PWC head start tax specialist HELP!!!!!


hello i have an upcoming first interview… can some one assist me on what current affairs i should be talking about. like should it be specificall tax or anything. can someone give me some ideas. and is head start selection easier than the graduate
thank you


I had an interview with PWC for Tax HEAD START. My interview

Check the assessments centre topic for more information about the assessments that you will be doing.

There are loads of issues to talk about RE: Tax for example:

  • The recent deadline for those who have offshore incomes,bannk accounts who have not decalred them will face a 200% fine
  • Green Tax
  • 50p tax on those who earn £150,000 and over
  • 0.5% increase on National Income contributions for non public sector and 1% increase on public sector workers
  • 50% tax on bankers bonuses
  • HMRC cutting jobs which will make working with them harder.

All these issues effect firms and individuals, try and apply them to a specific business (I chose Tesco) but to all sectors of PWC.

I didn’t get the job as I didn’t do too well in the group interview (I was really tired as I had exam the day before) and the partner interview. They told me the biggest points I failed on was linking how tax issues effect not only clients of PWC but all the sectors at PWC itself.


what a pain. i am really sorry
but how come… u know soo much…
and what do u mean by group interview. is it the group exercise.
if you get the time. can you tell me abt types of questions you were asked. and was the numerical and verbal test of the same level as of shl
i am so very nervous now knowing that you didnt get through even after knowing so much.

thanks a million for the reply.
i really need the job


Sorry, by group interview I did indeed mean group exercise! The tests will be paper based versions of the SHL tests, they are of a similar level, though I found them easier. I got quite high marks on them.

Instead of looking at my fellow group members I wrote down everything they said down for reference to help the discussion on. They said it looked like I wasn’t listening plus I didn’t really make an impact when I spoke nor made that many new points (as stated earlier I was tired from my exam the previous day!). It was meant to access my communications skills and due to my tiredness I came across weak in this criteria. Though I did come across strong as a team player as I let others speak and supported others opinions and tried to resolve conflict.

As for partner interview, again they said my communication was weak as I rambled on at the wrong places and didn’t when I had to. Also I didn’t maintain eye contact much (again I was tired!).

The guy that interviewed me asked me about Economics (as I did my degree in it, so he structured his questions around economics). So he asked:

What did you enjoy about economics? He asked me to explain to him as if he didn’t know anything about Economics.
He asked about President Obama’s plans to introduce banking regulations (I should have tied this back to how this would effect PWCs clients)
He asked about Quantitative easing (as I was tired, I didn’t follow this answer through, I only gave the definition, instead I should have followed it through and explained how money goes from the treasury to the public).
He asked about Governments finances (he did like my point that Gov spending is out of control and that political parties should be honest about raising taxes, even though I’m not a Torie, they are the only ones that are honest about raising taxes)
He asked about how the recession effected PWC (this is where I screwed up hugely, they said I only focused on Audit and Tax, when I should have focused on the other services PWC provides for such as corporate finance, consulting, business recovery, actuarial and human resources, try and show all these services are intern-linked) and its clients.
He asked me what was my biggest achievement
And finally what I was doing to maintain my development (I said I was learning Arabic and doing some accounting courses).

So they will probably ask you about your education (degree/A-levels) or work experience and ask questions around that like they did with my degree. Try and read into questions, and don’t be be shy in asking for a moment to think if you don’t have answers!


how do we find who pwc clients are. and those do we link all that
i dont ever understand how to answer such questions.
plus did u had to do a written report. what was that about
thanks a million for your support


The written exercise was more about analysing your written skills and business language. The one we did was about a chocolate company that wanted to go into making biscuits bars, so the proposal was to choose one of three biscuit companies to work with. There is no right or wrong answer, they want you to choose one and explain to the client why you chose them. Remember to use proper language and spelling, as well at the same time not being too formal and finally take into account both the short term and long term goals of the company.

As for clients check their site out and their page on Wikipedia:

As for linking different business areas, take the the VAT going down to 15%. This might seem like a Tax issue only as it changed how VAT returns were calculated due to a new rate of 15% (instead of 17.5%). Now lowering the VAT is an “business strategy” issue as well, as the rate was lowered during the recession when loads of companies were not doing that well, so the question arose for companies if they should pass on the VAT savings to clients and customers or keep price levels at the same value and use the additional mark up for extra profit. This is also an issue for “business recovery”, as the new rate was an additonal tool companies that were going or facing liquidation could use to help boost themselves. Which could also be This effected “corporate finance” as well, as the new VAT rate was meant to help increase sales and profit, so this would mean retail sector businesses would do better and in tern it would be better to invest in them, of course this would depend on if the VAT cuts actually increased sales and profits for retail companies.

So from the above you can see VAT cuts was not just a Tax issue, it could also relate to business recovery, business strategy and corporate finance. Just take any issue and see and think how it would effect each service sector PWC caters for.


thanks for the reponse!!! it has been really very helpful… thankyou


Hey TazzyBalboa, what a shame that you didn’t go through, cuz it seems to me that you’ve really got good knowledge about the industry. But according to what you’ve said the AC on tax sounds very stressful and scary, they expect you to know such specific things???
Well, I have an telephone interview next Monday on Tax: Human resources consulting, I’m a bit confused about how should I prepare for this position. To talk about tax in general? Or focus more on HR? If you know anything about this job, please tell me. Thanks a lot!!!


Hey nabilamisha, how did your interview go??? You’ve gone through??? I’m having mine on Monday on Tax: HRC



Dear Guys,

Could you please say something about telephone interview?
I know many of you are talking about AC. But can someone just summarise what sort of questions are most likely to be asked during the telephone interview? (I thought ‘ideal client’ question only exist in AC).

Thank you!!!



oct 123 i have a telephone interview coming up any advice on what they ask for the tax programme?