First of all, I would like to thank those people who share their experience on this forum; their advices are really helpful and help me to prepare for the application. I haven’t seen any recent post about the 2010 selection process so I decided to write down some of my experience.
It has been a while since I went to the interviews and AC, so I might not be able to write down every detail of the process, but I will try my best to give as much information as possible. I should have written down my experience as soon as I got the offer but at that time I was fighting with my exams to get a 2.1, therefore, I think it would be better for you to ask me questions in case I didn’t cover the necessary information, so please reply in this thread.
Please search all other threads related to E&Y before looking at my thread，I will not REPEAT anything that has been covered in other threads, the following is the additional things I think are benefit for you to know before going to the interview or AC.
NOTE: from a chat with one of the assessors at the AC, he confirmed that the selections process has been changed from competency based to strength based for all graduate schemes.
I think the most important part of the application form would be the 5 open questions. I don’t have A-level or GCSE results, but I managed to answer all 5 questions very well (I think). Basically you need to use both academic and work examples to back up your strengths. There is no world limit but line limits on my form. I know it is important to have error-free answers but looking back on my form, I have found quite a few grammar mistakes. However, I clearly highlighted my strength and I think that’s the reason I went through.
The test is not SHL based, I can’t remember the company. It is divided into 3 sections: verbal, numerical and logical. They will send you some examples to practice beforehand. My advice is to simply DO them! If you are really busy, make sure at least you try logical section, because this is very different from the SHL one, verbal and numerical are similar to SHL.
I was interviewed by a lovely lady from the advisory division. Make sure you ask for a cup of water before you going into the room because you are going to talk a lot! She asked me many strength based questions and the whole interview last around 90 minutes, which I thought was a good sign. She had some HR paper and there were 3 questions on each page, she randomly chose one to ask me, wrote down what I said and then moved on to the next page. After the last page, she went over again and randomly selected one from the reaming two questions. So I guess the chance of being ask a question is 66%. Reading from other threads, most of the questions are covered and the questions that I was asked but not included in other threads are (not a complete list):
- What do you do if you don’t keep your promises?
- What do you do if you find yourself unprepared?
- What do you do if you see other people are not doing very well?
- …. Etc, can’t remember……
Details can be found on one thread called the new Ernst & Young AC. On the AC day, prepare to be exhausted. As far as I am concerned, the whole day was an E-tray exercise, the assessors were coming to your ‘office’ to collect your work at the scheduled time. So it is important to you’re your deadline, plan your time well and multitasking. Everyone would have different schedules.
For the report proof reading and phone call exercise, I didn’t think I did well on finding the mistakes because English is not my first language, but I believed I did well on the phone call part. The idea is to talk to the person in a calm and fair manner. Do NOT be too critical but rather listen to him as he is likely to challenge you by making some complaints. At the end, leave him with some positive comments would do you good.
My last task was the paper based test, which had the same format as the online one. The logical part was very hard and I just attempted half of it. But I think this test is the least thing you need to worry about on the day.
The partner interviewing me is very nice, friendly and makes me really comfortable. Recalled from my partner interview with PwC, which was the other end of the spectrum. So I think that’s what makes E&Y so different in the big 4, i.e. the relations between peoples. He started by asking me six questions like how do I use my strength (identified in the AC) in my daily life, what do I think will be the biggest challenge if I join E&Y, etc…. which he took notes on the HR paper. Then it’s my turn, we talked a lot about IT technologies and we went on to talk about the iPad, which was about to be released in the UK. The interview didn’t last long because he had another appointment. It was great to chat to him and it would be nice to work with him in the future, so this has definitely left me positive experience about E&Y, which I accepted their offer without any hesitance.
Hopefully the above information would be a valuable addition to other threads. Finally, I will try my best to come back daily next week to answer questions posted in this thread and wish everyone good luck in applying to Ernst & Young!