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What are the main differences between first and second Round in Bain&co?

Anonymous A asked on Oct 27, 2019 - 6 answers
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replied on Oct 27, 2019
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the interview structure will be the same: PEI (15-20') + business case (30-40') + your questions (5'). The interviewers instead will differ: in the 1st round, you will face managers or principles, in the final round partners. The skills assessed will be consequently different: while in the 1st round your analytical and case structuring skills will be stressed, in the 2nd round partners will focus more on your fit with Bain and your common business sense.



Thanks you so much for your reply! Would you advise then to get in contact with the HR to know who will be my interviewer and then study better their industry of reference? Asking some insiders I know about their behaviour could also be beneficial.. — Anonymous A on Oct 28, 2019 (edited)

Definitely yes! Knowing the background of your interviewers will help you to better engage her with more personal observations (e.g. about her MBA or industry knowledge). — Antonello on Oct 28, 2019

Fell free to PM for any advices, happy to help :) — Antonello on Oct 28, 2019

replied on Oct 28, 2019
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I can confirm that in Italy the two rounds are pretty similar (10min of fit interview 40min of case and 10 min of final questions). Sometimes, for consultant interview, you have only one round with three interviews (1 with a manager/principal, 1 with a partner and 1 with the H&R Manager). All of them are structured in the same way, however the one with the partner is much more qualitative and focus to understand your business sense. The interview with the HR is more motivational in order to get if you really want to enter Bain instead the other tier 1 consutling companies.

replied on Oct 28, 2019
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Hi there,

Depending on the office location, some Bain offices might use writen case for the 2nd round of interview. This means they would give you a slide pack (20-30 pages) containing a business situation, you would spend some time (btw 55 mins to 90 mins depnding on office) to work out a 3-5 pages slide deck and then present your solution to the interviers with a short Q&A. You migth want to ask around or check with the HR of the specific office, just to be sure.



updated his answer on Oct 27, 2019
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The interviews are completely similar:

  • Case
  • Just a couple of fit questions: Tell me about yourself, why consulting, why Bain, your questions to the interview. I disagree with Antonello here - based on my experience and the experience of my candidates, Bain does not really pay a lot of attention to fit

The only difference is the difficulty of the cases: at the later rounds no mistakes will be forgiven and you should be very good at cases



replied on Oct 28, 2019
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In general, the structure of the interviews will be similar. The only difference will be that in the latter stages, you will be more likely to speak with partners in the office, thus cases may be less structured and there may be more emphasis on the fit.



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replied on Oct 28, 2019
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Hi Anonymous,

the structure of the final round is the same as the first one (fit + case+ your questions); however, there is more emphasis on communication and fit.

Specifically, the main difference you will find in a final round with partners is that at that stage they:

  1. spend more time on fit questions and your alignment with the company
  2. check more closely your communication (eg how you react to challenging questions)
  3. may not have a “proper” structured case to present. During my final at Bain in Italy they simply asked two market sizing questions. Once you reach the final they know you can structure and crack a case (you passed 1 or 2 rounds already) and are more interested in your logic, personality and fit with the company


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