PwC Management Consulting Experience - 2011 entry (autumn)

#1

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:

http://www.wikijob.co.uk/forum/consultancy-consulting-firms/accenture-experience-2011-start-boot-camp-route

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.

FIRST/TELEPHONE INTERVIEW:
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.

ASSESSMENT CENTRE:
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!

#2

hi Abz,

Thank you for this detailed post. its very helpful. I have applied for a managemen consuling graduate position for PWC London. I failed the test for KPMG a wile ago so im really scared to do these Can you give me a suggestion how to prepare for them? I have tried SHL, Assessment Day etc but honestly these tend to be too easy as compared to the real ones.

And can you advise me how to answer the PwC’s Student Talent Questionnaire and Occupational Personality Questionnaire? A friend of my recently failed the tests an when she asked for feedback she was told she didnt do well overall. She asked if she had failed the phsycometric tests or the talent and OPQ she was told everything has its own weightage. I am a bit confused as in the instructions tell you tonot o prepare for tehse two.

One last thing, what qestions did you ask the interviwer? Also, if you dont mind, can I ask for your skype id ? So that we can have a chat and I can seek your guidance through my recruitment process.

Thank you.
Umme Ibbi

#3

HI Umme Ibbi

As i said in my post, to practice for the tests with pwc its quite simple, you can simply set up a dummy account, i.e. sign up with a different email id fill in the basic info and submit the application form, you’ll get an invite straight away. So go through these tests first and then hopefully you’ll be more confident in taking the actual tests.

Regarding the other 2 questionares, my advice would be just be honest and dont try to fake up anything, and try to put yourself through as someone who’d do both, e.g team player and sole worker, i think if you go into either of the extremes that might mean you would end up failing the test.

And are you asking about the first interview or the final round interview with a partner?
Good Luck
Abz

#4

Hi Abz

Thank you for your reply. I will make a fake account for the tests. and would follow your advice for the other screening tests as well. I was asing about the final interview with the partner.

And the skype id??:S im so desperate…hope you understand…PWC is my dream company to work since I was 14…

Thanks
Umme

#5

for the partner interview i just started off asking about what projects he had been working on and from there on had a few follow up questions, also asked about how the team on a project is structured and what kind of backgrounds do people come from within consulting?

Hope these help, and check your messages for skype id.

Abz

#6

Hello abz and Ummeibbi

I recently got rejected from PwC after completing their online tests. You were mentioning about setting dummy accounts to retake the tests. I was wondering whether you were caught in the recruitment process of making more than one application within 6months.

Please could you help.

Thanks :slight_smile:
dream_job.

#7

Hey dream_job

basically if you set up a dummy account…doing the tests does not submit the application…it opens up the application questions (if you pass the tests that is)…but if you’ve set-up your account and failed the tests and try to re-register with the same details you probably will get caught!

hope that helps!

#8

Hi dream_job,

I practiced from SHL and the ones at wikijobs and got through. I would advice you to do the same. Do lots of practice from every source that you can find. As you have already sat a real test you must have got an idea of what the real questions are like. Get a hold of some like those and practice as much as you can. good luck!!

#9

Could anybody kindly suggest what the diagrammatic test likes in AC? Is that harder than the online test? 40 questions or 30 questions?

I will be very grateful if people could reply me.

#10

Can anybody enlighten a bit on the application form for consulting (or PWC in general)? No CV or covering letter? I find that a bit weird. I also can’t plug in my I.B. grades as they don’t appear in the grade options…

Also does anyone know about the current status for Management Consulting March 2012 entry? It says on the website that 40% of the vacancies free. If it fills up will they move you to September 2012 or do you just get rejected?

Thanks

#11

hi esuhib,

In my telephonic interview, I got the same questions as u mentioned.

Thanks a lot!!!

#12

I just completed my telephone interview today, and I was asked the exact same questions as well. If only I found this post before.

If I get through the next round I’ll feel better knowing it should be a similar experience.

Thanks!

#13

Hey i just had my phone interview and was exactly the same…the interviewer even introduced each competency before a question was asked about it.

There was only one question he asked me which you havent put down which was:
Do you have any experience in consulting either within the industry or have you had any experiences which you think relate to a career in consulting?

Thanks for posting this though, it helped me a lot

#14

Thanks so much for this post, I have my phone interview in a week and am very nervous!

On the PWC website it says: “Prepare to discuss your knowledge of specific PwC clients, their businesses and operating environments (past and present). Based on these factors, consider what the future may hold for them and what PwC could contribute to their success”

What I don’t understand about this is how to find out who have PWC have as clients, as I thought that this information was private?

#15

Hi I had my partner interview on thursday and was offered a position the same day. Just thought I should post that the format has changed and the assessment day no longer includes an interview. If you pass the group exercise, psychometric testing and report then you will be progressed to the interview stage on a seperate date. Hope this helps…if anyone wants any advice for the partner interview let me know

#16

Hi batman85

Congrats on receiving an offer! I have my partner interview soon and was hoping you could shed some light on proceedings for partner interview…

Cheers

#17

Hi Nobanie,

Welldone on getting to partner interview! Out of all the stages I think it was probably the easiest but I was sooooo much more nervous! So I think the biggest challenge is keeping the nerves in check.

Basically the structure of my interview was baiscally in 3 parts:

  1. General questions: in my interview I had a girl from HR and a partner so they spent about 5 minutes going through what their roles were and what the interview would entail. They asked me:
  • What I was doing/where I was living etc.
  • Why I wanted to go into Man Consulting
  • Why pwc
  1. Competency questions: the partner had a piece of paper in front of him which obviously had all the competency questions. From where I was sitting it looked like he had various ones to pick from so I guess each interview will vary. He also linked mine back to what I had said before and most were in the format of ‘give me a time when…’ like:
  • give me a time when communication was important
  • give me a time when you had to deal with a conflict
  • give me a time you learnt and applied something knew
    There were a few more but you get the idea…this took like 40mins
  1. Questions: they finished with like 15mins to spare where I assumed they want you to take up asking questions/chatting. I made a massive effort to fill this. I had questions prepared but ended up just asking the partner about his life story! He seemed to like talking about himself which took up most of the time.

My main pieces of advice would be to just prepare well. Obviously everyone tries to do this but I really reccommend almost having too many examples for each competency. This really helped me and calmed my nerves a bit knowing I could answer any question. The feedback I got was that I seemed really relaxed and confident and had clearly prepared well.

The partner was really nice and made me feel comfortable which meant I didn’t feel awkward pausing to plan my answer/starting again when I felt I was getting a bit flustered

Hope this helps…Good luck!

#18

Hi batman85,

I had actually just had my partner interview by the time I got round to reading your post. Thank you for taking the time to write it, and I am sure it will be helpful for others too.

Like so many others who have found wikijobs helpful in the application process, I’d like to give something back and summarise my experiences.

Everything batman85 said above was true for my partner interview. I was a bit ill and didn’t have a good night’s sleep so I kept forgetting my competency examples, don’t worry if this happens to you, the partner was very relaxed about it, I guess its understandable given the nerves etc…

The competencies I was asked about were:

  • Communicate with impact and empathy
    -be passionate about client services (know what pwc do; tax, advisory and audit then break it down to sublevels etc)
  • develop self and others through coaching
    -be curious: learn, share and innovate
    -build and sustain relationships.

I am an engineer, so i was asked why consulting and not engineering. btw, I didnt mention i got an offer for autumn 2012. :slight_smile:

I think what clinched it for me, was explaining my msc project (mathematically intense with advanced engineering concepts and modelling) to the partner who has no relevant background at all. SO, if you are from a science background, make sure you can do this really well.

Oh yea, I had my partner interview at 11am on a Friday. I was not contacted the same day, so waited the whole weekend in agony, then was not contacted on Monday either, by this point despair kicks on! I called pwc on tuesday and they said they have not heard back from partner yet…(at this point, I was almost certain I didnt get it)

On Weds afternoon i was sent an email saying i was unsuccessful, i felt terrible so i called asking for feedback, HC said they are yet to receive it. Then around 16.30 i got a call from HC saying it was an error and in fact I have been successful!!!

What I am trying to say is that don’t stress if you dont hear bck on the same day, no news is good news!

Good luck to everyone

#19

Thanks for this, batman. I was a bit confused at the references to interviews when the PwC site suggests that the assessment centre does not include them.

Can anyone else confirm that this is the case? (Not that I don’t believe you! I just want to be sure they haven’t changed it again)

#20

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