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No strong leadership experience to demonstrate at McKinsey PEI

Anonymous A asked on Sep 09, 2019 - 3 answers

Hi All,

I am preparing for McKinsey PEI and realize that I have no strong leadership experience to demonstrate.

A bit about myself: I am a consultant at a tier 2 consulting firm, with 2 years experience. I have a Masters and Bachelors degree from a top university.

I had a good leadership experience at a student organization when I was doing my undergrads. but that was 8 years ago. I think interviewer will doubt that if the best leadership experience I can give is 8 years ago, it only proves that I have no leadershp achievement in the last few years.

Also I would prefer to use leadership examples at work since I am an experienced hire (even only 2 years experience). I took initiatives in a few small things but they are not strong evidence at all.

McKinsey PEI is only 10-15 min compared with 35 min case interview, but i heard that the weight of PEI is the same important as case interviews. I want to give some really good examplese in their 3 PEI dimensions - leadership ,entrepreneur drive and personal impact. I've been thinking about my past experience trying to find good stories to tell, but I really can't think of any. At the same time I know I can't fake any story, because interviewers will tell very easily.

Anyone can help with this? thanks.

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Vlad replied on Sep 09, 2019
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I don't believe you have no leadership experience. Think about the moments when you:

  • Found an opportunity and took the ownership of bringing it to reality - that part is simple - you just need to speak about your proactivity
  • Managed stakeholders to achieve it - it can be clients or other consultants whom you had to organize and motivate to achieve your objective.


replied on Sep 09, 2019
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Thanks for your question. Leadership can be as simple yet powerful as changing someone's perspective or influencing someone to see things the way you do. There are innumerable ways in which you have shown leadership, but are not thinking of them. Happy to connect to discuss some of your stories in detail.



replied on Sep 09, 2019
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Hi Anonymous,

This is a very common issue for most candidates at the outset of their McKinsey PEI preparation. According to experience, there are 2 factors why most candidates have difficulties to finding the right examples (hint: it’s mostly not because they lack suitable examples at all – it’s more about how you start thinking about your examples).

In order to not duplicate content, I will just leave the link to the original blog post here for your reference:

Hope that helps!


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