I just wrote a 2504 word essay on my KPMG assessment day and also my failure to get a job at a previous PWC assessment day. However I got timed out due to inactivity (I’m in a library) and I thought I had copied it (apparently not).
So quite annoyed at the moment and not in the mood to typing it all out again, not right now anyway. However I am more than happy to answer any questions. Sorry guys, I need to build up the energy to write it all out again.
Here is a quick overview
PWC failed because
- onlines tests; I was fine 99th percentile and 86th percentile for the tests so I was academically fine. I struggled in social interactions though and it showed.
- group exercise; made to look like an idiot at the first 10 seconds, lost confidence and meant I spent a lot of time writing down information and said a bit but not enough. Writing makes it look like I’m not listening.
- partner interview; knew a lot about business etc, struggled with examples since they mainly involved skills sessions run by Big 4 accountancy firms. I thought this would be impressive but they said the situations created were artificial. Instead I should focus on university or work related experiences.
- application form; I was short and to the point
- online tests; verbal scored 96th percentile, numeracy 65th. Numeracy was difficult and I only answered around 14 questions. Don’t expect to finish the numeracy though the verbal is managable. Also don’t worry if you get 6-7 answers in a row the same. I answered about 6 ‘can’t tell’ in a row.
- fast tracked to AC but partner interview and group exercise/e-tray were held on separate days (and separate locations)
- Partner interview; mainly commercial awareness questions, only 2 competency questions, one on team work and one on challenges. Gave me very little opportunity to sell myself so I suggest you make full use of it.
- Presentation; on Ryanair, just prepare beforehand and practice several times. Aim for 9mins 30 secs and make sure you answer the bullet points. Overview of the organisation should be very brief. Most important is advice and how KPMG can help.
- E-tray multiple choice; the multiple choice I found easy. I suggest not reading through everything right at the start. I found this was taking too much time so instead I just read through very briefly all the pages not remember specifics but knowning what information was on each sheet so I could refer back to it very quickly later.
- E-tray written; The written exercise was more difficult. You have to make a recommendation. I suggest not wasting time analysing all of them in detail but pick one that sounds plausible and justifying it. Being able to justify is the key thing along with time management. Make sure both e-mails do not differ in length too much.
- Group exercise; took time to socialise with all the candidates. This helps confidence and build the feeling of a team rather than competitors. I wrote next to nothing and focused on listening and acknowledging ideas as well as asking people on their opinions. We performed very well in my opinion though the presentation (more of a talk) was not well prepared meaning it took quite a while. I also kept focusing on the objectives so if conversation every deviated I would say ‘Ok that sounds reasonable but lets focus on that later and deal with the objectives first’ or something to that effect but nicer and more diplomatic and less dismissive.
Feedback was vague. You are rated 1-5 on the competencies, 5 being good. You need 3 or more in all areas. I scored 5 in task management, 4 in drive and commercial awareness, 3 in the others.
My advice, prepare! It’s so easy to do and made me more confident especially after realising how much I knew compared to other candidates.
Also if you fail to get a job, don’t get discouraged and use it as a platform to build on. Work on your weaknesses and see it as a valuable learning experience.
Hope this helps, and once again questions are more than welcome. I need food now…