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Bain & Company Associate Consultant Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 7, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting the Interview 

49%
35%
7%

Interview Experience 

79%
17%
2%

Interview Difficulty 

Average Difficulty
132 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Associate Consultant Interview

Associate Consultant
Los Angeles, CA

I applied through college or university - interviewed at Bain & Company in September 2013.

Interview Details – There were multiple rounds of interviews. 2 shorter interviews in one block for the first round (~30 minutes) with 3 interviews in the second round (~45 minutes). The first round emphasizes quantitative skills and ability to do the case a bit more while the second round places a bit more emphasis on candidate fit.

Interview Question – Just run of the mill business cases. Nothing especially difficult or tricky.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Associate Consultant Interview

Associate Consultant
Chicago, IL

I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Bain & Company in October 2013.

Interview Details – The interview process was standard for the consulting industry. First round was an on-campus interview consisting of two cases that were fairly easy. The final round was an office visit with three cases (more difficult) and a fit interview. Overall all the people in the company were very nice and helpful in terms of providing feedback.

Interview Question – The cases in the final round were more difficult and I'm sure are different year to year.   Answer Question

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Associate Consultant Interview

Associate Consultant
Dallas, TX

I interviewed at Bain & Company in June 2010.

Interview Details – Two back-to-back on campus interviews in the career center. Heavy case interviews emphasizing quantitative and logic. Two Bain Manager/CTL level people came to do the interviews. They selected 10 applicants to interview out of about 100 applications. They usually hire 1 or 2 people from the ones they interview.

Interview Question – What is the exact angle formed by the hands on a clock when the time reads 9:30?   View Answers (5)

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Associate Consultant Interview

Associate Consultant
Los Angeles, CA

I applied online and the process took 1 week - interviewed at Bain & Company in January 2014.

Interview Details – Initial communication was through email to set up the first round of interviews. This process was very smooth and the recruiting coordinator was very helpful in answering any questions. Once in the office, they will provide you with a description of the interviewers along with their backgrounds. The interviewers themselves were friendly but became really stoic during the actual interview.

Interview Question – Interview was 1.5 hours long with 2 cases lasting 45 minutes each. Both cases were drawn from the same industry - U.S. airlines   Answer Question

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1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Associate Consultant Interview

Associate Consultant
Chicago, IL

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Bain & Company in January 2014.

Interview Details – The entire process was very smooth and took about 2 weeks (not including waiting for the first interview). My first interview round was with a SAC and a Consultant at their office, and both interviews went well (except that the numbers on one case tripped me up). These interviews were both profit cases and were not especially difficult.

For the final round, I was flown out to Boston to interview with a Partner and Senior Manager. I had to do a market sizing case which also felt like a pressure test, because my interviewer questioned my every assumption. I had a profit case with the Senior Manager which required a rather unexpected recommendation.

The Partner who interviewed me called me the next morning to let me know that I received the offer.

In general, the process was great and you have the opportunity to receive detailed feedback at each round. In fact, I was surprised at the quality of the feedback given that the interviewers are so busy! So if you get the opportunity to interview, definitely request for feedback and it will help you to do well in future case interviews.

Interview Question – Market sizing.   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – There was no negotiation as it is a standard contract.

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Associate Consultant Interview

Associate Consultant
San Francisco, CA

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Bain & Company in October 2013.

Interview Details – Everything was super professional. I had 2 interviews on campus and 3 interviews in-office. All the interviews included 10-15 minutes of behavioral questions and then a short case (20-30 minutes).

Interview Question – Nothing unexpected.   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Associate Consultant Interview

Associate Consultant
Chicago, IL

I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at Bain & Company in October 2013.

Interview Details – 2 cases during the 1st round interview. Cases were fair if you did case preps.

Interview Question – I had a market entry case. I did a cost-benefit analysis, calculated the approx. break-even period, but i didn't realize that there was a capacity issue until the very end. thought that was tricky   Answer Question

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Associate Consultant Interview

Associate Consultant
Chicago, IL

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at Bain & Company in October 2013.

Interview Details – I applied through my university, and completed a first round interview on campus. The interview was two separate case interviews with two separate interviewers. The cases were nothing too crazy. Minimal behavioral interview questions.

Interview Question – The case questions were largely graph and figure driven. Had to know to ask the right questions, but also how to be able to properly analyze the given data.   Answer Question

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57 people found this helpful

Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Associate Consultant Interview

Associate Consultant
New York, NY

I applied through college or university and the process took 3 days - interviewed at Bain & Company in October 2012.

Interview Details – I did on-campus recruiting at my university, and there were 2 rounds of interviews, with 2 case interviews each. I found the Bain cases to be a bit more straightforward than the cases for BCG and other top consulting firms. They weren't about banks, pharmaceutical companies, or companies in other complex industries that most undergrads don't have a strong background in. Instead, they were analytical problems about corporations most people intuitively understand (grocery chain strategy, airline considering adding an economy-plus program, that sort of thing). Obviously I only had four data points from my cases, but my friends had similar experiences, and the internship interviews this year seemed to go the same way for people I knew. I think the flipside of the easier questions was that they expected a higher standard of performance from people because the ceiling of the test was lower and the scenarios weren't hard to understand conceptually. It seemed like they gave us cases that feel manageable to try to put us at ease, but they didn't accept a lot of the candidates I knew who felt they had made small errors or had given solid but unremarkable performances. The interviewers seemed happiest when I went into depth and tried creative answers during the brainstorming parts of the cases, so I think they might be looking for particularly well-considered answers to cases that seem simple on face.

I also think my interviewers cared about presentation and personality based on what they said about the cases after I got my offer. They want people who are high-energy (VERY peppy and friendly -- this was a unifying characteristic for the people I met at the firm, and my friends who work there have confirmed that it's emphasized in the corporate culture) and would be good at giving a client presentation. Have a big Starbucks before your final round if you're a laid-back personality type, and don't let nerves or number-crunching get in the way of having a clear conversation with your interviewer. Long story short, the Bain cases weren't so tough, but to get the job you'll need to distinguish yourself with some innovative ideas and a great demeanor.

Interview Question – I found the case interviews to be straightforward. If you prepared, you'll be fine. Even if you didn't prepare much but you're just used to thinking on your feet, you'll probably be fine.   View Answer

Reason for Declining – If you get the job and you're comparing it to others to make a decision, find a way to speak to people who have left the firm in addition to the people the recruiting department puts you in touch with. They have an amazing recruiting team and I think they spend a LOT of time and money trying to get you to sign, but obviously the people they put you in touch with are the ones who are the happiest about their time at the firm. I talked to probably 30+ employees trying to make a decision (I know that sounds kind of ridiculous, but at least 20 of them spontaneously called to say congrats and answer questions). They got my name because recruiting reached out to them, but I ended up asked those employees if they had any friends who had left the firm for other careers after their first few years there, and those people provided a radically different perspective in many cases. At all up-or-out management consulting firms like Bain, there's a clear crowd of people who succeeded and were a good fit (these are managers, partners, and star consultants recruiting will put you in touch with), and there's a separate group of people who were the wrong personality type, found the work unfulfilling, or had horrible experiences with the workload (these people leave the firm quickly, and if they're still employed there, they don't voice these concerns to recruits). Talking to people who had bad experiences and felt like they weren't personality fits for the firm helped me to get both sides of that story. Neither perspective is really more valid than the other, and Bain has many more happy employees than detractors, but ultimately you're the person who is best situated to tell whether you're more similar to the happy employees or the people who felt they didn't enjoy the work or didn't fit in. I ended up deciding it wasn't for me and going into non-profit work, but I think it's a great firm, and for someone with different long-term goals and a more extroverted personality, I think it would be an awesome place to start a career.

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Associate Consultant Interview

Associate Consultant
Philadelphia, PA

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 days - interviewed at Bain & Company in September 2012.

Interview Details – 2 interview rounds
First round 2 interviews on campus, with 2 associate consultants. Both had cases.
Second and final round - 2 45 minute interviews with engagement managers.

Interview Question – Second round had a very complex business case in the Consumer & Retail space. Involved integrating technology into the consumer end-to-end touchpoints. The other second round interview was fairly straightforward.   Answer Question

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