Deloitte/PwC 1st inteview comparison


Having just sat the Deloitte (9/10) and PwC (10/10) initial interviews for graduate place in the assurance service I thought I’d give you a comparison.
Both interviews have set questions to be answered however for Deloitte it is far more structured. With PwC it’s a proper conversation with the interviewer moving between different questions – I found this format much easier and more relaxed.

Starting with Deloitte, there are 4 sections and you have to give 2 examples each of:
A time you worked well in a team
A time you made a difficult decision
A time you have had to use organisational and planning skills
A time you have used presentation skills
There is also a final section where they ask the standard Why Deloitte? Why Accountancy? Why Audit?

In total the interview last about an hour and 20minutes – asked a lot of questions and got talking about football with the interviewer! Should only take 1 hour.

PwC, as I mentioned above was much more of a conversation. The interviewer started by going through parts of the application form and asking about my general background. Then we moved onto what I know about the services PwC provides. From there I was asked about my ideal client and the services PwC could provide, this led onto talking about the credit crunch and how PwC could help firms at this difficult economic time, which then led on to a general discussion of recent news events.
The interview then moved into the competency section. General questions were:
When have you worked in a team?
When have you had conflict in a team and how was it resolved?
Have you been in a situation where you have provided feedback to someone, both positive and negative examples required.
Have you set yourself any self development goals? How will you reach them?
How do you manage your time between different academic and social activities?

Those were the main questions I remember right now. Once again it was followed by my questions with the whole process lasting 45minutes – as she said it would!

I hope you find this useful in your preparation for interviews. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to ask.



Hi edinburgh dave,

I also had an interview with Deloitte and found it to be quite structured. I have applied for Risk Assurance Services at PWC and my interview is coming up.

Do you think that I should know about the Risk assurance department in great detail for the partner interview?



Hey hits123,

If its your initial interview with PwC then they may cover all the services the company offers. Though this is not in much detail, basically just so you can show them you have done some research. For your specific service I would say you should know quite a bit of detail about it. Stuff like the general work they do, how they can help different clients, possibly how the role has changed with the credit crunch?

The partner interview won’t be till the assessment centre, of which I have no experience so can’t really advise.

Hope that helps



thanks very much for your comments, edinburgh_dave, and good luck landing the job with any of these great companies.

I am applying to assurance at PwC and got stuck on one of the application questions. Its the one with ideal client to Pwc - i am not really sure what they want with it and what are they expecting. IS it to test my commercial awareness? knowledge of the firm?

maybe someone who managed to do well in the application could help me? thanks!


Thanks cool_zero,

That question is a bit of a pain. You’re right, it is to test commercial awareness. Basic ideas you can incorporate would be:

  • consultancy to improve profits
  • tax advice to restrict exposure
  • any advice on possible M&As
  • audit to ensure they meet regulations etc

Thats some of the stuff I included in my form and it was successful. I wouldn’t worry too much about the client, anything fits really.



Brilliant! thank you very much once again.


good luck!


Hi edinburgh_dave,

THanks for your useful advise! I have passed Deloitte’s online tests and am waiting for the first interview.

One question, I am wondering what do they ask on PwC’s student talent questionnaire. Is it the diagrammatic test?



Hi jann_ning

The student talent questionnaire if I remember correctly isn’t an actual test in a sense that you can fail it. It is more to give them an idea as to how well you would fit in with the firm. Its very simple. The diagrammatic test is something different that you may have to do as an online test. Don’t worry too much about this as its really easy, especially compared with verbal reasoning tests for the other big4 firms.
Good luck



I am going to do the verbal test later this afternoon… stressed wish me luck!!

may i know what do they ask on the questionnaire?


Hi Dave,

Thanks very much for your comparison post - it’s proved very useful as I have an interview tomorrow and was wondering whether it was going to be very structured or more of a conversation - find the latter much easier!! Just a quick question about the Talent Questionnaire - when is this supposed to be filled in? Do you think they’ll ask me to do it at interview? Have completed online tests and there was no questionnaire!

Thanks for your help!


Hi KK_2008,

I did the questionnaire at the same time as the online tests. Its not tested though so is nothing to worry about. Its very simple, for example, i think one of the questions was like:

You arrive at work to find a colleague off sick. Would you:
a) tell your manager straight away
b) ask around to see who can do some of their work as extra
c) do their work as well as yours.

Thats not exactly it, but its similar idea. No right or wrong answers. Its simply to see how you work and if you would fit in with PwC. I imagine the responses to these types of questions vary greatly!!



HI Dave,

I’m applying for Deloitte and PWC Actuarial. What kind of thigs did you do on your assessment day?



I only did assessment day with PwC and it was for audit. There is a different process for actuarial. There were 2 guys for actuarial at my assessment day and they both took part in the group exercise we did and they had partner interviews too. Their tests were at different times to mine and included verbal reasoning I think. Don’t really know much more about the process.



Dave, your post is really helpful!! I have an interview for Transaction Services tomo (PwC) and was wondering if you need to prepare a topic to talk about, or whether it is more a discussion about finance related news in general?



Just a discussion about business news in general


Great, thanks for the help :D!


hits 123, have you had your interview? I am in RAS at PwC and could prob give you a brief overview. Send me a message if you’re interested.


Imiliano, Hey, I also had an interview with TS today! Lasted more than 90 min, which I thought was quite long. How was yours?


This is a really helpful post, I’ve got a PwC first interview coming up. The thing that always stumps me with these first interviews is the asking questions part. Is a general enquiry about the assessment centre enough or do they want a corny contrived question? ‘ooh how will PwC cope with the new economic climate blah blah blah?’