Application started with competency questions, very typical: describe a time when you have: team work, leadership, overcome fear etc. Following this was a numeracy test and logical reasoning test (the sequence type you do in IQ tests). Once you have successfully completed this stage, it's the telephone interview. Naturally I swatted up on the company, however this was not necessary. It was entirely competency based with one question regarding the ACA exams, (just 'what do you know?'). The rest of the questions were what I had answered in the application process, however they had my answers in front of me so I had to have different examples.
My feedback was that she liked my honesty, if I said I didn't know or asked for more information on the type of answer she required, she saw that as a positive.
Through this stage, was an assessment centre, which contained a group task (to see team work), a numeracy test, logical reasoning test and written exam, all lasting 20 minutes. The written was the hardest as you are pushed for time. Just ensure it is in the form of a report as that is what they are looking for, content wasn't too important.
Final interview is with a partner or senior director. Mine was surprisingly informal, chatting about secondments and opportunities within the firm. This was to see how easily I held a conversation with a senior member. Again, I was asked very typical questions: what do you expect from PwC, where do you want to be in 5 years etc. Lasted around 40 minutes, 20 minutes of questions, 20 minutes of informal chat. Not a strict interview.
Most difficult question
if Alan Sugar gave you £250,000 of investment, what would you do?
Google typical competency questions as through the process you will be asked them all! Ensure you know what the role you are applying for does and read up on PwCs clients (they may ask). I also know someone who got asked about a recent news story they were interested in, so be prepared to answer that (if it is about one of their clients they are even more impressed). Be confident and don't be afraid to say that you don't know. At the end of the day, every graduate they take on is there to be trained. You don't need an accounting background, in fact the more diverse the better, gives you more to talk about.
Experiences at the assessment centre
The assessment centre contained a group task (to see team work), a numeracy test, logical reasoning test and written exam, all lasting 20 minutes. The written was the hardest as you are pushed for time since you also have to read a 16 page booklet in this time. Just ensure it is in the form of a report as that is what they are looking for, content wasn't too important.
The group task (for me there were 6 people) was how to make a company more sustainable. We were all given a sheet to read to the group and we had to decide how we would invest the company's money to bring the highest publicity with the best economic options. They were not really interested in what we picked, it was how we came to the decision and the balance of listening and giving our opinions that they were interested in.
We then had lunch (where they say you are not assessed). While you are not assessed, still be on your best behavior and ask insightful questions as I have since sat in as an employee and once the candidates have left, I have been asked by management who I thought was good enough for the job.
If you score highly enough on the exams (you get the results through the post) and impress in the group presentation, you get through to the final interview. It is rare if you get to this stage to then no be offered a job.
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