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Mckinsey PEI difference drive and personal impact

Sandra fragte am 7. Okt 2017
Looking for case study partners, preparing for Mckinsey, Bain, Strategy& etc.

hey there

I am currently preparing for the Mckinsey PEIs and am still trying to understand the dimensions. Leadership is quite straightforward. However, could someone explain what exactly the difference between drive and personal impact stories should be? I.e. what should be highlighted/what kind of stories should be chosen.

Thank you in advance


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Francesco bearbeitete seine Antwort am 7. Okt 2017
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Hi Sandra,

great question, that’s actually something many candidates confuse. I have provided a description of the different areas below, together with what to focus on:

1) Personal Impact is mainly based on persuading someone about doing/not doing something. Questions include:

  1. Tell me about a time that you persuaded your boss to go along with an idea you had.
  2. Tell me about a difficult situation where you had to rely on your communication skills. 

Here you want to emphasize your influence on someone else, usually in disagreement with you.

2) Entrepreneurial Drive is about implementing something overcoming major difficulties. Examples include:

  1. What was a situation where you set a major goal and been able to achieve it?
  2. What has been your major accomplishment so far?

Here you want to emphasize the achievement you reached and the process that led you there.

3) Just to complete the analysis: Leadership is about leading a whole team in challenging situation and team management skills. Questions include:

  1. Give me three examples of a time that you lead a group. 

  2. What are some key lessons you have learned about motivating people? 

Here you want to emphasize how you overcome a difficult situation leading a team (not necessarily as the official leader).

Many candidates tend actually to confuse leadership and personal impact. In both you deal with people, but while in the first you are leading a team, in the second you are actually influencing someone else (not necessarily a team). In the first case you then end with a team result, in the second with your own specific result.

Hope this helps,



Anonym antwortete am 7. Okt 2017


This is a good question and candidates often get the terminology of the PEI portion of the interview confused. First, the official interview is termed the “PEI + Case Interview”. The first section, PEI, has an overarching question of “Personal Impact: Has the Candidate demonstrated an ability to influence others through effective communication and the utilization of appropriate influencing tactics?”. That question governs the entire PEI section.

As the candidate answers questions (e.g., fit, situation stories, etc..) there are a set of = criteria that the interviewer is assessing, including the 2 you mentioned - Drive (it’s actually Drive / Achieving) and Leadership. Here’s what the interviewer is trying to answer for each:

  • Drive / Achieving: Has the candidate demonstrated a passion for setting challenging goals and achieving them in a practical way?
  • Leadership: Has the candidate demonstrated inspiring leadership, sensitivity to others and an ability to help teams succeed in the face of challenge?

Hope that helps!

Has it changed from drive/achieving to entrepreneurial drive? What are they looking for in relation to the 'entrepreneurial'? — Emma am 18. Dez 2018 (editiert)

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