About Bain & Company
Founded in the US in 1973, Bain & Company is widely regarded today as one of the top three management consultancy firms operating on an international scale. A results driven organisation, its consultancy services include corporate strategy and finance, procurement, private equity, cost transformation, and mergers and acquisitions - to name but a few. It offers these services across all industries, operating from 61 global offices.
Careers at Bain & Company offer the opportunity to work for an award winning employer, ranked number one on Glassdoor's Best Place to Work in 2021. It welcomes applications from undergraduate degree holders, advanced degree holders and working professionals, as well as providing summer internships for those pursuing their bachelor's degree.
All posts require completion of a multi stage application process.
Bain & Company Application Process
As a candidate applying to Bain & Company, you'll work through a three stage process, completing an online application and a series of aptitude tests before being invited to participate in the final round of interviews. Success at each stage is a requirement for progression to the next.
To help you prepare, we've covered each stage in detail below.
CV & Cover Letter Application
The online application for Bain & Company follows a standard format. You'll be asked to fill out some basic information with regards to your academic qualifications, work history and candidate details.
You'll also have the opportunity to upload your most recent CV and an accompanying cover letter. Make sure these are tailored specifically to your Bain & Company application, using them as a chance to show your understanding of the organisation, and the core values that drive its operation.
Bain & Company Online Tests
If your initial application is successful, you'll be invited to complete an online assessment. Bain & Company uses Sova as its test provider of choice, and as of 2021, the online assessment for all roles based out of the London offices follows a new format.
This is a 75 minute blended assessment that measures a variety of aptitudes and behavioural qualities, before culminating in a short video interview. Throughout the assessment, you should be prepared for the following question types:
Numerical reasoning questions on the Bain & Company assessment are designed to test your numerical aptitude in a business context. Working with data presented in tables and graphs, you'll solve problems relating to things like break even analysis and profit margin. Each question will be multiple choice with four answer options to choose from.
These are not advanced mathematical calculations, but rather a measure of your ability to correctly interpret data, though you will need a strong grasp of things like percentages, fractions and statistics. There's also added time pressure, as how long you take to respond will be taken into account alongside your accuracy.
Logical reasoning questions are a test of your problem solving skills. On the Bain & Company assessment, they're presented visually, using patterns and shapes arranged into logical sequences. For each sequence, you'll need to select either the missing part, or its continuation, from multiple choice options.
On these questions, you'll need to apply logical analysis to identify rules and relationships that lead you to the right answer. Again, you'll need to work at speed since your response times contribute to your overall score.
As the last of the ability tests, verbal reasoning questions challenge you to draw sound, evidence-based conclusions through the interpretation of written information. You'll be required to analyse a short passage of text, after which you'll see a stated conclusion. Your multiple choice options will be three - true, false and cannot say. You'll need to select which of these you deem appropriate based on your understanding of the text in front of you.
Though the ability based questions on the Bain & Company online assessment measure your natural skill rather than any learned knowledge, you can improve your performance by taking plenty of practice tests beforehand.
Situational Judgement Test
As well as measuring natural abilities, Bain & Company uses its online assessment to get a sense of your situational skills, essentially, your ability to understand the best course of action in any given circumstance. This is covered by the situational judgement test, which gives the hiring team insight into how you're likely to behave in the workplace.
You'll be given a range of hypothetical scenarios, all based on common situations you'd encounter as a Bain & Company employee. For each, there will be an accompanying list of three or four possible responses. You'll need to select which you see as the most effective, and which the least.
In this part of the online assessment, Bain & Company is looking at your behavioural characteristics and working preferences. It does this to get a better understanding of your personality type, and how well you'll integrate with its company culture.
You'll be given a series of statements, pertaining to both work based and personal behaviours - for example, "I enjoy working in a structured environment" or "I would describe myself as a competitive person". You'll rank each statement on a scale of one to five, from least like me to most like me. When responding to these questions, keep the type of employee Bain & Company looks for in mind, but stay true to yourself - you should never try and 'trick' a personality questionnaire.
In the final part of the online assessment, you'll take part in a video interview. This consists of a number of prerecorded questions, which you'll have one minute to review and consider before recording your responses, with a three minute time limit for each one.
You should prepare for this as you would any interview by looking back on your academic and professional experiences and considering how these could be used to show you're a suitable candidate. As it can often feel unnatural, it's also wise to hold a 'dummy' video interview and practice recording timed answers. Remember, there's no opportunity for the interviewer to ask follow up questions here, so you need to get your point across clearly and concisely.
Bain & Company Interviews
On completion of their online assessment, successful candidates will be invited to interview. Bain & Company runs three different interview types, and the type you'll take part in will depend on the role you've applied for and the office it's based in. Most candidates can expect to participate in a combination of interview types.
Regardless of what type of interview it is, Bain & Company is looking for a particular candidate profile here - passionate, results oriented individuals with strong problem solving and leadership skills.
These revolve around a hypothetical case. The interviewer will give you a verbal description of a client and the problem they are looking to solve. It's then your job to analyse the case in point and work towards a final recommendation.
You'll need to ask questions to obtain relevant supporting information and discuss all of your ideas, reasoning and analysis with the interviewer. Depending on the specific case, you may need to evaluate financial data or current market conditions, for example.
Unlike a traditional competency based interview, a case interview allows you to demonstrate how you'd go about solving a business problem on behalf of a Bain & Company client.
This is akin to a traditional interview. You'll be asked more standard resume and behavioural based questions that give the interviewer a chance to learn about who you are, what experience you have, and what your career motivations are.
You should be prepared to explain why you're interested in a position at Bain & Company, as well as to offer real world examples of your skills and talents in practice. Some experience interviews may also comprise a mini case component depending on the specific role.
Written Case Interview
A written case interview often follows on, and is a more in-depth version of, a standard case interview. If invited to participate, you'll be provided with information on a client and situation in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, usually between 20 and 30 slides long.
You'll then have 55 minutes to work through this information by yourself, and come up with a recommendation or recommendations which you'll then need to present to the interviewer. Throughout your presentation, you can expect to be challenged and questioned on both your process and key findings. This part of the interview will last around 40 minutes.
On completion of your interviews or interviews, you can expect Bain & Company to follow up within a few working days to inform you of the outcome, and advise on next steps where applicable.