COVID-19 and interviews

case interviews Coronavirus covid19
New answer on May 27, 2020
7 Answers
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Anonymous asked on Mar 10, 2020

Hi everyone,

What's your feedback from recruiters about how COVID-19 affects the interviewing process? Will interviews get postoponed or perhaps be conducted by video conference?

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Anonymous updated the answer on Mar 11, 2020

Hey Theo,

Of course it has an impact on economy and also consulting industry. However, at the moment I don't see the risk of Coronavirus causing a long lasting recession as it was the case in the last financial crisis.

In my opinion it will have some short-term and maybe mid-term implications, but definitely no long term.

Consulting industry therefore reacts differently to the virus depending on the region and company. While some Asian countries (i.e. China and Singapore) indeed freezed hiring for the moment, other Asian countries (i.e. Vietnam, Malaysia) still continue hiring.

The virus has not yet affected recruiting in Europe and Middle East (it is still booming and hungry searching for candidates) or North America.

By the way, today I just got two insights from my mentees in China and Germany: some consulting companies have already resumed hiring in China - absolutely great news!

In parallel, other companies like Oliver Wymann in Germany are adapting their recruiting practices to the current situation and now offering more online interviews instead of the assessment centers in person. Hope, it helps you further to get more confidence ;)

Which region and company are you targeting?

Best,

André

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Anonymous on Mar 19, 2020
Hey Theo, The current situation from the hiring prospective in consulting is not that bad as it seems to be. It’s true that many firms worldwide (Asia, Middle East, Europe and North America) are slowing down their recruiting practices, but they are not freezing them. First the companies simply need some time to adequately react to the situation and adapt. This will have the following consequences for you: 1. The whole process will probably be a bit delayed and might take longer than usual 2. Instead of interviews in person everything will be switched to online – so keep on practicing skype interviews! In this situation I would recommend You to write an email to HR saying that you understand the current challenging situation and asking about next steps (when and how your interviews will take place). I hope it helps. Good luck! André
Anonymous on Mar 26, 2020
Thank you very much for your answer Andre!
Robert
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replied on Mar 11, 2020
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Hi Theo,

For now I did not see any shift from planned on-site interviews to video calls, but from my perspective it's very likely that it will be happen.

At the moment in some European McKinsey offices all internal meetings involving travelling were already cancelled since ~2 weeks, so I would not be surprised at all if also interviews will be done via video call soon (especially since some interviews have already been done like that in the past anyway, so people are used to it..).

For now I don't see a complete freeze of hiring activities coming up, but I expect a slow-down until situation becomes more clear on how the global economy will develop.

Hope that helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Anton
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replied on May 27, 2020
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Hi,

It highly depends on your location, company preferences, position. I can explain it in the following way:

Firms:

  • MBB: less affected, interviews are still conducted, offers are issued for Q3 and Q4 2020 and Q1 2021; companies still have business and enough liquidity to survive; some offices expect to grow in terms of revenue for 2020
  • Tier 2: highly affected, the general trend is that interviews are postponed, the majority of firms do not issue offers, some firms experience liquidity gaps and cut FTE or ask employees to take an unpaid leave
  • BIG 4: less affected, advisory business experiences problems, but recurring revenue from Tax and Audit allows to manage through temporary uncertainty

Geographic coverage:

  • USA: the strongest market for consulting, interviews are conducted, offers are issued, consulting revenues might even grow
  • Europe: consulting is affected, but is expected to recover in Q3 and Q4
  • CIS: consulting is affected, MBB and BIG 4 will survive, as well as Accenture, but boutiques have liquidity problems
  • Asia: consulting revenues begin to recover, but Hong Kong political crisis still creates uncertainty around Financial sector and transportation (that affects consulting revenues from these industries)
  • Middle East: MBB firms still conduct interviews, consulting business starts to recover slowly, low oil prices still slow down the economy
  • Latin America: no info
  • Australia: no info

Positions:

  • Interns: affected, interns is a long term game for consulting firms (as well as a way to handle “monkey” tasks) and consulting firms at the moment are not super focuses on long term investments
  • Junior and middle management: less affected, hiring is in progress across MBB and Big 4
  • Principals & partners: less affected, consulting firms still look for experienced leaders

Programs:

  • Summer programs: the majority of programs are cancelled, bad news
  • Full time: highly depends on other factors

Career tracks:

  • Generalists: generally affected as consulting firms currently have more demand towards digital and data driven projects
  • Industry focused experts: depends on the industry, but oil and gas industry is affected
  • Digital experts: almost not affected, high demand for digital projects and the supply of experts is weak
  • Data scientists: not affected at all, consulting firms are heavily hiring data scientists

Hope this helps!

Anton

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Luca
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replied on Mar 11, 2020
BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score

Hello,

No one can really know about the new hiring targets until we won't see which will be the impact of the corona virus on the economy. So far consulting companies are trying to move forward with the hiring process using the videocalls.
Anyway, even if a global crysis doesn't mean that you don't have projects (think about cost cutting or restructuring process and about all business plans that have to be reviewd) it's likely that they will slow down (but not freeze) the recruitments until they won't understand what is the real impact of the corona virus.

Best,
Luca

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Clara
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replied on Mar 11, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

To 2 of my coachees, interviews where shifted from in-person format to VC. In none of the cases they were cancelled.

For those of you who have started the process, probably it won´t be alterated more than a shift to VC, so don´t worry.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Nathaniel
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replied on Mar 11, 2020
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

Hello Theo,

Interviews are often conducted by video conference for cross-regional conversations.
As such, I believe similar approach will be implemented at these times.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,
Nathan

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Francesco
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updated an answer on Mar 11, 2020
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Hi Theo,

in SEA some interview rounds are conducted over video calls since the beginning of the year, I would expect the same will happen in other countries so far that the virus spreads. I haven’t heard of interviews postponed, although, if not already scheduled, interviews could be temporarily frozen in the countries most affected.

Best,

Francesco

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