Bain & Company Associate Consultant Interview Questions

Updated 15 Apr 2015
179 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

79%
17%
3%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

51%
34%
7%

Interview Difficulty

3.8
Average

Interview Difficulty

Hard

Average

Easy

179 Candidate Interview Reviews Back to all Interviews

Sort: Popular Date Difficulty

 

Associate Consultant Interview

Anonymous Employee in Melbourne
No Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview
No Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ weeksinterviewed at Bain & Company (Melbourne) in March 2015.

Interview

1. Resume & Cover Letter online application, following on-campus presentation. Heard back about 10 days after applications closed.
2. Pre-Interview event. This was really great - provided us with an opportunity to meet & build rapport with our interviewers in a casual setting & to familiarise ourselves with the office.
3. First round interviews. 2 x 45 mins. The first involved a long case & a couple of CV/personal experience questions. The second was a shorter case & a few more CV/personal experience questions. There was time for questions. I was interviewed by a Principal & then Consultant and heard back the same evening - they gave great feedback on how I could improve my performance in the second round. Cases involved market entry/market sizing.
4. Second round interviews. 3 hours. First a 40-min written case - got a pack of powerpoint slides & questions to answer. Then discussed answers & recommendations for the next 40 mins with an interviewer, who provided guidance/coaching where necessary (after answering some CV/personal experience Q's). The next two 40-min blocks were two more cases & more CV/personal experience questions. Was interviewed by two Partners and a Principal and heard back the same evening. Cases involved profit & loss, acquisitions, strategy.

Interview Questions

  • Some variation on "tell me about yourself."   Answer Question
  • Why consulting (got asked this multiple times, given non-business background)? Why Bain?   Answer Question
  • It looks like you've had a lot of experience doing [work in specific field/industry]. Which one of these have you enjoyed most?   Answer Question
  • What do you like to do for fun?   Answer Question
  • [My area of study] is quite different from business. Are you sure consulting is what you want to do?   Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for Bain & Company

  1. Helpful (2)  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Bain & Company in May 2014.

    Interview

    Received interview offer after about 1 month. Did first round of interviews with managers and received outcome on same day and also received feedback on how I had performed. The first case was involved figuring out how a company could increase its profits. The second case was about determining whether a market was worth entering into.
    The second round of interviews was with partners. The first case was about determining whether a cost cutting initiative was worth it (focused on my numbers because I had made some errors in the first round, I had eventually corrected them but they do like you to get them right the first time before you share them). The second case was about understanding the revenue contributions of a company's product portfolio.
    All four interviews also had a behavioral component i.e. why Bain, why this particular office and what can you offer Bain. The first 3 interviews lasted 30-60 minutes. The last one was over in 15 minutes.
    The interviewers were all very pleasant and I got the impression that they all really wanted the candidates to do well. The cases were all pretty straightforward. I had to dig deep to get to the answers but there were no trick questions or scenarios. They are really just looking out for the following:
    - first, second and possibly third level structure
    - ability to prioritise
    - ability to communicate though process and assumptions
    - number crunching. Some interviewers were okay with rounding off, one wanted exact numbers to the second decimal.
    - likeability. Even the partners were pretty informal and it felt like a conversation amongst peers.

    The HR personnel were all pretty helpful too. I felt like I had my own personal cheer squad every step of the way.

    Interview Questions

    • Why Bain and not McKinsey or BCG?   1 Answer
  2.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Declined Offer
    Declined Offer

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Bain & Company.

    Interview

    1. Resume + Cover Letter + Transcript
    2. First round interviews: 2 x case interviews (with small component on experience/motivation)
    3. Final round interviews: 3 x case interviews, one is a written case (more slides than you can get through comprehensively, 10 questions to answer, discussion/presentation afterwards).

    My final interview was more a discussion/fit-based, and we didn't end up with time for a case. I suspect they had already made their decision to make an offer after the first round.

    Interview Questions

    • Stress interview - intentionally awkward interviewer, to see how you would react.   Answer Question
  3. Helpful (3)  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Melbourne
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Bain & Company (Melbourne) in March 2014.

    Interview

    There were two rounds of interviews. First round consisted of two case interviews, second round was one written case, and two 1:1 case interviews.
    First round: My first case interview was with two interviewers - market sizing question. What's the size of the diaper market in Australia? I got bonus points for pointing out that diapers could be worn not only by babies, but also by the elderly. Some basic math to get to the final number. A few behavioural questions, but nothing that really stood out. Second interview was 1:1, some questions from my resume about why I chose my university and my extracurriculars. Case was about opening a B&B in rural France. Our client owns 1% of the investment. Expected revenue, expected occupancy, calculate ROI, as well as added benefits such as two free holidays a year. Numbers were quite straightforward, but remember to write everything down so you don't forget.

    Second round: We were given a written case about an airline company making a decision about its flight routes. This was detailed in a stack of about 22 slides, and we were to answer a list of around 15 questions. Some heavy calculations, especially in the 45 minute timezone. Questions were mostly in order, and were quite doable given more time. It felt like a very intense exam. The written case interview with a manager started with some behavioural questions, then she went through the list of questions. I was pretty much giving a presentation, flipping through the slides and showing where I got the answer from. She questioned me about my final choice, and I had to justify it with all the numbers and strategic benefits I mentioned before.
    The second case interview was with a partner, about health insurance. I think they were looking for ways to decrease costs: consolidating partner hospitals, engaging in promotional activities, encouraging better health (so fewer people will use the insurance), sponsoring healthy events/activities.
    Final case interview with another partner was the most difficult. It revolved around those armoured trucks carrying cash. Who are their main customers? Why has revenue been falling? What can they do to increase them? There were tough numbers in this one, confusing percentages. Behavioural questions included what were the toughest decision you've made in a leadership role.

    Interview Questions

    • Who are the main customers for an armoured cash-carrying truck company? Why would revenue be falling and costs rising for this company?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    We were given three weeks to reply. I negotiated for a later start date. The HR contacts were very helpful and accommodating.

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review


  5.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Sydney
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Bain & Company (Sydney).

    Interview

    First round interview consisted of two back-to-back case studies with opportunities for questions afterwards. You are allowed writing paper but be sure to keep your notes reasonably tidy as they do retain them to remember which candidate was who - and you certainly don't want to end up with a nasty scribble that I had jotted down on my first case study.

    Interview Questions

    • First case was a combined market-sizing and profitability estimate on a Sydney-Melbourne high speed train service. Second case was steel mill operating at a loss, with figures provided that led to the conclusion that it would be preferable to keep the mill open as the costs of temporarily shutting down would be higher.   Answer Question
  6. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Melbourne
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at Bain & Company (Melbourne) in March 2013.

    Interview

    The position was advised to me via university. I applied through their online process; cv, cover letter, transcript. 10 days later (ish) I received an email saying I had an interview and I needed to select a time slot. I interviewed 6 days later. The day before there was a 'networking' evening which was very useful, in terms of meeting my interviewers and feeling comfortable in the office space in which I would be interviewing the next day.

    The interview consisted of 2 x 45 minute interviews. Both with behavioural questions, but the focus was definitely more on the case questions.

    Interview Questions

    • My first case question was about the development of a train from Melbourne to Sydney. I firstly had to estimate the market size... and then consider profitability.

      My second case question related to a Victorian wine company and declining profits. This related to them having overseas vineyards etc.
       
      Answer Question
  7.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Sydney
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took a dayinterviewed at Bain & Company (Sydney) in March 2012.

    Interview

    Case studies. Examine the drop of revenue in a fertilizer wholesaler.

    Interview Questions

    • The interviewer seemed to just throw a line and I guess interviewee should push to ask question?   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (2)  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Sydney
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 daysinterviewed at Bain & Company (Sydney) in April 2011.

    Interview

    Case study interviews- both small (e.g. what is the revenue of a gym in Sydney) and large (data and handouts, lots of calcs for a holiday resort case with multiple questions on performance and scope for performance improvement).
    Cases looked for a clearly structured, linear logic. Take a minute to collect your thoughts- when I spoke off the top of my head it was less well received than calmly sitting back and thinking.

    Interview Questions

    • what is revenue of inner city sydney gym   1 Answer
  9. Helpful (3)  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at Bain & Company.

    Interview

    The interview was fairly standard. It started off with about 15 minutes of introductions and hellos and then proceeded to go into details regarding a case. The questions were very straight forward and fair however the case itself was quite challenging. I would definitely recommend prepping a lot beforehand to be prepared to give clear and concise answers effectively.

    Interview Questions

    • Why Bain and why consulting? (I was switching from another unrelated field)   Answer Question
  10. Helpful (3)  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Average Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Average Interview

    Interview

    First round has two 30-minute interviews, including self-introduction and a case. Very typical Bain style--straightforward and has market sizing component. Both interviewers are very nice and guided me through problem solving. They also made comment like "that is correct" after I did the calculation. Final round has two 45-minute interviews, with more behavior and fit questions as well as a more complicated case.

    Interview Questions

    • Qualitative question is hard to answer on the spot. They expect you to brainstorm some ideas very quickly.   Answer Question

Work at Bain & Company? Share Your Experiences

Bain & Company

 
Click to Rate
or

The difficulty rating is the average interview difficulty rating across all interview candidates.

The interview experience is the percentage of all interview candidates who said that their interview experience was positive, neutral or negative.

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.