lw07bm – thanks for your advice on client relationships. I did end up using examples of times when I helped customers in the store.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t given an offer after the AC, but it was a great learning experience for me. I did well in the phone interview, so I’ll give you guys my experience of the phone interview.
I was informed that in the phone interview I would be tested in the following competencies: motivation, credibility and communication, commerciality, organisation and leadership, and it would last approximately 45 minutes. What I then did was to go through all of the posts on Wikijob from people who have had their phone interview at GT, and listed the questions that have been asked with what my responses will be, along with examples of when I thought I demonstrated the competencies well, so that I could adapt my examples to other questions. I found this particular thread very useful for my preparation: http://www.wikijob.co.uk/forum/accounting-professional-services/grant-thornton-first-interview
The lady interviewing me was very friendly, and it was a standard competency interview. For ‘credibility and communication’, I was asked about giving an example of when I had to convince someone of my opinion, and of when I had to adapt my communication. I wasn’t asked a direct question on ‘credibility’, but from others’ past experiences, I’ve read that people have been asked to give an example of a time when they created credibility for themselves. The post by Vish in the link above (near the end of the first page of the thread) helped me to think of how to structure my example on credibility, in case it came up.
On organisation, I was asked about a time when I had to carry out multiple tasks to consistently high standards, and another question about having multiple deadlines, which was very similar to the first, but I just gave another example demonstrating the same thing really.
I can’t remember the specific questions on leadership. On commerciality, I was asked about how the recent economic conditions are affecting GT’s clients and GT, and a question about where I had made an investment which yielded a high return, but I was told that this did not need to be an example of a financial investment.
The most questions were asked on motivation, so I suggest really preparing well on these, particularly why you want to work for GT and what differentiates GT for you. As far as I remember, I was asked: what do you know about GT, what differentiates GT, who else have you applied to (here I gave names of the other firms I applied to), why audit, why not another service line such as tax, why accountancy and not something else like management accounting. I was also asked about what I knew about what audit involved, and the qualification. I’d also prepared for ‘why GT’, but I wasn’t asked this directly. I’ve read that it’s good to mention their training centre Bradenham Manor in Buckinghamshire, to show you’ve done your research.
At the end of the interview, I had the opportunity to ask questions, and it was all over within 45 minutes. They got back to me a few days later, as they were conducting interviews on other day also, and made the decision after all of the phone interviews were done. I hope this is helpful.