McKinsey PEI: Step-By-Step Guide (2024)

McKinsey Personal Experience Interview (PEI)

The McKinsey Personal Experience Interview (PEI) is used to assess a candidate’s fit with the firm and evaluate their personal experiences, skills, and attributes. Candidates are asked to discuss situations that demonstrate leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, and entrepreneurial drive.


You will not receive a McKinsey job offer unless you pass the McKinsey PEI. Therefore, it is critical to prepare for the McKinsey PEI in advance so that you can make a positive and memorable impression on your interviewers.


If you have an upcoming McKinsey interview and don’t know how to prepare for the Personal Experience Interview, we have you covered.


In this comprehensive article, we’ll answer:


  • McKinsey interview process

  • What is the McKinsey Personal Experience Interview?


  • When is the McKinsey PEI given?


  • What does the McKinsey PEI assess?

  • Why is the McKinsey PEI important?


  • McKinsey PEI examples


  • How to prepare for the McKinsey PEI


  • How to answer the McKinsey PEI


  • McKinsey PEI questions and answers


  • McKinsey PEI tips

  • Common McKinsey PEI mistakes


If you want to learn how to answer 98% of consulting behavioral and fit interview questions in just a few hours, including the McKinsey PEI, enroll in our consulting behavioral & fit interview course.

McKinsey Interview Process

The timeline and dates in the McKinsey interview process may slightly differ depending on whether you are applying as an undergraduate student, MBA student, advanced degree student, or working professional. However, the overall components in the process are roughly the same. The McKinsey interview process has five major steps.

Expect anywhere between one to eight weeks to complete the McKinsey recruiting and interview process.

1. Attend McKinsey networking events

McKinsey typically hosts several networking events before the McKinsey application is due.

Attending these events is not required. If you have a strong resume and background, you can still receive a McKinsey interview even if you did not attend any events.


If you attend a top-tier undergraduate or MBA school, these networking events are less important. McKinsey has relationships with these schools and consistently hires students from these schools every year for internship and full-time opportunities. Your resume will get reviewed regardless of whether you attend a networking event or not.


If you do not attend a top-tier undergraduate or MBA school, these networking events will be much more important. Since your school is not a school that McKinsey targets, McKinsey recruiters spend much less time looking at applications from your school. Networking is crucial to giving your resume an opportunity to be reviewed.


Similarly, if you are applying to McKinsey as a working professional, networking events are much more important. Although McKinsey hires people from nontraditional backgrounds, you will need to do the work needed to get your name and resume in front of recruiters through networking or referrals.

2. Submit your McKinsey application

After all of the networking events are over, McKinsey will have a deadline for submitting your application, which typically consists of four components: McKinsey application questions, resume, cover letter, and referrals.

3. Pass your first round McKinsey interview

A few weeks after the application deadline, you will receive an invitation from McKinsey for the first of two rounds of interviews.


If you are applying as a student, interviews will take place on your school’s campus. If you are applying as a working professional, interviews will take place at the McKinsey office that you are applying for.


Your McKinsey first round interview consists of two separate 40- to 60-minute interviews. The majority of the time will be focused on case interviews, but you will also get asked a McKinsey Personal Experience Interview in each.

4. Pass your second or final round McKinsey interview

Your McKinsey final round interview will typically consist of two to three separate 40- to 60-minute interviews. You’ll see four types of McKinsey interview questions:

  • McKinsey case interview


  • McKinsey Personal Experience Interview (PEI)


  • “Why McKinsey?” question


  • “Why Consulting?” question


There are three important distinctions between your first round McKinsey interview and your final round McKinsey interview.


One, your interviewers will likely be more senior people at McKinsey. This means that the case interviews you receive may be a bit less structured and more qualitative in nature. The case interview may feel more like a discussion where you and the interviewer are discussing your opinions and ideas on a business problem.


Two, there will be more of an emphasis on assessing your fit with the firm. The first round interview is primarily used as a screener to determine whether or not you can solve case interviews effectively and whether or not you have the potential to be a great consultant.


Final round interviews will also continue to assess this, but interviewers will also be determining whether or not you would be a great fit with the office. Are you coachable and easy to work with? Are you collaborative? These are a few of the qualities that interviewers want to see.


Three, your interviewers may read the notes that your interviewers wrote during your McKinsey first round interview. If there was a particular area of the case interview that you struggled with, interviewers may want to test you again on it to make sure that it is not a significant weakness.

5. Receive your McKinsey Offer

After finishing your final round interview, all you have left to do is to wait for your McKinsey offer. McKinsey typically calls candidates to tell them that they are being extended a job offer before emailing them.


Some candidates receive a phone call with good news on the same day of their final round interview. Most candidates receive their call within a few days.


If you have not heard back from McKinsey after a few days, that does not necessarily mean that you did not receive a McKinsey offer. Sometimes, you may be on the borderline of receiving an offer and McKinsey would like to finish interviewing other people before deciding whether or not to give you an offer.


Be patient on waiting for McKinsey to get back to you. If you have not heard back in a week, you can send a follow-up email with the recruiter to ask if there are any updates.


When you finally get your call and offer letter, all that is left to do is sign to secure your job at McKinsey!


What is the McKinsey Personal Experience Interview?



The McKinsey Personal Experience Interview, or PEI for short, is a component of McKinsey’s interview process that is used to evaluate a candidate’s personal experiences, skills, and attributes.


During the PEI, the interviewer will ask you to provide specific examples from your past experiences that demonstrate certain skills or qualities. These could include leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, communication, and other relevant attributes. The purpose of the PEI is to assess your ability to handle real-world situations and to gauge how you might perform as a consultant.


The McKinsey PEI shares some similarities with consulting behavioral and fit interview questions. These questions ask you to draw upon a time or experience in the past in which you demonstrated a particular skill or trait. Examples of behavioral questions include:


  • Tell me about a time where you led a team


  • Describe a time when you had a disagreement with a teammate


  • Give an example of how you motivate people


  • Describe a time when you solved a difficult problem


The McKinsey Personal Experience Interview is simply a single behavioral question that takes up 10 to 15 minutes, which is a long time for a single question.


Because your interviewer is only asking you one behavioral question, be prepared to dive deeper into your answer and story than in any other interview you’ve had.


Expect to be asked several follow-up questions:


  • Why did you do the things that you did?


  • How did you make this decision?


  • What was going through your mind at the time?


  • How did others react to this?


  • What did you learn from this?


The interviewer doesn’t just want to know what happened and what you did, they want to get inside your head to understand why you did it and how you went about doing it.


The main difference between behavioral interview questions and the McKinsey PEI is that the McKinsey PEI goes deeper on a specific action or accomplishment from your McKinsey resume.


Lastly, keep in mind that while the PEI is an important part of the McKinsey interview process, it's not the only component. Candidates typically go through multiple rounds of interviews, each containing a a mix of case interviews, the McKinsey PEI, and the "Why McKinsey" question.


When is the McKinsey PEI Given?


Almost every single McKinsey interviewer will ask you the McKinsey PEI question. The McKinsey Personal Experience Interview will be given either before the case interview or after the case interview is completed. It will last between 10 to 15 minutes.


Your McKinsey first round interview typically has two interviewers while your McKinsey final round interview typically has two or three interviewers. Therefore, you’ll be answering the McKinsey PEI question four to five times.


Since each PEI lasts between 10 to 15 minutes, you’ll spend 40 to 75 minutes in total answering PEI questions!


Clearly, McKinsey places an important emphasis on this type of interview question, so make sure you are spending enough time preparing.


What Does the McKinsey PEI Assess?


The McKinsey PEI assesses six qualities: personal impact, entrepreneurial drive, inclusive leadership, courageous change, problem solving, and expertise. All McKinsey Personal Experience Interview questions will touch upon one or a few of these different skills and attributes.


How do we know this? McKinsey is very transparent on their website about the six qualities they look for in candidates.


1. Personal impact

Working with clients on challenging issues requires the involvement and support of many individuals. Interacting effectively with people is key to creating positive, enduring change.

Example: Explain a challenging situation you encountered when working with someone with an opposing opinion.

2. Entrepreneurial drive

Overcoming obstacles and achieving goals requires an innovative mindset, an openness to new approaches, and a continuous quest for learning and growth.

Example: Talk about a time when you worked to achieve something that was outside your comfort zone.

3. Inclusive leadership

Harnessing the power of diverse thinking to drive results requires the ability to lead people with different backgrounds and create belonging where everyone can be at their best.

Example: Share an example where you effectively worked with people with different backgrounds.

4. Courageous change

Embracing change with courage and positivity and being adaptable in unexpected situations enables you to learn about yourself and grow as a professional.

Example: Revisit a time when you experienced a significant change or encountered an ambiguous situation and share the actions you took to adapt to the new circumstances.

5. Problem solving

Helping clients solve tough problems and implement solutions requires strong intellectual abilities and rigor, as well as a practical sense of what works and what does not.

Example: Discuss a hypothetical client scenario to help us understand how you structure tough, ambiguous challenges, identify important issues, deal with the implications of facts and data, formulate conclusions and recommendations, and articulate your thoughts.

6. Expertise

Helping clients be leaders in their domain can require deeper industry-specific expertise and technical acumen. McKinsey wants to understand how your previous knowledge and skills can help clients.

Example: Your recruiter will share more information on your expertise interview, if relevant.


Each of your answers to McKinsey PEI questions should highlight at least one of these qualities about yourself. Ideally, your answers will address multiple qualities.

Why is the McKinsey PEI important?

The McKinsey PEI plays a crucial role in McKinsey interviews, serving as the primary way to assess a candidate's fit for the role and company culture. While case interviews test problem-solving skills and analytical capabilities, the McKinsey Personal Experience Interview dives into past experiences, attitudes, and interpersonal skills.

While most candidates spend hundreds of hours preparing for case interviews, they often spend less than an hour preparing for the McKinsey PEI. This is a huge mistake because the McKinsey PEI is asked in nearly every McKinsey first round interview and McKinsey final round interview.

Spending even a few hours preparing for the McKinsey PEI can give you a significant advantage over the competition.

There are several reasons why the McKinsey Personal Experience Interview matters.

Firstly, the McKinsey PEI provides insight into a candidate's soft skills and personality traits. McKinsey values qualities such as leadership, teamwork, communication, adaptability, and resilience. By asking about specific situations or challenges candidates have faced in the past, McKinsey interviewers can gauge how well they demonstrate these essential attributes in real-world scenarios.

Next, the McKinsey Personal Experience Interview helps assess a candidate's alignment with McKinsey's values and culture. Consulting firms often have distinct cultures and working environments, characterized by traits like collaboration, client focus, innovation, and a drive for excellence. By diving into candidates' past behaviors and decision-making processes, McKinsey interviewers can determine whether candidates embody these values and are likely to thrive within the organization.

Additionally, the McKinsey PEI provides evidence of a candidate's ability to handle common consulting situations. Consultants frequently encounter challenging situations such as managing conflicting priorities, navigating ambiguous client requirements, or leading cross-functional teams. By recounting past experiences and demonstrating how they approached similar challenges, candidates can showcase their readiness for the demands of consulting.

Furthermore, the McKinsey Personal Experience Interview contributes to a holistic assessment of a candidate's fit for the consulting role. While technical skills and problem-solving abilities are essential, McKinsey also prioritizes candidates who possess strong interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, and a client-centric mindset. The McKinsey PEI helps interviewers evaluate these critical aspects of a candidate's profile, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation beyond just technical competencies.

In summary, the McKinsey Personal Experience Interview matters. You will not be able to land consulting job offers unless you can adequately answer consulting behavioral and fit interview questions. Take them seriously.

Our comprehensive consulting behavioral and fit interview course helps you quickly draft answers to 98% of interview questions so that you can walk into your consulting interviews with confidence.


McKinsey PEI Examples


Given that McKinsey is very transparent on what qualities they look for, the PEI interview questions that you get are very predictable.


There are generally four categories of questions: leadership, conflict, influence, and overcoming challenges. Under each category, we’ve listed the most common McKinsey Personal Experience Interview questions asked.


McKinsey leadership PEI questions


  • Give an example of a time when you led a team


  • Tell me about a time when you showed initiative


  • Give me an example of a time when you went above and beyond the call of duty


McKinsey team conflict PEI questions


  • Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a teammate


  • Give a time when you disagreed with your manager


  • Describe a situation in which you handled conflict while working on a team


McKinsey influence PEI questions


  • Give an example of a time you had to persuade someone on a particular course of action


  • Describe a situation in which you had to motivate someone


  • Tell me about a time when you had to change someone’s mind


McKinsey overcoming challenges questions


  • Tell me about a time when you tried to accomplish something but failed


  • Give me an example of a time when you solved a difficult problem


  • Talk about a setback you had at work and what you did


How to Prepare for the McKinsey PEI


Since you already know the types of McKinsey PEI questions you may be asked, you can prepare answers to these questions well in advance.


By doing this, you’ll have much less stress on interview day because you’ll know that you already have answers prepared for any McKinsey Personal Experience Interview question that you could be asked.


Additionally, if you already know the content of your answer to McKinsey PEI questions, you can focus on the delivery during the interview.


You can focus on communicating in a clear, concise way to make it easy for the interviewer to follow. You can focus on articulating your words to make the story more interesting and exciting.


Here’s how you should prepare for a McKinsey PEI:


Step One

Identify 6 to 8 different stories drawn upon your past professional and personal experiences. Select experiences that are the most impressive, impactful, or unique.


You’ll need 6 to 8 stories because you want to tell a different story each time you answer a McKinsey PEI. You do not want to be repeating the same story every time an interviewer gives you a PEI. You want to showcase a breadth and variety of different experiences and skills.


Step Two

Ensure that these stories are collectively diverse. You don’t want to have eight stories all about leadership. Instead, have at least one story for each of the four categories of McKinsey PEI questions.


Step Three

For each story, write out all of the details that you can remember about it. Try to be as specific as you can so that you don’t miss any details. Who was involved? What happened? How did you feel or react? How did other people feel or react?


Step Four

Practice telling your story clearly and confidently in front of a mirror or in front of an interview partner. You should get to the point where you can easily tell the story without struggling to remember the details. However, don’t practice so much that you get to the point where you are sounding robotic.


Step Five

Practice timing and pacing. Your stories should be no more than a few minutes. Remember, you don’t need to tell every single detail because your McKinsey interviewer will likely ask for specific details that they are interested in.


Step Six

During the McKinsey interview, when you are asked a PEI question, mentally run through your list of prepared stories and select the story that is most relevant. You may need to slightly adapt, reframe, or tailor your story to ensure that it emphasizes and focuses on the quality that the interviewer is asking for.


How to Answer McKinsey PEI Questions


Just as you would structure your approach and answer to case interviews, you should also structure your answer to PEI questions. Structured thinking is one of the most important qualities to being a successful consultant, so make sure that you are always demonstrating this.


Structuring your answer to McKinsey Personal Experience Interview questions will keep your stories concise and easy to follow. Structure also helps you focus on the key messages that you want to deliver.


You should use the SPAR method to structure your answer. SPAR stands for Summary, Problem, Action, and Result. This is a slightly adapted version of the classic STAR method to make your story more clear and concise.

McKinsey PEI framework



Provide a one sentence summary of the story that you are about to tell the interviewer. This helps make the rest of your story and answer easier to follow because the interviewer already knows the “what.” They then can pay more attention to the “how” when you give your answer.


Example: I’m going to share with you a story where I helped save Airbnb $10M per year by analyzing customer data and collaborating with cross-functional teams.



Describe the problem you encountered or were asked to solve. Try to keep this section concise to spend more time on the Action and Results section.


You may want to answer the following questions:


  • What were you asked to do?


  • What was the goal or objective?


  • Why was this task important?


Example: While working at Airbnb in their strategic planning & analysis group, I had to determine whether the incremental $10M that Airbnb spent on initiatives to improve customer satisfaction had a positive return on investment. This was important because Airbnb was focused on cutting unnecessary costs to achieve better profitability.



Explain what steps you took to handle the task or to meet the goal or objective. Make sure that the actions center around what you specifically did. Do not focus too much on speaking to what your team did because it might take away from your accomplishments.


You may want to answer the following questions:


  • What steps did you take?


  • How did you take these steps?


  • Why did you take these actions?


Example: I used SQL and excel to analyze over 700K customer data points to create a model forecasting how much happy customers spend per year versus unhappy customers.


I collaborated with data science, customer experience, and finance teams and persuaded them to give me their support and buy-in. I also performed competitor and industry benchmarking to validate the results further.



Describe the outcome that your actions had, quantifying the impact and effect you had on the organization. Additionally, you can describe your key takeaways from this experience and how it impacted or influenced you as a person.


You may want to answer the following questions:


  • Did you meet the goals or objectives?


  • What was the outcome and impact of your actions?


  • What did you learn from this experience?


  • How did this experience help you grow and develop?


Using the SPAR method will demonstrate that you can tell a story in a structured way while also best highlighting your qualities and accomplishments.


Example: In the end, I determined that the customer satisfaction initiatives had a negative 20% return on investment. I presented the findings to the CFO and to my 30-person strategic planning & analysis group, who all supported my recommendation. My work would save Airbnb $10M per year moving forward.


Throughout this process, I learned how to work with multiple cross-functional teams and how to persuade stakeholders to get their buy-in. This experience also further reinforced my perspective on using data to make intelligent business decisions.

For a more detailed strategy on exactly how to structure your PEI answers to impress your interviewer, check out our comprehensive consulting behavioral and fit interview course.


McKinsey PEI Questions and Answers


Below, we’ve provided two examples of answers to the initial McKinsey PEI question. Remember, these answers are initially fairly broad, but will get more specific and detailed as the interviewer picks one specific thing in your answer and dives deeper into the Personal Experience Interview.


Example #1: Describe a time when you went above and beyond the call of duty.


I’m going to share with you a story for how I helped Apple increase their revenues by $100M by taking on a project outside of my job responsibility.


While working at Apple in their AppleCare business, I was responsible for analyzing data to identify opportunities to improve customer satisfaction.


While looking through survey responses, I realized there was an opportunity to use the tremendous amount of data that Apple had to predict which customers were likely to cancel their AppleCare subscriptions. 


Apple could focus on retaining these customers by sending them discount codes for renewal. I raised this point to my director and proposed taking on this project.


Outside of my regular job responsibilities, I pulled over five years of purchasing data for over 10 million customers to create a logistic regression model. I verified my model with data scientists and got the buy-in of members of the AppleCare strategy team.


In the end, I determined that Apple could increase revenues by $100M by targeting the top 10% of customers that were most likely to cancel and sending them discount codes.


I presented my results to the head of AppleCare, who approved testing this promotional campaign to a few cities.


Example #2: Describe a time when you had to motivate someone.


I’m going to share with you a story from Amazon where I had to motivate an underperformer.


While working on a customer service improvement project for Amazon, I led a four-person analytics team. The goal was to analyze recent customer survey data to identify ways to improve customer service.


I distributed work according to each person’s interests and expertise. After a few weeks, I observed that three members worked productively and effectively while one member, John, was consistently delivering work that was both low-quality and late.


Realizing that this was a potential motivation issue, I sat down with John to understand what the root cause was. The problem was that the analytics team had recently shifted to using an analytics software called Tableau.


John found Tableau difficult to set up and use, so he was unmotivated to switch from using Excel, which he was an expert at. As a result, Excel could not handle the millions of rows of data, causing poor work quality and delays.


To motivate John, I set up three one-on-one Tableau training sessions with him to walk him through the setup of Tableau. I demonstrated how it could save him time because it performed computationally intensive calculations much quicker than Excel.


Afterward, John began liking Tableau. He became excited to learn about what other features of Tableau could save him time in his other projects. His performance significantly improved and he began consistently delivering high-quality work on-time.

How is the McKinsey PEI Different from Behavioral Questions?

There are several differences between the McKinsey PEI and traditional consulting behavioral interview questions: length of answer, depth of answer, extent of follow-up questions, and qualities and traits assessed.

Differences between McKinsey PEI and behavioral questions

First, the Personal Experience Interview is asked only by McKinsey while consulting behavioral questions are asked by all other consulting firms.

Next, the McKinsey PEI takes 10-15 minutes to answer while behavioral questions take just 3-5 minutes to answer. This difference is driven by the fact that McKinsey Personal Experience Interviews dive significantly deeper into your prepared story or answer.

The McKinsey PEI asks for specific details on your motivations, feelings, and thinking. Behavioral questions ask for a surface-level overview of what happened and what was the result. 

Additionally, in the McKinsey Personal Experience Interview, the interviewer will ask multiple follow-up questions probing for specific details. For behavioral interviews, the interviewer may only ask one or two follow-up questions asking for clarification or more basic information.

Lastly, the McKinsey PEI assesses six specific qualities and traits: personal impact, entrepreneurial drive, inclusive leadership, courageous change, problem solving, and expertise. Consulting behavioral questions may also assess these things, but there may be additional qualities and traits that firms are looking for.

If you are stressed out about the McKinsey PEI and consulting behavioral interview questions, remember that you don't have to prepare for them by yourself. Our consulting behavioral & fit interview course will walk you through sentence-by-sentence how to craft outstanding, memorable answers to all of these interview questions.


McKinsey PEI Tips


Follow the tips below to perform your best during the McKinsey Personal Experience Interview. These tips could make the difference between passing your McKinsey PEI and getting rejected.

1. Focus on yourself


When answering McKinsey PEI questions, make sure that you are focusing on yourself and what you did, using the word “I.”


Often times, candidates will speak on behalf of the team that they worked on and talk about what the team did, using the word “we.” This takes away from your accomplishments because it makes it sound like the team did everything, not you.


2. Focus on your impact


Make sure that you explicitly state the impact of your work, not just what actions you took. Now is not the time to be humble, so make sure to communicate how great of a job you did, how others praised your work, and all of the positive impact your work had.


It may feel uncomfortable to some people to talk so much about themselves, but know that every interview candidate will be answering McKinsey PEI questions in a way that makes them sound the most impressive and accomplished.


3. Don’t repeat answers


Don’t repeat answers or stories for McKinsey PEI questions in the same interview round. How would it look if two interviewers found out that you gave the same exact story to both of their McKinsey PEI questions?


They may think that you don’t have many impressive stories of accomplishment so you had to resort to telling the same story. They could also think that you are lazy by reusing the same story.


Interviewers will often specify that they want you to give a story or answer that is different from the one that you gave to the previous interviewer. Other times they won’t. To be safe, it is better to not reuse the same stories in the same interview round.


You can, however, reuse stories across different interview rounds. For example, for your final round McKinsey interview, you can reuse stories that you already told during your McKinsey first round interviews.


4. Don’t provide irrelevant stories


Make sure that the answer or story that you give is relevant to the question being asked. If the interviewer asks you to give an example of a time when you disagreed with a teammate, don’t give them a story focused on leadership.


Sometimes, the interviewer will cut you off and ask you for a different story if the first story you are telling is not entirely relevant to the McKinsey PEI question being asked.


5. Know all of the details of your stories


Don’t be surprised if your McKinsey interviewer frequently cuts you off while you are telling your story. They may aggressively press you for more details or ask several follow-up questions.


Therefore, you should review all of the details of your stories in advance of your interviews so that you don’t get rattled and can quickly answer any follow-up questions.


The worst thing you can do is forget what actually happened in your story and end up having to make things up, take a guess, or tell the interviewer that you don’t remember.

There are many more consulting behavioral and fit interview questions besides PEI question. For a step-by-step guide on how to best answer all of these questions and more, check out our consulting behavioral & fit interview course.

Common McKinsey PEI Mistakes

There are several common mistakes candidates make when answering the McKinsey Personal Experience Interview. To ensure you perform your best during the McKinsey PEI, make sure that you don't make any of these mistakes.

1. Exaggerating or fabricating experiences

Being dishonest or exaggerating your achievements can backfire during the interview process. McKinsey interviewers are skilled at detecting inconsistencies and will expect you to provide honest and genuine examples.

2. Lack of specificity

Providing vague or general examples without diving into specific details can weaken your response. McKinsey interviewers are looking for concrete examples that illustrate your skills and experiences in action.

3. Not structuring your answer

Failing to provide a clear structure or framework for your response can make it difficult for the interviewer to follow your story. Organize your answer by providing context, describing your actions, and discussing the outcomes.

4. Focusing too much on the situation

While it's important to provide context and background information for your experience, spending too much time setting the scene can detract from the key elements of your story, such as your actions and impact.

5. Not demonstrating key competencies

Make sure your examples showcase the specific qualities McKinsey values, such as leadership, problem solving, teamwork, and expertise. Avoid choosing experiences that don't highlight these competencies effectively.

6. Not managing time effectively

The McKinsey PEI is often timed because the interviewer needs to ensure that there is enough time to also conduct a case interview. Therefore, it's important to manage your time wisely during the interview. Avoid spending too much time on one part of your response at the expense of other parts.

7. Not practicing enough

Like any interview, preparation is key. Failing to practice your responses to McKinsey PEI questions can leave you feeling unprepared and less confident during the interview.

8. Ignoring feedback

If you've received feedback on your McKinsey Personal Experience Interview responses from mentors or peers, don't ignore it. Take the time to reflect on the feedback and incorporate it into your preparation process.


Recommended McKinsey Interview Resources


While you prepare for the McKinsey PEI, you should also be preparing for your McKinsey case interviews in parallel. You will need to ace every single case interview in addition to the McKinsey Personal Experience Interview in order to land a McKinsey consulting job offer.


Here are the resources we recommend to learn the most robust, effective case interview strategies in the least time-consuming way:


  • Comprehensive Case Interview Course (our #1 recommendation): The only resource you need. Whether you have no business background, rusty math skills, or are short on time, this step-by-step course will transform you into a top 1% caser that lands multiple consulting offers.


  • Hacking the Case Interview Book (available on Amazon): Perfect for beginners that are short on time. Transform yourself from a stressed-out case interview newbie to a confident intermediate in under a week. Some readers finish this book in a day and can already tackle tough cases.


  • The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook (available on Amazon): Perfect for intermediates struggling with frameworks, case math, or generating business insights. No need to find a case partner – these drills, practice problems, and full-length cases can all be done by yourself.

  • Behavioral & Fit Interview Course: Be prepared for 98% of behavioral and fit questions in just a few hours. We'll teach you exactly how to draft answers that will impress your interviewer