Thank you! Yeah I happen to know somebody who works there who used to go to the same university, he is in his second year of the graduate scheme and he says they don’t know much. And there is currently a lot of speculation. For me I wonder whether PKF will sell their current London office and move into BDOs London office. Or is there enough space, in which case an entirely new office will be needed, or perhaps they will both just stay at their current office. I am interested in this as I want to cycle to work so would like to live within 5 miles ideally!
The information available on wikijobs is great for the PKF 2nd interview although there are some parts I feel needed to be clearer. I will explain the general timetable for the day and the layout of the case study.
- Arrived at 9am, get sat down in a room with other candidates in front of a laptop, we then complete the online numerical/verbal reasoning tests. These were not the same questions. I didn’t think I did that great in these tests, but I passed them. You know the deal, just read the question carefully and keep one eye on the time limit.
- Then each candidate was taken and placed on their own in a small interview room, with lots of information; the case study. You are presented with a scenario and your task is to create a SWOT analysis on each of the five hotels presented. Then you are to hand write a letter of recommendation to the board of directors. I think you are given 2 hours for this task, but I could not be certain.
- When this is finished your SWOT analysis is taken and so is the information booklet with all the hotel information. Then two employees will join you. They will ask you to explain your SWOT analysis on each hotel and grill you on every decision. Eventually they will move onto your letter and ask for your justification for each decision. This lasted about 1hr30mins.
- Finally they will spend 30-40 minutes talking to you in a more laidback atmosphere, asking you about university, your course, why PKF etc, the same old competency based questions, but much more relaxed than a normal competency interview.
I did not realise that all my work would be taken from me before I got interviewed on my decisions, so I didn’t have very good notes! Luckily I had written a draft SWOT analysis before filling in the piece of paper they give you with my final analysis. So I did have my draft, but it was messy and I had not filled in all the details I did in my final copy. This draft was the only information I had. They asked me to describe my entire analysis, and I had to justify every decision. If I didn’t have that draft I would have been doomed! So my word of advice is make sure to make some seperate notes or make a draft and keep that for the interview part.
Your answers in the analysis do not really matter, all that matters is that you are able to justify your answers logically. Also do not be afraid to say that you would sell a hotel if it is making money, regardless of how well the hotel used to do.
In regards to researching the hotel industry, this does not need to be substantial, and whilst I did make some notes I didn’t use them. Just read up on the hotel industry. Is it declining? Recovering? How did London’s hotel industry fair in the Olympics? It would be advantageous to just have a general understanding of the current state of the hotel industry throughout the UK. Don’t forget Ireland.
This excercise is designed to put you under pressure and see how you respond. As long as your answers are justified and coherent then I am sure you will do well. Stay calm in the interview. Try not to doubt your own answers, but if the interviewer raises a good point that you may not have thought about, then just say. I think they will like the fact you can recognise you have missed something.
Hope that helps! Good luck and feel free to ask any more questions.