McKinsey Personal Experience Interview questions 2020

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New answer on Aug 17, 2021
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 18, 2020

Hi everyone!

During the briefing we were recomended t think for stories showing: personal impact, inclusive leadership and entrepreneurial drive.

I was wondering if this means that the questions during the PEI at McKinsey are going to be limited and generic about one of these three skills. Or if they will ask us a specific question and we need to answer with a story that highlights these three skills.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Ken
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replied on Nov 19, 2020
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

Each of your first and final round interviews will focus on one of the three PEI dimensions. Sometimes candidates try to impress by covering all three in one story which is a big mistake!

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Udayan
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replied on Nov 18, 2020
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

The questions are always specific and it is very important you answer the questions being asked. For example under personal impact the question could be tell me about a time you changed the mind of your manager or tell me about a time you faced a conflict in a team situation. You will have to adapt your answer accordingly to ensure that you are answering the question being asked.

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Vlad
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replied on Nov 19, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Each of your interviewers will ask one story on one of these skills. Several things to keep in mind:

  • Different interviewers might be asking same story (Technically they should coordinate but in reality they don't)
  • Your interviewer will check how real your story is and having lots of experience it will be relatively easy for him to challenge any of your actions. You should be ready to provide even more granular actions, key milestones and a breakdown of potential effects.
  • He may want to check whether this was your effort or more sort of a team effort. He would like to know what was your role in particular.
  • “Have you faced any difficulties while doing this?”- Typical question
  • "This story does not fit. Do you have another story?" - more common during an interview with partners. Always have a backup story

Best

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Bernard
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updated an answer on Nov 20, 2020
McKinsey & Company | Expert Coach |Five star rated |First-principles approach to case studies

Hi! McKinsey will be specific regarding the question (i.e. your story will cover mainly one of the skills you highlighted). It is also worth noting that the broad skills (e.g. leadership) can be broken down even further. In the case of leadership, we can think of the ability to:

- Influence people towards a common goal

- Deal with conflict and complexity

- Get input from multiple stakeholders

In fact, you may get questions specifically about dealing with conflict/difficult people, for example. It is really important to capture what your interviewer wants you to focus on.

A common mistake in PEI is talking generically/theoretically about a skill (e.g."to be a great leader it is important to inspire people towards a common goal"), or focusing on the role of the team as a whole. The interviewer wants to see how you behaved, how other people reacted, how you responsed, what actions you took in face of to adversity, what you learned, and how you applied the learnings in the future. Trying to cover too many skills in one question increases the risk you will talk superficially about your actions.

Does that answer your question? Feel free to continue the conversation.

Best of luck!

Bernardo

(edited)

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Francesco
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replied on Nov 19, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

PEI questions at McKinsey are always specific on one dimension. You will get one question (and one dimension) per interviewer.

To prepare the stories, I would recommend the following checklist:

  1. Understand the difference between, leadership, impact and drive dimensions. You can find a link with their differences here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/mckinsey-pei-difference-drive-and-personal-impact-918#a1780
  2. Identify good stories for each area. Ideally you want to have at least two stories for each area
  3. Use a structure for your story. I would suggest to use the STARR model (Situation, Task, Action, Rational for Action, Results)
  4. Identify for each story one sentence clarifying what the story is about and start with it. Think of it as the title of a journal article
  5. Practice live, collect feedback from people listening to you, reiterate until when you get fluent and persuasive

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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Florian
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replied on Aug 17, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 120+ McK offers in 18 months
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Antonello
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replied on Dec 31, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, feel free to text me for sharing the most frequent questions by McK

Best

Antonello

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Anonymous B replied on Nov 24, 2020

Hi, the questions are semi-specific. That is they're not as generic as "tell me about a time you demonstrated inclusive leadership", but it is one level down so that it is not extremely specific.

Big mistake is to unsuccessfully adapt a generic story to fit many prompts, unless you can do a good job of emphasizing on the relevant part of the story.

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Gaurav
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replied on Nov 22, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi Anonymous,

Your first assumption is completely right - they will ask you a specific question about one of these skills.

Basically, you should have a few stories prepared to highlight the skill you were asked about. Sometimes they can ask you about a specific situation where you could demonstrate the necessary skill. If it seems hard to answer, try to adjust one of the stories you have.

Do you need any further help?
GB

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Clara
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replied on Nov 20, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

I can recommend you to have a closer look to McK PEI page, since it´s rich in details.

To your question, each interviewer will only ask you for one dimension -the question can be more or less direct, but it´s arround that topic-.

If you want to deepen the knowledge on FIT and its prep, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

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.

Furthermore, you can find 2 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

Intro and CV questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/introduction-and-cv-questions-fit-interview-preparation-200

Motivational questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/motivational-questions-fit-interview-preparation-201

Behavioural questions (ENTREPRENEURIAL DRIVE) >https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/behavioral-questions-entrepreneurial-drive-fit-interview-preparation-211

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes for the Integrated FIT Guide, since we still have some left from the launch!

Integrated FIT Guide for MBB

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Anonymous A on Nov 22, 2020

Hi Clara, Thank you for the reply. I have not found the McK interview webpage very rich in details at all, could you possibly post a linik as I may not be referring to the same webpage as you. Additionally, the resources you have attaches are not free, only availavbe for premium users.

Ian
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replied on Nov 19, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

They are going to ask a specific question that is based on those 3 themes.

So, they may say "Tell me about a time you led a team through a challenging moment"

Or

"Tell me about a time you had to persuade someone of something that had a big impact"

You can't just have 1 story on leadership, one on personal imapct, and one on entrepreneurial drive...you need to have a few of each for various "key" scenarios, and learn to adapt them based on the question asked!

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Ken gave the best answer

Ken

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Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer
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