McKinsey PEI - Entrepreneurship

McKinsey PEI
New answer on Sep 30, 2023
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 26, 2016

Hi everyone,

Does anyone know the 3 sub-dimensions that McKinsey uses to evaluate candidates for McKinsey "Entrepreneurship" questions? Thank you so much!

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Content Creator
replied on Sep 30, 2023
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Hi there,

Specific detailed on how McKinsey evaluates PEI are confidential. If you can shine on your entrepreneurship PEI stories I recommend you focus on showing:

  • How you can drive change outside of your immediate area of influence
  • How you can take fast 80/20 decisions
  • How you set up challenging goals to achieve
  • How you come up with new a creative ideas and execute them
  • How you push to achieve something not very common

I hope this helps.



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Anonymous B replied on Aug 30, 2016

Hi there,

assuming you are referring to the "personal experience interview" (PEI), it's in fact surprising that many candidates focus merely on preparing the case interview and underestimate the preparation required to master the PEI. The latter is a popular approach used at McKinsey to figure out whether the candidates personality matches the company.

To acquire a broad impression of the candidates' personality and the relevant aspects in consulting, you may be asked to describe experiences from your past which illustrate your ability to cope in the following three dimensions:

1. Leadership

2. Personal Impact

3. Achievement/Drive

How they'll approach these dimensions are up to their creativity. However, you can try to be well-prepared by gathering examples from your past that could prove each dimension authentically.

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Anonymous replied on Jul 24, 2020

Dear A,

Primarly there are leadership, personal impact, and entrepreneurial drive.

Below you can find some examples of the questions that would help you to differ the dimensions of PEI:


  • Tell me about a time you led others.
  • Tell me about a time when you were on a team that had a conflict that was keeping it from achieving its objective.
  • How do you motivate people?

Personal Impact

  • Tell me about a time you had to convince someone to change their mind on something important to them.
  • Tell me about a difficult situation where you had to rely on your communication skills.
  • What do you want to be remembered for and how are you achieving it?

Entrepreneurial Drive

  • Did you ever have a goal that you weren’t able to achieve? What did you do?
  • Tell me about a time that you dealt with a tough problem.
  • Tell me about a failure.



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Content Creator
replied on Nov 21, 2017
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Also not sure exactly what you mean by "sub-dimensions".

When it comes to Entrepreneurial Drive as a McKinsey PEI dimension, those are some core aspects to consider when thinking about your PEI example:

  • Achieving a goal which is clearly outside your regular role and responsibilities - McKinsey wants to see candidates being able to work hard and invest a lot of time and energy into achieving your goals – and since it should be your goals, already by definition this will usually be outside your regular role and responsibilities
  • You wanted to achieve something by yourself (and no one else imposed this task on you) and can explain a strong motivation behind - –Since it’s about achieving a goal of yourself, it should be a situation in which you wanted to achieve something proactively from your side which you can be proud of achieving it, and not a situation in which someone else imposed a task on you
  • Several big obstacles which you needed to overcome - Ideally, you have 3-5 major obstacles which you needed to overcome in this situation to be successful – while the obstacle as such is needed as general context information, the interviewer will be mainly interested in how you overcame those obstacles (your “actions”) and what your thinking was (your “decision-making rationale”)
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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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replied on Aug 26, 2016


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Alberto gave the best answer


Content Creator
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews
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