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Consulting Interview Preparation

Written Case Interview

The written case interview is a natural extension of the traditional case interview, and several offices use it as part of the consultant and summer associate second-round process.

Keith Bevans, head of consultant recruiting, discusses some interview tips.

What Is the Written Case Interview?

The written case interview will require you to develop a recommendation based on the challenge described. You will receive the key questions, facts about the case and some time to prepare before you meet with your interviewer.

Your job is to review your client's situation, present a persuasive recommendation that considers the trade-offs of each possible action or choice, and then participate in a rich discussion with your interviewer to determine how your client could best achieve results. It's important to remember that there may be more than one action the client could successfully take.

Some consultant applicants will have a written case interview; please check the role and office page for more information.

What to Expect
  • Bain will provide you with 20–30 PowerPoint slides describing a client's situation.
  • You will have about 55 minutes to review the slides, identify key insights and handwrite a brief recommendation(s) before the interview begins.
  • You will then have approximately 40 minutes to present and discuss your recommendation(s) with your interviewer, who may challenge your assumptions or interpretation of the facts in order to see how you might handle a real client situation.

Tips for Nailing Your Interview

When preparing for your interview, keep these suggestions in mind:

  • Trust your instincts. There is no one "right" answer. The goal is to present a persuasive recommendation and participate in a rich discussion about how to achieve results for your client.
  • Prioritize. Prep time goes quickly, so put aside case slides that seem less important.
  • Be concise. Have your key messages outlined in your summary. Save the details for your discussion.
  • Do the math. Figure out what analytics are necessary for your recommendation, and piece together the required data from the slides.
  • Be pragmatic. Craft a recommendation that can actually be implemented by the client.
  • Consider both sides. Strengthen the rationale behind your recommendation by working through the strongest arguments against it.