Questions about Bain's referral process

Referral
New answer on Oct 07, 2021
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Oct 06, 2021

Dear all: would like to seek your advice on a few questions regarding Bain's referral:

(1) I have sent my CV to my referee last weekend. What would be a reasonable timeline to follow up with him whether he completed the referral process? I'm not really familiar with the referee hence I'm trying to avoid being too “pushy”.

(2) Is it normal that cover letter is not required? The referee told me that cover letter is not required and I have only sent him my CV.

(3) In Bain's case, is referral always completed via an internal portal? Last year when I applied to MBB, my referrals at Bain & McKinsey told me that they will “forward my CV to recruiter”. But I've heard that for all MBB firms, referral from internal portal is always required. Hence, I'm not sure whether my application has been referred properly. 

Thank you for your advice!

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Best answer
Hagen
Expert
replied on Oct 06, 2021
Bain & Company Project Leader | 200+ interviews conducted | 5+ years of coaching and mentoring

Hi there,

First of all, congratulations on the referral!

This is indeed an interesting question which is probably relevant for quite a lot of users, so I am happy to provide my perspective on it:

  • First of all, it is great to read that you do have a feeling for coming off “pushy”! I would wait at least until the weekend to ask the referee whether he/ she forwarded your CV or not. The referee will most likely be quite busy during the week and chances are high he/ she will forward the CV Thursday evening/ Friday.
  • Contradictory to what other coaches said, I would not contact HR directly since the person of contact still is the referee at the moment - bypassing him/ her might not be the best idea at the moment.
  • Yes, at least with Bain referrals, you most probably will not need to hand in any cover letter.
  • To my own experience and the ones of colleagues of mine from other regions, the Bain referral system works without any internal portal as opposed to McKinsey and BCG (where there might again be some differences from region to region).

In case you want a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare for your upcoming Bain interviews with a Bain Project Leader, please feel free to contact me directly.

I hope this helps,

Hagen

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Anonymous B on Oct 06, 2021

Thanks for the response, Hagen! I was intrigued by your job title. Isn't "Project Leader" a BCG title? Surprised to see someone at Bain with that title.

Pedro
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Oct 06, 2021
# 1 Rated Bain Coach | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Former Head Recruiter | Principal

Hi there,

1. Reach out on Friday, as most consultants do “office work” on that day. If he didn't do the referring yet, he will likely to it right away.

2. When I applied to Bain I had a referral. I only had to send them my CV, the cover letter was not required. 

3. At least in small offices, portals are not always used, as they add unnecessary bureaucracy. The referal sends the CV to the partner responsible for recruiting and he makes the call on interviewing or not.

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 06, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (3.700+) | 1.300+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (www.case.tools/results) | Ex BCG | 8Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

  1. I would recommend the following: wait 2 weeks, then call HR and ask if they received the application. If they say they have not received it, followup with the person and ask “if you should do anything else” as a gentle reminder
  2. If you apply via referral, sometimes they don’t need the cover
  3. A referral from the internal portal is not always required for MBB, it depends on the office and company. In my case at McK the person simply forwarded the CV, while for BCG I had to flag the person referring me during the online application

Best,

Francesco

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 06, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

1) Wait 1-2 weeks. Reach out on a Thursday night or Friday morning

2) Totally normal! Don't worry about this

3) It depends on the office/time period/company. Don't worry about it…if they say they've referred you, they've referred you!

Good luck!

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Agrim
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Oct 07, 2021
Top CoachingPlus Expert | 100% personalised | BCG Dubai PL | 2021 Real MBB Cases | Case/PEI/Fit/CV | 6+ years Consulting
  1. Time to wait: Did you align on any expectations with the referee? If not, then 2 weeks should be the minimum for a first push.
  2. Cover letter: Office and company dependent. Please follow what the referee, HR and recruiter say.
  3. Portal process: Office and company dependent. Please follow what the referee, HR and recruiter say.
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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 06, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi!

1) What did you discuss in terms of next steps together?

2) Yes.

3) You will have to complete an online application via the Career portal.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Anto

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Hagen gave the best answer

Hagen

Bain & Company Project Leader | 200+ interviews conducted | 5+ years of coaching and mentoring
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