PwC's telephone interview feedback



Hi guys,

So I just received an email saying I’ve failed the interview, as well as some feedback: saying I’ve got 4 areas of “moderate development” and one “area of development”, which probably suggests that I did pretty badly overall. Can anyone else tell me about their feedback on their interview, be it a pass or fail? Are there people who reapplied in 3 months and passed the interview stage, and what did you do differently?

If I did badly because my answers / examples weren’t good enough, does this mean I need to find new examples, or perhaps refine the ones I’ve got? How did you guys who passed worked through this?

many thanks!


It depends on the content and details you gave. I suggest you should refine the examples you got. BTW, when did you take your first interview? Which position?


Tuesday, audit in London


Hey sorry to hear about this. Could I just ask how do PwC structure the interviews? i.e. Do you they tell you which section they’re testing e.g. Whole leadership, business acumen ? Or do they simply just ask question after question without telling you what section they’re testing


In my case it was the former.


Have you taken a look at the E-learn of PwC? This is where you can find interview sample and comments.


I have, and I’m pretty sure I tried to follow the STAR method quite closely.


Then I guess maybe you failed because of one of 2 reasons: 1. Your example did not match exactly what was asked. 2. You did not give enough details.


I got 4 areas of moderate development and one area of strength and passed so I think it was the area of development that let you down if that helps at all


I think so. PwC is looking for strength so it does not matter if you got several development. I applied to PwC twice. For the first time I failed when I got 2 moderate strength and 3 moderate development. But for the second time I passed when I got 1 moderate strength, 2 strength and 2 significant strength.


Hi takana,

Reading your post, I think it’s best for you to use different examples next time round. If you must stick to the examples you used, you really ought to refine them. Don’t be afraid to seriously exaggerate what your role was or what you did, as long as it sounds realistic. That way, you can let the assessor “tick enough boxes” to pass you. I don’t know what the pass mark is but I got 2 moderate developments + 3 strengths and that got me thru.

One final advice which PwC won’t thank me for saying: don’t use their Elearn to prepare. When they changed their competencies to PwC Professional in July last year, just before my phone interview, I used their Elearn to prepare but failed! When I reapplied, I used my previous experience of passing PwC phone interviews (rather not say how many times I applied to them!) to prepare . . . and went on to receive an offer. Shame I had to turn them down as I had already accepted a rival firm’s offer. I hope my personal story will encourage you to reapply again and go on to get an offer.

Best of luck with your other job applications.


sorry, having re read my feedback, i got 1 area of strength, 3 areas of moderate strength and one of moderate development



Do you mind giving me examples of answers that you used to answer their competency questions? To give me an idea of what kind of thing “works” and so on.


I was a student rep and joined a few (but hardly many) uni societies so I used examples such as negotiating for a better outcome on behalf of students when asked to give an example of a time when I improved a process. An example from society is to generate new ideas or think outside the box in order to solve a problem (can’t remember what the exact question was). I also used examples from work, such as how to help my employer increase revenue (a time when I solved a complex problem).

My other piece of advice is that you can use the same example more than once. I know the interviewer says they won’t allow it but if you can’t think of anything else, you can get away with it by spinning it to such an extent that they won’t know you’re using the same scenario. That comes with experience though!


Hi Takana,

Can I confirm the feedback you’re talking about is the automated email after the entry exams? I also failed a PwC telephone interview last year. I wasn’t given any feedback however.
Anyway, I have another coming up in a couple of weeks for a 2016 intake (consulting). Better luck next time, aye!


Hi guys,

Can anyone tell me which questions will be there for relationships, tech capabilities and global acumen competencies in first phone interview? Also, can anyone give some advice what is the best way to tackle these questions since in my previous phone interview I scored very low in these competencies? Thanks in advance!


Hi guys,

Did any of you applied from overseas and travelled to UK for AC and Partner Interview? If yes, please can you share your experince (how PwC helped you with visa, expenses, etc.) ?



Can I ask what you used for your business news and how PWC can help? This is the area that let me down last time and I am still struggling with it.

Thank you



What sort of examples are you going to talk about for the recent business news and how pwc can help? I’m really struggling with this and dont know which lines to go along.

Thank you!



For my phone interview which happened a while back, I talked about the Eurozone economy (a very hit topic at the time) which in hindsight wasn’t the best piece of business news to analyse about as I was subsequently asked “how does the Eurozone economy positively and negatively affect PwC?”. The two parts to this question really put me on the spot and like you and most other applicants, the follow-up question I expected was “how can PwC help” so I really had to “erms” and “ahhs” my way thru this particular question. Not surprised that I got a moderate development rating for business acumen - in fact other competencies got me thru the phone interview.

So if I were you, try to pick a company in the news that you can talk about (as opposed to economy). I had a quick glance at BBC Business News this morning and found an article relating to Poundland breaking the £1bn sales barrier. In my experience, that’s a good story to talk about as you can explain why Poundland has been successful (eg slow wage growth in UK driving people to shop around/buy cheaper products, in the process relating this story to the UK economy which is growing solidly except the wages are not growing at the same rate). Then when asked about how PwC can help, you can talk about how PwC’s Consulting service line can advise Poundland on how to continue its growth, how to break the Big Four supermarkets’ dominace (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons), or how PwC’s Assurance department can audit Poundland well to give shareholders a sense of reassurance, or how their Tax division can make Poundland more tax-efficient, thereby generating bigger profits.

What I’ve written is just what has come out of my head though. Do a bit of research into this and you should ace the business acumen section.

All the best.