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6

Four Rounds of Bain Interviews

I was told I will have to go through a total of four rounds in the Bain interview process. Does anyone have insights on how to prepare for each one specifically? I know from most resources that there would be two rounds only, so I'm a bit confused. Any insights would be appreciated.

I was told I will have to go through a total of four rounds in the Bain interview process. Does anyone have insights on how to prepare for each one specifically? I know from most resources that there would be two rounds only, so I'm a bit confused. Any insights would be appreciated.

6 answers

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Best Answer

Hi A,

I pretty much agree with Henning, the preparation process is going to be similar to standard case interviews. In general, I would recommend focusing on the following:

  • Quick Math. You will normally have math to do in a written case. GMAT or McKinsey PST math should work well to prepare on this;

  • Fit (~90% of questions) & PEI questions (~10%). Prepare a few good stories to tell and also make sure you can answer such regular fit questions as "Why consulting?" or "Why Bain?", etc.

  • Cases. You have to practice different types of cases so cracking a case will be much easier for you in a real interview.

You really have to invest your time and effort in proper preparation. To maximize your chances you could also hire an experienced coach for guidance.

Good luck!

Best, Andre

Hi A,

I pretty much agree with Henning, the preparation process is going to be similar to standard case interviews. In general, I would recommend focusing on the following:

  • Quick Math. You will normally have math to do in a written case. GMAT or McKinsey PST math should work well to prepare on this;

  • Fit (~90% of questions) & PEI questions (~10%). Prepare a few good stories to tell and also make sure you can answer such regular fit questions as "Why consulting?" or "Why Bain?", etc.

  • Cases. You have to practice different types of cases so cracking a case will be much easier for you in a real interview.

You really have to invest your time and effort in proper preparation. To maximize your chances you could also hire an experienced coach for guidance.

Good luck!

Best, Andre

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Hi there,

Do not worry about the number of rounds, some firms started having more rounds with less interviews/round, so after all the number of interviews you sit for are almost the same.

All interview formats are the same between the diffrent rounds, I would recommend you work well on your fit/personal experience stories and that you practice different types of cases with as many people as you can (preferrably professionals who can give you valuable feedback and who can help you progress quickly).

All the best,

Mehdi

Hi there,

Do not worry about the number of rounds, some firms started having more rounds with less interviews/round, so after all the number of interviews you sit for are almost the same.

All interview formats are the same between the diffrent rounds, I would recommend you work well on your fit/personal experience stories and that you practice different types of cases with as many people as you can (preferrably professionals who can give you valuable feedback and who can help you progress quickly).

All the best,

Mehdi

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Hi there,

I just helped a candidate who went through 4 rounds with Bain in South East Asia. The process was the usual one, but they split the interviews into more rounds. The candidate also had to do the initial test usually done in SEA (25 questions in 50 minutes and the one way video interview).

If you have additional questions please PM me.

Best,
Francesco

Hi there,

I just helped a candidate who went through 4 rounds with Bain in South East Asia. The process was the usual one, but they split the interviews into more rounds. The candidate also had to do the initial test usually done in SEA (25 questions in 50 minutes and the one way video interview).

If you have additional questions please PM me.

Best,
Francesco

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Hi Anonymous!

congratulations for making it to the interviews! This means that your profile must be impressive! Now it's up to you to impress the interviewers to get the offer.

The detailed process differs slightly per office and per starting position (e.g. Associate Consultant vs Consultant). Two rounds of 2 and 3 interviews is the typical process. However, there are other approaches that might include a computerized test before the first interview or spreading the interviews out over different rounds to have more decision points in between. Any additional info on office and communicated structure could be helpful.

However, the preparation generally looks the same for all rounds. Make sure to understand and get comfortable with how a case interview works. Build experience over a number of practice cases and eventually sharpen your skills with an experienced interviewer. Either a friend of yours with case interview experience or a coach.

Hi Anonymous!

congratulations for making it to the interviews! This means that your profile must be impressive! Now it's up to you to impress the interviewers to get the offer.

The detailed process differs slightly per office and per starting position (e.g. Associate Consultant vs Consultant). Two rounds of 2 and 3 interviews is the typical process. However, there are other approaches that might include a computerized test before the first interview or spreading the interviews out over different rounds to have more decision points in between. Any additional info on office and communicated structure could be helpful.

However, the preparation generally looks the same for all rounds. Make sure to understand and get comfortable with how a case interview works. Build experience over a number of practice cases and eventually sharpen your skills with an experienced interviewer. Either a friend of yours with case interview experience or a coach.

Book a coaching with Ian

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Hi there,

First, reach out to HR to get a specific breakdown of what to expect for each interview round.

Why go in guessing?!?

-------------------------------------------

Second, you should be prepared for any of the following (but won't necessarily have to do them all):

1) Bain Online Test

2) Behavioral / Fit

3) Case

4) Bain Written Case

-------------------------------------------

Third, here's how you prepare:

BAIN ONLINE

Think of it as a merge of a case and the GMAT/GRE.

You need to be clear on some key case-related and account formulas (margin, growth, breakeven, etc) as well as be good at critically understanding the question (including nuance to questions) and parsing through complicated text with a fair amount of distraction.

You'll also need to be good at chart/graph reading.

Leverage GMAT/McKinsey PST prep materials

There an excellent guide:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/bain-online-test-5

I also have a practice test - shoot me a message and I can send it your way!

And here are some sample questions:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/bain-online-test-how-should-a-candidate-approach-this-problem-6896

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/bain-online-test-answer-guidance-for-grocery-retail-co-6933

BEHAVIORAL/FIT

Resume walkthrough

  • Needs to be chronological
  • Only keep important details that make you look good (i.e. I worked across 7 industries and rose up the ranks twice in the course of that role)
  • Keep a theme of "why consulting"
    • I.e. at each step you need to show that you both got exposure to aspects of consulting AND thrived + enjoyed them
  • Finish with: And that's why I'm here today looking for consulting with your company

Why Consulting

  • You need to summarize what you did before along the theme of consulting aspects you liked and consulting aspects that were missing
  • You then combine those two - i.e. I know I like + am good at x, y, and z which is required for consulting, and I really am excited to get a, b, and c
  • You finish with a "mini" why x company

Why x company

  • Start with a "mini" why consulting
  • Then have 2-3 reasons why x company is your target
  • Every "reason" needs to incorporate 1) That you know they value x 2) That you not only value x but have exhibited it and done it in the past
  • Be very very mindful of what they want you to want

Personal Stories

Step 1 - Categorize the main stories

There are 5-10 "themes" you need to prepare for. i.e. Leadership, teamwork, challenge, etc. Figure out this list and make sure your stories cover this range (PM me and I can provide you with a template for this list)

Step 2 - Create FLEXIBLE stories that cover a range of categories

You need to create 4-6 stories that each cover a range of topics. They need to be powerful stories that can be adjusted and adapted based on the question asked.

One of my "core" or "killer" stories was usable for Initiative, Achievement, Leadership, Challenge, Change of direction, AND Persuasion.

Write down these stories along STAR or similar format...use bullet points

Interview questions notes

Step 3 - Organize these stories so you know which ones can be used for what and PRACTICE

Make sure you cover the whole gambit. Then, practice getting asked a question and thinking of which stories apply. I can assure you, no-one is coming up with full stories in a few seconds. Rather, they have practiced how to adapt an existing story to the question asked.

Interview stories notes

CASE

Well, this is a big topic ;)

WRITTEN CASE

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/written-case-1835

Hi there,

First, reach out to HR to get a specific breakdown of what to expect for each interview round.

Why go in guessing?!?

-------------------------------------------

Second, you should be prepared for any of the following (but won't necessarily have to do them all):

1) Bain Online Test

2) Behavioral / Fit

3) Case

4) Bain Written Case

-------------------------------------------

Third, here's how you prepare:

BAIN ONLINE

Think of it as a merge of a case and the GMAT/GRE.

You need to be clear on some key case-related and account formulas (margin, growth, breakeven, etc) as well as be good at critically understanding the question (including nuance to questions) and parsing through complicated text with a fair amount of distraction.

You'll also need to be good at chart/graph reading.

Leverage GMAT/McKinsey PST prep materials

There an excellent guide:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/bain-online-test-5

I also have a practice test - shoot me a message and I can send it your way!

And here are some sample questions:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/bain-online-test-how-should-a-candidate-approach-this-problem-6896

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/bain-online-test-answer-guidance-for-grocery-retail-co-6933

BEHAVIORAL/FIT

Resume walkthrough

  • Needs to be chronological
  • Only keep important details that make you look good (i.e. I worked across 7 industries and rose up the ranks twice in the course of that role)
  • Keep a theme of "why consulting"
    • I.e. at each step you need to show that you both got exposure to aspects of consulting AND thrived + enjoyed them
  • Finish with: And that's why I'm here today looking for consulting with your company

Why Consulting

  • You need to summarize what you did before along the theme of consulting aspects you liked and consulting aspects that were missing
  • You then combine those two - i.e. I know I like + am good at x, y, and z which is required for consulting, and I really am excited to get a, b, and c
  • You finish with a "mini" why x company

Why x company

  • Start with a "mini" why consulting
  • Then have 2-3 reasons why x company is your target
  • Every "reason" needs to incorporate 1) That you know they value x 2) That you not only value x but have exhibited it and done it in the past
  • Be very very mindful of what they want you to want

Personal Stories

Step 1 - Categorize the main stories

There are 5-10 "themes" you need to prepare for. i.e. Leadership, teamwork, challenge, etc. Figure out this list and make sure your stories cover this range (PM me and I can provide you with a template for this list)

Step 2 - Create FLEXIBLE stories that cover a range of categories

You need to create 4-6 stories that each cover a range of topics. They need to be powerful stories that can be adjusted and adapted based on the question asked.

One of my "core" or "killer" stories was usable for Initiative, Achievement, Leadership, Challenge, Change of direction, AND Persuasion.

Write down these stories along STAR or similar format...use bullet points

Interview questions notes

Step 3 - Organize these stories so you know which ones can be used for what and PRACTICE

Make sure you cover the whole gambit. Then, practice getting asked a question and thinking of which stories apply. I can assure you, no-one is coming up with full stories in a few seconds. Rather, they have practiced how to adapt an existing story to the question asked.

Interview stories notes

CASE

Well, this is a big topic ;)

WRITTEN CASE

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/written-case-1835

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Hello!

It´s not common to have that many, but it can happen.

However, preparation is exactly the same.

Careful with FIT, Bain has a very particular way to do it.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

It´s not common to have that many, but it can happen.

However, preparation is exactly the same.

Careful with FIT, Bain has a very particular way to do it.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

What do you mean by Bain having a very particular way to do FIT? How so? — Anonymous A on Sep 16, 2020

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