McKinsey Personal Experience Part

McKinsey
New answer on May 27, 2020
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 29, 2019

What exactly are the questions asked during the personal experience part? Is it:

x Personal Impact: How did you persuade sb?

x Entrepreneurial Drive: How did you achieve a goal?

x Leadership: Where did you take the lead in a specific situation?

And how many of these questions are asked per interview?

Thanks a lot in advance!

(edited)

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Robert
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replied on May 29, 2019
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi there!

The good news is that it is much easier than lots of candidates assume. Most of the times, it will be very clear from the beginning what the interviewer is looking for. Or in other words: you should know immediately whether it will be Leadership, Personal Impact or Entrepreneurial Drive.

The most basic questions your interviewer can ask in your McKinsey PEI:

  • Was there any situation in which you had to lead and navigate a team through a difficult situation? (Leadership)
  • Please tell me about a situation when you needed to change someone’s mind. (Personal Impact)
  • Please tell me about a time when you achieved a difficult goal which was of high importance to you. (Entrepreneurial Drive)

The full and original blog post you can find here: https://pei.consulting-case-interviews.com/blog/typical-mckinsey-pei-questions/

In addition, there is another answer in the forum listing more typical PEI questions:

Entrepreneurial drive

  • What was a situation where you set a major goal and been able to achieve it?
  • Tell me about a time when you achieved a difficult goal
  • What has been your major accomplishment so far?
  • Tell me about a time that you did something innovative

Leadership

  • Give me three examples of a time that you lead a group.
  • What are some key lessons you have learned about motivating people? 

  • Tell me about a time you lead a team through a conflict
  • Tell me about a time you lead a team to achieve a difficult goal
  • Tell me about a time where you were leading a team and you needed to force someone to work when they didn't want to do it

Personal impact

  • Tell me about a time that you persuaded your boss to go along with an idea you had
  • Tell me about a time that you managed upwards
  • Tell me about a time that you changed someone's mind
  • Tell me about a difficult situation where you had to rely on your communication skills
  • Tell me about a time where you dealt with a conflict/crisis/difficult member in your team

Hope that helps for a start!

Robert

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Anonymous A on May 29, 2019
So each interviewer picks only one of these three parts (Entrepreneurial Drive, Leadership, Personal Impact) and asks only one question in the PEI-Part? I thought every interviewer wants to hear answers to all of these three parts.

(edited)

Anonymous A on May 29, 2019
Thanks a lot, by the way!
Robert on May 29, 2019
Each interviewer asks for only 1 PEI dimension!
Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 27, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

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Best,

Clara

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Anonymous replied on May 27, 2020

Dear A,

I'm sure, Robert explained it nicely. What I can add is that for proper communication of your personal stories you can use this structure:

1. Situation (background)

2. Problem (Complication)

3. Your approach (how did you manage this problem)

4. Results (Outcomes of your approach)

5. Your learnings (what you take from this situation)

If you can apply this framework to every of your PEI stories and communicate in a top-down way, you would definitely leave great impression. For more details, feel free to approach me.

Good luck,

André

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Serhat
Expert
replied on May 31, 2019
BCG | Kellogg MBA |82% Success rate| 450+ case interview| 5+ year consulting | 30+ projects in ~10 countries

Hi there,

Mostly each interviewer spends around 15 min for behavioral part meaning that maybe you will hear a couple of those questions.

However, it is more about how well you are prepared for that kind of questions. For example, if you are talking about your leadership story, I would suggest you to first think about the dimensions of leadership. For example, those can be some of them: empathy, taking responsibility proactively, stepping up but also stepping back and letting others grow, focusing on value etc etc... It is great to think all of your stories in a way that how you are addressing those dimensions. Then your stories will be impact stories. In this method, you can sell yourself without sounding that you are selling. Most of the times, it is not about what story you are talking about but it is more about how you are talking about. Hope it helps.

Cheers
Serhat

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Robert

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McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author
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