PEI Example: When did you have to motivate others?

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New answer on Jun 12, 2021
5 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Jun 10, 2021

Hi everyone!

I was thinking about telling a story of my time as a tutor and how I motivated the school children to do their homework. Would this context be suitable for the question?

Thank you!

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Best answer
replied on Jun 10, 2021
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

As long as you are able to convince your interviwer of the significant challenge and meaningful impact then it could be a good example. It's hard to judge purely based on what you have shared.

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Content Creator
updated an answer on Jun 10, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience


Sounds okay to be honest. As a general guidance, think about your answer/story in terms of following:

  • What was the challenge/problem
  • Why did it happen
  • How did you fix it
  • What was the outcome and what did you learn/how are you applying the learning

Keep answers to 2-3 mins max and practice storytelling techniques. 


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Content Creator
replied on Jun 10, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

It's suitable, though it may not be optimal. I'd encourage you to find "bigger" moments than this. That said, if told in the right way (and if not too long ago) it could be a good story.

Just remember: You need to talk through your logic/thinking/actions and show demonstrable impact directly tied to clear actions you took. 

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Content Creator
replied on Jun 12, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | Imbellus Expert

Hey there,

Motivating others is not an  'official' PEI dimension. This type of question could be the lead in either for leadership or personal impact. I'd clarify with the interviewer before starting to talk about the specific story that they are aiming at.

How can you best prepare for the PEI?

1. Learn about the PEI dimensions

Below are the three dimensions plus some ideas on what to include:

a. Entrepreneurial Drive

  • Set a goal for yourself and pursue it relentlessly against all odd
  • The focus here should be on overcoming obstacles, showing ambition and dedication as well as ingenuity

b. Personal Impact

  • Persuade a group or individual to adopt a certain idea or plan of yours
  • The focus should really be on the influencing tactics you used to reach your desired outcome

c. Inclusive leadership

  • Show that you can manage a diverse team, leading it to a successful outcome
  • The focus here should be on all traits that make a great leader (e.g., inclusiveness, mentor, mediator, go-to person, people person,...)

2. Select the right stories with the right content

When it comes to the selection of your McKinsey PEI stories, you need to think about three dimensions in the following order:

a. Fit with the actual dimension that is asked. The stories need to fit the criteria set out by McKinsey to match with Entrepreneurial Drive, Leadership, and Personal Impact. For content ideas see above.

b. Diversity of experience. Your stories should be from different walks of life, e.g., jobs or careers, universities, extracurriculars, etc. Don’t take all stories from one experience.

c. Recency. In general, the more recent the better. Unless you interview for an experienced hire or more senior position, your stories should not date back more than 2-3 years.

Make sure that

  • you draft two stories each to always have a backup story in case the interviewer rejects the first story
  • you are aware that the interviewer might interrupt you a lot to ask detailed questions, which means your stories need to go very deep as you should be ready to answer very focused questions such as ''what did you say at that moment?'', ''How did he react'', etc.
  • create catchy headlines for each story that already convey the main message
  • you create content for each story to be able to talk freely for around 10 minutes

3. Learn how to communicate them most effectively

Communication is key in the interview. Speak like a consultant, follow a logical, top-down structure, and make sure to

  • focus on yourself and your own role all the time
  • keep the context brief and really focus on your own actions (context 2 minutes, your actions 8 minutes)

I have developed a framework specifically for the effective communication of McKinsey PEI, the SCORE framework. Reach out if you want to know more about it.

4. Shortcut get it right quickly: Book a session with a coach that knows these dimensions in and out to make sure that

  • a. they contain the right content
  • b. they are communicated in the most McKinsey-like way
  • c. you can anticipate and prepare for the detailed drill-down questions the interviewers will ask

No story I worked on with my candidates has ever been rejected. Reach out if you need help!


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Content Creator
replied on Jun 12, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

If you can provide your story with the arguments and everything related to that then why you just don’t try to do that? You need to create a good structure and make it fabulous to say:) 
Wish you a luck!

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Ken gave the best answer


Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer
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