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Ian

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8

Would this Mistake Lead to a Rejection?

I just had my Bain interview and in one (of two) cases I had to calculate the Revenue of a business. Once I got to the number the interviewer stopped me and questioned my figure. I ran through my numbers and confirmed then but he stated that while my calculations were off, there was something I was missing. I went through the question again and he said that it was from the beginning. I finally realized that in the prompt he stated that 50% of revenue was given to X source. I then got the correct number and he seemed to laugh it off but the process of checking my math took potentially over a minute. Is this viewed as a big negative, or if the case went well otherwise would it not be a dealbreaker?

I just had my Bain interview and in one (of two) cases I had to calculate the Revenue of a business. Once I got to the number the interviewer stopped me and questioned my figure. I ran through my numbers and confirmed then but he stated that while my calculations were off, there was something I was missing. I went through the question again and he said that it was from the beginning. I finally realized that in the prompt he stated that 50% of revenue was given to X source. I then got the correct number and he seemed to laugh it off but the process of checking my math took potentially over a minute. Is this viewed as a big negative, or if the case went well otherwise would it not be a dealbreaker?

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Book a coaching with Ian

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Hi there,

I understand your need to know, but, my question is whether it's worth even worrying about this?

If I tell you 100% DID get rejected, how will that change what you do with yourself today, tomorrow, next week?

If I tell you 100% DID NOT get rejected, how will that change what you do with yourself today, tomorrow, next week?

It honestly is 50/50. It depends on how you did on the rest of the case. It's a ding for sure...but if you nailed the rest of the case AND recovered as quickly as you said you did, you'll be fine.

Hi there,

I understand your need to know, but, my question is whether it's worth even worrying about this?

If I tell you 100% DID get rejected, how will that change what you do with yourself today, tomorrow, next week?

If I tell you 100% DID NOT get rejected, how will that change what you do with yourself today, tomorrow, next week?

It honestly is 50/50. It depends on how you did on the rest of the case. It's a ding for sure...but if you nailed the rest of the case AND recovered as quickly as you said you did, you'll be fine.

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Listen to Ian, he is a wise man :)

Don't worry about what you cannot change and try and focus on other interviews you have. No person I have coached has been a good judge of their performance during the interview. There are SO many factors you just cannot keep a track of all of them.

Best,

Udayan

Listen to Ian, he is a wise man :)

Don't worry about what you cannot change and try and focus on other interviews you have. No person I have coached has been a good judge of their performance during the interview. There are SO many factors you just cannot keep a track of all of them.

Best,

Udayan

Ha, just saw this! Right back at you! — Ian on Sep 28, 2020

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I wouldn't worry about it. As an interviewer, I don't check whether the candidate can do perfect math 100% of the time and whether they can always remember every detail and assumption from the case. What I try to get is the overall ability of the candidate to structure a quantative approach and then execute it consistently. If I will put this candidate in front of a client would they be bright enough to stay one step in front of the client?

While it may sound very subjective it is actually quite easy to assess - after you interview enough candidates with similar cases it is very clear who can do it and who can't. A small calculation mistake or a small assumption don't really make a difference.

I wouldn't worry about it. As an interviewer, I don't check whether the candidate can do perfect math 100% of the time and whether they can always remember every detail and assumption from the case. What I try to get is the overall ability of the candidate to structure a quantative approach and then execute it consistently. If I will put this candidate in front of a client would they be bright enough to stay one step in front of the client?

While it may sound very subjective it is actually quite easy to assess - after you interview enough candidates with similar cases it is very clear who can do it and who can't. A small calculation mistake or a small assumption don't really make a difference.

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Hello!

Unfortunately (or not) nothing changes, hence is better to forget about it.

I did a similar mistake and still got hired in McK, if it helps you.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Unfortunately (or not) nothing changes, hence is better to forget about it.

I did a similar mistake and still got hired in McK, if it helps you.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hi A,

You have to wait to figure out the outcome.

It doesn't make any sense now to get yourself all upset. So just chill and be cool. The best you can do in such situations is to beat the odds despite making a mistake.

Next time pay more attention to detail and check all the information needed for calculations before you start them.

Best,

André

Hi A,

You have to wait to figure out the outcome.

It doesn't make any sense now to get yourself all upset. So just chill and be cool. The best you can do in such situations is to beat the odds despite making a mistake.

Next time pay more attention to detail and check all the information needed for calculations before you start them.

Best,

André

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Hi there,

Don't overthink it, you cannot change anything right now, so just chill :)

You cannot change anything right now, rather than learn from this mistake and try to focus more next time to avoid it. I hope you get a chance to move to the next stage with Bain, but no matter what happens, keep in mind that you should focus well in your interview, and make sure you validate your numbers with the interviewer before starting your calculations.

All the best,

Mehdi

Hi there,

Don't overthink it, you cannot change anything right now, so just chill :)

You cannot change anything right now, rather than learn from this mistake and try to focus more next time to avoid it. I hope you get a chance to move to the next stage with Bain, but no matter what happens, keep in mind that you should focus well in your interview, and make sure you validate your numbers with the interviewer before starting your calculations.

All the best,

Mehdi

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Hi Anonymous,

Even though the math part and being comfortable with numbers is a vital element in evaluating your performance, I have the feeling that it's sometimes a bit too overrated.

Making a math mistake (to be more precise: in your case it's actually more a logical mistake) is not the end of your interview process - IF you did very well on all other components of the case!

If it will lead to a rejection or not can tell only your interviewer finally, but don't worry too much about it - too late to change anyway.

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Hi Anonymous,

Even though the math part and being comfortable with numbers is a vital element in evaluating your performance, I have the feeling that it's sometimes a bit too overrated.

Making a math mistake (to be more precise: in your case it's actually more a logical mistake) is not the end of your interview process - IF you did very well on all other components of the case!

If it will lead to a rejection or not can tell only your interviewer finally, but don't worry too much about it - too late to change anyway.

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Hi there,

The short answer is no one knows. Two math mistakes are usually a deal-breaker. Having said that it depends on the rest of your performance.

I agree with the other comments that it is not a useful question anyway, as you cannot change the outcome.

Instead, I would try to understand why you missed the initial information. That could be useful for future interviews.

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

The short answer is no one knows. Two math mistakes are usually a deal-breaker. Having said that it depends on the rest of your performance.

I agree with the other comments that it is not a useful question anyway, as you cannot change the outcome.

Instead, I would try to understand why you missed the initial information. That could be useful for future interviews.

Best,

Francesco

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