Question:

I’m a U.S.-based consultant preparing for an Bain interview for experienced hires next month. Your site and LOMS program has been invaluable, and I was wondering if you could help answer two questions:

1) How would you conduct case interview preparation differently for this interview given that it is for [a Non-US Country] and I am an experienced hire (currently [Competitor to Bain]). Also, what would you consider “high-probability case types” for this interview? More conceptual cases, or data-driven, valuation-type cases (such as the private equity acquisition target attractiveness/market attractiveness case example on their site)?

2) How do you approach talking about your previous client experience — if you have done work for foreign governments, for example, can you name them? I know that I cannot name corporate clients.

 

My Reply:

With respect to your first question, unfortunately there is no set pattern. Most cases are based on a particular interviewer’s actual client work. So to some extent there is a correlation based on office location and what industries they serve.

For example, Bain San Francisco (Silicon Valley) does more high tech work and the case interviews they give will skew more to this type of case. In McKinsey Houston, they do a lot of oil and gas… so they will tend to give more of those kinds of cases.

Realistically, I think you need to be prepared for any type of case, and trust that in your preparation and prior work experience you have honed your general problem solving skills so you can apply it to any particular case.

In terms of naming previous clients, if I’m barred from mention prior clients of any type, then I don’t mention it.

At McKinsey, confidentially was very strict, so even to this day I don’t mention the names of my former clients.  But, I would mention the work I did for them. So I would say, for a Top 5 hedgefund who was a client, “We did X work.. my rolewas Y part of the project,” etc.