Is it recommended to fresh up Excel skills before a job interview and to include Excel skills in the application?
Thanks for the reach out on the platform!
Not absolutely recommended to fresh up excel skills for strategy consulting interviews, as you won't be tested on those.
However, if you do have strong excel skills (modeling, VBA, Business Plans, valuation), you can highlight those in your CV.
Best of luck in your interviews,
Excel skills are table stakes:
1. Do not bother mentioning on the application
2. Do not bother freshing up on them for the interview specifically (at least at MBB; I guess some boutiques might ask you about a formula but even that would be a bit surprising)
3. Absolutely do "freshen up" on them before you join however
Note: In my experience in industry, everyone will tell me they are a 9 on a 1-10 scale; heck, I used to think I was an 8 when I first learned to do color coding. As a result, I have taken to asking for the formula of a vlookup in every interview I run for analysts - but again, this is for industry interviews. I have never seen this asked in consulting
Excel skills are assumed for each applicant and there is no value in practicing this before the interview (it is not tested). It is a different story though in case you receive an offer - then it might be worth to brush up your Excel skills before your start date.
Since it's a must and everyone assumes you have it, you may not put them into your resume. Noone will also be testing them at the interview.