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PEI - Experience applying to both Entrepreneurial Drive and Team Leadership

personal experience interview Personal Fit
New answer on Dec 30, 2023
5 Answers
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Raph asked on Aug 19, 2021

Hi all,


I am currently preparing for McK interviews. I have a preferred experience that applies to both Entrepreneurial Drive and Team Leadership. It involves achieving an ambitious goal by leading a team to overcome major difficulties. Do you advice me to have a separate story for each key trait? Or is using one experience with varying emphasis depending on the interviewer's question ok?


Thank you in advance.

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Best answer
replied on Aug 19, 2021
Top-Ranked Coach on PrepLounge for 3 years| 6+ years of coaching


I would advise using different stories in the interview as much as possible. You only get a limited amount of time to present yourself as a candidate to the interviewers and will only be asked a few behavioral questions per interview, so you ideally want to use different stories so you can showcase more experiences that you've had. It might be ok to use the same position but describe different experiences you have had within that (e.g. if you were the leader of some student organization for multiple years, that could give you multiple experiences that you could split over several distinct stories), but in general I would steer towards using different experiences to show that you are a multifaceted and enthusiastic candidate with many interesting experiences.

That being said, you may not necessarily be asked about both your entrepreneurial drive and team leadership in an interview, so if you think this experience provides your best story for both, it's ok to prepare it as a response for both and just use it for whichever questions comes up. Just be sure to have an alternative story in case you do get asked both of those questions.

Hope this helps, and feel free to message me if you have any more questions. Good luck with your interview prep!

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Content Creator
replied on Aug 20, 2021
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hey there,

You should definitely have separate stories for separate dimensions.

The reason for that is that each dimension evaluates a very specific set of traits that basically do not overlap. Creating one-size-fits-all stories will yield average stories and not the ones that blow the interviewer away.

If you want to know how to draft such excellent stories, please check my article on how to draft and communicate McKinsey PEI stories:



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Content Creator
replied on Dec 30, 2023
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Hi there,

Being asked for a leadership story you should focus on your best experience leading a team (of any size), either on a personal or professional situation. Keys here:

  • You leading style is and how you inspire the team to reach a challenging goal
  • Your teamwork skills to coordinate work and make everyone shine
  • Your ability to understand and act on team dynamics, even the personal ones (motivations, frustrations)

I hope this helps.


Check out my latest case based on a real MBB interview: Sierra Springs

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Content Creator
replied on Aug 19, 2021
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi Raph,

I highly recommend having 2 seperate stories.

Now, one approach might be to have this 1 “killer” story, that you use on the first leadership/entrepreneurial question they ask, and have 2 “backups”, one for leadership, one for entreprenuerial.

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Content Creator
replied on Aug 24, 2021
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

There is no such question type as Team Leadership. There is a PEI question on Inclusive leadership which measures very different parameters to that of entrepreneurial drive. The same story is very unlikely to satisfy both criteria. You can use the same setting (e.g., the same internship) but not the same story for both. If you are doing so then you are not answering PEI correctly, there's no two ways about it.

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Sophia gave the best answer


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