Same PEI stories for second round?

McKinsey & Company McKinsey 2nd Round
New answer on May 16, 2022
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 14, 2022

Hi,

I do have a question - my interviewer (McK) gave me the feedback that my stories for Personal Impact and Inclusive leadership “were not the most exciting”, yet showed a lot of empathy and how I deal with others. He said “you could keep them for the second round”, but make sure to display your drive and ambition as well.

What does that mean? Can I really keep them and just pronounce this more or is it better to tell other stories in the second round to help them draw a more holistic picture? I am just thinking that at least I know that these stories are not completely off and also it is super hard to come up with new stories (my backup stories I don't like that much). Naja, so is there any right or wrong here? Maybe I should tell a more spectacular story, e.g. how I convinced a CFO of a company, although this seems super ridiculous and made up in my head, but apparently McK is looking for that spectacular thing. Right now, I told them how I convinced a program manager at school. 

 

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 15, 2022
McKinsey & Oxford / 100% success rate beyond 4 sessions / top 25% best consultants in the Firm

Hi there, 

A few things to begin with:

  • You're not expected to tell Superman stories. What makes a story good, is not so much the story as how effective you are at telling it. 
  • Don't lie. Interviewers can sniff that away in seconds. I dare you to tell me a fake story and if I can't tell in the first minute the session is free :)
  • Don't recycle stories across rounds. The interviewers might discuss among themselves and it's never a good idea to have the same thing. 

So what I suggest instead is the following:

  1. Look back over your experience inside and outside work and force yourself to come up with TEN examples per dimension. Forcing yourself to come up with so many will reveal many creative situations you hadn't previously considered.
  2. Don't be afraid to tell interesting stories. A glorious candidate of mine who used to have rather boring work stories eventually told me a story of her making a small fortune by importing and flipping rare exotic plants in the US. Now that's a cool and interesting entrepreneurial drive story. She ended up telling that in her final round and getting the offer, with the Partner telling that's the best PEI story he ever heard.
  3. Work on your delivery and tone. Conveying excitement is only partly about the story itself. Most of it comes from how you tell the story. 

I love working on PEI so I can help you on this if you require further support. Aside from this, congrats for passing the second round. Keep it up and you'll have the offer in no time!

Best,

Cristian

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Lucie
Expert
replied on May 14, 2022
10+years of recruiting & top BCG trainer & BCG Project leader & experienced hire & Pricing and Revman expert

Hi there, 

I would suggest to tell your story to someone who doesn't know you very well and test if:

1. Let them tell you in their own words what they understood: are you telling stories in comprehensive way?

2. Test a few stories to see which one seems “more exciting”

Beyond that, recapitulate different stories you could say and try to think what capabilities you would like to get out of that, then choose the best suit. 

Last but not least, learn the methodology we do tell stories in MBB, you can leverage resources here https://www.preplounge.com/en/bootcamp

You also have option to go for a coach, with one hour you should improve significantly. Feel free to reach out. 

Good luck,

Lucie

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on May 16, 2022
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

It's hard to say without knowing your stories and hearing them.

You literally have two options:

1) Find better/strong stories

2) Use the same stories but improve how you tell them

If going with #2 you need to figure out what is wrong with them. Ideally, get a coach so that you can go through the stories with him/her and edit them live!

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Ken
Expert
updated an answer on May 14, 2022
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

I would take the specific feedback more around your storytelling and delivery than the sorry itself.  Having said that, if you feel you have stronger stories or if you feel you can better articulate different sub dimensions of each PEI dimension then I would definitely do so.  It’s worth remembering that many first round interviewers on average have only done a small handful of actual interviews (some actually for the first time!) and so I would take their feedback as the law either.  Good luck!

(edited)

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Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 16, 2022
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 530+ McK interviews in 2021

Hey there,

Regardless of your feedback in the first round on PEI, you should always prepare new stories for the second round.

If you want to know how, have a look at this article I wrote or also happy to work on your stories together in a session. :-)

https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/mckinsey-pei

All the best,

Florian

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Cristian gave the best answer

Cristian

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