Bain HireVue Test is Bain's digital interactive approach to pre-employment testing. This test comes after your resume submission and is a part of Bain & Company's hiring procedure.
In this article, we'll provide all the information regarding the test structure and guide you through the preparation process!
Table of Contents
Bain HireVue Test presents a pre-recording online assessment of Bain & Company for associate consultant and consultant positions. The test is conducted through a third-party digital platform called Hirevue, thus the common name Bain HireVue test.
The Bain HireVue test consists of the following two parts:
- 25 multiple-choice questions are based on traditionally-modified Bain cases that evaluate your approach to problem-solving (i.e. strategic thinking and deductive reasoning).
- 3 video questions are designed to assess your business judgment and thought process.
This test takes no longer than 1 hour and 10 minutes to complete (50 minutes for 25 multiple-choice questions and 20 minutes for 3 interview questions). Candidates' answers will be evaluated directly by Bain hiring teams without using a computer-assisted evaluation (AI).
2 parts of Bain HireVue Test
- Multiple-choice questions (25 questions) assess problem-solving skills
- Video questions (3 questions) assess business judgment and thought process
25 multiple-choice questions
Before entering this section, there is a list of instructions from Bain and you should read them carefully to avoid any unexpected issues during the test. You are not required to answer all 25 questions but rather to answer each based on your available time and ability. It's important to note that the use of electronic devices in this test is strictly inhibited.
What's more, there are 2 to 3 study cases followed by a series of charts that you need to work on. These questions can be broken down into two main types
- Strategic thinking: Asking you to select suitable solutions, reports, next steps, etc.
- Data interpretation: Most of the charts given are compound charts, with rare occasions being independent charts.
70% of these questions don't require candidates to do calculations but rather to read and make inferences. However, these making-inference types of charts are often the hard-to-handle ones. You may encounter charts such as Marimekko, Bubble chart, Waterfall, or a combination of Stacked Column and other charts.
Charts involving calculations are mostly the Stacked Column type, with not-too-complex calculation questions.
If you still have time left in this section, you can still go back to change your answer or tackle difficult questions. Nevertheless, once you submit your answer, you can't review or change your answers.
Bain HireVue interview questions
Before taking the test, HireVue allows you to take a practice question for the purpose of testing your camera and mic.
With each video interview practice question, you have 1 minute of preparation time and a maximum of 3 minutes for delivering the answer.
In the real interview part, there will be a 5-minute preparation and a 3-minute timeframe for recording your answer. These 3 interview questions vary from candidate to candidate as they are selected from a pool of ready-made questions.
Several sample questions are as follows:
- Explain why your background and experience would be a good fit for this job.
- Tell us what has been your best work achievement to this point in your career. What made this achievement important?
- Tell us about a time when you had to make a difficult decision without having all the information you needed. How did you decide? What was the outcome and what have you learned from it?
You are not obliged to deliver your video interview answers together with the 25 multiple-choice questions. Upon finishing the first section, you can exit the test and later use the same invitation link to take section 2.
Below we have a few question examples with answer explanations for your reference.
Type 1: Strategic thinking question
Example 1: Which of the following most accurately describes why Packaging Co. has approached Bain?
A. To negotiate the deal price for an exit
B. Evaluate the potential of different opportunities and define a new integrated strategy focusing on an increase in the sales for the plastic and paper packaging units
C. Boosting the EBITDA, sales, and overall sale price to build capabilities that will be critical to delivering the 5-year exit plan
D. Implemented a cross-functional tender management process to improve large account win rate for increasing the sales of the packaging paper unit
Example 2: Bain plans to help Packaging Co. increase its sales. Which of the following options will help in designing the MOST SUITABLe solution to address Packaging Co.’s challenges?
1. Increase production capacity to generate high volumes
2. Cost-effective way to acquire new customers through a new tendering process
3. Optimizing product pricing to boost margins
4. Restructuring the budgeting mechanism to avoid unnecessary spending
5. Optimizing the distribution network
6. Procurement rationalization
7. Modifying the product combinations
Choose your answer
A. 2, 4, 5, 1
B. 3, 2, 7, 4
C. 1, 5, 4, 3
D. 3, 5, 1, 2
Example 3: You have been given the responsibility of understanding an evaluation of the Packaging Co. plan's commercial and operational performance. For this, there was a requirement for some reports. As an Associate Consultant, which reports would you be requiring?
1. Financial reports
2. Production report
3. Inventory report
4. Sales piepline report
5. Staffing report
Choose your answer
A. 1, 2, 3, 4
B, 1, 3, 4, 5
C, 1, 2, 3, 5
D, All of the above
Type 2: Data Intepretation
Based on the chart, if the total revenue fails by ~4% (annually by 2019) and the revenue for Product 2 is expected to increase at a rate of ~5% (annually by 2019), what will happen to the share of revenue for Product 2 in Packacking Co. in 2019 (relative to 2014)?
C. Data insufficient
D. Remain constant
Let R be the total revenue of Packaging Co and R2 be the revenue of Product 2.
It is assumed that the total revenue fails by ~4% (annually by 2019), so the total revenue in 2019 will be R (2019) = R (2017) * 96%^2
It is assumed that the revenue for Product 2 is expected to increase at a rate of ~5% (annually by 2019), so the revenue of Product 2 in 2019 will be R2 (2019) = R2 (2017) * 105%^2
Compare Share of product 2 (2017) with Share of product 2 (2014):
- R2 (2017) and R2 (2014) are approximately the same (by eye)
- R (2017) < R (2014)
-> Share of product 2 (2017) > Share of product 2 (2014)
To sum up: Share of product 2 (2019) > Share of product 2 ( 2014).
In other words, share of the revenue for Product 2 in Packing Co. in 2019 will increase (relative to 2014).
From the chart, which of the following products dominate the most attractive end segments?
A. Product 1 and Product 5
B. Product 1 and Product 4
C. Product 2 and Product 6
D. Product 1 and Product 2
As we can see from the chart, the value of product 1 (black boxes) and product 2 (grey boxes) accounts for about ⅔ of the total value of Packaging Co.'s end market, outperforming any other combination in the other answers.
Thus, Product 1 and Product 2 dominate the most attractive end segments.
What is the main cause of the EBITDA to decline from 2016-2017?
1. Volume losses
2. Price Mix
4. Currency conversion efficiency
Choose your answer
The exhibit displayed the reasons and their contributions for the decline in the EBITDA of 2017 compared to 2016.
There are two main causes:
1. Volume: decreased by 7
2. Currency conversion efficiency: decreased by 11.9
Practice answering data interpretation questions
As most of the questions in the 25-multiple-choice part are of data interpretation type, it’s important that you can tackle every type of chart. Some of the chart types you may encounter in a Bain HireVue test include Marimekko, Bubble chart, Waterfall, or a combination of Stacked Column and other charts.
Practicing regularly and consistently with questions containing the abovementioned chart types can help you improve your performance significantly. If you have practiced McKinsey PST before, you may see that the questions from Bain are a lot easier.
Practice answering the questions correctly
For the Bain HireVue test, Bain includes in its instruction that candidates should try to answer questions correctly rather than try to answer all the questions. Therefore, it's advisable that you can get as many correct answers as possible. In addition, you can skip difficult questions and go back to answer them later if you still have remaining time for this section.
There seems to be no guessing penalty in the Bain HireVue test like in the Bain online test, yet you shouldn’t risk guessing your answers. As long as you understand how these questions are constructed, you will be able to handle all given multiple-choice questions.
Be aware of the time limit
On average, you only have 2 minutes to work out each question. Although you are not required to answer all of the questions, it's still important to answer as many as you can. With hard-to-handle chart types, you may need more time to work on them. Therefore, being aware of the time availability will help you practice more effectively for the real test.
You can use the time limit as a framework to improve your speed and allocate time appropriately in the real test.
Try mock tests under similar conditions
The last tip on the list is to take a mock test after practicing under similar conditions. As you'll be taking the test online, you should try to set similar test-taking conditions for your mock test. You can select a wide range of data interpretation questions from our question banks and set up the timer while you are taking the mock test.
Once finish the mock test, use your test result and our answer guides to pinpoint your weak points. From that, you can further practice and improve your performance on questions that you struggle with. Repeat the same process until you can handle each question easily.