1) Can you repeat fit stories across interviews with different interviewers?
The answer depends on whether you are referring to the same round or different rounds.
It depends on how strong is the alternative story that you would use. In general, I would recommend repeating in the final a great story that fits the question that you used in round 1, rather than a weaker story that you have not mentioned.
In case you have doubts, you can also clarify that with the interviewers:
- I coached a few candidates who were told by HR/interviewers it was totally fine to reuse their first-round stories in the final round as they were very good.
- Another candidate I coached asked the partner in the final round if she could use the story mentioned in the first round, and he said it was totally fine. If you have any doubts, you can do the same.
All candidates in the end got the offers, so repeating the stories did not have any negative impact.
On the other hand, if you feel all your stories are great, you can definitely use a different one in the final.
There is one case where you should not reuse your first-round stories – that is if you got feedback that they were not particularly good / that you should not repeat them. Or, even if you didn’t get explicit feedback, you understood there were issues with the story given the reaction of the interviewer. In that case, I would recommend to change them.
I would avoid using the same story in the same round in case two interviewers ask for the same dimension/ question
2) How many stories do you ultimately need across 4 MBB interviews?
For key questions like the McKinsey ones (leadership, impact, drive, change), I would recommend 2 stories per dimension for the following reasons:
- The interviewers may ask for the same dimension in the same round (it is not common but may happen). Presenting two different stories would be better in case they discuss them.
- The interviewer may not like your initial part of the story and ask to switch to a different one. You can then switch to the other you prepared.
- Some stories may fit better a particular question (eg tell me about a time when you had challenges as a leader vs tell me about a time when you had to manage a conflict in a team).
3) And how specific do they have to be (eg. high-level stories that happened over a long period of time, vs specific incidents that happened on a specific day).
In general, and particularly at McKinsey, you need to provide specific details in your story and they may ask several follow-up questions to go deeper into its various aspects.