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Selecting PEI Stories

McKinsey 2nd Round - Experienced Hire PEI
New answer on Jun 08, 2024
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 06, 2024

Hi I am interviewing for McKinsey as an experienced hire (OEP). I have selected all of my stories from my most recent job as these are freshest in my mind. All the stories are distinct and associate well with the overall mc kinsey PEI topic, but I saw online someone mention that when they go though all of your interviews together it could be negative to have stories all from one employment. Do you think this is a fair assumption even if my other stories are much older and probably not as good of an example of my skill set?

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Nilay
Expert
updated an answer on Jun 06, 2024
Former McKinsey Sr Engagement Manager | Trained McKinsey interviewer (100+ interviews, 500+ coaching sessions)

Hi There - congratulations on securing an interview with McKinsey OEP and good luck with your preparation. 

To answer your question there are absolutely no issues with all of your stories coming from your most recent work experience (assuming you have been in your most recent role for a few years). Few important things to keep in mind as you prepare for McKinsey PEI

  • Relevance of stories: Ensure your stories align with what the interviewers are looking for in each thematic area (see details at the end of my response)
  • Variety: Do not repeat the same premise across interviews, especially in the same round. Repeating the same premise across rounds is typically okay since interviews from different rounds do not discuss your candidacy. But to the extent possible try to have at least 4 distinct premises for the 4 McKinsey PEI prompts (always a good idea to have some back-ups ready)
  • Beyond Work Examples: If possible, include an example from outside of work. This helps demonstrate that you exhibit the desired traits in various settings, reinforcing your well-rounded character. This isn't mandatory but can be beneficial and also interesting for the interviewer
  • Recency: Focus on experiences from the last three years, and avoid including stories that are more than 4-5 years 

The 4 PEI prompts are and what interviewers look for in each:

  1. Personal impact: Focus on interpersonal skills. Discuss scenarios where you managed conflicts or navigated differences in opinion. Key skills valued include ability to read between the lines, motivation understanding, and influence
  2. Inclusive leadership: Showcase your leadership style. Share examples where you led diverse teams (diversity is best demonstrated through personality differences or ways of working differences) or worked effectively in them. Look to demonstrate inclusive leadership and the ability to unite teams towards common goals
  3. Courageous change: Demonstrate resilience in ambiguous or challenging situations or setbacks. Discuss times when you overcame significant obstacles. Emphasize a positive mindset and emotional intelligence
  4. Entrepreneurial drive: Centers on your ambition and tenacity. Talk about setting and achieving lofty goals. Highlight your vision and perseverance

Hope this helps and let me know if you have any further questions.

Thanks

Nilay


 

(edited)

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Hagen
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 06, 2024
#1 recommended coach | >95% success rate | most experience in consulting, interviewing, and coaching

Hi there,

First of all, congratulations on the invitation from McKinsey!

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your question:

  • I have a feeling that you are overthinking the McKinsey PEI. While it is important not to use the same situation for multiple dimensions, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using different situations from your most recent job.

You can find more on this topic here: How to succeed in the final interview round.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare for your upcoming McKinsey interviews, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

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Cristian
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 07, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there!

That's a great question. 

Yes, ideally, you'd have stories from different areas of your life.

But also the stories should be from within the last 3 years and most of them should come from your professional experience. 

So try to think whether in the last 3 years you did something impactful outside of work that you believe would consist of a good example for the PEI. If not, then stick with the work stories. 

I wrote a detailed guide that includes a video course for the PEI in case you want to dig deeper. You can find it here:

Video Course: Master the McKinsey PEI

Best,
Cristian

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Florian
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 07, 2024
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hi there,

This is not a problem IF you have been working in the same role for a while as recency is more important than varied context.

However, it would be a problem if you are just graduating and have done 3 internships, finished a degree, and an exchange semester over the last 2 years. In this situation, you are expected to present stories from different contexts and situations.

That's probably why you read such a statement.

If you want to learn more about the PEI, please check out the article I wrote for PL: Personal Experience Interview

All the best,

Florian

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 07, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: I saw online someone mention that when they go though all of your interviews together it could be negative to have stories all from one employment. Do you think this is a fair assumption?

If the stories refer to different situations within the same employment and they correctly correspond to the dimension asked, I don’t see any issues with that.

You can find more about the PEI dimensions below:

▶  4 PEI Dimensions You Should Know

Good luck!

Francesco

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Ariadna
Expert
replied on Jun 06, 2024
BCG | Project Leader and Experienced Interviewer | MBA at London Business School

Hi there! 

I think it also matters how long your past employment experience has been. 

To take two extreme examples: 

1. Someone has all their stories from their 1 month internship

vs. 

2. Someone has all their stories from their 5 years employment at the same company, where they have done various roles and projects. 

The online advice you have seen would totally apply to the first extreme example and not at all to the second. Anything in the middle should be calibrated accordingly. 

Good luck, 

Ariadna 

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Jun 08, 2024
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Private Equity | Market Estimates | Fit Interview

“it could be negative to have stories all from one employment.”

This is pure non-sense!!! 

What is negative is if you have no good stories from your last employment (assuming it was a 1+ year role). But if they are all recent / from your last job, there's no issue at all.

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Alessa
Expert
updated an answer on Jun 06, 2024
xMcKinsey & Company | xBCG - feel free to schedule a 15 min intro call for free :)

hey! 

congrats first of all! 

To keep it short: it is definitively no problem if the topic differs (e.g., inclusive leadership vs. courageous change, etc.) and fits the PEI story! 

BR

Alessa

(edited)

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Nilay gave the best answer

Nilay

Former McKinsey Sr Engagement Manager | Trained McKinsey interviewer (100+ interviews, 500+ coaching sessions)
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