Frequently asked questions

Application process

Where can I learn more about Bain?
Do I need to apply to one part of the business?
What happens to my application when I submit it?
When will I find out whether my application has been successful?

  1. Where can I learn more about Bain?
    Visit Bain.com to learn about the type of work we do and how we make an impact for our clients. For more information about working at Bain, visit JoinBain.com. You can also browse the people profiles to find out about a typical working day at Bain. If you are an on-campus candidate, please visit your university’s career services office to pick up Bain’s information packet.
  2. Do I need to apply to one part of the business?
    No. At Bain, you will have the opportunity to work with a wide range of corporate and private equity clients, transferring the knowledge and experience you gain in one area to others.
  3. What happens to my application when I submit it?
    Once we have received your application, it will be reviewed independently by two or more consultants. They will be looking for answers to questions such as why you are interested in consulting and why you are you interested in working for Bain. In addition, they will look for specific evidence that you have the qualities you will need to be successful at Bain.

    If you are an on-campus candidate, you may need to wait until the regular recruiting season begins to apply. Otherwise, your application will be reviewed a couple of weeks to two months after you submit it.
  4. When will I find out whether my application has been successful?
    As soon as we receive your online application, you will receive a confirmation email. Candidates who pass the résumé screening will be contacted by Bain.
Résumé preparation

How can I make my application stand out?
What should my résumé look like?
What should my résumé include?
My résumé looks like a long and random list of activities. Do you have any advice?
In drafting cover letter, I end up summarizing my résumé. Is this OK?
Any last tips?

  1. How can I make my application stand out from other candidates' with similar qualifications and experiences?
    You should see your résumé as your personal marketing tool. That does not mean it should be gimmicky or "different" for the sake of it, but just that it needs to "sell" you and your principal achievements effectively to us and demonstrate your suitability to Bain. Think carefully about the key attributes that we look for—analytical ability, interpersonal skills, initiative, energy and teamwork—and make sure that you use your résumé to highlight where you have demonstrated them. There is no "right" way to demonstrate those qualities—they could be described through extracurricular activities as well as professional experiences. Learn more about what we look for.
  2. What should my résumé look like?
    There are no hard and fast rules here, but try to use your formatting to make it easy for the reader to draw out your key selling points. Aim to keep your résumé to one page, and definitely not more than two. Think about using bullet points rather than prose—they can help you to distill and emphasize key points. Break the résumé clearly into sections and use "white space" to make it easy to read. Don't be afraid to use bold type to attract the reader's eye to key points or achievements.
  3. What should my résumé include?
    Please provide us with all the information that we need to make a fair assessment of your application. Consider including::
    • Personal contact details: name and address for correspondence, e-mail address if you have one, telephone number, date of birth and nationality
    • Education: include degree results to date, predicted degree results (where available). Play up important skills if not otherwise obvious
    • Work experience: try to emphasize relevant work benefits, and summarize your role and main achievements in each job in a couple of points
    • Interests and activities: try to focus on things that make you stand out. Include dates wherever possible, and try to place most emphasis on your recent achievements.
  4. My résumé looks like a long and random list of activities. Do you have any advice?
    Remember that your résumé is not a laundry list of everything you have ever done, but is an opportunity to present the 'edited highlights'. A good application doesn't just list facts, but explains why they are important and how they fit into your application to Bain. Try to give us a sense of the scale of your most significant activities and achievements, and exactly what your role was. For example, rather than just listing 'President of University History Society', you might include:
    • President of University History Society (2010)
    • Elected by 300 society members
    • Organized and chaired weekly meetings with outside speakers
    • Ran monthly committee meetings of 20 people
    • Managed a budget of KW10,000,000
    • Liased regularly with university authorities
  5. In drafting cover letter, I end up summarizing my résumé. Is this OK?
    Many people find writing the cover letter to be the hardest part of the whole process. Treat it as an opportunity to emphasize the key selling points of your résumé, and a vehicle to demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about Bain's business, and are interested in what we do. A typical approach would be to say why you are interested in strategic consultancy, what attracts you to Bain in particular, and what it is about you that makes you exceptionally suited to the job.
  6. Any last tips?
    Get a friend to read your résumé and check that it accurately conveys who you really are and what you have done. Also, make sure that you make one final check of both your résumé and covering letter for typos and mail merge mistakes. Lastly, remember that all of our interviewers are given copies of your application—so if you are selected for interview, make sure you read your résumé through again!
Interviews

Can you give me some examples of a short problem? What am I expected to do?
I'm doing an arts degree, but heard the short problem requires complex math. Is this true?
What happens after the 1st round interview?

  1. Can you give me some examples of a short problem? What am I expected to do?
    An example of this type of problem might be for you to estimate the annual revenue of a major hotel. Another example might be to estimate the number of phone calls made in Chongro Tower every day. Remember that there are no right answers to these problems. In fact, your interviewer may not know what the answers are. We are simply trying to assess whether you are able to structure your answer in a logical way. Perform some rough calculations and then check that your answer makes sense at the end. The candidates who provide the best answers talk us through their logic and make sensible, realistic assumptions that they are not afraid to revisit if the end answer seems unrealistic.
  2. I'm doing an arts degree, but have heard that the short problem requires some complex maths. Is this true?
    Absolutely not. Consultancy is not rocket science—it just requires you to be comfortable with numbers. This is reflected in your interview, where we look for a basic level of mental arithmetic and nothing more. You should, for example, be able to work out 30 x 200 or 80% of 4000.
  3. What happens after the first round interviews?
    At the end of the day on which we interview you, our interview teams will meet to discuss and decide which applicants should be invited to the second round of interviews. We know that waiting can be agonizing, so we'll either send you a letter or give you a call within a couple of days to let you know the outcome. As we mentioned earlier, the second round of interviews typically take place about one week after the first round.