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McKinsey PEI - Inclusive Leadership examples

McKinsey McKinsey Final Round McKinsey PEI
New answer on Dec 30, 2023
3 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Oct 20, 2020

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updated an answer on Oct 23, 2020
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

I know this is the new twist to the leadership question for McKinsey this year around diversity and inclusion which is causing some uncertainty. I've discussed this with many candidates where I don't think you need to seek for special examples but focus on trying and pull out the inclusive elements from your existing leadership examples. For example, encouraging less active members in your team to contribute, picking up on how taking a 'conventional' approach to doing something would marginalise specific groups of people (e.g., gender, socioeconomic, racial), standing up against the non-inclusive status quo, etc.


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Anonymous A on Oct 20, 2020

In round 1 I spoke about a racist boss I stood up to. My feedback was I hit the inclusion part but not the leadership part because I didn’t involve other people etc. Do you think tweaking and retelling that story is a good idea or is it too risky of a story?

Ken on Oct 20, 2020

My point precisely. I would tell a good leadership story highlighting inclusion as opposed to telling an inclusion story with weak leadership examples. There's nothing wrong with using the same story for final round if you think it still passes the test. However, I do typically encourage candidates to have a fresh slate of stories ready so that they have more to choose from. You will occasionally get final round interviewers who ask a very specific question and candidates try to tailor their story accordingly as opposed to sharing one that is relevant.

Anonymous B on Oct 03, 2021

Hi Ken, what did you mean by 'asking a very specific question'? Do you mean as follow up questions? I thought the main PEI question could be phrased however but as long as it's clear which PEI dimension they are referring to, you don't need to adapt the story? For eg, for entrepreneurial drive, if one person says share a time you achieved something difficult and another person says share something you achieved in a short period of time I need to adapt the story on the fly for each case to accommodate the "short period of time" factor?

Ken on Oct 04, 2021

You are exactly right where especially with final round, I would encourage you to actually answer the question being asked as opposed to just 'assuming' the PEI dimension you think you are being asked. Your entrepreneurial drive example is exactly the right one where if your interviewer is asking more about "time constraint" and your story is purely about "creative initiative", you may be addressing the right PEI dimension but you have not really engaged in the actual interview question. It's one of those pet peeves for interviewers, when a candidate doesn't fully engage in the questions and isn't fully present in the interview.

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

Hi there,

Being asked for a leadership story you should focus on your best experience leading a team (of any size), either on a personal or professional situation. Keys here:

  • You leading style is and how you inspire the team to reach a challenging goal
  • Your teamwork skills to coordinate work and make everyone shine
  • Your ability to understand and act on team dynamics, even the personal ones (motivations, frustrations)

I hope this helps.


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Content Creator
replied on Oct 20, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Can you please clarify what exactly your question is relating to inclusive leadership examples?

Thank you,


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Anonymous A on Oct 20, 2020

Looking for examples of good answers to questions in that theme

Anonymous A on Oct 20, 2020

Looking for examples of good answers to questions in that theme

Ken gave the best answer


Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach
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