PwC phone interview - summer internship Financial Advisory - Corporate Finance M&A


Hey there,

Tomorrow I have a phone interview for a summer internship at PwC in financial advisory - corporate finance M&A.

PwC websites states that phone interviews for summer internship will only be 20 minutes long, and test commercial awareness, ability to communicate with impact and empathy (and I assume that they are not going to ask questions regarding this competency, but rather evaluate how effectively I am able to communicate throughout the interview), and ‘Demonstrate Courage and Integrity’.

Now, for the integrity part, I have a few examples from university and work which I think should be good. I also have a solid example of one ethical decision related to a sport event I was taking part to, but I’m not sure whether to use it or if to limit my choice to the work/academic ones - I’ll probably mention it only if they specifically ask for something not related to work or uni.

Apart from this, what I wanted to ask you is about commercial awareness. Being a MSc in Finance student, I keep myself well informed, mainly trough the FT and some Italian newspapers (as I am Italian :slight_smile: ), and I am also an avid reader of the Economist.

According to what I have read in this and other forums, they are likely to ask me for a news story that interested me. What do you think I should choose? Because to be honest, the MOST interesting stories at the moment, at least here in Italy, are related to politics: there is a lot of turmoil with Berlusconi declaring that he wants to run for president again, and Monti thinking about resigning. Also, I am following the US Fiscal Cliff situation pretty closely.

But maybe I should pick something more specific, like a merger or acquisition? or something that involves pwc? or both? If the answer is both it’s a bit difficult as PwC operates mainly mid-sized deals, so the press doesn’t really talk about them - only the biggest deals make the papers, if the most appropriate story would be a deal, well, the Glencore-Xstrata is quite HUGE. About something that involves PwC… I don’t really know what to mention, and that scares me a little. I really want to make the AC. Any ideas?

Also, do you know if they are going to ask general motivation/competency questions such as “Why PwC? Why M&A? What are your strenghts/weaknesses?” etc.? It seems a bit unlikely since the interview should be only 20 minutes long.


The story you pick doesn’t really matter (although it should only be a business story) . They will assess how passionate and informed you are regarding your topic.
I guess you are doing a two year Masters course? As only penulltimate year students can apply to PwC’s internships. Most of the questions will be competency based except the one testing your commercial awareness.
Good luck


Hi Daveodv,

I hope your interview went well and you were progressed to the AC. Could you please post the questions you were asked? I have a first round interview for a graduate role in FA.


Yeah it’s a two-year programme. I’ll keep you guys updated as the interview had to be rescheduled to wednesday. One more day of anxiety :stuck_out_tongue:


You’re in luck. I had the phone interview for M&A summer internship only yesterday, so I will briefly share my experience.

They firstly asked about you and your interest in this division. They asked for how you keep up to date in the business news. Once I gave my commercial interest, they asked how PwC could help. They asked for what other services PwC could offer, both in terms of divisions (tax assurance etc) and other things within Corporate Finance.

Interestingly they only asked me two competencies, both to do with the Integrity qualities - a time where I was asked to do something unethical, a time where I raised an issue.

At the end they allow you to ask any questions and thats that.

My interview lasted 22 minutes. I received a phone call today to invite me to an AC.


Thanks a lot mate. Can I ask you how in detail you went with the commercial awareness question?


Ok I did the interview today… the courage and integrity part was exactly like lx1410, the same exact questions. The commercial awareness part was a bit different, but basically they wanted to know the same thing: whether you know what pwc and in particular your division do. The way she asked it was: "imagine you were a business advisor at PwC, what would your ideal client be? what products and services does this client offer? what issues is it facing at the moment? what advice would you give them as a business advisor at PwC, what services would you try to sell?

after that

Why did you apply to M&A? Why not other divisions? What do you think the internship would add to your preparation?


Hi sorry I didn’t manage to get back to you in time but it looks like I might have helped you out a bit at least. Hope you hear back soon with positive news!


how long does it usually take to hear back from them? still no news :frowning:


btw, how long did you wait after the phone interview for them to get back to you?


According to what I already posted, I had the interview on the Monday and found out on the Tuesday (within 24 hours). It must be quite nerve wracking for you! I think it’s more the norm to find out within 5 working days if that helps you


eh but the AC should be on the 18th so i’m really starting to have a bad feeling :confused:


also there’s the weekend in between so 2 extra days of anxiety :o… and considering that the AC shoudl be on tuesday i doubt they’d let me know on monday… i hope there are other ACs otherwise it means they have rejected me :expressionless: but i think the phone went fairly well…


When I booked my telephone interview there were 5 or 6 options which were onMonday 17th December. I’m pretty sure you’ll know on Monday, maybe in the afternoon after these interviews are finished.


let’s hope so!


Just received the call, got the assessment center on the 3rd!!


congratulations - nothing to worry about in the end! :slight_smile:


really appreciated the help