Baker Tilly Assessment Centre 2012

Baker Tilly
#1

Hi all,

Recently had a Baker Tilly Assessment Centre and there isn’t too much coverage of it online so I’ll give you my experience to help anyone with one coming up.

First we had two exams which have been mentioned on here. Basically you have a booklet about 8 pages long with info about a disaster relief charity. You get ten mins to read and take in the info. I took some notes but the main thing is to get the jist of the content of each page. This is important as the exams are broken down into sections with “x” questions per page. So you read it for ten mins, just about enough to get a decent understanding. Do not worry too much about taking in details such as graphs and tables as during the tests you can refer back to the more precise areas of info. After the ten mins you have a few examples which I basically used as extra time to read the booklet.

Then you have a verbal reasoning test on the material, 40 qs in 20 mins. Sounds a lot but they follow the a) True b) False c) Not enough info structure so some you can answer without referring back. I found the best approach was to answer when 80% or more certain and ones you can’t instantly find the info for i noted what I thought it was and came back to at the end. Again, 20 mins is just about enough but you have to work quickly as they are testing your info retention aswell as your ability to understand the information.

After that we immediately had a numerical test. Quick example and then 30qs in 35mins from the material in the book again. The questions are no harder than the online tests, just stay calm and do not get flustered by how much info you have to sift through to find the appropriate data. Some are very easy, some require several calculations. But if you’ve done lots of SHLs and are comfortable working at that pace then this should be ok for you. I personally thought I had messed up the tests, we were informed at the start that some would be going home after the tests so it was pretty tense when waiting for the results. Our papers were marked and then 3 people were sent home. I’d advise practicing a few SHL tests the day before just to get the practice incase its been a while since you’ve done one.

We then moved on to the group exercise. The group was split in two. Our group were given a company and 5 business proposals to read through and take notes on for 20 mins. It is very important that you make notes and understand all of the proposals so that you can give meaningful contribution in the discussion. I don’t want to give details on the task as I’m not sure what the rules are on that. After the reading time you have half an hour to discuss the proposals and arrive at a decision. Our discussion was sat in on by two managers who just took notes. As with all group tasks its just about putting your ideas forward, backing them up with the material and being a team player. In my experience all of my group were very active in the discussion so the decision of who went in the next cull must have been difficult. Its worth bearing in mind that their decisions are based on the whole application to that point.

We then had lunch with two recent graduates on the team. This is a good time to ask a few questions about what their experiences have been etc…

Then three more were sent home and only a few of us were left for the afternoon. All we had after lunch was an interview with two directors. This was somewhere between a competency interview (career motivation is key) and a general chat. As with any interview, preparation is key in knowing what it is you’re applying for and why Baker Tilly interest you above their competitors. I wasn’t directly asked any commercial awareness qs but its always good to have a deep understanding of events in the financial world so you can have a conversation with the interviewers about it. The people I was interviewed by were lovely and to be honest all at BT seemed very friendly. Obviously being friendly doesn’t get you through but in my AC the people who survived the culls were the most talkative and friendly all day.
Hope this helps anyone preparing for their AC coming up.

#2

Hi,

Thanks for all the information- I have an AC coming up for the Leeds office on December 11th so this is really helpful!

Well done on getting to the end of the day- Have you heard back? Best of luck if not :slight_smile:

#3

Hi, I have an assessment centre coming up for BT in Bristol on the 10th. Compared to the big 4 there isn’t much info on BT so thank you very much jbman for giving us some information!

I have a few questions: Could you go into more detail about the questions you were asked at the interview stage in the afternoon?

Did you get the “how has accountancy changed over the last 10 years?” question? If so, how did you answer it?? I have heard that this question is sure to come up but I can’t really find a concise, succinct answer, I don’t really know what they want us to tell them. In fact if ANYONE could help me with that question I’d be ever so grateful.

Also what reasons did you give for choosing BT? I have some but they don’t seem compelling enough. What did you say makes BT unique?

#4

Ok so I did get the “how has “insert service line” changed?” question. But I was for M&A. If that’s what you’re going for I’m more than happy to PM you my answers. But obviously for a different service line its a different answer. One mistake I made was to talk about how the economic downturn has effected service lines differently. They don’t care about your knowledge of other service lines so stick to audit if that’s what you’re applying for.

For Why Baker Tilly? I didn’t get asked that, but I was going to say standard “I don’t want big4” reasons. Also I talked about why BT over GT/BDO saying that BT specialises often with owner managed businesses whereas GT and BDO (PKF merger) seem to at times try to be like the big4. I’d talk about the firms culture as that seemed to me to be a big big difference to atmospheres at big4 ACs. Also had a bit of a chat with the two directors interviewing me about previous BT projects offering my opinion, they seemed to be impressed by that.

But to be honest, just know your service line inside out. My interview was roughly 40mins, 10mins of CV chat and some very casual competency qs. Then half an hour of career motivation. Maybe yours will be different but everyone at my AC turned up prepared for a corp fin AC and then it turned out it was purely for a M&A position. So while I’d done my research into different areas of CF (in M&A obviously), I didn’t have sufficient research on M&A to chat for half an hour about why I wanted to work in it. if that makes sense. So my advice for the interview is know your service line way better than you think you need to.

I don’t know what part of the day I was weak on as who reaches the partner interview is based on the whole day. So its possible that it just came down to the exams at the start.

Best of luck for the AC, its one of the most fun ones I’ve been to.

#5

hi Jbman - what did you say with regards to how has auditing changed?
and what tips would you give for knowing auditing inside and out - like what would you need to know - as on baker tilly webiste, they give no job description for auditing or anything.

also cornet123 - im in the same assessment centre as you - good luck :slight_smile: point yourself out to me when we are there!

#6

Hi ryback,

Will do, my names Ellie, Guess I’ll see you there. Best of luck.

:slight_smile:

#7

just wondering how your assessment centre went. Did you get an offer?