How to Prepare for an Interview at Bain and Co.

Bain & Company is one of the most prestigious management consulting firms in the world, known for its rigorous interview process and high standards for recruiting top talent. If you've secured an interview with Bain & Company, congratulations! Now, it's time to prepare thoroughly to increase your chances of success. In this blog, we'll walk you through a comprehensive guide on how to prepare for a consulting interview at Bain & Company.

Understand the Bain & Company Culture and Values

Before diving into interview preparation, it's essential to understand Bain & Company's culture and values. Bain values candidates who exhibit qualities such as teamwork, leadership, passion, and problem-solving skills. Research the company's website, read articles, and connect with current or former employees on platforms like LinkedIn to get insights into what makes the firm unique.

Bain specifically looks for 4 things in candidates during the interview process:

  • Problem solving
  • The ability to lead
  • Results delivery
  • Passion

In addition to the above skills that Bain formally lists, it's important to mention two additional qualifications that will be critical to your success: 

  • Communication
  • Soft skills

Review Your Resume and Experiences

First, recruiters will look at your resume and assess if your experience matches the open position. This is the most competitive step in the process - we’ve found that 90% of candidates don’t make it past this stage. Expect to discuss your resume extensively during the interview. Be prepared to explain your career choices, highlight your achievements, and relate your experiences to consulting. Tailor your resume to reflect skills and experiences that align with Bain's expectations. 

Case Interview Practice

First round interviews at Bain are typically carried out by junior consultants and managers. If you make it to the second round you will then be interviewed by partners of the firm who will make a final decision on your application.

Interviews in both the first and second rounds typically start with one or two fit/personal experience interview questions and your interviewer will then ask you case questions.

Case interviews are the core of Bain & Company's interview process. You'll be presented with real-world business problems and asked to solve them. To prepare:

  • Practice Frameworks. Familiarize yourself with common frameworks like SWOT analysis, Porter's Five Forces, and the 4Ps of marketing. These will help you structure your approach to cases.
  • Casebooks and Resources. Utilize casebooks, online resources, and case interview books to practice solving various types of cases. Websites like Case in Point and Victor Cheng's website offer valuable materials.
  • Mock Interviews. Practice with a partner, ideally someone with consulting experience, to simulate real interview conditions. Receive feedback and iterate on your approach.
  • Bain Case Library. Explore Bain's official case library to get a sense of the types of problems they solve for clients.

Importantly, the interviewer will want you to take the lead on the case. After you present your framework to your interviewer they won’t tell you what to do. They will expect you to take the lead and to suggest a next step.

Another tip is that you should always ask for the data first. And only if your interviewer tells you the data is not available should you make data assumptions.

Behavioral Interviews

Bain & Company also assesses candidates through behavioral interviews. These evaluate your soft skills, teamwork, leadership, and cultural fit. Prepare by:

  • STAR Method. Structure your answers using the Situation, Task, Action, and Result (STAR) method to provide clear, concise responses.
  • Behavioral Questions. Review common behavioral questions such as "Tell me about a time you faced a challenging team situation" or "Give an example of a time you demonstrated leadership."
  • Storybank. Develop a repository of stories that highlight your experiences and skills, ensuring they align with the consulting role.

Company Research

Show your genuine interest in Bain & Company by researching the firm extensively. Understand their recent projects, clients, and industry trends. Demonstrating your knowledge during the interview will set you apart.

Fit Interviews

Bain & Company places a strong emphasis on cultural fit. Expect questions about your motivations, long-term goals, and why you want to work at Bain. Tailor your responses to align with the firm's values and your own career aspirations.

The fit questions at Bain are extremely predictable. Here are the top 5 fit questions:

  • Why Bain? (33% of fit questions)
  • Why consulting? (25% of fit questions)
  • Introduce yourself / Walk me through your resume (20% of fit questions)
  • Tell me about X on your resume (5% of fit questions)
  • Why choose location X? (4% of fit questions)
  • Other (13% of fit questions)

Final Tips

Dress professionally and opt for business attire, even if the interview is conducted remotely. 

Typical dress code for men.

  • Suit in a neutral color (e.g. black, grey)
  • Button-up shirt in a simple style and color (e.g. white, light blue)
  • Tie without flashy patterns
  • Black or brown dress shoes that go with your suit

Typical dress code for women.

  • Conservative dress or pantsuit in simple colors (nothing shiny or bright)
  • If wearing a pantsuit with a blouse, white is standard for the blouse
  • No large or loud jewelry, small and simple items are appropriate
  • Shoes should be conservative and comfortable 

Be concise. During case interviews, prioritize clarity and brevity in your responses.

Ask questions. Prepare thoughtful questions to ask the interviewers. This demonstrates your interest and engagement.

Stay calm. Interview nerves are common, but remember that the interviewers want you to succeed. Take a deep breath, stay composed, and think through your answers carefully.


Preparing for a consulting interview at Bain & Company is a rigorous process, but it can be immensely rewarding. By understanding the company's culture, mastering case interviews, and showcasing your fit with the firm, you can increase your chances of landing a position with this prestigious consulting powerhouse. Good luck!