The Consulting Offer 2: 4 Alice's PEI/FIT Interview

The Consulting Offer 2: 4 Alice's PEI/FIT Interview

20 Episodes

The Consulting Offer Season 2 Part 4

Watch Kevin P.Coyne, ex-McKinsey Director and Worldwide Strategy Practice Co-Leader, mentor and train Alice Qinhua Zhou and Michael Klein for their McKinsey and BCG case interviews. Alice successfully joined McKinsey NYC at the conclusion of the program.

Kevin P. Coyne was a director and co-leader of both McKinsey’s Worldwide Strategy Practice and CEO Transitions Practice. At the time, he was the youngest associate at the firm and one of the youngest Principals appointed. He was the only person ever admitted directly into the Harvard Business School from his junior year of college, Rice University, which he attended by special permission before graduating from high school. Kevin has co-written 6 Harvard Business Review articles, 12 McKinsey Quarterly articles, 2 bestselling business books and articles across influential business publications. He spent time in the Federal Government as an Executive Assistant and sole policy advisor to the Deputy Secretary of the United States Treasury in the Reagan Administration.

Alice Qinhua Zhou is a 26 year-old candidate from Yale University. She attended Fudan University where she graduated 1st in her class. Alice has a strong track record of leadership at Yale, having served as President of the consulting club and editor-in-chief of a peer-reviewed journal. Alice has no full-time work experience. Coming off a McKinsey internship decline and unsuccessful Bain internship, Alice is interested in both McKinsey and BCG for a full-time associate position in NYC.

Michael E. Klein is a 30 year-old candidate from McGill and Brown University. Michael has a very strong analytic profile balanced by an equally artistic side: he was a candidate for ‘Canada’s Got Talent’ where he sang Prince lyrics accompanied by a harpist. Michael has limited work experience as a business journalist. Going into his very first interviews, Michael will have to prove he can use his technical skills to seamlessly understand and solve business issues, while demonstrating his leadership acumen in the fit interviews.

Subscribe Share
The Consulting Offer 2: 4 Alice's PEI/FIT Interview
  • TCO II E4 1. OVERVIEW OF THE MCKINSEY PEI

    Episode 1

    Kevin explains what McKinsey is seeking in a PEI irrespective of the type of question asked of a candidate, or the manner in which the question may be phrased.

  • TCO II E4 2. DISCUSSING ALICE'S BAIN & COMPANY INTERNSHIP

    Episode 2

    Kevin focuses on Alice’s work to increase the EBIT of a local beer company and the role she undertook within the overall Bain case team.

  • TCO II E4 3. WHAT DID YOU PERSONALLY DO IN THIS STUDY?

    Episode 3

    Kevin quickly focuses onto the two most important things sought in a PEI. This will allow him to determine the impact of the role Alice had on the Bain case team.

  • TCO II E4 4. WHAT DID YOU PERSONALLY DO IN THIS STUDY?

    Episode 4

    Kevin is indirectly testing Alice’s practical thinking to see if she has thought through all the steps for her recommendation to work.

  • TCO II E4 5. HOW DID YOU ESTIMATE THE BENEFITS OF YOUR ADVICE?

    Episode 5

    Kevin is trying to determine three things about Alice’s reasoning process when she calculated and, thereafter, delivered the recommendation.

  • TCO II E4 6. HOW DID YOUR LEADERSHIP LEAD TO THE INCREASE?

    Episode 6

    Alice explains the actions she undertook, and their sequence, to increase the consulting offers to Yale graduates and how these steps alone led to the increase in offers.

  • TCO II E4 7. HOW DID YOU CONVINCE 500 MEMBERS TO FOLLOW YOU?

    Episode 7

    Kevin skillfully focuses the question on Alice’s awareness about the steps she took as President to increase membership and influence the members.

  • TCO II E4 8. HOW DID YOU CONVINCE THE TEAM TO SUPPORT YOU?

    Episode 8

    Alice makes a typical mistake of candidates when explaining her influence skills. She does not break down the conversation where she convinced a colleague to support her.

  • TCO II E4 9. KEVIN GOES BACK TO ALICE’S BAIN INTERNSHIP

    Episode 9

    Since Alice does not adequately demonstrate her ability to influence key members of her team, Kevin looks for this skill within Alice’s work on the Bain engagement.

  • TCO II E4 10. CONVINCE ME THE ENTRY STRATEGY WAS REALLY SMART?

    Episode 10

    Kevin wants to see if Alice is merely logical or is able to apply business judgment to generate a unique insight. He tests for this by asking Alice to break down her insights.

  • TCO II E4 11. GIVE ME ONE INSIGHT THAT YOU GENERATED?

    Episode 11

    Since Alice focuses heavily on logical problem solving, Kevin is forced to dig deeper, to the 2nd and 3rd order of her reasoning, to determine a unique insight she developed.

  • TCO II E4 12. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING YOU HAVE EVER DONE?

    Episode 12

    Alice makes a common mistake of broadly discussing everything she did in her role versus focusing on the one obstacle, which led to this assignment becoming so difficult.

  • TCO II E4 13. WHAT MADE THIS ROLE SO HARD?

    Episode 13

    Since Alice’s answer above is broad, Kevin probes to isolate the source of the difficulty and determine the specific sequence of steps Alice took to overcome the challenge.

  • TCO II E4 14. WHAT IS THE SMARTEST THING YOU EVER THOUGHT OF?

    Episode 14

    Thus far, Alice has demonstrated she is logical. She has, however, failed to indicate she can apply business judgment to generate insights. Kevin continues to look for this skill.

  • TCO II E4 15. HOW DID YOU SOLVE THIS PROBLEM?

    Episode 15

    Alice must first describe the problem to Kevin, and thereafter explain how she analyzed the problems drivers and developed an efficient and cost-effective solution.

  • TCO II E4 16. HOW KEVIN STRUCTURED THE PEI INTERVIEW

    Episode 16

    Alice and Kevin discuss the three types of PEI skills tested for in the interview. They link each of the questions asked in the PEI, to the specific skills sought by McKinsey.

  • TCO II E4 17. HOW TO SHOW MCKINSEY YOU ARE SMART

    Episode 17

    Alice struggled the most at showing McKinsey how smart she was. Alice was logical but loosely showed she was deploying business judgment to generate unique insights.

  • TCO II E4 18. HOW TO SHOW MCKINSEY YOU CAN LEAD PEOPLE

    Episode 18

    When leading and influencing people, Alice consistently made one mistake related to the effort required to change a person’s opinion: she made it look too easy.

  • TCO II E4 19. HOW TO SHOW MCKINSEY YOU CAN SOLVE PROBLEMS

    Episode 19

    Kevin is looking for one specific answer, which Alice partly answers. Alice compares her current achievements to her past achievements, which is 50% of the answer.

  • TCO II E4 20. FULL EPISODE FOUR

    Episode 20

    Kevin conducts a R1 McKinsey PEI. Alice’s performance is very strong but she consistently struggles to demonstrate three skills. First, can Alice apply business judgment; in addition to the logical problem solving skills she has already proven she possesses, to generate insights? Second, can Alic...