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McKinsey PEI Question

McKinsey McKinsey & Company PEI
New answer on Jun 27, 2024
7 Answers
205 Views
Anonymous A asked on Jun 19, 2024

How can we expect the lead up to the PEI questions to be? Does it start very broad where you are not able to initially tell which of the 4 categories you will be discussing? Or can you expect interviewers to simply dive into questions similar to those on the website ("share an example where you effectively worked with people from different backgrounds")

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Anderson
Expert
replied on Jun 20, 2024
Ex-McKinsey |5y consulting experience | Specialization in Psychology | Proven holistic mentor

Q: How does PEI question process work

Hi, there

 

I’m going to try to be as brief as I can be, since this topic is very broad. The top-down answer to your question is it depends. Let’s split the answer into two scenarios:

1.      Standard: In most of the cases, the interviewer will likely ask the questions the way you described, very straightforward. He/she can pick one of the topics and ask you to tell a story straight ahead regarding to it, or he/she can ask you to prepare two 10-sec summaries of stories related to the topic so that he/she can select which story is more likely to be more interesting and then will ask you to tell it.

2.      “Improv” question: the interviewer might also improvise and ask for a question that does not translate exactly into one of those categories (e.g., what is your passion? Why are you here?). In that case – assuming that he/she is not just small talking with you while you get to seat or something like that –  you can start answering the question directly and then make a smart transition to connecting it to one of the stories you want to tell.

Overall tips:

1.      Do ask for time to prepare the stories or the answers if you feel you need to.

2.      Do prepare ahead for this part of the interview process, since it is a very critical one (make a list of stories, practice with friends, get coaching, etc)

3.      Make yourself as relaxed as you can

I hope it helps.

Best of luck

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Hagen
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 20, 2024
#1 recommended coach | >95% success rate | most experience in consulting, interviewing, and coaching

Hi there,

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your question:

  • I think you are overthinking the situation. If you know McKinsey's PEI dimensions, you should be able to recognize them easily, plus the interviewers will usually be very explicit about them. In the rare case that you are unsure about a particular dimension, just clarify it.

You can find more on this topic here: How to succeed in the final interview round.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare for your upcoming McKinsey interviews, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 20, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there, 

Q: How can we expect the lead up to the PEI questions to be? Does it start very broad where you are not able to initially tell which of the 4 categories you will be discussing? 

Usually the prompt is quite clear and allows you to identify the dimension without issues. 

If you have doubts, you can clarify with the interviewer as follows: “Thanks for the question. To clarify, would you like me to present an experience related to [DESCRIPTION OF DIMENSION 1] or rather [DESCRIPTION OF DIMENSION 2]? I would just like to be sure I understood the question correctly." This should clarify the dimension asked.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 20, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

The PEI component is right at the start of the interview.

You are asked the question directly, similar to those on the website.

They don't tell you to which dimension it belongs.

Honestly, I would encourage you to not even try and ‘assign’ it to a dimension and then ‘play’ the story you have there. 

Rather, try to really understand which of your stories would best answer the question that the interviewer provided.

If you're looking deeper into the PEI, I've recently launched a course on it that you might find useful:

Video Course: Master the McKinsey PEI

Best,
Cristian

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Florian
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 20, 2024
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hi there,

You will know immediately what type of dimension they are evaluating, don't worry!

If - for whatever reason - you are uncertain you can always clarify and ask: “Am I correct in assuming that you are asking me about Entrepreneurial Drive?”

Start with a short headline and if they agree, dive deeper into your story with the context first and then the key actions you took to fix the situation.

You can learn more about the PEI here: 

All the best,

Florian

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Jun 20, 2024
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

The short version is - if you are familiar with what each PEI questions is getting at you will have no problem identifying which one you are being asked. They do not try to stump you with the question, the interviewers are much more interested in your answer and how you structure it.

(edited)

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Jun 27, 2024
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Private Equity | Market Estimates | Fit Interview

It will be clear which question is being asked.

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Anderson gave the best answer

Anderson

Ex-McKinsey |5y consulting experience | Specialization in Psychology | Proven holistic mentor
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