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Skype Interview with Consulting firm - is it ever a good idea not to meet f2f?

Anonymous A

Hi all!

I am looking to do a career switch and go into mgmt consulting. I just recently got an invite to interview for a senior consultancy position in Europe with a consulting firm. While most candidates will be coming in person to the testing site for the first round of interviews, because I live oversees they said they do not pay for transatlantic flights. However, they did say that if I was planning to be in the country sometime this year, they would be able to fly me in from whatever city in the country to the testing center (it appears as though there is no real rush/cut off time to do the interview). Otherwise, I'd have to do it over video on Skype. While I agreed to the Skype interview mid March as I wasn't planning to go to Europe any time soon, I now wonder if it would be smarter to suggest a later date (maybe 2 weeks later) but actually be in country and come in person. This would be on purpose for the interview, but I wouldn't mine combining it with a personal vacation.

Two questions:

1) did anyone have positive experiences with Skype interviews with consulting firms? Especially when you can expect at least 2 case studies?

2) would changing my mind and letting them know that I actually will be in country a few weeks later than the discussed Skype dates be perceived as too eager? Or would it be in my benefit to simple go ahead and make the effort to come in person?

This is only round 1 out of potentially 2 rounds of interviews, whereby chances are high that the second round would be done remotely no matter where I live. Meaning, either they meet me in person if I come in for round 1 or we do everything virtually.


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replied on 02/20/2018
I am a former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews conducted and 8 years interviewing experience

Strong suggestion to try to do F2F from my side. Ok to tell them that you changed idea/had an opportunity to go to Europe and prefer to be live.

Hope it helps,


Gaurav replied on 02/20/2018
McKinsey alum, Case interview expert coach, 100+ coachees working in top consulting firms - Leapfrog your preparedness in 2 hours


1. Interviewing on skype is quite acceptable and happening more and more in consulting world. If technology usage is saving the cost and time, consulting companies wouldn't mind it. I have had several candidates who have successfully performed in Skype interviews without any hassle. You just need to ensure that a. you have a strong internet connection b.quiet place to take the interview from c. you are more conscious about your communication techniques in order to be fully understood by the interviewer

2. At the same time, f2f has its advantages. a. It just shows your egerness and motivation to put in money and effort to meet the people in the firm personally. b. If you are physically in the firm, you can leverage your visit to network within the firm/network with other firms in the town c. as they say 80% of the communication happen non-verbally. And there is no doubt that non-verbal communication is more effective f2f (Vs. video chat)

In a nutshell, if you have have budget to travel, do travel and attend the interviews physically. If not, don't fuss too much. Lot of candidates have cracked interviews, performing via video chats ( I did that myself when I was staying in Paris and interviewing with BCG Sydney office). In any case, if you go through the initial rounds, the interactions with Parters will happen f2f only. That time either they will fly you in or a traveling partner will meet you.

All the best for the interviews. Feel free to get in touch with me, in case of further guidance.

Bruno replied on 02/20/2018
McKinsey Associate | London Business School consulting coach, with 300+ mock interviews | 100% recommendation rate!

Hey anonymous,

If you really have the chance to do it in person (because you will be somewhere nearby and the only con is just to delay it by 2 weeks, which seems to be acceptable for both parts), I would reccommend you to delay it and do it in person, as I don't see any advantage at all on doing it over Skype when you can do it f2f (much easier to engage your interviewer and avoid the risks of bad internet connections on both sides). Besides, for the consulting firm the reason is going to be super acceptable.

That said, if you're travelling on purpose for the interview, then I would more careful in assessing the pros vs. the cons (not sure if it's only the financial cost or others).



Vlad replied on 02/20/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School


I personally had a skype interview - it worked well. Although I recommend you to suggest them to plan a live interview in a couple of weeks. A Personal meeting is definitely better than online experience since you can definitely connect better with the interviewer when it is a live meeting.

If you still want to have an interview on skype, here are some general recommendations:

  1. First of all, check whether they are providing a conference room in a local office
  2. If not - find a place with good internet speed and test it multiple times before the interview. Also, think of nice room / proper light for the video conference if you do it from home
  3. You should be dressed the same as for the regular interview
  4. Don't hesitate to ask clarifying questions if there are problems with connection or you were not able to hear something
  5. Don't forget to look at the camera and smile - same as you do on a regular interview