Bain Final Round Interview Explained

caramelapplepops's picture
Rank: Chimp | 13

Hello guys,

Yesterday I did final rounds interviews for AC position in one of the overseas offices, my hometown. It was 3 interviews - 1 partner & 2 managers. The partner interview was all fit -tell me about yourself and a couple of leadership questions. Manager cases were %15 fit - %85 case. I did pretty well on the partner and one of the manager interviews but I kinda messed up one of the cases.. The consultant helped me a lot.. and I missed to see the obvious for more than once... She kinda directed me to the solution and obviously changed my way several times.. Sigh.

What do you think are the odds of me getting an offer?
Do you need to do awesome in all of your interviews to get in?

Will hear back in a couple of days.. I'll let you know :)


Bain Interview Process Overview

If you make it past the initial screenings and into the final rounds of the case interview then congratulate yourself, because you are in the top one percent of candidates. The question is, will you be the candidate for the job . Bain & Company is a notoriously hard interviewer. In fact, they come in third for the hardest interviews according to 2017 Consulting Industry report. The pivotal portion of any consultancy interview is the case interview portion. The case interview will be conducted by more senior members of the firm. This means the interviewee is less likely to have a personal connection with them. So, these case interviews are entirely performance-based. Every candidate should prepare thoroughly for this portion of the interview.

Preparing for The Bain Case Interview

When it comes to a job offer its best to cut luck out the equation and prepare appropriately. Especially for MBB Total number of practice cases varies. However, the average is between 20 and 30. However, you should not be going through these cases to tally up points. It's more important that you internalize the process so that you can apply it appropriately.

User @brj shared their thoughts:


I did around 30 and gave about 25, which IMO is just as important. This was in the span of 3 weeks. The vast majority of my classmates who got MBB were in the 15-40 range. I know a few who did 50+. At that point, most people have a tendency to burn-out or become robotic. When you're doing interview prep, DON'T FORGET FIT. My case partners and I typically gave each other 1-2 behavioral questions before every case. If you can develop rapport with the interviewer during the fit portion, you're more likely to get the benefit of the doubt if you have a minor stumble during the case.

Bain Case Interview Explained

The following insights are courtesy of the Wall Street Oasis Company Database. The interviewee was a Bain & Company applicant. This person was applying for an associate consultant role in San Francisco.

How did you get the interview?:
College / University / On Campus Recruiting

Overall, how would you describe your interview experience?:

How long did the interview process last?:
Less than 1 month

Overall, how difficult was the interview?:
Very Difficult

Please describe the interview / hiring process.:
Got invited for initial phone screen which consisted of two back to back case interviews with two seperate consultants (senior level)

What were the most difficult or unexpected interview questions asked?:
The initial case was about a frozen yogurt place. Very quantitative; this interviewer was really really rushed so he led the entire thing unfortunately... extremely quant heavy: market sizing to breakeven analysis for units and dollars and then market share analysis. The second case was also very rushed and extremely quant heavy. Market sizing to profitability analysis with different kinds of promotions this outdoors store could run. Overall lots of different numbers and equations to come up with on the fly

How did you answer each of these questions (please be specific)?:
I did the basic case interview framework: Start by reiterating the case to make sure you got everything down, ask some clarifying questions, then ask for a minute to structure your thoughts. Then i gave my hypothesis which I thought was tailored very well to each case given. However, both consultants said yes that sounds perfect but for time's sake I am going to push you towards X. So I played along and went with what they had suggested. Overall they really wanted to focus on my quant abilities!

How to Ace the Bain Interviews

As you can see the case interviews are difficult even at the initial screening phase. The further you get in the recruiting process the more difficult the case interviews will become. As stated above, the best way to ace your interview is to prepare adequately so you can execute with confidence when the time comes.
Wall Street Oasis has the resources to help you ace your interviews. Click the link below to get started!

Consulting Case Interview Prep

Recommended Reading List

United States - West

Comments (14)

Feb 14, 2012

Similar thing happened to me in a BCG interview back when I was interviewing for a Associate Intern position. Did well on 2/3 cases, but had to be led a lot on the one of them.

I think summer roles at MBB are especially competitive because of how few people they take -- they really only are looking for a handful of people. Even if everyone aced their case in the final rounds, they would only take a handful... so its tough.

Having said that, no matter what happens, there are plenty of people who aren't successful in the final rounds for summer positions who get offers at several of the top firms come the fall with more practice and time. If unsuccessful, ask for feedback, stay in touch with the interviewers over the summer, and continue to practice cases.

But you never know... things could work in your favor now if the case was difficult for everyone! Good luck!

Feb 14, 2012

Hello ocho,

Thanks for your advice.. This was actually for a full-time position... I did the interviews in the San Francisco office on behalf of an office in Europe. They say if you get final-rounds for full-time then you are very likely to get an offer.. Do you have an idea/knowledge/experience on this?


Nov 7, 2013


Feb 14, 2012

Thanks redninja. I have one more question: is it true that the performance on the partner interview has the most impact on the final decision? I hope my "bad" case was not as bad as I think it is. Will def let you know! :)

Feb 15, 2012

Better question: why the hell do you care what your "odds" are now?

Your interviews are already done. Whatever their decision is going to be, there's literally nothing whatsoever you can do at this point to influence the outcome. You should be getting laid. Chill, bro.

You'll either get the call or you won't.

Best Response
Feb 15, 2012

Yeah that's actually a very good question... But when you are very interested in the firm and the particular position, you keep thinking about it all the time.. even after the interviews are done, you think about your mistakes, what consultants said etc. over and over again.. Maybe it's just me, I don't know :)

I'm just trying to get some ideas from other people who have been thru a similar interview process and also pass information to other potential candidates...

Thanks for the advice anyway, buddy!

    • 2
Feb 15, 2012

Honestly you can't know. I had FT final round interviews with two MBBs. I thought I was perfect for one and did horribly on the other. Got no offer from the one I thought I did well during and did get an offer from the one I was sure I messed up on. Same city.

They tend to call right away (or at least from what I've heard that is the case in the US). So you should know pretty soon yay or nay.

Feb 15, 2012

Thanks for encouraging words, buddy! They said they'll be sending my interview results/scores/whatever to the recruiters in the European office I'm interviewing for and that might take some time.. I should hear back in a couple of days and let you guys know!

Feb 16, 2012

I'd say your chances are almost nil. At my firm, you don't fk up cases. Theres plenty of people who fit well and 3/3 cases.

    • 2
Feb 16, 2012

I'd say your chances are almost nil. At my firm, you don't fk up cases. Theres plenty of people who fit well and 3/3 cases.

There are**

At your firm, do people "fk" up grammar on the reg, as well?

    • 1
Feb 19, 2012

It's been a week and still haven't heard back from them.. I might be wait-listed... although I'm not sure if they waitlist people for FT positions.. No one waits to ding a clear no.... so I still have hope and waiting. . . :/

Aug 7, 2013

Hey how's the result? Have they notified you yet?

Feb 20, 2012

LOL, thanks man :)

    • 1
Nov 26, 2015