions (Tell me about yourself, why consulting, why Bain, your questions)
  2. Bain cases are mostly about airlines, Retail, CPG, Private Equity
  3. Bain gives a lot of tables / charts
  4. A lot of Bain cases are not open-ended and you have to come up with a certain number in the end

The key difference of the candidate-led cases:

  1. Similarly to the interviewer-led cases, you ask clarifying questions in the beginning and make a structure
  2. You lead the case through the structure you've prepared a) asking questions and trying to identify the root-cause of the problem in the branch of your structure b) making a transition to the next branch c) proactively calculating the data and making data-driven conclusion from the data they give you d) Making a conclusion when they ask you to finish a case

It may seem to you that these 2 types of cases are different, however, the interviewer-led type is just a simplified version of the interviewee-led case. My advice is to always prepare in the interviewee-led format so that you could solve both easily.

Feel free to reach me for prep. I have over 100 real Bain cases in my library.

Best

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Jacopo

Project leader BCG, Bain and A.T. Kearney / 200+ real interviews
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