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McKinsey PEI - Drive - telling the reasons?

McKinsey McKinsey PEI PEI personal experience interview Personal Fit
New answer on Mar 31, 2024
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 18, 2017

Hi everyone,

I know, another McKinsey PEI post.

I have my Interview in a two weeks and I am preparing my personal stories. I use the PARADE to strucuture my stories, but I have problems structuring my "Drive Story". My drive story includes 3 reasons why I want to achieve a certain thing. Should I name the 3 reasons in the introduction before I start with the problem or should I just give a brief introduction without the specific reasons why I want to achieve this and wait for the interviewer to ask me?


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Content Creator
replied on Mar 31, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

PARADE is a good structure, but there are better alternatives. 

The main thing that PARADE lacks is its ability to highlight the situation's stakes (i.e., the consequences of your inaction in that story). The more able you are to highlight the stakes, the more weight your story carries. 

I explain all of this in this course I created that outlines a 6-step storytelling framework that has helped my candidates get distinctive feedback on the McKinsey PEI. You can find out more about it here:


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Anonymous replied on Oct 06, 2017

Both Michal and Victoria have some good points (i.e., motivation is the basis of the drive story and the story should be interesting / engaging). It’s important to remember a few things:

  • The interviewer will hear 6-8 drive stories (if that’s what they are asking) during the day and potentially 12-16 if it’s a two day interview session. So, you need to bring some life to the story and, in a way, keep the interview entertained.
  • Drive stories are meant to not only look at your past motivations and drive to achieve but are also forward looking on how you will perform as a consultant and ensure that your intrinsic motivations are not just monetary or status.
  • Interviewers will convene at the end of the day for the “decision meeting” where someone will need to “make the case” for you. It’s much easier for them to make the case (and to convince the other interviewers) if they have a memorable story to tell. This is especially true for final rounds involving Partners.

You don’t want to lead with the 3 reasons but rather weave the 3 reasons into your story and then present a summary at the end with the 3 reasons. Make sure during that story that you are hitting on the key evaluation points other than drive / achieving (you probably won’t be able to hit on all), including:

  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Listening
  • Confidence/Presence
  • Influencing
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replied on May 18, 2017
Ex-Bain consultant, got offers from McK, BCG, Bain. Now a Product Manager at a startup

Hi there,

Motivation is the basis of your drive story, so you should state it in the beginning, of course as long as it's sensible/interesting/relevant.

One general piece of advice for these questions is that you have the full control over what you will say and you can choose to include points that strenghten your case. Don't assume that the interviewer will ask you for anything positive. You can however not mention the uneasy facts and just be well prepared if the interviewer asks.

Good luck!

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Content Creator
replied on May 03, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


On top of the insights already shared in the post, next week will be pusblished in PrepLounge´s Shop material related.

In concrete, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB". It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

Hope you find it useful!

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Anonymous replied on May 23, 2017


I will tell you a little trick here, structure is important in any personal stories but also remember that we are human and recruiters listen to the same structure and more or less same answers every day.

My tip is to turn your question on its head - are the 3 reasons part of a story, that can get an emotional response? I strcture the answers around a story. I will give you my example to help you understand - I talk about my relentless need to be challenged that goes way back to living in Ukraine and starting a business selling pens and Britney Spears stickers.

The more 'colourful' and personal - the more the story is memorable. I don't know what your 3 reasons are, I have not heard the answer, but I always have this filter when I approach interviews:

  1. What is the main point I am trying to make (in my case, that as an industry - strategy is well suited for my personality)
  2. Is the story interesting / engaging / can get emotional response (I bet you still remember mine)

Hope this helps and good luck!

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Cristian gave the best answer


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