Deloitte Assessment Day HELP!!


Agreed on the point of commercial awareness. I don’t think I got asked one question which was to give an example of one piece of news that affected the business world. I just talked about the fact that the recession was so bad that it had caused the credit rating of entire countries like Greece to fall, and could even affect others like Iceland and potentially even the UK if they don’t sort out their budget deficit. The main focus I think is on what you’ll be doing, what the qualification will involve and what issues might Deloitte have to deal with. I was asked one question about what I thought he and the other 2 partners would be talking about a lot (so issues to do with IFRS and stuff I guess).

I was really unprepared to be honest as the questions they ask you just come completely out of the blue. Just do your best to look like even if you have no idea of any personal examples that match the question, you adapt one to fit. They’re just trying to pressure you to see how you cope. Also, even if it feels like you’re doing rubbish, just keep it up because you’re more than likely doing better than a lot of other people.

Don’t worry about the e-tray and written exercise as you can’t really prepare for it, the etray is mainly an exercise in common sense and making sure you can handle time pressure. The written exercise is just to make sure you can actually write something without sounding like you’re still in primary school.

Good luck


Thank you for all your help and advice, has been extremely useful…


I think your examples are fine but you should learn a bit about the industry as a whole. For example british airways is great but you should learn about perhaps JAL and their bankrupcy and look up perhaps ryan air and whats caused their success. Also think about things like the impact of the recesion which has really affected the aviation industry because of people holidaying in local places that they can drive to to save money.

If you just get a broad understanding of a few industries then you can have an answer to any question you are asked. I just picked a few I’m interested in, for example I like video games so if i was asked about a company that was doing well i could say Nintendo because they have broadened their market rather than fighting for a limited share of the niche market Microsoft and Sony target

Also as i found out to my dismay it is essential to have an understanding of anything going on with the banks and anything going on with audit. The accountancy age website is great for that. For general commercial awareness be sure to read the business pages. Something that works for me is watching a programme called World Business Report on the bbc iplayer. Gives a good overview of the current business news and they sometimes have slightly more in depth interviews.

I realise thats a lot of stuff for the few days you have but just go with whatever sounds best for you and remember to go with the stuff thats interesting


Bradlever, my partner was called Jane at the Birmingham office. She was really nice!

Also, if you’re not from a business/accounting background did you have to prepare a business that’s doing good/bad etc? I didn’t have to but I wondered if because I have a relevant degree they didn’t ask.

Going on what bradlever said about the etray choices, I chose the Tarrini Books one, which has stores and and a website and I thought Avalon Books was obsolete, and as bradlever was completely the opposite to me it shows that it’s more about how well you support your decision rather than what you pick! They asked me potential problems that could arise from the takeover, so for my choice I said how it was a family business and so employees may be against a takeover and also how I thought the problem could be solved.


I think it totally depends on the partner about what you get asked. I’m from a non-relevant degree and had prepared some companies/industries to talk about but I wasn’t asked any commercial awareness questions at all. Come to think of it, I wasn’t even asked any competency based question questions either. We did the e-tray role play for about 20-30 minutes (which I think is longer than most people have experienced) and then just had a general chat about myself with him. It was very much a two way conversation. I wasn’t sure what to make of it on the day: I reckoned it was either a very good sign or a very bad sign: so happy it was the former!


okay guys, I know this topic has been discussed to death but I have been invited to an assessment centre for an audit position in london! I fear it may be my last chance to secure a position so any help would be great. I’m worried about the e-tray; it seems as if either you pass or fail, any tips from successful candidates would be great. What kind of questions should i expect in the partner interview?

Thanks guys!


For the etray you’re acting as an adviser to Trafford Lea who sell books and stationary or something like that. You have an email inbox, some information folders (which you will need to use to answer several of the questions), a calendar and a note pad.

You’ll get a number of emails which give you three responses. Some of them have only one correct response, while others are a bit more subjective and may have one good answer, one ok answer and one wrong answer to choose from. An example of the sort of question you will have to answer is ‘Which two advisers can work on a certain project given the time frame for the project and the particular skills required’, (obviously it is phrased properly and with an actual time frame and skills specified). So in order to answer you would have to look in your information folder and find out when each adviser is available (to ensure that you don’t double book them) and which advisers have the skills that were required. To be honest, they’re not the most challenging questions, most of them just require you to look for information, and sometimes do some simple data manipulation or calculations (e.g. to work out where the actual cost went over the budget cost). Some questions however will be a bit less clear cut, for example ‘We’ve been asked to carry out another project but keep within our agreed time frame, should we carry out the project within the time frame, ask for more time, or postpone the project till a later date?’ They don’t really tell you the answer to these questions and it’s more up to your judgement really.

The partner interview is tricky because several people have said that their partner interview was just a general chat about themselves (see wadw’s post before yours), while others, me included, have said that the interview included a number of competency questions. Just go back through this thread and you’ll get an idea for what will happen. A lot of people on here have been having their ACs recently and so it’s a pretty developed thread now. Definitely better information than what I had when I went to do mine.

Let us know if you have any more questions about anything


cheers for the help bradlever!
Did you approach the etray with any particular method? ie did you make notes at the start? did you answer the emails in order? I have looked at the example etray on the fast stream website and it seems there is alot of info. in the folders!
With regards to the written part, how much did you write? Did you just list advantages and disadvantages of each option and then give your opinion?

thanks again :slight_smile:


Re. e-tray:

Before you start the e-tray expand the windows task bar; I then read through all the info in the folders, keeping all the attachments open, but minimised, so they were ready when I needed them to be; I also made a very brief note (one or two words) to remind me what each one was about. I just answered the emails in order: there is no need to prioritise as along as you get through them all within the time limit. Just work through them methodically and you should be fine. I finished with about 15 minutes to spare. I received 28 e-mails in total, 21 of which needed a reply.

With regards to the info in the folders, although there are about 15 separate pieces of information at the start (you will also get information as attachments in emails), there is a lot less writing to take in than the Civil Service e-tray. It is mainly tables, matrices, diagrams etc.

For the written part, it’s hard to say exactly how much I wrote but I would say it was about 500-800 words. I used a very basic structure, outlining the strengths and weaknesses of each company in turn before coming to a conclusion. You must make sure you leave some time to make notes for the role-play section of the partner interview; Deloitte themselves recommend 10 minutes at least, I would probably leave a bit more time than that.

Hope this helps and good luck!


omg!! jus had my AC today…after partner interview i popped to the loo and stood around chatting with some of the other candidates…when i got in the lift to leave the partner that interviewed me told me i had the job!!! yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy!!!

thanks for everyones help!! x


Wow that’s incredible. Well done.



got deloitte final assessment day coming up.

just wandering about the e-tray - are both sections about trafford-lea…?




because on wikijob, it doesnt say that - it says the first bit is about something else!


Computer Exercise
The E-tray exercise is a 60 minute computer simulation of an email inbox. Over the course of the exercise, you will be presented with a sequence of emails, from which you will have to select a response from a multiple choice.

You are a Financial trainee working for Advantage Business Service (ABS). ABS provides Financial & Business Services, Marketing Services, and HR Advisory services. You joined the company 8 months ago. You were working in Nottingham office but now you are transferring to Birmingham office to replace a colleague who is ill. You will have to deal with 24 emails from various people requesting info from you. The exercise starts with about 6 emails already in the inbox.

In your company’s folder (ABS), you will see the following:

Employee’s Availability
Organisation Chart

You will also get folders for all 5 clients (only three of them will request info in the emails), and some simple formulae about how to judge the performance of the client’s business.

Typical request from emails
Client from Nottingham office wants you to do a job, what would you do?
One of your colleagues is struggling with contacting someone, how would you react to help him?
According to the info in Folders, do some calculations. They are not necessarily straight forward.
Not all the e-mails will require you to go back to info folders. Some of them just require you to give your opinion.

There are three companies to advise on, so make sure you’ve identified which company you are being asked about prior to answering. The multiple choices will be created in such a way that may cause you to be easily misled, consequently, take your time and be careful.

Spend the first 5-10 minutes reading the information you are given before diving in. This will save you time later. Work at a sensible pace without rushing. It is quite easy to finish approximately 24 emails with time to spare.

Lastly, be careful and take your time to select the best response. It is easily possible to finish this exercise within the time limit.

Written Exercise
After the E-tray exercise, you will then be asked to write a business email based upon the scenario developed over the previous hour. You will be required to analyse three potential takeover targets, and make your recommendation and case to the client’s board of directors. The takeover targets are an internet firm, a catalogue firm or another store based firm.

There is no right or wrong answers here; any of the three companies will be adequate. They are testing your reasoning, so you must be able to substantiate your decision. For example, interviewees are often asked “how would you convince the board your decision is correct?”

The written exercise is done on the computer, but the software does not have a spellchecker, so make sure your answer is spelt correctly. Candidates are pushed for time much more in this exercise; it is advisable think about how you are going to word and structure your composition before you begin to write it.


abc1- when is your assessment centre? when did you pass your interview?


I’ve gotta say that doesn’t sound right at all.

It completely contradicts what Deloitte’s website says:

You work for GDT Group advising Trafford Lea.

The e-tray and the written exercise is based around the Trafford Lea scenario, although the written exercise is more focused on choosing one of three companies for Trafford Lea to acquire.


‘Which two advisers can work on a certain project given the time frame for the project and the particular skills required’, (obviously it is phrased properly and with an actual time frame and skills specified). So in order to answer you would have to look in your information folder and find out when each adviser is available (to ensure that you don’t double book them) and which advisers have the skills that were required

Hey guys,

  1. was just wandering in relation to the above - are you supposed to make use of the calendar on the laptop here to ensure that you don’t double book staff? I’m guessing the other way you can do this is just by writing down when you have booked staff on the piece of paper provided…!

  2. Also, in the written e-mail part of the e-tray assessing the takeovers etc…how should you structure your e-mail?

Should it be…

         RE: Evaluation of take-over options

Dear Sir/Madam (or managers name - is this provided?)

1st para - background

CONTENT - outlining pro’s/cons…

ending paragraph

Kind Regards,


also, can someone please calarify this:

after finishing the first-part of the e-tray…should I take notes on information provided in the information e-mails?
will this help me in the next part of the e-tray - i.e. assessing potential take-over options…? I intend to take notes at the beginning of the exercise so I can easily refer to it when answering the multiple choice questions, but if I finish early - should I take FURTHER notes?

i will definately take notes to summarise the e-mail I send the manager in the second part of the e-tray.

Really appreciate your help guys…



Are you allowed to bring a calculator into the e-tray for calculations?