Bain First Round Fit Questions

Bain First Round fit interview
New answer on May 31, 2020
7 Answers
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Nora asked on Nov 25, 2019

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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Nathaniel
Expert
replied on Nov 25, 2019
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

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

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Nora on Nov 25, 2019

Thank you, Nathaniel. This is very helpful!

Nathaniel on Nov 25, 2019

My pleasure, June. All the best with your interviews!

Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 25, 2019
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

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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Henning
Expert
replied on Nov 25, 2019
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

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!

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Nora on Nov 25, 2019

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

Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 25, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

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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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Dec 01, 2019
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.700+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

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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Anonymous replied on May 31, 2020

Dear Nora,

Yes, your interview with Bain will also include personal fit questions, then the case and then you will have a chance to ask your questions at the interviewer at the very end of interview (if you successfully passed your firts 2 rounds).

If you need any help with specific Bain questions or preparig for the case interview, feel free to reach out.

Wish you best of luck,

André

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 27, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

On top of the insights already shared in the post, next week will be pusblished in PrepLounge´s Shop material related.

In concrete, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB". It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

Here I leave you the link > https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes!

Hope you find it useful!

Best,

Clara

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Nathaniel gave the best answer

Nathaniel

McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge
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