Bain CREW Program: Step-By-Step Guide to Getting In

Bain CREW Program


The Bain CREW program was established to provide female undergraduate students with underrepresented backgrounds with early exposure to consulting. CREW stands for Connecting and Resourcing Empowered Women.

 

It is a highly selective program that provides participants with a head start on their consulting career. At the end of the program, participants have the opportunity to interview for an Associate Consultant internship.

 

If you’re looking to apply to the Bain CREW program and want to know how you can give yourself the best chance of getting in, then this article is for you.

 

I’m a former Bain Manager and interviewer and I’ll cover what is the Bain CREW program, program requirements and deadlines, and tips for the application and interview.

 

What is the Bain CREW Program?

 

The Bain CREW program is a highly selective, in-person 1.5 day workshop for women in their sophomore year of undergraduate studies to hear from women leaders in consulting, get a feel for working as a consultant, and build a business toolkit.

 

Participants in the Bain CREW Program can expect to:

 

  • Attend an in-person 1.5 day workshop that includes panels and breakout sessions

 

  • Hear from women leaders in the consulting field

 

  • Build a business and leadership toolkit

 

  • Develop a better understand of a career in consulting and Bain

 

  • Network with peers, mentors, and future colleagues

 

  • Have the opportunity to interview for an Associate Consultant internship position in the US or Canada

 

The in-person workshop is typically hosted in late-January or early-February across several of Bain’s North America offices. Participants will be placed in offices closest to their university.

 

If you have any further questions about the Bain CREW program, you can email [email protected].

 

Bain CREW Program Requirements

 

To apply, you need to identify as a woman in your sophomore year of undergraduate studies. You also need to be enrolled in a four-year institution in the US or Canada. If you are not a US or Canadian citizen, you are still eligible to apply.

 

No prior experience in consulting is required to be accepted into the CREW program. Bain encourages everyone to apply regardless of their major or background.

 

Bain CREW Program Application Deadline

 

The Bain CREW program application deadline is typically November 1. However, you should check the official Bain CREW website to see when the official deadline is posted for the upcoming year.

 

Bain CREW Program Application

 

The Bain CREW program requires you to submit your resume, cover letter, educational information, unofficial transcript, test scores, office preferences, and supplemental video essays via a video recording tool.

 

Resume

 

The resume that you submit for the Bain CREW program is one of the most important components of the application process. It’s important that you spend sufficient time crafting your consulting resume so that it best highlights your qualities and accomplishments.

 

Application reviewers will spend most of their time looking at your resume when making decisions on who to interview. Your cover letter, educational information, and unofficial transcript may be glanced over or not read at all.

 

Cover Letter

 

Although the Bain CREW program asks you to submit a cover letter, it will most likely not be read. The majority of application decisions are made based on your resume and background information.

 

However, if you are a borderline candidate, a well-written consulting cover letter could push your application over the edge and help you get an interview.

 

Educational Information

 

You will need to submit some basic educational information, such as the name of the school you are attending and your intended major or degree. If you have not decided on a major yet, you can select “Undecided.”

 

Unofficial Transcript

 

The Bain CREW program requires you to submit an unofficial transcript to show the classes you have taken and your cumulative GPA. This does not need to be an official transcript that is directly sent from the school to Bain. Instead, you can submit a PDF document that you downloaded from your school’s website.

 

Test Scores

 

The Bain CREW program requires you to also submit your test scores for the SAT or ACT, depending on which exam you have taken. You will not need to submit an official score report. Just input the numerical scores.

 

Office Preferences

 

Lastly, you will select up to three Bain offices that you have a preference for. You will be asked to weight each of your office preferences such that the sum of all weights adds up to 100%.

 

For example, you may indicate your office preferences as 70% San Francisco, 20% New York, and 10% Chicago.

 

However, note that the second and third choice offices you select will not have much of an impact on your application. Bain typically will only consider you for your top-choice office.

 

If you are not selected for the Bain CREW program, you will still have the opportunity to apply for an Associate Consultant internship position in the summer prior to your third or junior year.

 

Supplemental Video Essays

 

As the final part of the application, you’ll be sent a video recording tool to record yourself answering three video essays. The responses you record to these three questions will take the place of a traditional interview for the program.

 

Bain CREW Program Interview

 

Although there is no formal interview for the Bain CREW program, all applicants will be asked to answer three questions in a video format through HireVue, a video recording tool.

 

Following the Bain CREW Program application deadline, applicants will receive a link to complete the HireVue video essay prompts the following day. Applicants will have 5 days to complete this.

 

There are three major types of questions you could get asked: resume questions, behavioral questions, and motivational questions.

 

Resume Questions

 

Resume questions ask you to discuss your background, strengths, and weaknesses. These questions are asked to provide more detail about who you are, beyond what is listed on your resume.

 

Examples of common resume questions you could get asked include:

 

  • Tell us about yourself

 

  • What accomplishment are you most proud of? Why?

 

  • What do you consider as your greatest strength?

 

  • What do you consider as your greatest weakness?

 

  • What is something that we should know about you?

 

Behavioral Questions

 

Consulting behavioral questions ask you to draw upon a time or experience in the past in which you demonstrated a particular quality or trait. For example, you may be asked common consulting behavioral interview questions such as:

 

  • Tell me about a time when you led a team

 

  • Give an example of a time when you went above and beyond

 

  • Tell me about a time when you failed

 

  • Describe a problem that you solved using data

 

  • Tell me about a time when you resolved conflict while working on a team

 

Bain asks behavioral questions because how you’ve handled situations in the past is a predictor of how you will handle problems and challenges in the future.

 

Additionally, these questions also give Bain interviewers a glimpse into who you are as a person. Your answers will show what qualities you demonstrate and what values you hold important to you.

 

Lastly, these questions give the opportunity for the interviewer to go deeper into your resume. They’ll be able to dive deeper into the details behind your accomplishments and achievements to see if you actually accomplished what was on your resume.

 

Motivational Questions

 

Bain asks motivational questions to assess your genuine passion for consulting and to see if you are actually interested in working at the firm.

 

The Bain CREW program has an extremely limited number of spots. Therefore, Bain wants to ensure that the applicants that they accept will have a high likelihood of wanting to work at Bain full-time as a consultant after graduation.

 

There are two common motivational questions that you should prepare for:

 

 

 

The first question evaluates whether you know what you are getting into. Do you actually have an idea of what consultants do and what you should expect on the job?

 

The reasons you provide for why you are interested in consulting will also help interviewers determine if you are interested in consulting for the right reasons. Are you motivated by the challenging, fulfilling business problems that you will solve? Or, are you motivated by the wrong reasons, such as the money or prestige.

 

The second question evaluates whether you’ve done your research on Bain. Do you know what makes Bain special among all the other management consulting firms? Are you interested in Bain for the right reasons?

 

Tips for Getting Selected for the Bain CREW Program

 

1. Perfect your consulting resume

 

Your resume is the single most important component that will determine whether or not you are accepted into the Bain CREW program.

 

Therefore, you’ll want to dedicate at least a few days perfecting your resume while also getting feedback from peers, your school’s career center, or even consultants that you know.

 

Make sure to follow the tips below to perfect your consulting resume.

 

  • Keep your resume to one page only. If it is longer, you’ll need to make your resume more concise and less wordy

 

  • Every bullet on your resume should start with a verb in the past tense to show that you have completed or achieved something

 

  • Every bullet should have some kind of number or metric in them so that you can quantify your accomplishments and make them sound more impressive

 

  • Your resume’s bullets should show a mix of quantitative skill accomplishments (e.g., analyzing data) and qualitative skill accomplishments (e.g., managing or working with others)

 

  • Avoid using technical jargon, unfamiliar abbreviations or acronyms, and buzzwords with unclear meanings

 

  • Your resume should prioritize showcasing your work experiences, particularly if you have worked at a brand name company

 

  • Include personal interests at the end of the resume to give resume reviewers something interesting to read about

 

If you need professional help crafting the perfect resume that will land you consulting interviews, check out our resume review and editing service.

 

2. Practice recording your video essays

 

Bain uses HireVue to collect answers to their supplemental video essays. Recording yourself and talking to a camera is not a natural thing that most people are comfortable with.

 

Therefore, you can significantly improve the way you communicate your answer by practicing recording yourself and talking to a camera ahead of time.

 

You should watch recordings of yourself to see if there are any opportunities for improvement.

 

Can you make better eye contact with the camera? Are you using appropriate hand gestures? Do you appear calm, confident, enthusiastic, and genuine?

 

You will be surprised at how you appear on camera unless you take the time to practice recording yourself speaking to a camera.

 

3. Prepare answers to behavioral interview questions

 

For the supplemental video essays, expect to be asked at least one behavioral interview question.

 

To answer behavioral questions well, follow these guidelines:

 

  • Prepare 6-8 different stories in advance that draw upon your professional and personal work experiences. This ensures that you have prepared answers and stories that you can draw upon no matter what behavioral question is asked

 

  • Only select and share experiences that are the most impressive, impactful, or unique. You want to showcase the highlights of your experiences, not just any experience that is relevant

 

  • Make sure that you the stories you prepare are collectively diverse. You’ll want to have at least one story that is relevant to leadership, teamwork, problem solving, resilience, integrity, decision making, communication, and interpersonal skills

 

  • Structure your answer to help keep your answer clear and easy to follow. Most candidates use the STAR method, which stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result

 

  • When giving your answer, cover the Situation and Task sections quickly and spend most of your time focusing on the Action and Result

 

If you want to learn how to answer 98% of behavioral and fit questions in just a few hours, check out our behavioral interview course.

 

4. Prepare your answer to “Why Bain?”

 

In addition to behavioral questions, there is also a high likelihood of getting asked “Why Bain?” as one of the supplemental video essays.

 

There are a variety of different reasons you could give for why you’re interested in Bain:

 

  • Bain works with an impressive roster of prestigious clients, working on solving their most important and difficult problems

 

  • Bain has a fun, collegial culture that fosters learning, professional development, and friendship

 

  • Bain has an extremely supportive culture, highlighted by their mantra of “A Bainie Never Lets Another Bainie Fail”

 

  • Bain offers a range of involvement opportunities outside of case work, known as “Extra 10s,” which includes various hobby and interest groups

 

  • Bain’s local staffing model cultivates close-knit connections with colleagues at your local office

 

  • Bain is the leader in private equity consulting work

 

  • A friend or mentor worked at Bain and highly recommended working there

 

5. Prepare your answer to “Why Consulting?”

 

There is also a high likelihood of getting asked “Why consulting?” as one of the supplemental video essays.

 

There are a variety of different reasons you could give for why you’re interested in consulting:

 

  • You want to make a significant impact by working on the biggest, most challenging business problems that companies face

 

  • You enjoy the diversity of solving business problems across multiple different industries and functions

 

  • You see consulting as the quickest way to build a strong toolkit of both hard skills and soft skills that are needed to be successful in business

 

  • You want to get an insider view on how companies are run and operated

 

  • You want to develop knowledge and expertise in a particular industry or function

 

  • You value the significant mentorship and professional development that consulting provides

 

  • You find fulfillment in working with and servicing clients, helping deliver significant value to them

 

Recommended Resources to Get into the Bain CREW Program

 

To give yourself the best chance to get into the highly competitive Bain CREW program, look into the resources listed below.

 

You don’t have to go through the Bain CREW application process by yourself. Getting professional help from a former Bain Manager and interviewer can significantly increase your chances of getting into the program and giving yourself a head start on your consulting career.

 

For help landing an interview

 

 

For help passing behavioral and fit interviews

 

  • Behavioral & Fit Interview Course: Be prepared for 98% of behavioral and fit questions in just a few hours. We'll teach you exactly how to draft answers that will impress your interviewer

 

For help passing case interviews (required to secure an internship offer)

 

Following the completion of the Bain CREW program, you’ll be given an opportunity to interview for a Bain Associate Consultant internship. 

 

The interview process largely consists of case interviews, a special type of interview that consulting firms use. A case interview is a 20 to 40-minute interview in which you are placed in a hypothetical business situation and asked to develop a recommendation to solve a business problem.

 

These are the resources we recommend for learning case interviews quickly and efficiently:

 

  • Comprehensive Case Interview Course (our #1 recommendation): The only resource you need. Whether you have no business background, rusty math skills, or are short on time, this step-by-step course will transform you into a top 1% caser that lands multiple consulting offers.

 

  • Hacking the Case Interview Book (available on Amazon): Perfect for beginners that are short on time. Transform yourself from a stressed-out case interview newbie to a confident intermediate in under a week. Some readers finish this book in a day and can already tackle tough cases.

 

  • The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook (available on Amazon): Perfect for intermediates struggling with frameworks, case math, or generating business insights. No need to find a case partner – these drills, practice problems, and full-length cases can all be done by yourself.