Associate Consultant interview but applied for Consultant role- Bain

associate consultant Bain Bain & Company consultant First Round
New answer on Apr 30, 2020
11 Answers
2.6 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Apr 03, 2020

Hi All,

I've been invited for first round interviews at Bain. I had applied for the Consultant role which stated that Bain required a minimum of 4-8 years of work experience to be eligible to apply but have been offered interviews for the Associate role. I have 5 years of experience working as a doctor and so am a little confused with this. Should I check with my recruiter at this stage (pre-interview) or proceed with the interview and discuss either a) at the interview or b)post offer if I'm eventually offered?

Thank you so much in advance for your advice.

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Daniel
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 03, 2020
McKinsey / ex-Interviewer at McKinsey / I will coach you to rock those interviews

Hi!

Clear this out now, at the pre-interview stage – you need to definitely push for the consultant role. Clearing this post-factum is more difficult in my experience.

Best,
Daniel

Was this answer helpful?
Sidi
Expert
replied on Apr 03, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi!

Agree with everyone ese.

One additional thing that (from my experience) usually works very well, especially with Bain, is if you have another offer at another consulting firm at the higher level (Consultant). If this is the case, in my experience they are very open to shift.

Cheers, Sidi

Was this answer helpful?
Sanjeev
Expert
replied on Apr 03, 2020
PwC/Strategy&/GT/Chicago Booth - 2nd Session Complementary till June 1st

Hi,

I would concur with my colleague to clarify pre-interview.

Also, there may be avenues for clarifying during "Experience Bain" webinars if there is one before your interviews.

In the meantime, good luck with your prep!

Was this answer helpful?
Axel
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 03, 2020
Bain Consultant | Interviewer for 3 years at Bain |Passionate about coaching |I will make you a case interview Rockstar

Hi!

The doctors I have seen join Bain with your level of experience have all come in at the Consultant level. Just clarify now with the recruiting team that you want to interview for the Consultant position.

Doing so after after receiving an offer or at the interview will be very awkward and is not advisable!

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 04, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

an Associate Consultant role with 5 years of experience seems a bit strange, even if your work experience is unrelated to consulting. I agree with the other comments, it makes sense to clarify this upfront. I would try at least to agree a fast-track where after 6 months you are promoted to Consultant.

Best,

Francesco

Was this answer helpful?
Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 03, 2020
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Ask HR - much better to clarify this upfront. For reference, in McKinsey all doctors joined as Associates - which equates to consultant at BCG

Was this answer helpful?
Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 03, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

With my knowledge about Bain you would need to come in as Consultant, so better cross-check with your recruiter.

For reference, this is the career path at Bain:

  • Associate consultant
  • Senior associate consultant
  • Consultant
  • Case team leader
  • Manager
  • Principal
  • Partner
  • Director

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Was this answer helpful?
Luca
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 04, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello,

An associate with 5 years of experience sounds quite weird.
One explanation could be that they will offer you a fast track: you will spend 6 months as associate to get used to the new world (since you have not done something similar in the past), with an agreement that you will be promoted as consultant after that period.
I would suggest to clarify your expectations with HR before the interviews, but without closing any door. Once that you start your interviews and that you will get invitation to the subsequent rounds, your negotiation power is stronger.

Best,
Luca

Was this answer helpful?
Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 03, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Bain tends to downgrade the role, especially in bad economy. I recommend clarifying now. I've seen the situations when people started clarifying after getting the offer and ended up with an additional interview round (not successful as you can guess)

Best

Was this answer helpful?
Adam
Expert
replied on Apr 03, 2020
Ex Bain/ A.T. Kearney: Principal with >10 years global consulting and recruiting experience and >150 interviews

I agree with the other experts that you should clarify the level before you interview.

I have seen this happen before though at Bain. The argument would be that whilst you have five years of working expereince, its unlikely to have alowed you to build out all of the competencies required at the Consultant level.

Consultants are already expected to lead workstreams and should be proficient in using the consulting toolkit and leading/ teaching junior consultants. Whilst starting at a level below where you believe you should be may be a short-term setback, in the long-run, it does set you up for success and allows you to build core skills.

My advice would be to focus more on where you can be in 3-5 years rather than in 1-2 years.

Kind Regards,

Adam

Was this answer helpful?
Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 30, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,
I recommend to openly discuss it with recruiters during the process. After the offer, it will be difficult to change

Best,
Antonello

Was this answer helpful?
Daniel gave the best answer

Daniel

Content Creator
McKinsey / ex-Interviewer at McKinsey / I will coach you to rock those interviews
236
Meetings
1,222
Q&A Upvotes
51
Awards
5.0
121 Reviews