Spending too much time presenting the initial structure at Bain

Actively preparing for interviews with Bain and BCG Anyone who has worked at Bain? Case structure and frameworks Structure
Edited on Sep 25, 2022
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Mar 14, 2021

Hi PL,

I have an interview with Bain in a fortnight and I wanted to clarify how long I should spend presenting my structure. I understand the rule of thumb for developing the structure is 2 mins or less, but what about presenting it?

Can I spend a longer time presenting my structure if it is deep and insightful? Or should I make it less deep and move to the next steps faster?

My concern is that having a strong structure at the start might score me extra points for this section, but might leave me less time for the other analysis the interviewer will be hoping to go through.

Thanks! :)

(edited)

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Francesco
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updated an answer on Sep 25, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

As a general benchmark, I would consider the following:

  • 1-2 min to write down the structure
  • A few mins to present (also depends on the company, at McKinsey usually you have more time to present due to the interviewer-led format – you can find more on the differences here)

They are not strict rules. If you spend more than 2 min to write down the structure, you won’t lose any points. However be ready to have the interviewer ask if you are ready.

If you feel you could add additional insight on a bucket when you present, simply mention: “On this point we could further see X and Y, and would be happy to detail it more once we reach it or if you prefer to go deeper now”.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

(edited)

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Ian
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replied on Mar 14, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

In general, around 1-3 minutes is good.

However, remember that it really depends on the case! Fundamentally, you need to consider:

  • What matters in answering the question?
  • Have I provided the right amount of "How" and "why" for each bucket
  • Is my interviewer still engaged

Read body language, and understand the requirements of the specific case to figure out what the right length is!

The most important is that you have 1) Quickly identified the main areas that matter 2) Can aritculate why you want to look at each one (i.e. what is the outcome/value you're looking for) and 3) Can explain what matters in each one, how you'll look at it/measure it, and include some supporting views/hypotheses.

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Henning
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replied on Mar 14, 2021
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Present your structure in 1 minute. Maximum 2. A structure is made strong not be the level of detail underneath it, but by being MECE and mentioning 2-3 really strong bullets tailored to the case context in the second level.

Don't get tempted to present the "8-legged monster" with three or four levels of speculation that typically has little to do with how the case actually plays out.

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Gaurav
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replied on Mar 14, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hey A!

My advice would be not to spend too much time on a structure. As you mentioned by yourself, it might leave you less time for other parts. The structure won’t be the most important during your presentation, so try to prioritise your points in the way they will outline the crucial basic moments.

Good luck,

GB

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Udayan
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replied on Mar 19, 2021
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

You are abolutely right - structure is key to getting right. Take the time to present it. Remember to use the top down approach and explain in one sentence why you are looking at the factors you are looking at.

About 1.5 mins to prepare it and 2 mins to deliver it is totally fine

Udayan

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Clara
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replied on Mar 15, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Usually, you would take 1-2 minutes for it.

However, this is only a generality and should be taken as such. It´s highly important to be flexible and present in the interview, to read the interviewer and interact correctly.

Cheers,

Clara

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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