I have just received offers from PwC and Deloitte, and found this website really useful throughout the process, so i thought i’d share my experience of Deloitte and hope that someone else benefits from it.
For Deloitte Enterprise Risk Services - ERS - (which i accepted) there were 5 steps.
This included all the obvious details and then 3 small questions answered in bullet point form in 100 words. These were 5 reasons why you’re interested in joining Deloitte, your understanding of the core activities of the service line you’ve applied to, and what you think you’ll be doing in your first year. These were fairly easy to answer if you’ve looked into the service line you’re applying for a bit.
Online psychometric testing.
Mathematical and verbal reasoning tests, websites like SHL can prepare you for these.
This consisted of two parts, the E-tray exercise and a typed email.
The E-tray was about advising a book store chain, Trafford Lea, on their growth strategy. The scenario is that you have come back after 2 weeks holiday and are managing the project for a professional services firm such as Deloitte. I’d seen this before on this website, so went and looked at the Wikipedia page on Mergers & Acquisitions as a bit of background, but other than that i did maths and so had a fairly poor commercial awareness. This has a 40 min time limit which is very short for the amount of reading you have to do, so i skim-read the info you’ve been given and then referred back to it when i needed to (which was virtually every question). Basically the book company wants to expand and you face various issues to do with this. You have to choose one of 3 multiple choice options for each email in your inbox and more appear as you answer. There are 20 ish questions to get through. The questions are things like which strategy to choose, which distributor to use, who to contact on certain issues, which staff to assign to certain issues, and a couple of maths questions on where calculations went wrong. A lot of the time i was torn between 2 answers, but just went with my instinct as you don’t have time to spend ages on each. I finished with about a minute to go, but perhaps a third or half of the 18 people there didn’t seem to have completed it when the time ran out.
Next came the email response. You were given 3 options on which company Trafford Lea should acquire in order to expand and a lot of stats on them such as number of stores, number of different books, pricing system etc. One company focused on catalogue-based sales, one on internet sales and one on a mixture of traditional stores and internet sales. You have to write an email to the directors of trafford lea with a recommendation on which to acquire. This involves paragraphs on reasons to pick your choice, reasons its better than the others, potential risks, and ways of dealing with these. I picked the last option, and included a few reasons like the sector they know is traditional stores so its a less risky option, and also that internet sales are rising almost universally so its a good sector to go into.
This was split into about 5 areas, with 1 or 2 examples for each. Most are fairly standard questions like ex of planning, ex of leadership, ex of teamwork, ex of time you’ve set goals/targets etc. Commercial awareness was about a business issue affecting Deloitte, so i talked about the referral of the audit market to the Office of Fair Trading, and Competition Commission, and he asked how Deloitte might react if the worst sanctions such as having to give half their clients to smaller companies, given that Deloitte wouldn’t want to sack half their staff. My answer was basically that they might concentrate on more complex areas requiring more time and effort, such as tax planning or financial advisory work. I think they were just looking for a thought process behind the answer so i just reasoned out loud, though it wasn’t a very in depth answer. The other point was that i’d applied to an office in the south despite growing up and going to uni in the north, so why did i choose this office. He pressed really hard on this question, but i stuck with my reasons and just kept explaining them.
This was with a partner, and started with a 5 min presentation. My topic was that i was auditing a small client and had written a report highlighting a lot of quite risky issues. The owner of the company was trying to persuade me that the issues raised weren’t that important and was offering me a holiday of his private yacht before the report was issued. I didn’t like this topic as my arguments could be summed up in about 20 seconds, ie that you shouldn’t take the offer and that there are the risks of intimidation, familiarity and self-interest (taken from the ICAS code of ethics). I delivered about half of it and stopped to have a drink at which point the partner started asking questions, so i spent the rest of the interview wondering if i’d messed the presentation up completely and if he thought i’d finished or forgotten the presentation. But since i said don’t take the offer, he asked whether Deloitte taking clients to the Olympics was any different which was interesting. My main argument was that its a question of scale, and how it looks to a neutral observer from outside. The rest of the interview consisted of 3 areas. Challenges, career motivation and commercial awarenes. For awareness he asked me about a recent piece of business news that i’d seen. I’d been reading the economist since the start of the process (which i’d massively recommend!!) and talked about an article i’d seen about the decline of nokia. He asked whether apple might similarly decline, and i said i didn’t think so for various reasons. The whole interview was far less structured than previous ones, and i quite enjoyed discussing the questions he’d raised.
Hope this helps, its turned out quite a lot longer than expected. I’ll try to answer questions if i’ve anything useful to say on them.