PwC Assurance First Interview through to Assessment Day

#1

Hey guys,

This has been my experience from first interview to job offer - PwC Assurance.

First Interview
The guy just went bsaically through my application form and discussed it in more detail, focusing more on my competencies and did not get asked anything about commercial awareness. I found a good things to do is to emphasise your team working/building/communication skills. So it is a good idea to keep a few examples about where you have been worked in teams, both successful and unsuccessful. Make sure you know your application form inside out as all of his questions were based on what i had written in their. I also got asked the basic questions such as why assurance, why did you pick your uni, why are you suited to working in assurance… Make sure you know a little information about the qualifications and PwC’s business.
I was told i was successful in the first interview in about 2 working days time.

Assessment day
I found the day to be very interesting.

The day started of with an informal talk with the person looking after you on the day, in my case it was the recruitment manager in Assurance, this was quite helpful as i was able to get some more informaton about the firm, the partner who will be interviewing you…
She also gave me the intenary for the day so i could prepare myself mentally a little bit before hand.
One thing i have to say, is that i had applied a little late so there was only one other person doing the assessment day with me, so had to do the individual exercise and not the group one. but fear not all will be explained.

We began with carrying out the psychometric test.
Numerical test: The test was very similar to the one carried out online, maybe a little more difficult. On major difference is that you will have a different diagram to understand for each question. There are 20 questions to answer in 20 minutes. As they say work quickly and accurately as u can and you will be able to answer at least 15 out of the 20 questions.
Logical reasonsing: I found this test quite straightforward, very very similar to the online version. You have 40 questions to answer in 20 minutes. It may seem like a lot of questions but some of them are relatively easy.
From the feedback i got, i was in the 99th percentile for the numerical test and 98th percentile for the logical one. I dont have the actual marks yet, but will post them as soon as i receive them.

Next was the individual exercise.
it starts of with a small presentation, a few mins long, talking about corporate responsibility and sustainability from PwC’s point of view. Then the guy will explain what has to be done. You will start of with 35 mins to read the information they give to you, it is more than enough time, so make sure you can take in the most important facts only. Make notes if you have to and keep a track of the time. After reading you will have a 15 mins debrief and you must must answer what has been asked of you. During the debrief he will give you some information that will change your opinion or view so make sure you are able to adjust and react to the information quickly. It is also a good idea to know other services PwC can offer other businesses as this will help.

Now to the partner interview.
i was quite nervous about this mainly due to the commercial awareness bit. Despite this he was more interested in my experiences that i had written about on my application form, similar to the first interview. However the commercial questions that he did ask was based less on current issues than on knowing business and how you would improve/advice businesses. The answer to the question on your application form reating to which business do you think PwC could offer it services too is very important so make sure you know what you wrote. The partner was quite friendly so made me feel more relaxed, but dont get too relaxed as this may make you appear tooo confident. He asked me questions as why auditing, what skills i have or have learnt. Do not try to lie or make up information or the day, they have superior practice at interviewing and can find this out.

Lunch
This was quite interesting as they took us to zizzi’s and had a nice informal chat with a graduate who has been working their for a year. Ask as many questions as you want here, make the most of it.

Good luck

I got my offer relatively quickly and a few days after i left i got a phone call saying that i had ben offered a job.

#2

Thanks for that Riddles, that is excellent!

Did you apply/interview elsewhere or just at PwC? Was PwC your first choice firm? …final thing, are there any parts of the interview process that you found particularly hard or confusing, or any parts which you think you could have done better/improve on - any specific preparation you could advise anyone on this interview course to do right now?

Thanks again - congratulations on your job!

#3

i had applied to the big 4, GT and BDO in september but did not get thru. This was probably due to a lack of preparation on my behalf. So if you are reading this, prepare, prepare and prepare, it will be worth it in the end. I had been on a PwC assessment day for an internship and PwC has been my first choice ever since, despite not getting the internship.

I did not find anything particulary hard, but i would have to say that it is important to take your time when answering questions so you speak clearly, do not try to rush the answers. Whenever i came across a difficult question i would try to say something like “that is an intereting question” and use the time to plan my answer out. Most of the questions were pretty straightforward, ideally because i had prepared. SO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE AT LEAST TWO EXAMPLES FOR EACH COMPETENCY AND KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THEM FULLY. ALSO WITH THE COMMERCIAL AWARENESS I REALISED THAT YOU NOT ONLY NEED CURRENT CLIMATE UNDERSTANDING BUT ALSO KNOW ABOUT THE BUSINESS WORLD IN GENERAL BOTH LOCALLY AND WORLDWIDE AS YOU MAY BE ASKED AN INDIRECT COMMERCIAL AWARENES QUESTION.

In terms of specific advice for interviews, i would have to say is to try and get as many mock interviews as you can, other people are able to see what you do more wrong and they wiill be able to put you in your place. I did this and they helped me so much.

#4

Great post! Congratulations on getting the job!

#5

I have a first round interview with PwC in a couple of weeks, I would like advice with regards to commercial awareness questions ( what sort of specific questions could they ask? I chose RBS as my client btw). Also how detailed the answers to the competency questions have to be? Finally do I have to use the ‘STAR (situation, task, action and result)’ method to answer them. Thank very much in advance and any help would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile: