Hi guys I recently got offered a training contract at a mid tier firm and was surprised at the lack of information available on wikijobs for Price Bailey.
So as my username suggests I thought I would build up some good karma and more importantly pay back to wikijobs for all the relevant help I had.
So now I will go in depth to the recruitment process of Price Bailey.
I applied to Price Bailey in mid October with a CV and covering letter unlike other firms with requires an application form.
Despite applying early, I received an email that short listing doesn’t commence until after the application process finishes which was in December. I was then contacted in early January via email stating that I was short listed to the assessment centre held in London.
I then confirmed my attendance of the AC via email and was sent an information pack of the exercises for the day and a short questionnaire to fill out which I needed to bring in for the day.
The AC was then held in early Feb in London but surprisingly it wasn’t at one of the offices but a hired venue which was nice.
The day started at nine am on the dot and I was amazed at the number of applicants that turned up. It was around twenty five applicants and this was because Price Bailey only holds one AC for their stepstone programme a year so all successful applicants will be in this one.
We received an introduction by the Marketing Director of PB so what it does etc which was nice and then at around ten am we did a little icebreaker exercise. Nothing serious, the candidates were simply each given one of those paper origami things (one know, one of those choose a number then you flip the paper origami thing backwards and forwards according to the number chosen and then you undo the flap to read the question underneath. I completely have no idea what its called.) The questions are nothing to be scared of like who is your hero, who did you last receive a text from etc.
Basically you go round the room doing this to other candidates and you get to know more about them, at the end the HR people just asks if anyone wants to share their findings.
Then at eleven am is when the AC exercise officially starts. It was a forty five minute numerical non calculator test. Unfortunately I cant remember the exact number of questions but it was around the twenty question mark. The questions were also completely different to the conventional online numerical test by PSL or Kenexa. It wasn’t those true, false or cant tell but literally like a GCSE non calculator paper. At the beginning we were told we needed at least eighty percent to pass for graduates and I THINK seventy percent for AAT people and that each question does not have the same mark allocation so obviously question one will be easier than question twenty. However we were never told how many marks were available.
It was really time pressured as I didnt manage to finish the whole thing but nearly did and some questions will catch you out.
Some questions that I remember were sequence questions so for example two,four,eight then what comes after questions.
There were also simultaneous equations, there were VAT questions so work out how much VAT a person pays, there was also Pythagoras which completely surprised me but thank god I still remember some of my GCSE stuff. There were also a lot of common sense addition/subtraction questions like working out the total hours of work for one person. The final question was a spot mistake question of a financial statement so basically you scan the financial statement to see if there are any mistakes and you note it down. I spotted a few mistakes in the total columns where they added it up wrong.
At the end of the forty five minutes session we handed in our papers and were told people who didn’t meet the threshold will unfortunately be eliminated from the process.
Straight after the numerical test without being told our results we conducted the group exercise which was a rational information game. Basically out of the twenty odd people, we were split into two groups and we were each given an information sheet on what had to be done and as a group you must form a group decision.
The exercise was a really enjoyable one and each candidate was given three cards each with both relevant and irrelevant information on and you must share it with the group. So the good thing about this exerciser unlike other ACs I have been to is that you will definitely get to say and express your opinions.
Anyway, basically the task was a weird one, it was along the lines of a structure being built and you must form a decision as a group based on the cards on what day the structure finish building on. It was weird because it was in like an alien planet where days were called different things and each day there was only eight hours or something except it wasn’t called hours and how many people worked etc. I hope you get my drift but it was an enjoyable and simple exercise none the less. This group exercise lasted forty five minutes again with the HR people assessing you and giving you the answer at the end of the 45 minutes.
After the exercise we were then given another presentation by a manager who worked in PB for quite a number of years and this is the chance to ask any questions and for him to tell you why PB is good etc.
At one pm it was lunch and we were joined by several other members of staff/trainees to offer you another chance to ask more questions.
At two pm lunch finished and the dreaded moment of telling you the numerical results came. At the end I passed and unfortunately about six candidates failed the numerical hurdle and were sent home.
Anyway after the results we were given a final task of the day and this was to give a five minute presentation on three things. They were if you had one million pounds how will you spend it, if you can have any superpower for a day what would you have and finally one interesting fact about yourself.
We were given fifteen minutes to prepare and was given a big piece of paper with highlighters to write on. Make sure you use one as it looks better. We then took it in turns to give our presentation in front of the HR people and the rest of the candidates. There was no questions at the end of presentation so dont worry. Just make sure you speak slowly, clearly and dont hold anything in your hand.
The day ended at about half three.
We were then told that we will be contacted within two weeks to let us know of the results. I was then contacted just a little over one week telling me I was successful and that a final panel interview of two managers and one HR member at my chosen office will be conducted. The interview I was told will be competency based and will be held in March.
However I have already secured a training contract elsewhere by the time I found out I was successful and so I turned them down so I cant really help you guys on the panel interview part but I hope some other good soul can add to this post if they have attended the interview just to share with others on wikijobs.
Hope this helps and feel free to fire away any questions.