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How to answer Why Bain Brussels question?

Anonymous A asked on Jul 10, 2019 - 3 answers


I have received an interview invite from Bain Brussels and have been preparing for the Fit interview. I have been facing trouble in answering questions like:

1. Why consulting?

2. Why Bain Brussels? (The motivation)

Is there a structure I should follow?

What kind of specific things could I say to show motivation for the Bain Brussels office?

Thank you.

3 answers

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Vlad replied on Jul 10, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
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“Why consulting?”, “Why McKinsey” or “Why BCG” questions are used to assess your motivation to be a consultant in general and to work in that particular firm. They will check how you have done your homework and what you’ve learned about them. They also want to make sure that you have a clear intention to work in consulting.

  • The answers to these questions are supposed to be short and take no more than 30 seconds each.
  • For each question, you should provide three bullets points with different reasons.
  • Make sure that you guide the interviewer through your reasoning. Words like “The first reason”, “Moreover”, “Finally” will help you.

Why consulting

When answering “Why consulting” questions, provide three reasons why you want to pursue a career in a consulting firm. A general rule is to find the reasons that are important for you and logically fit everything you have done before (e.g. you want to grow further in financial services and get exposure to these clients). You can always use some personal rationale like your experience of working with consultants on a client side.

Why company

It should be your personal research since the reasons may vary in different geographies. Here are some ideas of what you can use to structure your thoughts:

  • You can start with general facts about the local office. Something like “Sidney office is the fastest growing McKinsey office worldwide.”
  • If you have an interest in a particular industry or client this may also be a great reason. For example, McK can be the only consulting firm working with airlines in your region.
  • You may address the different Global opportunities and office initiatives. E.g. international staffing can be a good opportunity to learn about business in a particular country
  • Try to combine professional and Non-business rational. If you have friends working in that company, don’t forget to mention them and what you’ve learned from their experience.
  • You may use your other personal experiences like working with this McKinsey, it's deliverables or as it's client
  • You can provide your personal experience of working with McKinsey Alums
  • The general marketing story the company is trying to sell (e.g. Bain is a small "Family" company)
  • Brand / positioning / market share in the region
  • More well-known stories of success in your city


updated his answer on Jul 14, 2019
Bain Consultant | Interviewer for 3 years at Bain |Passionate about coaching |I will make you a case interview Rockstar
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Congrats on your interview! I agree with the other experts here.

On why consulting you should be able to give 3-4 reasons that justify why you want to enter the industry. Typical answers would be:

  • Getting exposure to a wide variety of industries, functions, and problems
  • Learning the consulting tool kit (e.g. hypothesis driven problem solving approach, ability to communicate well with clients, analytical capabilities, etc.)
  • You enjoy working together with other people in small teams trying to solve though business problems

Ideally, you can tie it to something about your character to make the answer more convincing. Could for example be, "I am naturally very intellectually curious and like to learn about different domains, so seeing many different industries and problems suits me perfectly as a person"

On why Bain Brussels you should have a few answers related to Bain as a firm and then ideally something more specific as to why you want to join Bain in Brussels. Your need to justify your application to a particular office also depends to a great on your personal background (e.g. are you Belgian). If not, this becomes a more important topic for the interviewer to test with you.

There should ideally be a strong personal connection to Belgium / Brussels for there to be a coherent story to tell the interviewer.

It is also worthwhile to understand the client base and the types of cases in that office as a justification for your application. In the case of the Brussels office they have a strong expertise in the Beer industry for example which could be worth discussing, if that is something that interests you.


updated her answer on Jul 10, 2019
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First of all congrats on this invite!

I would recommend to take some time and ask yourself the following questions:

1.a) What is consulting in general and why do consultancies exist and experience demand?
1.b) How do I expect a consultant's work will look like at Bain regarding the range of tasks, responsibilities, potential positive impact on Bain's and the client's business development, opportunities to improve my learning curve, international networking, etc (Try to organize a coffee break with a Bainie to ask these questions. I know that Bain offers this)
1.c) What are my personals goals regarding my career development? Can I expect that I will be able to achieve these during my time at Bain/ as a consultant?

2.a) What criteria characterize Brussel?
2.b) What impact do these criteria have on Bain's business development/ projects?
2.c) Are these criteria interesting/ fascinating for me? Why?

Take the key words of your answers from 1.a) - c) and 2.a) - c) in this sequences and think about how to best communicate it in a short, but convincing way.

Good luck!

Best, Carolin


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