Bain & Company Summer Consultant Interview Questions

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Summer Consultant Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Anonymous Interview Candidate
Application Details

I applied through college or university. The process took 6 weeks - interviewed at Bain & Company in February 2014.

Interview Details

Went to a number of recruiting events on and around campus of my MBA School. Made approx. 12 personal contacts with 1:1 email/discussion calls with each one. This led to my name being placed on a list of preferred candidates. Got a first round interview request 3 days before the interview date.

Case Prep was fast and furious, especially considering the nuances between Bain and McKinsey cases (I had 1 month prep time for my McKinsey first round). I had my first round interview in the Bain offices in my home city with two Principals (in their offices). The interviews were straight forward and structured with the following format:

1 - Resume review with questions - 15/20 minutes
2 - Case Discussion - 20/25 minutes
3 - Q and A if time available - 5/10 minutes

The Interviewers were nice and supportive, at the end of each case they explained the actual case and how the company "solved" the client "problem". In both cases I got the case "right" by coming to the same conclusion as the Bain case team.

I heard back from one of my interviewers the morning of the next business day that I got into the second round. I set up my 2nd round interview for later that week at my target office.

The second round had 3 interviews with partners with 2 being traditional case-based and 1 being the vaunted written case. My window was 3.5 hours long and, accordingly, there were 3 people (including me) interviewing in my window. You are provided with the names and credentials of your interviewers days before the interview giving time for LinkedIn stalking and custom question generation. Upon entering the office you are informed which interviewer will be administering the written case (this immediately lets you know when you will be presenting the written case, in your 1st, 2nd, or last interview).

The first hour had the three applicants sit in a room and review the 40 some slides related to the written case with a consultant "proctoring" the process. This period is critical for time management as you have to complete 3 slides on [Executive Summary], [Recommendations + Risks], and [Day 1 Activities] and identify some subset of slides to present with your insights (7-8).

Next, you go to your first interview which, in my case, was a separate case that had nothing to do with the written case. This interview is straight forward with resume walk through, interviewer fit questions, case discussion, ending in Q&A. In my experience, I felt a greater emphasis on the case in the first interview

1 - Resume review with specific/focused questions - 10/15 minutes
2 - Case Discussion - 20/25 minutes
3 - Q and A if time available - 5/10 minutes

The 2nd interview was my written case where we did a high-level discussion of experience, followed by the written case, ending in Q&A.

1 - Resume review with questions - 5/10 minutes
2 - Case Discussion - 30/35 minutes
3 - Q and A if time available - 5 minutes

The 3rd and final interview was the most relaxed of the bunch with lots of small talk and very little case discussion. The case was a breeze.

1 - Resume review with questions - 15/20 minutes
2 - Case Discussion - 10/15 minutes
3 - Q and A if time available - 15/20 minutes

I heard back from the written case partner the next business day with the news that I did not earn a spot but that they wanted me to apply for full-time later in the year. Since then he has set up in-depth feedback sessions with me to improve my performance next time.

Interview Questions
  • The written case was very challenging in identifying what I needed to present and how focused my recommendations should be.   Answer Question
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