PWC graduate Assurance 2014 -Experience Manchester office

Tesco

#1

I have just cleared all the stages and have been offered a place at PwC.
As this website has helped me A LOT, I wanted to share my experience. I cleared all the stages on my first attempt which was a bit of surprise.

Online Tests:
Standard online tests! I would recommend practising through assessment days. if you understand and get an idea how to complete these tests, you shall have no problem with PwC tests as they are comparatively easy. Only problem in these tests: Personality Questionnaire! It literally is PAIN! 52 questions about yourself. The best way to clear these to write down the following competencies (see below) and try to tick along the relevant competency as you go through each question. You would have to sacrifice one of them in order pass this: (skip this info if you have already passed this)
(for details of these particular competencies, see PwC website!)

  1. Demonstrate courage and integrity
  2. Be open minded, agile with change and practical
  3. Develop self and others through coaching
  4. Be curious: learn, share and innovate
  5. Be passionate about client service

Phone interview:
Basically we already have lots of info on this on Wiki job. Typical standard competency questions. in my interview, he literally went through each competency and asked examples. For this I would recommend preparing two examples for each Competency. The question wont be straightforward though. But if you have searched wiki jobs enough, you’ll get all questions. On the Business News, pick anything and chase it to the last couple of months. I picked Wonga! The HR guy has no clue of what you analyse but he wants to see you have researched on the news. and finally PRACTICE!

Assessment Day:
This is where most people fail. My assessment day was in Leeds (14 Nov 2013) at 9 am. I was there like 45 mins earlier and was the first one! I would recommend going earlier and calming your nerves. You’ll have more people there as well. Have a good chat with them before the AC starts and get to know each other! My group was so great and after we had a good and long chat, the rest of the day became so much easier! (if my group sees this post, I would love to get in touch with! :p)
1-Firstly, We were asked to the individual report on a company looking for different methods to adopt. Key to success here: BE as simple as you can!! simple structure, mention each method, its pro and cons in one liners. Two benefits n drawbacks for each are sufficient. I made bullets to keep my points short, very short indeed! This is only a 30 mins activity (i think) and you have read and write. You cant read all that’s for sure! Take a WATCH with you and allocate time accordingly! 7-8 mins reading and the rest writing! There is a lot of Bullshit in the paper but try to find the relevant info. there is survey as well in the information provided which gives a clue what kind of info you need to look at. Finally, do write a summary! just write a 2-3 lines summarising the report. and yes, FINISH THE REPORT! this is a must! I would say this is the major thing they are looking here whether you can complete work within a deadline!
2- Group exercise. Lots of info on this on wiki jobs as well, especially on the behaviour, search it! some key things: Maintain eye contact with your group members, listen to them, don’t cut anybody, if you really think somebody is wrong, CORRECT HIM! my friend got rejected because his whole group agreed on a wrong budget when only he had the correct one!! Keep an eye on the clock! Raise questions in your team and just don’t hesitate to ask. I lost my way during some part of the group activity but i just asked my group members! when i got a feedback they said you raised questions within the group which was very good! You’ll find info on wiki jobs on what the activity is like so i dont need to mention that. (Common Information and one individual info and then email comes in, blah blah). The activity isn’t the real deal here anyway!
As I said my group was so Good and coordinating so well with each other, we managed to finish the group exercise 2 - 3 mins earlier but we didn’t just stay there and stared each other face for the rest of the 3 mins! I actually raised a couple of questions like how can PwC help them deliver or implement the X project? So that was a bit innovative and was actually appreciated in the feedback for this! I would highly recommend to be as relaxed as you can! Don’t be overconfident though!
3- Finally, the repeat of Online tests but on paper this time. If you had practised for the online tests well, you wont have a problem for this! (I was actually told i set a benchmark on this as I answered all questions!) (By the way, You don’t have to do the personality questionaire here! )

Partner Interview:
This is where I was the most nervous in my whole selection process! That was largely because this stage highly depends on the Partner. I had my interview on 6 Dec 2013 and was the only one there when i arrived. I went there 45 mins earlier even though its not far from my house but like i said it helps calming your nerves!
The partner was very friendly and introduced herself first. Without asking anything, (except how was your day and where you from) she just started just as the telephone interview. She literally went through each and every final interview competencies! Many people are not even asked about it! but she did and basically I did manage that well. I was asked 2/3 examples on building and managing relationship (in a different way of course) and was also asked to talk on Communication. She then asked to tell about PwC and how it adds value to clients. and Apparently that was it! She actually paused for a while and told me she was thinking if that was it! and then SHE asked me that is that all you expected on from the interview! I’m like NO! after this it went to normal conversation! I told her i prepared for the business news as well but she told me she was satisfied with my examples as they already good business related examples (group projects)! But she countered by asking how i keep myself updated and asked me a couple of interesting news I read. As this was more of conversational i just briefly talked on Mr. Osbourne’s Autumn Statement.
Finally do ask her questions and this is where they judge your curiosity about PwC! I had read their annual report in the lobby while i waited for the partner and asked questions related to that! so going there early does help in many ways!! Key thing here: PRACTICE as much as you can!!

Following are the questions i prepared fro this interview and they were helpful:
*Tell me why you’re here today.
What do you know about PWC
What do you know about Assurance
How do we add value to our clients
What sorts of things do you think we could offer Tesco
What problems or something to do with what the Manchester office should be focusing on
Why Manchester
Why not London
How do you think you’ll manage with ACA and full time work
What industries are you interested in?
*When have you:
Implemented something new
Worked with someone with opposing views
Brought others round to your point of view
Changed your working style according to feedback
Learnt something new
Biggest challenge at the moment
Set yourself a goal/over achieved it
Had to communicate some information to someone
*What do you do in your free time
What can you bring to PWC/what is your unique skill set
What will you do if you don’t get this job

OF course I wasn’t asked all of the questions mentioned above but if you prepare them, you’ll be fine!

So guys, i guess that would be helpful and I wish the very best of luck to everyone in the future!!

P.S. I didn’t plan to write this much!!!


#2

That’s great! Thanks!


#3

That’s very helpful! Thank you for your time!