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Clara

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8

McKinsey PEI - Number of Stories

Hey,

I have a question regarding the PEI part of a McKinsey interview. How many stories should I prepare per category? I already have "prepared" two stories for each dimension. Is this enough since some friends told me to have three stories or more.

Best,
A

Hey,

I have a question regarding the PEI part of a McKinsey interview. How many stories should I prepare per category? I already have "prepared" two stories for each dimension. Is this enough since some friends told me to have three stories or more.

Best,
A

8 answers

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Hello A!

Glat that you ask this question, since it´s one of the most asked ones.

Usually, 2 stories are more than fine per each of the so-called McK dimensions.

However, it´s key to realize that most stories are actually in the intersection of 2 dimensions (even 3 when they are very very good).

In this cases, two strategies can be followed:

  1. Select the “dominant” dimension that the story relates to and prepare the narrative over it, aiming at enhancing it
  2. In case there is no clear “dominant” dimension, prepare the narrative twice, each of them focusing on one of the dimensions

I leave you here one of the slides of the FIT Guide I´ve written for PrepLounge that summarizes it. Full guide can be found here > https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34

PM me if you are interested in disccount codes for it!

Graph McKinsey PEI dimensions

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello A!

Glat that you ask this question, since it´s one of the most asked ones.

Usually, 2 stories are more than fine per each of the so-called McK dimensions.

However, it´s key to realize that most stories are actually in the intersection of 2 dimensions (even 3 when they are very very good).

In this cases, two strategies can be followed:

  1. Select the “dominant” dimension that the story relates to and prepare the narrative over it, aiming at enhancing it
  2. In case there is no clear “dominant” dimension, prepare the narrative twice, each of them focusing on one of the dimensions

I leave you here one of the slides of the FIT Guide I´ve written for PrepLounge that summarizes it. Full guide can be found here > https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34

PM me if you are interested in disccount codes for it!

Graph McKinsey PEI dimensions

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Hi there,

two is the minimum number you should have for each dimension to be relatively safe.

Three stories would work even better to have a backup, in case as mentioned by Vlad the interviewer doesn’t like your stories or to better adapt to specific questions (eg tell me about a time when you lead a team vs tell me about a time when you have to motivate a group of people in a challenging situation).

Hope this helps,
Francesco

Hi there,

two is the minimum number you should have for each dimension to be relatively safe.

Three stories would work even better to have a backup, in case as mentioned by Vlad the interviewer doesn’t like your stories or to better adapt to specific questions (eg tell me about a time when you lead a team vs tell me about a time when you have to motivate a group of people in a challenging situation).

Hope this helps,
Francesco

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Hi,

Yes, 2 stories is absolutely enough.

For others reason this Q&A it's also important to note the following:

1) Much harder than preparing each story is handling the deep-dive from the interviewer. Having your stories ready is table stakes...you really need to practice being flexible answering questions you didn't expect - i.e. what do you do when you don't have a response prepared? (Which will happen)

2) It's not a 1-to-1 relationship between dimension and story. I.e. you don't need 8 stories in total (4 dimensions times 2 stories for each). Rather, a story can be flexible. For example, if I had started a business, I could prepare a story that solves for all 4 dimensions (i.e. I can use this story for all 4 questions). Then, you adjust 20% of the story to highlight different aspects.

For example: I showed entreprenurial drive when I started x company. I led the company to success through x, y, z and had a personal impact on the world through out initiatives a,b,c. These weren't easy initiative, because to make them work we had to solve this big x problem and here's how we did it.

^I can change this story any way I want to emphasize entreprenurial drive, leadership, personal impact, or problem solving, depending on the question!

Hi,

Yes, 2 stories is absolutely enough.

For others reason this Q&A it's also important to note the following:

1) Much harder than preparing each story is handling the deep-dive from the interviewer. Having your stories ready is table stakes...you really need to practice being flexible answering questions you didn't expect - i.e. what do you do when you don't have a response prepared? (Which will happen)

2) It's not a 1-to-1 relationship between dimension and story. I.e. you don't need 8 stories in total (4 dimensions times 2 stories for each). Rather, a story can be flexible. For example, if I had started a business, I could prepare a story that solves for all 4 dimensions (i.e. I can use this story for all 4 questions). Then, you adjust 20% of the story to highlight different aspects.

For example: I showed entreprenurial drive when I started x company. I led the company to success through x, y, z and had a personal impact on the world through out initiatives a,b,c. These weren't easy initiative, because to make them work we had to solve this big x problem and here's how we did it.

^I can change this story any way I want to emphasize entreprenurial drive, leadership, personal impact, or problem solving, depending on the question!

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2 is good enough. BUT please make sure you practice these with someone that has a good understanding of PEI. It is one thing to have a story and a whole other thing to actually use it in an answer - ofr example you need to be very structured so interviewer can follow your story as you hit all the main points. You also need to be able to answer any detailed follow up questions that may arise.

Udayan

2 is good enough. BUT please make sure you practice these with someone that has a good understanding of PEI. It is one thing to have a story and a whole other thing to actually use it in an answer - ofr example you need to be very structured so interviewer can follow your story as you hit all the main points. You also need to be able to answer any detailed follow up questions that may arise.

Udayan

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Hi,

If you have time I would recommend to have 1-2 backup stories per question 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 two-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 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!

Hi,

If you have time I would recommend to have 1-2 backup stories per question 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 two-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 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!

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Hi there,

In short, 2 stories per topic are enough (worst case you get asked the same question twice and you would have provided two different stories).

However, what I would recommend is maybe think of another 1-2 backup stories. This is because sometimes, those backup stories would fit better with the flow of conversation (sometimes you start your interview with small talk, or you go on a tangent when going through you CV....and having a story that relates to the flow of conversation will help you come off way more natural and engaging)

I hope this helps.

Best,

Khaled

Hi there,

In short, 2 stories per topic are enough (worst case you get asked the same question twice and you would have provided two different stories).

However, what I would recommend is maybe think of another 1-2 backup stories. This is because sometimes, those backup stories would fit better with the flow of conversation (sometimes you start your interview with small talk, or you go on a tangent when going through you CV....and having a story that relates to the flow of conversation will help you come off way more natural and engaging)

I hope this helps.

Best,

Khaled

Dear A,

2-3 stories per section are enough. You can also make sure that some or these stories convertible from one story to another. In that way you can easily extend and jump from one section to other.


Good luck,

André

Dear A,

2-3 stories per section are enough. You can also make sure that some or these stories convertible from one story to another. In that way you can easily extend and jump from one section to other.


Good luck,

André

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Hi Anonymous,

Per each of the 3 dimensions (Leadership, Personal Impact, Entrepreneurial Drive - please be aware of the fact that Problem Solving is NOT part of the Personal Experience Interview!) you need to have a minimum of 2 examples prepared, if your first and second round interviews are scheduled on different days (in some geographical regions first and second round interviews are scheduled on the same day - in this case I'd recommend 3 stories per dimension).

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind and give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Hi Anonymous,

Per each of the 3 dimensions (Leadership, Personal Impact, Entrepreneurial Drive - please be aware of the fact that Problem Solving is NOT part of the Personal Experience Interview!) you need to have a minimum of 2 examples prepared, if your first and second round interviews are scheduled on different days (in some geographical regions first and second round interviews are scheduled on the same day - in this case I'd recommend 3 stories per dimension).

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind and give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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