I wanted to post my experience on here as i used these forums a lot when applying to Deloitte and other firms.
I submitted my application in August for September 2009 graduate position in Audit. Although Deloitte may tell you applications open much earlier in my experience there was little enthusiasim to process my application through the summer as i had hoped and had been assured. Anyway the online tests were much easier than the likes of KPMG in my view and also the PWC ones, the advice for passing these tests that i would give is just practice them!
The next stage is a competency based interview with a manager. My interview did not deviate from set competency based questions which i had been expecting. The competency areas given on this website were very accurate, just remember to have two examples for each competency and i found using the STAR method very helpful in structuring my responses (Setting Task Action Result - helps you to stay on point while in mid flow). Im sure im stating the obvious but the other thing i found useful was to actually give yourself a few seconds to formulate your response before starting to answer (even where you know the example you are going to use). My interview lasted just over an hour. I recieved a response 2 days after the interview.
The final stage was an assessment day comprising an etray exercise on the computer, a written exercise, a partner interview discussing the etray, then regular partner interview. All this lasted 4 hours, i got a wee break inbetween each part, but no free lunch as others have described!!
The first part of the etray is relatively straight forward its around an hour you get to answer 24 emails, use the first 5 - 10 mins to review the info you have. Some questions are judgement based some are absolute answers. There really isnt much preperation you can do for this and i wouldnt worry about it. (Although i believe there is a fastlink or some civil service etray you can practise online, i didnt do it but it might help to familiarise yourself with this type of task). I rushed stupidly rushed the etray and finished with 20mins to go, time is not as much of a factor here so take your time. One little gem of knowledge that i found in these forums (thanks to whoever that was) is to move your windows taskbar up to the side of the screen (vertical instead of horizontal along the bottom), then open all of the various items, charts and emails and minimise them to the task bar, the titles will be visible in the task bar and this saves time searching, opening and closing emails throughout the exercise. Make sure you finish the etray. After the hour was up i had a quick break then was breifed on the next part - the written exercise.
The written exercise is about building up a case for pursuing a certain option, while also having a case for dismissing the other 2 alternatives. There are no right or wrong answers here as to which option you should pursue but i think one of the stood out as the most easily justifiable. I worked systematically just going through each of the criteria, and sometimes relating back to the info in the fisrt part (which you still can access). I wrote my email in bulleted form (a couple of sentences per bullet point) and had around 15 bullet points. Give yourself ten minutes before your time is up on this part to put each of your bulleted points onto paper in note form for the partner interview.
The final part of the etray was to discuss your reccomendation with a partner, i simply went through each of the points i had on my email and then a gave a short conclusion. I was then asked 2 further questions challenging my reccomendation but just stick to your initial decision!
The partner interview itself which followed was also as predicted by wikijob. Very different from the first, why audit / deloitte / university? your greatest achievement? A difficult or risky decision you have had to make? what will you bring to the firm? Why not our competitors? Discussion of any dodgy grades. In general it felt fairly relaxed. I wasnt asked about my hobbies or interests nor about a recent news article (i think this is the exception rather than the rule). The partner interview including a 15min discussion of the etray lasted around an hour and 15 mins.
I got out of the office late afternoon, and had been under the impression that offers were delivered on the day, rejections the following day. However i didnt hear anything that day and recieved a phone call the following morning from the partner who had interviewed me offering me a position.
Thats it! if anyone has questions ill answer them if i can. Thanks to everyone whos advice ive read on here. After going through the application process with several big firms my advice would be - dont drink coffee before an interview, go to bed early the night before (i had 3 hours sleep before my assessment centre with deloitte), be yourself.