Bain & Company Associate Consultant Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Aug 10, 2014
Updated Aug 10, 2014
138 interviews

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1 person found this helpful  

Associate Consultant Interview

Anonymous Employee  in  San Francisco, CA
Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
Application Details

I interviewed through college or university. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Bain & Company in October 2012.

Interview Details

Standard hiring process through college. Dates and deadlines announced online, with a generic info-session arranged at the college. Upload your resume, cover letter and transcripts online. First round is on campus, followed by at-office for the second decision round. Hardest parts are the resume screening and round 2.

Notwithstanding what anyone says - it helps to network and know people at the office. Also, Bain arranges a mock case study session like most other big consulting firms before starting the interviews and after resume screening is done. DO NOT go into the idea that the mock cases are in anyway representative of what the actual interview are like. Actual cases are very intensive and need ample previous practice.

Interview Questions
  • A round 2 case with the Partner. Case was about VAT (sales tax) recovery option for foreign tourists in a country. The agency that handles the VAT recovery is an investment target for a private equity firm. The task was to suggest growth strategies to the pr.eq. for the agency's business. Note the deliberate use of multiple confusing layers, and bringing up an industry that you are sure never to have heard of. The challenge is to be able to deal with such situations.   View Answer
No Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Bain & Company

  1.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Interview Details

    Basic campus recruiting process. Had two 30 minute interviews with Consultants, back to back. Both interviews involved about half behavioral and half case. Behavioral is mostly just knowing your resume really well. One of the cases was very structured and the second was extremely open ended which threw me off since I didn't initially realize that was all the information I was going to be given.

    Interview Questions
    • Some case about Dunkin' Donuts and what you would look for in deciding on whether to expand.   Answer Question
    No Offer
  2. 16 people found this helpful  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Chicago, IL
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Chicago, IL
    Application Details

    I interviewed through college or university. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Bain & Company in October 2012.

    Interview Details

    Bain just started interviewing at my school (non-target in the Midwest) in the last few years, and I decided to attend a practice case info session at the business school put on by two consultant alums. During the info session I volunteered a ton (probably answered 75% of the questions, and luckily with pretty good answers) and afterwards I made an effort to meet both consultants, introduce myself and put a face to my name. I submitted my resume to the applicant pool, and I was called the following week by one of the alums who I met with to inform me they'd like to bring me in for a first round interview. Not sure how much of a difference it made, but I definitely think it helped taking the time to attend the info session, actively participating, and making a connection and strong impression on the recruiting contacts from the start rather than just hoping my resume would get noticed.

    First round consisted of two 30 minute cases, pretty much zero behavioral. I actually felt really pessimistic leaving the interview, and even called some friends and told them I didn't think I would be advanced to the next round. I was taking a nap the afternoon of the interview when my phone rang, with one of the consultants who interviewed me inviting me to a final round office interview in the near future. Goes to show you want to stay calm on the outside even if you feel like you're struggling and totally lost with a case. In between the first and second rounds, I reached out to the alums I initially met at the info session, and between them and some of the ACs on their teams I was able to go through ~8 live practice cases over the phone with different Bain employees. Can't stress enough how much this helped me prepare.

    Second round was three 30 minute cases with a partner and two senior managers, as well as a 30 minute behavioral/fit interview with a consultant. Saw two private equity due diligence cases, the key to these is looking at the overall market, then the competitive landscape, then the client's specific product offering and how it compares to the rest of the industry. I would definitely anticipate a few cases of this sort if you plan on interviewing with Bain. All the cases were pretty straightforward, pretty structured where the interviewer had several slides with key information which they would provide if you asked the right questions. After the final interview I kept anticipating a call, as I'd heard that top firms will often extend offers the same day as the interview. When I didn't hear I was somewhat nervous, but I did my best not to think about it. I received an offer a week later over the phone.

    Interview Questions
    • Believe it or not I struggled most with the question "Tell me about yourself". It was my last interview of the final round with a very successful partner, normally I feel pretty good about my 30 second elevator pitch/self promotion blurb but I definitely froze up and got nervous for some reason. I sort of stammered that I was a smart and laid-back kid, immediately regretted the use of "laid-back", randomly threw out that I ran an ironman with no real connection to how it would make me a better consultant, etc. After that we went through a case together which went well, but definitely sell yourself better than I did when given the chance.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    As others have stated no negotiation for entry-level employees. My negotiation phase consisted of me giggling like a little girl when the partner asked if I would like to join Bain, and trying to hold it together over the phone.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Boston, MA
    Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through college or university. The process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Bain & Company in November 2012.

    Interview Details

    I attend a small liberal arts college in the northeast that is not a core recruiting school for Bain, but Bain has started to do info sessions on our campus and look at more of our applicants. I submitted an application through an online college career center job board. I think they probably selected people for first round interviews solely based on the highest GPAs in the applicant pool. Through this recruiting channel I believe they selected 4 people for first-round interviews through this process out of maybe 80 applicants.

    First round interviews were over the phone, two 30 minute back-to-back case interviews. Most Bain cases are the same, so I'm just going to lay out the basic structure they follow rather than go into the details: first they ask for factors or buckets of factors that go into your initial thinking on the problem. Then there's a market sizing question. Next, a break-even, profit calculation, or larger math portion of the case. There is always a twist in the math, so write out your equations carefully. Finally, a "curveball" qualitative question where the interviewer is looking for you to be creative.

    Second Round Interview was a similar format of two 45-minute case interviews back-to-back but in-person at the Boston office. Similar case format as the first round cases, but slightly more involved.

    Everyone who worked as an AC, Consultant, etc. at Bain was really nice and extremely helpful. However, HR and the people responsible for scheduling the interviews were a mess. Inconsistent e-mails, no clear details, etc. Also, if you go on to the next round they usually call you 2 days after the interview, and if you don't go on to the next round (or don't get an offer) they usually get back to you at the end of 2 weeks.

    Interview Questions
    • "We get thousands of high quality applicants that look just like you. Why are you different and why should we hire you?"   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
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  5.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Chicago, IL
    Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Application Details

    I interviewed through college or university. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Bain & Company.

    Interview Details

    I got selected for interview from my university at Europe for Dubai office. As I was on exchange in US, I went to give my first at local Chicago office as communicated by Bain. Went through the normal expected two case interviews. There was lot of data/graphs in second case. I did the first one in 20 minutes...Interviewer was happy. Got the call for the interview result in the evening with feedback saying that the competition was very tough.

    Interview Questions
    • There was nothing unexpected. Just that Bain normally gives lot of graphical data in one or both cases.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Chicago, IL
    Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Application Details

    I interviewed through college or university. The process took 1 week - interviewed at Bain & Company in October 2012.

    Interview Details

    Applied through university, got an oncampus interview- 2 30min cases, with 5 min at end to ask questions. The people were very nice and organized. The process moved along smoothly and the interviewers tried to help you out as much as possible. Good experience overall. Feedback was not very helpful; only one generic vague piece of advice.

    Interview Questions
    • Dry cleaning store with declining profits - assess the situation and come up with solutions
      Growth for comedy show - assess the potential
        Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  New York, NY
    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Application Details

    I interviewed online. The process took 4 months - interviewed at Bain & Company in August 2010.

    Interview Details

    3 rounds with progressively higher level managers, 2 interviews each round. One case each interview. They were tough but fair. Unfortunately logistics of the interview were a nightmare--even showed up once to be told that my interview had been "scheduled but not confirmed" and would take place another day. Got a call with an offer within 2 hrs of the last interview.

    Interview Questions
    • Explain the logic behind the Daimler-Chrysler merger, and why do you think it failed?   Answer Question
    Reasons for Declining

    Other career opportunity (non-consulting)

    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee  in  Boston, MA
    Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through college or university - interviewed at Bain & Company in October 2012.

    Interview Details

    I was shortlisted for the first round of interviews based on my resume and cover letter. We had a networking session on the previous evening. On the day of interviews, we dived into the case directly. There were two simple cases in industrial goods and computer hardware. Both were actual cases that the interviewers had worked on.

    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  9.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Boston, MA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through college or university. The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Bain & Company in October 2008.

    Interview Details

    As of 2010, getting an interview for an associate consultant position was only possible if you are a student at one of the on-campus recruited schools (for Boston: Ivies, Williams, Amherst). First round is on-campus, two 30-minute interviews, both case format. ~10% get callbacks to the office. Again, two interviews in the case format. These are longer, 45 minutes each, and with partners and managers while the first round are SACs and consultants.

    Interview Questions
    • Almost entirely case interview format, no really difficult questions beyond the case. Very standard interview questions otherwise.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    There was not one.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Boston, MA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    Application Details

    I interviewed through college or university. The process took 6+ weeks - interviewed at Bain & Company in January 2008.

    Interview Details

    Resume drop followed by two rounds of case interviews: 1st round with current Associates and/or Consultants, two 45-minute case interviews; 2nd round with Consultants and/or Managers, 3-4 45-minute resume or case interviews. The book Case in Point, available on Amazon, is the best way to prepare for the interviews. Practice for 2-3 weeks before the interview with your friends, doing at least one practice interview every night. Attend info sessions if possible and contact current Associates to ask about their experience.

    Interview Questions
    • Case involving the ground coffee market size in U.S. grocery stores   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    No negotiation at the Associate level
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

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