The McKinsey Personal Experience Interview (PEI) is a key aspect of the consulting firm’s recruitment process, aimed at evaluating a candidate’s leadership potential, personal impact and drive, and as such a general fit within the organization. Preparing well for the PEI is crucial to increase one’s chances of success, as the interview is known to be both unique to McKinsey and more challenging than anticipated by virtually all candidates.
This beginners guide will provide a quick overview of the PEI format, offer tips on how to prepare effectively, and share strategies for showcasing your skills and potential.
Continue reading Navigating the McKinsey Personal Experience Interview: A Beginners Guide
Currently McKinsey is testing 2 specific new Personal Experience Interview dimensions, which are
- Embracing Change or Courageous Change, and
- Values & Purpose.
Those 2 PEI dimensions are for the moment only tested in North American offices, although not consistently across all offices and not across all candidates. And since those are 2 brand new PEI dimensions, many candidates ask me in my 1:1 coaching sessions how to approach them, and we typically work through the exact McKinsey requirements and expectations for those 2 dimensions, as well as drafting the storyline for indiviual PEI stories to ensure that they resonate well with the interviewer.
Continue reading How to prepare for the new McKinsey PEI prompts “Embracing Change” or “Courageous Change” and “Values and Purpose”?
Contrary to the case interview, I don’t recommend to pause for 60 seconds at the beginning of your McKinsey PEI to structure your story.
Looking at the overall time frame of roughly 12-15 minutes for the whole Personal Experience Interview, 60 seconds is already quite some time. And during this time, your interview would be probably bored, watching you thinking in silence about your PEI story. Continue reading Can I pause for 60 seconds at the start of my McKinsey PEI?
In short: It’s mainly about convincing another person about something.
What makes a strong PEI story for Personal Impact?
The most basic ingredient for a strong “Personal Impact” example is a strong underlying conflicting interest between you and the other person. Both parties need to have a strong interest in the outcome of the situation – without this, it will never become a strong Personal Impact example, since if there is nothing at stake, it’s not difficult to convince someone.
Furthermore, it’s good if your Personal Impact example is going on at least over several days, even better for weeks, since your interviewer is interested in understanding your approach to convince someone from a more strategic, and not only operational/tactical perspective, having candidates clearly laying out a strategic masterplan on how the other person could be convinced. And that’s something which usually doesn’t happen in one meeting or over night, but requires time to “design” and execute this process of convincing someone. Continue reading McKinsey PEI dimension “Personal Impact” – what it’s all about
Is there any difference for a McKinsey PEI question concerning conflict vs. disagreement? Is one just more extensive than the other?
Continue reading McKinsey PEI – Any difference between conflict and disagreement?
Is it possible to postpone the planned interview date, once agreed with McKinsey? If so, does it have any negative consequences for my application?
Continue reading Not yet prepared for my McKinsey PEI – can I postpone my interviews?
Most candidates have at least 2 or 3 interviews on a given interview day. This means that for the PEI you need to prepare at least 2 or 3 examples as an absolute minimum.
So – can those PEI stories come from the same context, just with a different focus? Or do I need to have completely non-overlapping examples?
Continue reading Is it OK to re-position your McKinsey PEI stories, or better have new ones?
Finally it does not matter too much for McKinsey, if you failed because of your case interview performance, or because of your PEI performance. A reasonable time-frame to re-apply is usually 18-24 months.
But why not earlier? Continue reading I failed in my previous McKinsey PEI – when can I re-apply?
Many candidates wonder how recent their McKinsey PEI stories should be, and if they need to be related to their work experience (in case of young professionals). So let’s look at those 2 topics one after the other.
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). Continue reading How to find the right McKinsey PEI examples