Just been offered a summer internship for Assurance in 2014! Like many others, I found WikiJob to be extremely helpful in preparing me for each stage of the application process, and therefore thought that I’d now repay the favour by saying how I found it.
- Simple form that doesn’t require a CV, cover letter or any competency questions to complete.
- Highly recommend applying as soon as possible, as PwC are really quick to respond and you will therefore, hopefully get through the stages in little time allowing you to either accept an offer or turn your attention to other firms.
- Includes numerical and logical (inductive) reasoning tests. From what I remember the numerical is 20 questions in 20 minutes, while the logical test is 18
- These tests are conducted by SHL and so with enough practise, should be relatively easy.
- You also have to take a Personality Test. Try and answer these questions honestly, as I don’t think it’s there to trip you up, just identify strengths/areas for development etc. In saying that, you’re ranked out of 3 on each topic: Capacity to Develop, Drive & Resilience, Intellectual Agility, Personal Insight and Influence and Leadership, so maybe attempt to cover all of these when answering.
- Lasts between 20-25 minute. The woman that interviewed me worked at PwC, but they can just be a HR representative.
- With good prep, this interview is hard to fail, as the summer internship questions appear to be the same for all candidates (me and my friend had nearly exactly the same).
- Commercial Awareness questions asked:
- What sort of clients does PwC work with?
- How can PwC help a company like…? (usually a company that you’ve just mentioned)
- Why Assurance? (or your sector)
- What do you know about Assurance?
- Why Assurance over the other sectors PwC specialises in?
- Why Cardiff ? (or your specific location)
- Competency questions asked: (remember that they’re looking for you to display good communication skills, leadership qualities, be able to adapt and demonstrate courage and integrity).
- Give me a time when you had to go along with something that you didn’t agree with.
- Give me a time when you were conflicted.
- Luckily received a text from PwC only 45 minutes later saying I’d passed. They usually reply really quickly which is helpful, and then around 10 days later, I received a 20 minute phone-call with detailed feedback, which helps going on to the next stage.
- Written report: 30 mins to read a small booklet on a project, then to write a 1-2 page report. On the written report, you’re marked on: Language, Structure and Content. I didn’t leave much time to write and as a result wasn’t that happy with my end report, so I highly suggest writing as soon as possible. Never include words if you’re unsure of how to spell them. Always include a intro and conclusion and for the body, for each option list a couple of pros and cons - bullet pointed.
- Psychometric Testing: Found the numerical test (20 q in 20 mins) to be a lot harder than the original tests at the first stage, but this may have been due to nerves. Still, important to practice for them a lot. I personally found assessment day really useful! The logical test was really short on time (40 q in only 20 mins) but most of the sequences are dead simple, so if stuck move on to ensure you complete the test.
- Group Exercise: The group exercise was on developing a sustainable project for a company. We had 20 mins to read the main brief, available to all, and then our personable brief which included a business idea. Suggestions: make lots of notes, with particular reference to any stats, especially profits! Try and guide the discussion i.e identify key priorities, key strengths/weaknesses of the different projects. Although its great to lead, don’t dominate as it will reflect really badly on you, instead try and listen, make good eye contact, ask questions using first names etc…
- Found out I’d passed the assessment centre the next working day, and again PwC provided some really useful feedback.
Partner Interview: PwC seem to pride themselves on having informal, friendly chats towards the latter stages of the application process, so nothing to be to nervous on. The majority of my questions were based around my degree (Economics) and the sector I wanted to go into, and my potential PwC role (in Assurance). We then discussed work experience, my coaching, hobbies etc - so try and to display your competencies even if she/he hasn’t asked for them outright. Suggestions; always show you’re enthusiastic and motivated, prepare a lot of answers relating to your background and show that you’ve researched PwC thoroughly. As an econ student, I was asked about my opinion on budget cuts and euro crisis, so I’d definitely suggest staying on top of the news, having a few opinions etc.
Hope some of that is clear and helps at least one of you. Happy to answer any questions!