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Bain First Round Fit Questions

My Bain first round include 2 back-to-back interviews, each 45 minutes long, via Webex. In my interactions with Bain, they've said that these are case interviews. Does anyone know if this includes fit questions as well?

I ask because both McKinsey and BCG emphasized that there is a fit portion of their first round interviews, but Bain has not done so. However, given that the Bain interviews are 45 minutes, and cases only last about 25 minutes, there must be time left over for fit questions, right?

If so, how important are the fit questions for Bain first round, and how much do I need to prepare for them?

Thank you!

My Bain first round include 2 back-to-back interviews, each 45 minutes long, via Webex. In my interactions with Bain, they've said that these are case interviews. Does anyone know if this includes fit questions as well?

I ask because both McKinsey and BCG emphasized that there is a fit portion of their first round interviews, but Bain has not done so. However, given that the Bain interviews are 45 minutes, and cases only last about 25 minutes, there must be time left over for fit questions, right?

If so, how important are the fit questions for Bain first round, and how much do I need to prepare for them?

Thank you!

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Hello June,

You are on point in saying that Bain put less emphasis on fit interviews compared to McKinsey and BCG, especially on the first round.

Their focus is really on assessing candidate's logical prowess and structured thinking capacity through case interviews. It is just very recently that they started to add a bit of fit questions (or PEI questions as per McKinsey's term) on their early stages.

Based on my previous experience interviewing with Bain (which was around 45-60 minutes), they spent only a fraction of the interview time on first round (around 5-10 mins) having a fit discussions. The questions are quite standard, such as 'why Bain?', 'why this specific offices/ region?', ' what's your short-term and long-term goals?', 'how Bain fits with your goals?'.

There is little possibility of deep dive PEI interviews focusing on the topics of conflict management or leadership experiences as will likely be the case in McKinsey and BCG interviews.

However, it wouldn't hurt prepared a bit of anecdotes just in case if they are asking a curve ball questions involving these topics. Even then, most likely they will just asking to check without deep diving further into the details.

The last 5-10 mins are left for Q&A. For this one, do prepare questions that can't be easily found on Bain's websites to show that you have done your research throroughly on the firm.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,

Nathan

Hello June,

You are on point in saying that Bain put less emphasis on fit interviews compared to McKinsey and BCG, especially on the first round.

Their focus is really on assessing candidate's logical prowess and structured thinking capacity through case interviews. It is just very recently that they started to add a bit of fit questions (or PEI questions as per McKinsey's term) on their early stages.

Based on my previous experience interviewing with Bain (which was around 45-60 minutes), they spent only a fraction of the interview time on first round (around 5-10 mins) having a fit discussions. The questions are quite standard, such as 'why Bain?', 'why this specific offices/ region?', ' what's your short-term and long-term goals?', 'how Bain fits with your goals?'.

There is little possibility of deep dive PEI interviews focusing on the topics of conflict management or leadership experiences as will likely be the case in McKinsey and BCG interviews.

However, it wouldn't hurt prepared a bit of anecdotes just in case if they are asking a curve ball questions involving these topics. Even then, most likely they will just asking to check without deep diving further into the details.

The last 5-10 mins are left for Q&A. For this one, do prepare questions that can't be easily found on Bain's websites to show that you have done your research throroughly on the firm.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,

Nathan

Thank you, Nathaniel. This is very helpful! — Nora on Nov 25, 2019

My pleasure, June. All the best with your interviews! — Nathaniel on Nov 25, 2019

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Hi June,
I confirm they will include fit questions, not as stressed as in final rounds of McK or BCG, but they will be very important for the success of your interview. You will be assessed on your leadership, teamwork, and drive to join Bain and a consulting firm in general. It will be crucial to prepare it by building impactful stories based on your background.

Best,
Antonello

Hi June,
I confirm they will include fit questions, not as stressed as in final rounds of McK or BCG, but they will be very important for the success of your interview. You will be assessed on your leadership, teamwork, and drive to join Bain and a consulting firm in general. It will be crucial to prepare it by building impactful stories based on your background.

Best,
Antonello

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Hi,

It's less structured than other firms. They will definitely ask you:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why consulting
  • Why Bain
  • Your questions to them

They may ask any additional questions based on your CV

Best

Hi,

It's less structured than other firms. They will definitely ask you:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why consulting
  • Why Bain
  • Your questions to them

They may ask any additional questions based on your CV

Best

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Hi June,

as a regular interviewer at Bain I can unequivocally say that the FIT is crucial for success in any Bain interview. Both first and second round. The difference between our interviews and those of other firms is that we don't use a standard set of questions to probe it, but a more integrated approach.

To give a more specific example: While our competitors might ask you at the beginning of the interview "Tell me about a situation in which you showed real leadership?", we might ask you about a specific activity or experience on your CV that we find interesting. You should then be able to provide more detail - going beyond the hard facts in your CV - and present a compelling story that impresses us, without bragging about your achievements.

But our fit assessment does not stop there: Throughout the case, we evaluate how coachable you are (how you pick up the little hints that we give you), wether you come accross as condecending or humble and if we could see your personality thrive in a Bain environment.

While you can prepare for the first part of it, it is very difficult to recommend any preparation for the assessment throughout the case interview except of "just being yourself".

Hope this helps!

Regards!

Hi June,

as a regular interviewer at Bain I can unequivocally say that the FIT is crucial for success in any Bain interview. Both first and second round. The difference between our interviews and those of other firms is that we don't use a standard set of questions to probe it, but a more integrated approach.

To give a more specific example: While our competitors might ask you at the beginning of the interview "Tell me about a situation in which you showed real leadership?", we might ask you about a specific activity or experience on your CV that we find interesting. You should then be able to provide more detail - going beyond the hard facts in your CV - and present a compelling story that impresses us, without bragging about your achievements.

But our fit assessment does not stop there: Throughout the case, we evaluate how coachable you are (how you pick up the little hints that we give you), wether you come accross as condecending or humble and if we could see your personality thrive in a Bain environment.

While you can prepare for the first part of it, it is very difficult to recommend any preparation for the assessment throughout the case interview except of "just being yourself".

Hope this helps!

Regards!

Thank you for the insight, Henning! I will go through my resume and keep working on my stories. — Nora on Nov 25, 2019

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Hi June,

the behavioural part is usually less requiring at Bain – I helped candidates that didn’t have fit questions at all in their interview. However, you should equally prepare for it as you never know how deep the interviewer may want to go.

At the link below you can find a list of the most common fit questions:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/fit-questions-2785

Best,
Francesco

Hi June,

the behavioural part is usually less requiring at Bain – I helped candidates that didn’t have fit questions at all in their interview. However, you should equally prepare for it as you never know how deep the interviewer may want to go.

At the link below you can find a list of the most common fit questions:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/fit-questions-2785

Best,
Francesco

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