Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 454,000 Peers!

Schedule mock interviews on the Meeting Board, join the latest community discussions in our Consulting Q&A and find like-minded Case Partners to connect and practice with!

How to learn from McKinsey final round PEI-based rejection?

and Bain BCG Final Round MBB rejection final round McKinsey McKinsey Final Round rejection
New answer on Mar 31, 2024
8 Answers
5.6 k Views
Tabitha asked on Oct 23, 2019

Hi everyone! I was rejected by McKinsey after the final round. I respect the decision, but I am trying to figure out what I could improve to stand a chance with other companies and in general learn from the experience. I find this to be a bit difficult, because the rejection was based on PEI.

According to the interviewer my performance on the cases/quantitative problems was very good, but in one of the PEI questions (team conflict/convincing someone to change their view) I didn't show how I was able to be empathetic/put myself in other people shoes and influence their behavior in the long term. I regret not using another example that would show my empathy more explicitly. Maybe there were other reasons why the interviewers decided I wasn't a good fit, but the one I described was quoted as the reason behind their decision. If anyone may have any insight I would appreciate it a lot!


Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Content Creator
replied on Mar 31, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

I'm really sorry to hear about this. 

It only stands to show how important the PEI is even though very few candidates treat it equally to the case. 

Indeed, you need to show that you not only understood ‘your side’, but that you had a good understanding of what was happening with those around you and WHY they were behaving the way they were behaving. 

For anyone else who is preparing for the PEI component, I've created a video course with my 6-step storytelling framework that has helped my candidates get distinctive feedback on the McKinsey PEI. You can find out more about it here:


Was this answer helpful?
Jamie updated an answer on Oct 24, 2019
Former Tier 2, now MBB in Dubai. Here to chill :)

Hi Tabitha,

I will give my input based on my experience giving final rounds at a tier 2 firm as well as my own experience moving to MBB.

First of all it's important to take official feedbacks with a grain of salt.

(1) For legal and marketing reasons firms are very careful regarding the feedback they provide. I've been part of final round discussions with partners were we discussed interviewee's attire, the fact they have spouses or not, age, ... for obvious reasons we won't say that we didnt hire someone because you wore the wrong sweater.

(2) Depending on the season/office/position you apply the demand for new hires will be different and that will impact the threshold for giving an offer. A common myth is to think MBB will always hire regardless of their needs. I've discuss with a MBB partner that putted very blunt "at this period in the year we have reach our target quota, anyone can still apply but they will only be hired if they are a superstart, otherwise waiting until January is better."

Now, this is not to say that you should disregard your feedback. You have mention a specific point that you could focus on.

If I was in your shoes I would do the following:

1) Status quo. What other firms are you currently in process, what firms could you potential still apply and what is the timeline to do so

2) Honest assessment. Get an unbiased opinion on where you currently stand today. This means, PEI, case, Q&A, only know how much work do you need to do if you know where you stand

3) Develop a "work plan" for the remaining of your time taking into account the feedback you received

Happy to discuss this on a call if you would like


Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Oct 24, 2019
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Tabitha,

I agree with Jamie that there may be additional reasons besides the PEI performance.

For all the elements related to communication (body language, your way of interacting with the interviewer, tone of voice, general presence) it is quite unlikely the interviewer is going to give you direct feedback.

On the other hand, it could well be that the issue was purely in your PEI performance.

In terms of how to improve your impact story, it would be important to see what exactly you said in the interview.

One general mistake candidates do is not to provide details in their action part (in your case – how you influence the other people in practical terms to change their mind).

It seems this was the main issue in your case, thus I would try to be more specific and help the interviewer to visualize it.

There may be other elements though that could have influenced the interviewer. In order to improve, I would recommend to find an experienced candidate/current consultant/coach and get direct feedback from him/her for the PEI and fit part.


Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on May 13, 2020

Dear Tabitha,

I would recommend you to ask for more detail feedback, what is the specific reason for your rejection. This details will help you to strengthen your weak sides in the future. Other than that, simply keep on practicing cases and personal fitting parts in order to succeed in the future.

If you need any help, feel free to reach out.


Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on May 11, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


On top of the insights already shared in the post, next week will be pusblished in PrepLounge´s Shop material related.

In concrete, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB". It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

Here I leave you the link >

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes!

Hope you find it useful!



Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
updated an answer on Sep 05, 2021
Former BCG | Case author for efellows book | Experience in 6 consultancies (Stern Stewart, Capgemini, KPMG, VW Con., Hor


Was this answer helpful?
replied on Oct 23, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


The only way is to have a dedicated fir interview session with a current consultant / Alumni / coach.


Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Feb 28, 2021
#1 MBB Coach(Placed 750+ in MBBs & 1250+ in Tier2)| The Only 360 coach(Ex-McKinsey + Certified Coach + Active recruiter)

Hi there!

Sorry to hear about that! However, rejection is also an experience. Use the time given to significantly upgrade your profile and to maximize your chances next year!

- Relevant work experience. Have you applied somewhere else? Tier 2 consulting firms could be a great start and give you the needed experience that would be of great advantage in the future and make you a better fit for the desired company.

- Preparation. Solve different types of cases, prepare for the fit part carefully, improve your feeling of confidence.

- Networking. I would strongly recommend finding some contacts within the targeted firm to understand how it is from the inside, have a better idea of your position here in the future.

Maybe even think of the guidance of an experienced coach.

Do you need any further help?

​Good luck!


Was this answer helpful?
Cristian gave the best answer


Content Creator
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach
Q&A Upvotes
218 Reviews
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely
You are a true consultant! Thank you for consulting us on how to make PrepLounge even better!