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9

PEI vs Case

Dear All,

Thank you for always adding value in this community.

My question is regarding the importance of Case vs PEI in Mckinsey. Will someone who excels in PEI and does okay on cases land the job? People often mention that it's 50/50 in terms of scoring but spend the majority of the time towards cases and I don't find the logic behind that. I mean why not spend around the same time also preparing for PEI and get a "spike" in them instead of using all the time that is available for preparations on cases? Can someone people elaborate or add his point of view, thanks in advance!

Dear All,

Thank you for always adding value in this community.

My question is regarding the importance of Case vs PEI in Mckinsey. Will someone who excels in PEI and does okay on cases land the job? People often mention that it's 50/50 in terms of scoring but spend the majority of the time towards cases and I don't find the logic behind that. I mean why not spend around the same time also preparing for PEI and get a "spike" in them instead of using all the time that is available for preparations on cases? Can someone people elaborate or add his point of view, thanks in advance!

9 answers

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Best Answer

Hi!

the answer is very simple: you have to excel in both!

You will not get the offer if you are fantastic in one of the two (not matter if case or PEI), but did not fully convince in the other. There is no such thing as weighted importance.

Cheers, Sidi

Hi!

the answer is very simple: you have to excel in both!

You will not get the offer if you are fantastic in one of the two (not matter if case or PEI), but did not fully convince in the other. There is no such thing as weighted importance.

Cheers, Sidi

Hi there,

I like this question quite a lot. It addresses a major missconception about the interview process.

While companies try to "standardize" the recruiting process and to make as objective / quantitative as possible, the reality is that an interview is a highly personal experience.

Let me elaborate. You usually make your mind about liking someone in the first 5 minutes of meeting that person. If you make a great impression you basically just need to solidify that impression for the rest of the interview. However if you cause a poor first impression you will need to convince the interviewer otherwise during the rest of the interview (much harder!)

Now, why is this relevant? If you dont focus on the FIT / how you actually come across you are actually missing on a great opportunity to start strong.

Furthermore, the process to make hiring decisions is usually much broader than simply how did you do a given case.

I was involved in several hiring decisions where I was dicussing with senior partners, and trust me that case details rarely came up (at least how you would expect it!)

To make a long story short, start preparing PEI from the get go and ensure you are letting a strong impression since the very few minutes.

My 2 cents

Hi there,

I like this question quite a lot. It addresses a major missconception about the interview process.

While companies try to "standardize" the recruiting process and to make as objective / quantitative as possible, the reality is that an interview is a highly personal experience.

Let me elaborate. You usually make your mind about liking someone in the first 5 minutes of meeting that person. If you make a great impression you basically just need to solidify that impression for the rest of the interview. However if you cause a poor first impression you will need to convince the interviewer otherwise during the rest of the interview (much harder!)

Now, why is this relevant? If you dont focus on the FIT / how you actually come across you are actually missing on a great opportunity to start strong.

Furthermore, the process to make hiring decisions is usually much broader than simply how did you do a given case.

I was involved in several hiring decisions where I was dicussing with senior partners, and trust me that case details rarely came up (at least how you would expect it!)

To make a long story short, start preparing PEI from the get go and ensure you are letting a strong impression since the very few minutes.

My 2 cents

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Hi Anonymous,

Indeed ratio is around 50%/50%, and it's much easier to excel at the McKinsey PEI as opposed to the case interview (as the PEI is a highly standardized format and you can prepare perfectly in advance). Many candidates completely fail in their PEI and there are several reasons for that (I covered this in my own "Robert's McKinsey PEI Blog", so I won't create duplicate content here but give a short summary).

Actually variation for the McKinsey PEI is very limited (once you understand how to frame your stories fitting to multiple different starting questions per dimension) - so it won't take that much time for preparation compared to the case interview format with a much higher degree of variation.

Average case performance will not be enough though, you need to be strong on both dimensions. However, if I need to chose between excellent case performance and strong PEI, or excellent PEI and strong case performance, I will always go for the excellent PEI.

So it really makes sense to devote a significant portion of time and energy to the PEI part. To support candidates in that, PrepLounge recently released the "McKinsey PEI Cheat Sheet",. which is essentially an excerpt of my Ultimate McKinsey PEI Prep ebook. It covers the most important aspects to consider for the PEI for you to succeed anf ultimately secure your McKinsey offer. You can find it here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/the-secret-mckinsey-pei-cheat-sheet-42

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

Robert

Hi Anonymous,

Indeed ratio is around 50%/50%, and it's much easier to excel at the McKinsey PEI as opposed to the case interview (as the PEI is a highly standardized format and you can prepare perfectly in advance). Many candidates completely fail in their PEI and there are several reasons for that (I covered this in my own "Robert's McKinsey PEI Blog", so I won't create duplicate content here but give a short summary).

Actually variation for the McKinsey PEI is very limited (once you understand how to frame your stories fitting to multiple different starting questions per dimension) - so it won't take that much time for preparation compared to the case interview format with a much higher degree of variation.

Average case performance will not be enough though, you need to be strong on both dimensions. However, if I need to chose between excellent case performance and strong PEI, or excellent PEI and strong case performance, I will always go for the excellent PEI.

So it really makes sense to devote a significant portion of time and energy to the PEI part. To support candidates in that, PrepLounge recently released the "McKinsey PEI Cheat Sheet",. which is essentially an excerpt of my Ultimate McKinsey PEI Prep ebook. It covers the most important aspects to consider for the PEI for you to succeed anf ultimately secure your McKinsey offer. You can find it here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/the-secret-mckinsey-pei-cheat-sheet-42

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

Robert

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While PEI is extremely important and increasingly so, you will not be hired into MBB with average performance on the case component.

The other point that I think that you are missing is that it takes significantly longer to prepare and become highly competent at case-solving vs. getting to a strong level in PEI. Therefore it still makes sense to spend much more time preparing for the case portion because you need ~1 month to get to a passable level for case solving (for the average candidate) vs. PEI were formulating your stories and practicing communicating them can easily be done in a few days.

-A

While PEI is extremely important and increasingly so, you will not be hired into MBB with average performance on the case component.

The other point that I think that you are missing is that it takes significantly longer to prepare and become highly competent at case-solving vs. getting to a strong level in PEI. Therefore it still makes sense to spend much more time preparing for the case portion because you need ~1 month to get to a passable level for case solving (for the average candidate) vs. PEI were formulating your stories and practicing communicating them can easily be done in a few days.

-A

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Hello!

The answer is super simple: you need to excel in both!PEI or Case Performance

Precisely for the FIT part, and on top of the insights already shared in the post, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

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.

Furthermore, you can find 2 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

Intro and CV questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/introduction-and-cv-questions-fit-interview-preparation-200

Motivational questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/motivational-questions-fit-interview-preparation-201

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes for the Integrated FIT Guide, since we still have some left from the launch!

Hello!

The answer is super simple: you need to excel in both!PEI or Case Performance

Precisely for the FIT part, and on top of the insights already shared in the post, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

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.

Furthermore, you can find 2 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

Intro and CV questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/introduction-and-cv-questions-fit-interview-preparation-200

Motivational questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/motivational-questions-fit-interview-preparation-201

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes for the Integrated FIT Guide, since we still have some left from the launch!

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Hi there,

Great question!

I think Jamie raises an excellent point in that your behavior/EQ are just as important as anything - fundamentally they're going to ask "Do I want to work with this person". First impressions are hard to break!

That being said, I'd like to clarify 2 things:

Difficulty vs Importance

Case Importance = PEI Importance

Case Difficulty > PEI difficulty

So, while you absolutely have to do well in both, casing takes much much more practice and effort. Therefore, in order to get a table stakes (minimum) level of quality in your case interview, you have to put in 10x as much time!

Hope this makes sense :)

Hi there,

Great question!

I think Jamie raises an excellent point in that your behavior/EQ are just as important as anything - fundamentally they're going to ask "Do I want to work with this person". First impressions are hard to break!

That being said, I'd like to clarify 2 things:

Difficulty vs Importance

Case Importance = PEI Importance

Case Difficulty > PEI difficulty

So, while you absolutely have to do well in both, casing takes much much more practice and effort. Therefore, in order to get a table stakes (minimum) level of quality in your case interview, you have to put in 10x as much time!

Hope this makes sense :)

Hi Anonymous

They matter equally. And yes as long as you do well in one part - you can still get the job by being average on the other part

Reason candidates focus more on cases is that the case part is harder to prepare for. PEI is about telling your stories and as long as you pick the right ones and refine them a bit - done! While case interviewing is a whole different skillset that is primarily used by consulting companies only

When I coach candidates - I focus on both aspects but 80% of the time candidates need more coaching on the case side

Best

Su

Hi Anonymous

They matter equally. And yes as long as you do well in one part - you can still get the job by being average on the other part

Reason candidates focus more on cases is that the case part is harder to prepare for. PEI is about telling your stories and as long as you pick the right ones and refine them a bit - done! While case interviewing is a whole different skillset that is primarily used by consulting companies only

When I coach candidates - I focus on both aspects but 80% of the time candidates need more coaching on the case side

Best

Su

Dear A,

PEI part is oftenly underestimated, so as a result - neglected. But the thing is balance and make a wise roadmap for your preparation so that you would be able to work sufficiently on both of them.

According to your PEI you will be assessed not only as a professional, but also as a leader, person etc.

Wish best of luck,

André

Dear A,

PEI part is oftenly underestimated, so as a result - neglected. But the thing is balance and make a wise roadmap for your preparation so that you would be able to work sufficiently on both of them.

According to your PEI you will be assessed not only as a professional, but also as a leader, person etc.

Wish best of luck,

André

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Hi there,

The answer is simple: it takes more to master the case part than the PEI. You can prepare on the PEI questions in a relatively short amount of time. Mastering the case instead requires quite a lot more time.

On the other hand, some candidates completely neglect the preparation of fit questions and in some cases that alone leads to a rejection, even if the performance in the case is great.

In short, you should work on both, but you will probably spend less time to master the PEI than the case part.

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

The answer is simple: it takes more to master the case part than the PEI. You can prepare on the PEI questions in a relatively short amount of time. Mastering the case instead requires quite a lot more time.

On the other hand, some candidates completely neglect the preparation of fit questions and in some cases that alone leads to a rejection, even if the performance in the case is great.

In short, you should work on both, but you will probably spend less time to master the PEI than the case part.

Best,

Francesco

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