Virtual First Round Interview Thoughts & Advice

BCG firstround
New answer on Aug 15, 2020
2 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 27, 2019

Hi,

I have a first round interview coming up with a BCG office and as I live far from there, they suggested that we do a virtual first round interview. I haven't been able to find a lot of information on virtual interivews. If anyone has any experience or advice in that front, please let me know. How should my case prep change now that I am aware of that fact? For instance, in a virtual interivew, how do you show the interviewer your structure/things you are writing on paper etc.

I would appreciate any guidance.

Best,

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Vlad
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replied on Jun 27, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Virtual interviews are not that rare. A Personal meeting is definitely better than online experience since you can definitely connect better with the interviewer when it is a live meeting. However, the process is exactly the same. The thing is - if you can communicate your structure clearly - you don't need to show it. What you are writing on paper is not important as well if you can communicate it properly.

If you have a virtual interview, 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

Best

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Anonymous replied on Aug 15, 2020

Dear A,

Here are some recommendations for your virtual first round.

  • Prepare the place for the call. A quiet environment is a must-have. Pay attention to what the interviewer will see in the background (sometimes when I do coaching via Skype with you I can see really strange stuff;) )

  • Prepare on the wall in front of you the material you might need (structures, tips for a fit part, etc) so you won't have to look for it during the interview

  • Prepare your own questions. Relevant questions at the end are a great way to show your interest in the company and get additional points. This is particularly important in a phone/video interview, as the interviewer will naturally connect less with you.

  • Smile during the call. Even if they cannot see you it's a good way to show energy

  • Use numbers when communicating your structure. This applies to both face-to-face and video interviews, but it is particularly important for the video ones. Good communication will make it easier for the interviewer to follow you, since he/she cannot see you. As an example: “In order to help our client, I would like to focus on three main areas. First, I would like to focus on [FIRST TOPIC], secondly on [SECOND TOPIC], finally on [THIRD TOPIC]. Let me start with the first one."

Hope this helps and speak soon,

André

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Vlad

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McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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