PWC Assurance Internship Summer 2013 - The full application process

Marks & Spencer

Hi all,

Wikijobs was a major help in getting me an offer for a Summer Internship with PWC - so I thought I’ll return the favour and run through what I faced.

I applied to the Uxbridge office as it was the closest vacancy by distance for me.

Application Form:

Quite simple, really. No CV/Cover Letter is required. There’s bits on work experience, A-level/University grades, grade predictions etc. Nothing to worry about here - just be honest with everything - you’ll get through as long as you meet the minimum requirements on UCAS points and a predicted 2:1 on your degree.

Psychometric Tests:

Don’t really remember what the difficulty in these was. The numerical test was quite straightforward, the logical test was a little more time-pressured. The questions themselves weren’t that hard either. However, these are only what I felt - I may have different strengths compared to others. I’d advise to do as much practice as possible.

First-round Interview:

I had to reschedule the interview twice here. First time, I wasn’t really given a reason why it had to be rescheduled, and the second time, the interviewer fell ill.

The interview lasted 20 minutes, and essentially consisted of two parts. I was tested on two different competencies out of the six listed. The first one was on career motivation/awareness of business opportunities.

  • What are the sort of clients PWC work with?
  • How can PWC help a company like Marks & Spencer?
  • Why Assurance?
  • What do you know about Assurance?
  • Why Uxbridge?

The second one was the integrity one.

  • Give me a time when you spoke out on a particular issue in the workplace.
  • Give me a time when you were conflicted.

Assessment Centre:

Three main parts here, the written exercise, the pyschometric tests and group discussion exercise.

Written exercise: You’re given 30 minutes to look at 3 or 4 solutions to conserving water, then write a report on their advantages/disadvantages, and offer a conclusion. The booklet is large and there is a huge amount to read. The trick is to write as soon as possible - even if you haven’t read the whole booklet, doesn’t matter. I only wrote on 3 out of 4 solutions and got through.

The trick is to maintain a good structure, and write professionally. And, OFFER A CONCLUSION and finish the report. Doesn’t matter if you leave out bits and are brief (but not too brief, you need to write sense).

Psychometric tests: Similar to earlier. If anything the numerical seemed harder and the logical even more time-constrained. Important to practice as much as possible.

Group discussion: Supposedly the easiest of the three, but I found it a bit more challenging. As a group,you’re made to discuss how to make a petroleum business more sustainable. Each person has a particular solution to read up on. As a group you come up with the best solution. My advice is to make sure you’re aware of the time, answer every part of the brief, make sure your views are well thought out, speak professionally, and don’t dominate (but don’t stay quiet either).

Partner Interview:

I managed to schedule mine quickly - I had to travel soon, so I pushed through this stage as soon as possible.

The interview lasted around 45 minutes. Compared to what I’d read/heard about, I found myself quite challenging. The questions I had were quite random.

  • Tell me about your background, where you’re from, where you studied, etc.
  • Why did you choose your degree?
  • What have you been learning recently?

Some technical questions, as I did a bit of accountancy in my degree:

  • Give me a company you’ve been following.
  • What are the risks to this company’s balance sheet?
  • How will you measure a company’s revenues and inventory write downs?
  • A couple of others.

Some competency questions:

  • Give me a time when you worked in a team.
  • How did you build relationships with people in your team?
  • What’s the most important thing when it comes to a team?
  • When have you had a time when you’ve helped someone younger than you?
  • How will you handle the mundane parts of your role?

The standard end of any questions?
I asked the director about his background, the challenges he faced, and so on.

5 working days later, I got a call back from my recruiter in charge about the offer.

Feel free to fire any questions! Ta


Hi, congrats on your offer:) I have a telephone interview a few days later for risk assurance internship. so i want to ask something about the interview.

Regarding the question What are the sort of clients PWC work with? i’m not sure how to answer it. just give a general answer what kind of companies will become PWC’s clients or list some of their clients? Do u mind telling me your answer?

And why they ask Why Uxbridge?? because the only answer I can think of is it’s the nearest location. Anything particular needed to answer it?

Thank you very much:)


forget to press reply…i’m a new user :stuck_out_tongue:


Clients to do with large FTSE100 clients, maybe smaller ones for consultancies. Give some examples, maybe do some googling and you get some answers.


Hey manurocks,
first of all congrats on the offer and secondly thank you for sharing. I’d like to ask you a bit more about the written exercise. Did you use an introduction? Evidently you tried to include all of the solutions, so did you decribe the main pros and cons of each? What about the conclusion, on what basis did you reach the conclusion you wanted and how many solutions did you include? Cheers and congrats on the offer again.


hi, just want to know what you said for the marks and spensers question. would appreciate it as i don’t know what i would actually say


could you help me with the clients question please?


Thanks so much for the help. Just wanted to know how long there was between you submitting your application and the next stages? Did you have time to prepare after you submitted the initial application, or would you suggest being ready for psychometric tests and interviews before you apply?
Also where did you get all the practice questions for tests?