Your Bain interview is an opportunity for us to learn more about you: your career goals, your skills, your strengths and talents, your passions, as well as areas where you'd like to grow and develop. It's also an opportunity for you to learn more about us; what kind of work we do, what our people are like, and how our overall firm functions. We are eager to identify great talent to join us, and we want you to succeed.
Bain uses a combination of case, written case, and experience interviews in our candidate selection process. Depending on the local office, you may have a combination of interviews dedicated to either a case or your experience, or you may have interviews that combine both a case, written case and experience together in the same session. The interview process varies from office to office, so be sure to check the local page for that office.
What is a case interview?
The case interview is an example of a real business problem typical of the kind our case teams work to resolve every day. For this reason, our interviewers prepare their interviews based on real cases and tend not to rely on brainteasers or theoretical problems. Cases involve qualitative and quantitative questions as well as real-world business situations. We do not strive to test you on business terms and expressions, current events, or strategic "frameworks."
Instead, we evaluate you based on your ability to think about and structure an approach to solving a business problem, not on whether you get the "right" answer. A good case interview should be fun and thought provoking.
The case interview is only one dimension of the recruiting process, but it is typically the part that raises the most anxiety. We hope the information in this section will help you to prepare for the experience so that you can be confident and enjoy the interview.
You can get more suggestions to "crack the case" on our interview tips page.
We've also included 3 practice case interviews for you to use in preparation for your interview.
What is a written case interview?
What are the objectives?
Bain's written case interview builds on the traditional case interview experience. Most MBAs interviewing with Bain can expect one of their final round interviews to be a written case.
The goal of the written case is to provide you with an opportunity to further demonstrate your skills in a realistic client situation. It will also give you greater insight into the day-to-day role of a Bain consultant.
There is no "right" answer to the case as there are many potential actions that your hypothetical client could successfully take. Your goal is review your client's situation, present a persuasive recommendation and then participate in a rich discussion with your interviewer to determine how your client could best achieve results.
What can I expect?
Bain will provide you with 20-30 PowerPoint slides describing a client's situation. You will then have ~55 minutes to review the slides and handwrite a short synopsis of your insights and recommendation(s) before the interview begins. (Note that Bain will provide all the necessary materials.)
You will then have 40 minutes to present and discuss your recommendation(s) with your interviewer. Your interviewer may challenge your assumptions or interpretation of the facts, as s/he wants to see how you might handle a real client situation.
Don't be afraid to ask questions. Here are some other tips to help with your success.
- Review all the case slides quickly - Put aside the slides that seem less important. There may be several.
- Do not stare at the slides for more than 20 minutes - The prep time goes FAST.
- Do the math - Figure out what analytics are necessary for your recommendation (e.g. size the opportunity) and piece the required data together from the slides.
- Be concise - Have the few key messages you want to convey nailed in your handwritten summary. Save the details for your voiceover.
- Be pragmatic - Craft a recommendation that can actually be implemented by the client. Have a "Monday morning" plan.
- Consider both sides - Good discussions focus on the rationale behind your recommendation with consideration of the strongest arguments against it.
- Trust your instincts - There is no one "right" answer.
What is an experience interview?
In addition to the case interview, you may have an experience interview in which the interviewer will use traditional resume questions, a mini-case based on your experience and/or behavioral questions to understand your past experience and gain an understanding of your interest in Bain. The behavioral questions involve asking you to describe your actions in a past experience in the context of a critical consultant skill.