Current partner @ Andreessen Horowitz (VC firm). Ex-Mckinsey, ex- strategy guy at Google.
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Can I reuse PEI stories I discussed in my first round McKinsey interview during my final round interviews?

Anonymous A

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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Hemant
Expert
replied on 05/02/2018
Current partner @ Andreessen Horowitz (VC firm). Ex-Mckinsey, ex- strategy guy at Google.

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

Sidi replied on 05/01/2018
McKinsey Engagement Manager & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 50+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi!

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

Robert replied on 05/01/2018
Having secured McKinsey offers even without final-round interviews due to my High-Impact Interview Coaching

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: http://mckinsey-pei-blog.consulting-case-interviews.com/can-i-use-the-same-pei-example-in-different-interviews/).

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!

Robert

Vlad replied on 05/01/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi!

They will not know which stories you've told them in the first round and you can use the same ones.

However, I would recommend having 1-2 backup stories per question anyway for the following reasons:

  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.

Good luck!

(edited)

Anonymous A replied on 05/01/2018

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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