(hi, i replied to your other post but thought i’d paste it here for other people, with some additions!)
I attended the assessment day at Mazars and have just received an offer from them to start in September this year. My experience with them have been nothing but good so far! I know that some people have said that they were slow but with me they were very prompt. I heard back from my online test very quickly and received a response from my first interview within a day.
My first interview with them is probably a little different from everyone else, because I am living abroad they gave me a telephone interview. The assessment day started at 8.45am in their office in London. My group was quite small with only 7 people. It started off with coffees and chatter, meeting some current managers who were our couriers for the day. Then off to the partner interview. My partner was very nice and asked me lots of questions about my experiences. He also had some competency questions on a check list that he felt he had to ask but seemed a lot more interested in my travels and hobbies. My interview went on for a little longer than it was supposed to be because I was asking lots of questions about the firm and what his experience has been of working there. He told me that he had only ever worked for Mazars throughout his entire career since leaving school. There must be something good about the firm to make him stay! In my opinion it is good to ask lots of questions because it shows you’re genuinely interested in the firm and what they have to offer.
The group exercise is relatively straightforward. We had a scenario that we had to make a group decision on. We had about 15mins to read and think about it and then 30mins to talk about and come to a decision. I don’t think it is vital what we decided, just that everyone participated. I think the most important thing is to make sure that you express your views but at the same time listen to what everyone else is saying. You need to be able to persuade others to your point of view but also notice when others have a good point. You don’t need to know anything specific about accountancy or business for this. It is a totally random exercise. Don’t feel worried about saying stupid things, it is better to say something than to keep quiet.
After that came the intray exercise. Some other companies will do this electronically but with Mazars it was all hand written on paper. There were 3 exercises to do, basic emails, what you have to do, prioritise them, making programs and answering a memo. The task itself was not hard but the time limit was very difficult to keep to. For those who are nervous about this, I thought I did absolutely awful on this task. For the first one I hardly wrote anything yet I got an offer somehow. So I think it’s not absolutely vital you do perfectly on this. If i could do it again I would just make sure to write down everything as quickly as you can. They can’t mark what’s in your head and not on the paper.
After this was a buffet lunch and more talk with partners and managers. The formal assessment of the day was over and the rest of the afternoon was spent finding out more about the firm, the training scheme and working culture etc. This was very useful and Mazars seem like a very good place to work in. I went to an assessment day at a Big4 firm and they didn’t bother giving any information whatsoever. It was almost like they knew they were so big and successful that they didn’t need to tell you anything, you’re just expected to know. Mazars answered any individual questions we had, they invited a tutor from the training college to give a talk on the exams and we could even write down any questions we felt uncomfortable to vocalise. I received an offer from them in the post within 2weeks and they gave me approximately 2 weeks to give them a reply.
Good luck with your recruitment day and feel free to send me a message with any questions.