Can I reuse PEI stories I discussed in my first round McKinsey interview during my final round interviews?

McKinsey McKinsey & Company McKinsey PEI
New answer on Jan 31, 2021
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Anonymous B asked on May 01, 2018

Hi guys,

I have my final round McKinsey interviews coming up next week, and was wondering wether I could get some opinions on the PEI part of the interview.

I was unsure of wether it would be acceptable to reuse the same stories I discussed in the first round interiews during my final round interviews with the partners. Obviously they might not ask the same questions, but if they do and I have already discussed what I feel is my strongest story in the previous round, will they 1) Know I have previously used it 2) Penalise me for using it

Thanks in advance for your help

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Anonymous replied on May 02, 2018

Here's my list of topics and # of stories per topic I send to my clients specifically for MBBs:

2 for influence

2 for team

2 for adversity

2 for problem solving

2 for initiative

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Originally answered question:

McK PEI - Variation

Content Creator
replied on Apr 09, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


It does not depend on the round and may happen even with the managers. If you have time I would recommend to have 1-2 backup stories per question. For example, there may be the following variations in the personal impact story:

  • Team conflict
  • Personal conflict
  • Conflict with the boss
  • Changing someone's mind
  • Overcoming difficulties
  • etc

Other reasons to have multiple stories:

  1. "This story does not fit. Do you have another story?" - an interviewer can easily say something like this if he is not convinced that your story is good enough or the story does not fit his criteria for some reason.
  2. It is essential for you to prepare at least three stories for each area so that in case you get the same question by a couple of interviewers you are not telling the same story. I personally had 3 interviewers asking me exactly the same story. Originally the three of your interviewers are supposed to ask the different questions. In reality, interviewers don't often have a chance to meet before the interview, and sometimes they are urgently replaced by the colleagues. Of course, you can use the same story, but it is much better to demonstrate a diverse experience.
  3. Finally, the interviewer may ask you the questions you didn't even expect. It's always good to have some backup stories and adapt them to answer those unexpected questions.


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replied on May 01, 2018
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 300+ candidates secure MBB offers


I would also recommend to have different stories at hand! If an interviewer in Round 2 asks a similar "experience question" as in Round 1, chances are that they were not entirely satisfied with the example you provided earlier and want to probe deeper on one or two sub-aspects.

So what I am usually working out with my coachees are different examples per topic that might be under scrutiny during the fit/experience part of the interview.

Cheers, Sidi

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Originally answered question:

McK PEI - Variation

replied on Apr 10, 2018

Hey anonymous,

Just wanted to add a word of caution related with conflict stories (I'm commenting on this, as it's one of the most common mistakes I've seen people doing while at PEI interviews): a conflict story can actually be used to test two different dimension - personal impact and leadership - depending on the wording (with a peer/boss is for personal impact; with a subordinate/team you're leading is for leadership), so be really careful in order to make sure you address the right story and, especially, communicate the right skillset :)

Hope this helps



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Content Creator
replied on May 01, 2018
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi there,

I don't necessarily agree with the advice so far - and I wrote a detailed blog post some time ago covering exactly this question (to avoid duplicate content, you can find the full article here:

Short answer: McKinsey does not explicitly forbid re-using PEI examples from previous interview rounds, but I could only recommend that in very specific circumstances.

For all the details and facts covering my answer, you can check out the full-lenght blog post mentioned before.

Hope that helps you succeeding in your McKinsey interviews!


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Anonymous B replied on May 01, 2018

Dear Sidi, Robert and vlad,

Thank you all for your quick and insightful answers to my question. It's highly appreciated.

It seems like the concencus is that it would be best to prepare numerous stories and give off a more varied impression of my experiences. Back to the drawing board we go!

Will let you know how I get on with the final round.

Thanks again

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replied on Jan 31, 2021
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

The answer is generally YES unless you are explictly told otherwise. The more important thing is to make sure you have incorporate on any PEI feedback from first round for your final round interviews. Good luck!

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Content Creator
replied on Jan 30, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there!

When preparing for the PEI part it's highly recommended to have several stories for each topic, even though they may not know of the previous.
Generally, Partners will hit fewer topics but will go much deeper. So they will ask you about something and then you should expect a lot of follow on questions. They really want to understand the full story.


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Anonymous replied on Jul 24, 2020

Dear A,

Basically yes, beacause there are different people you are interviewed with. But, I would recommend you to have different stories.



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Content Creator
replied on May 04, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Indeed this is one of the risk of over-preparating, and it not only affects FIT but also the Business Case. People who over-prepare end up being rigid and not natural, and losing the "charm" and naturality that one should have in a conversation.

Think of the FIT part of the itnerview as if you were meeting your partner´s parents: you want to impress them, but also be nice, since you don´t want them to think of you as cocky or sharky. It´s the same thing!

Hope it helps!



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Joseph replied on Dec 24, 2018

hii, According to mu opinion, You should prepare some another story for your next interview round. Your same answer will put a bad impact on your performance. But, No need to worry, there are several resources to prepare McKinsey interview questions.

There are really only 3 best sources you need to read, so no need to browse for hours:

1. The website of the firm you are applying to, and in particular the recruitment section. Below are the links for a few top consulting firms. Of course, there is a lot of overlap, so don’t create confusion for yourself and only read about the firms you are applying to:

- McKinsey


- Bain

- Deloitte

- Accenture Case and Accenture Skills interviews

2. Case in point, by Marc Consentino. My advice is simple, although controversial: learn the 12 frameworks by heart. Some people will tell you that you shouldn’t learn any frameworks, but what they really mean is that you shouldn’t use generic frameworks during a case, which I totally agree with. But learning the 12 frameworks will give you valuable inspiration, a basis upon which you can build and adapt your framework, a mental crutch to lean on when all you have is 1 minute, a blank sheet of paper and a consultant staring at you.

3. The ZeroToMBB website, of course! Such free resources! Much coaching!

If you have any question then feel free to ask. You can contact me via my email id- z********@g****.com

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