Hi guys. The application processes of these big companies can be pretty daunting. When I was applying, the kinds of posts I found most helpful were stories of people’s experiences that described the process in full, allowing me to be as prepared as possible. So, I thought it’d be good to give back and write my own post of this kind.
Where every application starts. As usual, this bit is fairly trivial – just fill it in and send it off. You’ll need to pop in your personal details, education and work history, and then a couple of more long-form sections about your career objectives and what motivates you to apply for Accenture.
Within the next few days, you should then get a response, and you might be invited to complete their online tests. What tests you do depends on what you applied for. I was invited to complete the Situational Judgement Test (SJT). This takes 20 minutes to complete, and essentially you are presented with a scenario and asked how you will respond. This differs from most companies, who have you do two, three or more tests typically.
The key to this test is to bear in mind Accenture’s core values: stewardship (taking responsibility, helping improve communities and the environment), best people (talent and technical ability), client value creation (long-term relationships that get the best out of clients), one global network (leverage the power of global insight), respect for the individual, and integrity. Demonstrate those values in your answers and you’re sure to do well.
The first interview is in digital form. This can be quite hard to get used to, so definitely get some practice in.
It’s not so much an interview per se, because there is no interviewer to react to. Instead, you essentially record answers for a series of questions and it’s sent off to them. The interview is mostly concerned with making sure you know your stuff about Accenture and your chosen field, their clients, current events and so on, as well as your skills and motivations.
Preparation alongside practice will go a long way here.
Accenture’s half-day assessment centre has four elements to it.
First up, we did an in-tray exercise. This takes about 30 minutes and is essentially a desktop/email role play in which you are given a bunch of information. You have to sort and prioritise this information before drafting an email with the next steps to be taken to be sent to your superior. The key here is time management and prioritising.
The numerical test that you usually do in application processes comes in here. As a 25 minute test with 5 questions, you’re given detailed data, graphs and tables relating to a set of fictional case studies. You must then answer multiple choice questions based on the data. Keep your technical skills sharp and this shouldn’t be too difficult, but it’s certainly no walk in the park.
Then comes the group exercise. Like many other application processes, this is essentially a mock team meeting. As a group, you’re given a brief with information. You must discuss the brief with your ‘colleagues’ and draft a proposal based on your discussion. What’s tricky here is to make sure your input is heard and valuable without being overbearing or bossy. Get that balance right and there’s nothing to worry about here.
Finally, the interview. This is a one-on-one with a manager from the department you’ve applied for, or at least it was for me. The interview will usually start with questions about the assessment centre, such as your thoughts on the group exercise, how you worked with the team, what you make of the solution and so on. Afterwards, they asked the usual sorts of questions: competency-based on technical skills, your career motivations, why Accenture, how current events relate to Accenture’s business and clients. Things like that. They did their best to make it a relaxing environment, and it very much felt like they wanted to best out of me, rather than to try and trip me up or anything.
And that’s the lot! A tough process overall, but nothing too hard compared to many others. I heard back after around a week and a half – I’ve heard some people get feedback before then and after then, so I would guess between around one and four weeks or so.
Good luck! And please share your stories too!