How to schedule interviews while currently working in consulting

consulting MBB South east asia
New answer on Oct 28, 2020
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Oct 05, 2020

I am in the process of scheduling a second round interview with a consulting firm.

When I did my first round I was not working but now I am working full time in consulting on a demanding project.

My problem is that I am going to have to take the day of the interview as holiday however I am worried that HR will change the date of my interview (they changed the date of my first round interview 3 times, often with almost no notice).

It would be great to know how others have gone about navigating this and any tips experts might have.

Thanks very much.

(edited)

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Oscar
Expert
replied on Oct 05, 2020
It's all about creativity ! I will give tools to become more creative on your case

Hello Anonymous, What I think is that behind every process there are humans behind. Therefore in my opinion the best would be to just briefly describe it in the email to the recruitement team. Those teams are always young person with a full understanding that people may be busy. My suggestion is to write something as following :

Dear.....

Thank you once again for the invitation for the interview on the xx/xx. I just wanted to confirm from my side the full readiness for this date as I successfully have took a day off at my current work. If the date would change I would be more than grateful, for a short notice so I could have the chance to update my holiday date and inform my collueges due to our ongoing, very intensive consulting project.

Thank you once again,

Sincerely, Anonymous

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Anonymous A on Oct 05, 2020

Thanks

Henning
Expert
replied on Oct 05, 2020
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Fully agree - tell them in advance that the first round was a troublesome process for you and you'll need a bit more of a firm commitment from them to make the second round successful.

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 05, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I completely agree with Oscar!

Just tell the firm that you currently have a full-time job and can only do the interview if you take a day of leave. Let them know that you can work around their schedule but just need the interview to be set in stone.

The other option if they still do change the date, is to call in sick and/or say you have a doctor's appointment scheduled and cannot move it. I imagine the interview is only for a few hours, correct?

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 05, 2020
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Oscar's email sums it up well.

You should usually get a week's notice. The reality is that interviewing while working is both time consuming and stressful, it will not be a simple process so be mentally prepared for similar challenges down the road.

All the best,

Udayan

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Mehdi
Expert
replied on Oct 09, 2020
BCG | Received offers from all MBB & Tier 1Firms | Supporting you secure your top tier consulting offer

Hi there,

As shared by other experts, those situations happen frequently as "clients come first" as BCG says. So there can be a lot of last minute changes to your interviews, so I would recommend that you inform HR about this and say that you will be taking a day-off for this final round. They will certainly take this into account and have a B plan for you (other interviewers in case the first ones are not available).

All the best,

Mehdi

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Robert
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 06, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Yes, doing the (reasonable) low-risk option to apply while you are still in your job is a tricky thing and causes oftenly some 'stupid' logistical headache in terms of changing dates etc. Unfortunately it seems you are no exception to this rule and it already occurred to you.

The only reasonable thing is to make your situation 100% clear and transparent to your HR contacts. Even though it might be clear implicity, you cannot/should not assume that this is the first thing they think about when handling your application. This won't ensure that dates are not changing, since this is usually more driven by your ultimate interviewers than HR and their schedule (especially in covid times) might change to unforeseen circumstance, but it will at least minimize this risk from a pure administrative point of view.

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

Robert

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Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 28, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

Recruiters understand such things. It is better to mail, that you might not be available and would like to know the exact time in advance. You should explain that you’re working on a project. It’s a typical issue for them.

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All the best,

GB

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Oscar gave the best answer

Oscar

It's all about creativity ! I will give tools to become more creative on your case
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