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McKinsey Personal Impact

McKinsey PEI PEI
New answer on Oct 31, 2020
6 Answers
3.5 k Views
Anonymous A asked on May 28, 2019

Hello everyone,

I was wondering if convincing our manager to use your marketing idea is a good personal impact story? Should I be talking about HOW I conviced her or what was the IMPACT in itself (sales increase, brand awareness, etc..)



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replied on May 29, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


It should have all the things that you've mentions:

  1. 1 sentence summary what's the story is about
  2. 2-3 sentences of context
  3. What was exactly the problem
  4. HOW you solved it - 3-5 actions that you've taken
  5. IMPACT - should be ideally measurable and impressive


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Anonymous A on May 29, 2019

Great, thank you! Because I did take actions to increase brand awareness, but the manager just trusted me for the job itself, I did not have to get out of my way to convince her to let me do it. So accordingly to what you said, I should more focus on what I did to improve brand awareness?

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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Content Creator
updated an answer on May 28, 2019
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi there!

Your suggested story goes into the right direction - since Personal Impact is all about convincing another person about something.

Based on the 1-sentence-summary of your example I cannot seriously tell if it will be a good story at the end of the day - it depents mainly on what you make out of this situation.

Main topics you need to consider when developing your storyline:

1) Underlying conflicting interest

The most basic ingredient for a strong "Personal Impact" example is a clear underlying conflicting interest between you and the other person. Both parties need to have a strong interest in the outcome of the situation with different opinions at the outset. Without this, it will never become a strong Personal Impact example, since if there is nothing at stake, it's not difficult to convince someone, and thus you miss the whole point of this PEI dimension.

2) Showing a strategic, process-oriented view of convinving somebody

Furthermore, it's good if your Personal Impact example is going on at least over several days, even better for weeks, since your interviewer is interested in understanding your approach to convince someone from a more strategic, and not only operational/tactical perspective, having candidates clearly laying out a strategic masterplan on how the other person could be convinced. And that's something which usually doesn't happen in one meeting or over night, but requires time to "design" and execute this process of convincing someone.

At the same time, the specific outcome is not that much of interest - it's mainly about your contribution and impact on this situation!

Hope that helps as a start!



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Content Creator
replied on Oct 31, 2020
#1 MBB Coach(Placed 750+ in MBBs & 1250+ in Tier2)| The Only 360 coach(Ex-McKinsey + Certified Coach + Active recruiter)


Personal Impact part is all about influencing other people, which is why I put this question in the same bucket as Persuasion and Conflict Resolution.

In essence they want to know if you’re able to change people’s minds.

There are thousands of nuance to have a great answer, but this rough guideline will help you in that:

1) Describe the situation and your goal.

2) Describe the other person.

3) Describe what you did to persuade them.

As always, include the why you did it. You want to show a balanced persuasion approach that is thoughtful but not manipulative. Ideally, your solution made everyone in the situation better off (even the “opposite” side of the argument).

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Anonymous replied on Jul 25, 2020

Dear A,

Here is some examples of the questions that would help to be in line with Personal Impact dimensions of PEI:

  • Tell me about a time you had to convince someone to change their mind on something important to them.
  • Tell me about a difficult situation where you had to rely on your communication skills.
  • What do you want to be remembered for and how are you achieving it?
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replied on May 31, 2019
BCG | Kellogg MBA |82% Success rate| 450+ case interview| 5+ year consulting | 30+ projects in ~10 countries

It can potentially be very good story. I need to hear more to be able to tell you whether it is the good one. More importantly, it is more about how you are structuring your story. Happy to offer you free 10 min call to refine your story together.



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Vlad gave the best answer


McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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