Hi everyone, having gone through wikijobs and successfully scoring an offer from PwC for Management Consulting I thought I should list my experience on a single page.
I have also received an offer from Accenture, if interested follow the link below:
APPLICATION FORM & PSYCHOMETRIC TESTS:
Starting off with the application form, pretty basic and standard asking for basic information, after that you are sent an invite to complete a few psychometric tests, for consulting they are 2 personality tests (untimed) and a logical and a numerical test. The tests are fairly standard and simple, if you need some test you can set up a dummy account and do the tests, cuz you’ll get an invite anyway. If you pass their benchmark you are then invited to fill out the final part of the application where they ask you to describe an ideal client that you would like offer pwc’s services to. For this I would just say a mention of what the company does, any problems it has, how the rest of the companies in that industry are working and then finally how pwc can help them and that’s not just under the service line you are applying for but as a whole how the pwc can offer a range of services to the clients. In my opinion this whole procedure is much better than other app forms where you spend hours on the application questions asked and then if you’re unlucky and fail the test, it is such a disappointment. This way you at least don’t waste anytime until u actually know that your application is going through.
A couple of days later I heard back asking me to book a telephone interview (I have heard some people have a face-to-face first interview). Questions i got asked were as follows, maybe not in this order but this is how i remember them:
1)tell me about a business issue you have been following? what would you advise on the industry to do going forward?
I chose to talk about the retail industry being affected by the weather and rising costs and VAT increase
2) tell me about a time when you had to work in a team?
3) tell me about a time when you had to achieve a personal goal?
4) tell me about a time when you had worked with someone with a different working style?
5) tell me about a time when you had to use a different working style than you normally do?
6) tell me about a time when you recieved feedback and how you reacted to it?
7) tell me about a time when you had to do something that was outside of your comfort zone or something you had never done before?
8) tell me how did you go about finding out about Pwc?
this question was followed up by these:
9) so from your research what do you know about the structure of pwc?
10) give me an overview of consulting and what consultants do?
11) how will you bring value to pwc’s clients?
12) what will you be doing as a consultant?
overall it went alright, he did say in the start that due to the time constraints the interview is going to be 40 minutes and i think he sounded like he wanted to ask more but was running out of time so he had to stop. he did keep interrupting before i had finished to ask his probing questions. And when i was talking about pwc’s services i think i heard him say ‘ok thats enough i just wanted an overview’. But I ignored it and continued. Oh and yeah he didnt ask me if i had any questions either, dont know why though!
My advice is prepare two examples for each of their competencies and know them in detail, they will probe for each and every detail. Heard back in 3 days time, found out I had passed and arranged my AC for a month later.
It started off with the written exercise, this is very time pressured, there is a lot to read through and then put down in a report format on 2 sides of an A4 paper. The exercise was about a government that has to choose between options for water conservation policies. For the format on this exercise, have a good intro to it first and then start discussing the pro’s and con’s of each of the options and then in the end just put in your recommendation. As for me I didn’t do this properly as I spent too much time on the intro and then had to quickly scribble the pro’s and con’s of the 3 options, but didn’t have enough time to write a recommendation. The feedback I got on this was that although I didn’t finish it but I had a good structure and had good things to talk about. So key is keep a good structure, don’t waffle too much, keep it to the point and finally do it quick!
Next came the group exercise, we were shown a short video from a director talking about a client needing to make some decisions. Then we were provided with booklets, which again were quite long so have to be quick, and then everyone is given a separate brief in which an option is listed , so the group would have 5/6 options to decide on. When we started discussing we sort of decided to go around the table and list out the key points of each of the options. Although no one declared to keep the time at the beginning but I personally took the job of letting everyone know of the time when we hit half time and further on. At half time we got an update that the budget was being cut down so then we had to change our decision according to the news. As mentioned in many other forums, to increase your chances of being successful be nice and polite to others, don’t be too quite or too loud and make sure you mention all the points from you own brief.
Next was the partner interview for me, this was a very comforting one for me, it started off by me discussing what I was doing last year (on my industrial placement) and how my experience ties in with what I want to do at PwC. He asked me why not engineering and why consulting. He then asked a couple of competencies, first one was a time when I had received some feedback but I disagreed to it, a time when I came up with an innovative thing, a time when I had higher standards to those of my peers so how did I deal with them and then finally how could PwC retain it clients. He never asked me anything on why pwc and nothing on commercial awareness which was my biggest concern and I was nervous about it! The interview then ended with me asking a couple of questions, these questions do really count towards your impression on your partner. I know this is because in my feedback the lady pressed on the point that I asked my partner really good questions. So piece of advice, try to get a common ground with your partner that transforms the interview into a rather nice chat and do ask some insightful questions rather than just asking what is it like working in consulting.
The next bit was the psychometric testing bit, I along with another candidate were taken to a testing room which was managed by another HR lady. The tests are provided in a booklet by SHL and to be honest I found them easier than the online ones, but the time pressure was a lot more than the online ones. You have 20 minutes to do each test. I got around to doing 17/20 in the numerical and 38/40 in the logical tests. It seems like I did quite well in these, as I got 99% in the logical and 98% in the numerical (these aren’t raw scores, they are comparative scores). So in essence do not just try to complete the test, try to do the questions as accurately as possible, that is what counts more.
The last bit of the day was meeting with graduates, as we only had candidates applying for Assurance and consulting on that day so we got graduates from the two service lines. The whole process was finished in about 5 hours or so.
Again this time they called me back in 3 days’ time to let me know I had been successful. To be honest in my opinion out of all the big 4 PwC has the quickest recruitment process, they don’t keep you hanging around for too long. Any questions about the process do get in touch.
Good Luck to all!