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Video Conference Interview Best Practice

Anonymous B asked on May 08, 2018 - 3 answers


My first round interview is in the McKinsey office, but via video conference.

Is there any good tips for engaging the interview and performing well? Obviously, its harder to establish the connection via video than in person.

Both tips for PEI and Case are welcome :)


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updated his answer on May 08, 2018
McKinsey Engagement Manager & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 100+ candidates secure MBB offers
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Hi Anonymous,

when I was a candidate, I had my first round with McKinsey as a video interview, since I was applying to an office on another continent. During my time with McKinsey, I then interviewed dozens of candidates via the Firm's Video Conference System for various offices across the globe. So here are a couple of points that I would recommend:

1. Be there early! It might take some time to get the Video Conference System going and you don't want to have the interviewer waiting at the other end (even if it is not your fault)

2. Remember to turn off or silence your phone before entering the McKinsey office. Shut out all distractions, and give yourself around 10 minutes to collect yourself.

3. If it helps you, a video interview gives you the opportunity to bring a "cheat sheet" with a couple of bullet points (e.g., PEI stories or framework elements or critical issues you want to highlight) and place it in a way that you can read it but it is not in the angle of the camera. Just don't stare at the page during the interview - this might feel odd.

4. Look directly into the camera! You might be tempted to look at the monitor or yourself, but focus on making eye contact with your interviewer via the camera.

5. When responding to questions from the interviewer, nod, but take a second before responding in case the connection is weak — so that you don’t end up talking over the interviewer.

6. Double-check your body language! A video interview has the advantage that you can see yourself. So it allows you to more easily keep an awareness on your body language and that you keep the right level of "projection" during the interview.

Cheers, Sidi


Great reply Sidi- thanks. Is the cheat sheet really ok? Also how does it work wth exhibits in the video call? Are they pre printed or do they go up on screen? — L on May 08, 2018 (edited)

They are usually pre-printed and an assistant places an envelope for each interview on the table. Then, during the interview, the interviewer asks you to open the envelope with the corresponding exhibit. — Sidi on May 08, 2018

replied on May 08, 2018
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A video interview is a bit harder since you have less personal contact. I would provide some general recommendations:

  1. First of all, come earlier to the conference room in a local office and check the connection
  2. You should be dressed the same as for the regular interview
  3. Don't hesitate to ask clarifying questions if there are problems with connection or you were not able to hear something
  4. Don't hesitate to explain in detail your structures and calculations since the interviewer needs to know what you have on paper
  5. Don't forget to look at the camera and smile - same as you do on a regular interview

Good luck!

replied on May 08, 2018
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I would strongly advice against using a cheat sheet for two reasons:

  1. Integrity - the fact that the suggestion elicits the question on whether this practice is acceptable should be a clear sign that probably is not deemed to be by at least part of the population. An ulterior litmut test would be to think whether you whip out said sheet during a live interview
  2. Consequences if caught - if someone notices said sheet and believes it constitutes cheating/unfair advantage, then you are very likely done with the company you are applying to for a long time (no 1-2 year hiatus between applications)

Hope this will help to choose to do the right thing,


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