I was very nervous for this assessment day, namely because I really like the people at Mazars, and I noticed up to the day itself that there wasn’t a lot of information on the assessment day with Mazars so now that I’ve finished I’d like to do my part and help you guys out by telling you everything I’ve experienced up to now!
After the initial application forms and the psychometric tests (These are your standard numerical and logical ones) you will have a first round interview with the manager of your department choice.
Mine was not over the telephone, it was at the office itself and I found it to be very relaxing and more towards a friendly conversation rather than a formal interview. Like I said, Mazars are known for being friendly and down to earth!
Before the initial interviewing, you’ll receive a case study which you’ll have 10 minutes to read through and collect points about. Don’t worry about this because they will tell you what to look for in the case study! After this, my interviewer asked me a few questions regarding the case study; What’s your opinion on X? How would you go about solving X? Do you think X and Y are fair? Etc etc
The questions my interviewer asked me were your straightforward competencies
Could you tell me about a time you worked in a team?
Could you tell me about a time where you demonstrated leadership skills?
What about a time where you had to work under pressure?
Do you know anything about the qualification you’ll be doing? (At this point I mentioned the ACA, though I could possibly be doing the ATT instead so make sure to research both)
Generally, I’d say just build a decent answer for every single competency question you can think of, so research general questions that all employers ask and not just Mazars and that way you will be prepared as ever.
Also make sure you ask questions at the end so it shows that you’re interested! If you don’t know what to ask, here are a few to get you going; What sort of travelling opportunities are there? How much exposure will I receive towards clients as an intern? How easy would it be to switch to a different branch of Audit/Tax/Consulting?
After being told I was successful here I was then invited to the Assessment Day,
This begun at 8:30 and ended at 4PM, so it was quite a long day, but they help to make you feel comfortable, lunch is provided as well as refreshments and there’s a chance to go out with the graduates for a few drinks at the end.
The main exercises were the intray, a short individual presentation, a group exercise, and my partner interview.
The intray was easily the hardest of them all. I have experience of intrays (though i’m not good at them anyway) but this intray easily takes the cake. It’s paper based and the time constraint is very small. You spend 30 minutes with different ‘items’ such as emails and texts and you have to categorise them, prioritise them and set out a plan of action. Then, you spend 40 minutes developing a program and a food menu given the information you have. Finally, you spend 20 minutes writing a letter to encourage managers to attend your program. This exercise is hard to prepare for, and the exercise itself is not too difficult, it is just the time constraint which creates a lot of pressure!
The individual presentation lasted 5 minutes and you have 10 minutes to prepare for it. You’ll be given a random topic such as “describe yourself” or “who is your hero?”. The content of your presentation is probably the least important thing here. In hindsight, the most important things to consider are an introduction, a clear structure, a conclusion and an ability to answer questions at the end so keep an open mind.
The group exercise was good, all my teammates were nice people and easy to get along with and this made the task much easier. You’ll be given a case study of some sort and usually there’ll be a set of solutions to choose from. As a team you will decide which solutions are best. Keep an open mind, have a clear opinion, don’t be judgmental, challenge other opinions ONLY when you see fit, and make sure you are constantly contributing but give others a chance to talk and DO NOT interrupt someone when they are speaking. In hindsight, I could have contribute slightly more but usually if you have done well as a team then you have all done well individually. I would say if there is anyone who hasn’t said anything, try and drag them into the conversation, and alternatively, if you’re not saying anything then see why you’re not. Do you not understand the content? Ask a teammate. Do you think your opinion is too weak? It doesn’t matter. It’s the contribution that counts!
My partner interview was similar to my first, relaxing and more towards an informal conversation rather than a strict formal interview style conversation. I was asked a few questions that threw me off slightly, but make sure you divert your answers to the original questions and don’t go off on a tangent!
Here were some of them that I can remember;
Tell me about a time you had to do sometime creative?
An example of where I was a role model and what being a role model means to me (Very tricky!)
Why Mazars? (Again!)
That’s it with the assessments. The rest of the day was presentations about the company and the ACA. They said that I would find out either later this week or early next week, so I shall wait and see!
If you have any questions please feel free to ask!