RSM Tenon- Telephone Interview & Assessment Centre

rsm tenon

Hello Guys,
I have recently been applied and been accepted for an external audit position at RSM Tenon. I found this forum very helpful so I would like to tell you a bit about my experience.

Telephone Interview

This wasn’t an interview as such rather more of a conversation. It lasted for about ten minutes and was not planned; they just phone me one evening and asked if I had a few minutes. They asked questions like:
Why Audit?
Why Tenon?
Why the location I chose?
What did I know about Tenon?
Why did I choose my Degree and A Levels?
It was very relaxed and I was offered a place on the assessment day at the end of the call.

Assessment Day

The assessment day was really relaxed and the assessors were very nice. The day is quite long; it started at 9am and finished at around 4.30pm. There were 12 candidates all together.

Upon Arrival we were offered tea, coffee and water while we waited for all the candidates to arrive. After this the assessors introduced themselves and gave a presentation about the Tenon, we then had to introduce ourselves to the rest of the group.

After this we separated into two teams of 6 to begin the assessments. Team one had our interviews first and while we were waiting had to prepare a 3-5 minute presentation to deliver to the group in the afternoon. The interviews lasted about 20 minutes and covered some of the questions listed above as well as one or two commercial awareness questions; however I was mainly asked competency based questions. For the presentation we were asked to select two topic cards from a pile for which we had to create a 3-5 minute presentation on one of the topics. The questions were very broad and included Cloning, The Olympics, freedom of speech and the environment. We were told to concentrate on our presentation style, the structure and delivery, as the content was less important.

Meanwhile group two were in another room completing a logical test, an English test and working on the group assessment. The logical tests consisted of 10 logical questions. The English tests involved reading a written statement and indentifying grammar and spelling errors. The group exercise was a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style group project where we had to create a new product or adapt an existing product and then present the idea to the rest of the candidates and the assessors. We also had to answer questions at the end.

Once this was done both teams had a buffet lunch and had the option to speak to managers, partners and new trainees. After lunch we presented our individual presentations and our group presentations. They were a bit daunting but the atmosphere was very relaxed and calm.

I was offered a position the next day via a phone call. It is my understanding that you receive an email if you are not accepted and offered a time slot to call to receive feedback.


Hi I have an assessment Day coming up, I just wanted to know a few things please. Is the logical test like a logical reasoning test consisting of shapes etc? or another format? Also for the individual presentations, are you given any further info for the topic you pick or do you have to make all the content up?

1 Like

Hey sunitakaur,

The logical test is not like a logical reasoning tests with shapes, it consists of 10 questions, which are like word puzzels for example something like ‘tom is older than jim he is older than paul, paul is younger than sarah…who is the oldest?’ etc.

You will not be given any information about the presentation topic, I think that is part of the challenge, However they did stress the content was not important as they were looking a for good structure and delivery.

Hope this helps.


Thanks for your help, I think I am most worried about the individual presentation part incase I get a topic i dont know anything about. Congrats on your offer :slight_smile:


Its really that that bad becuase you choose two out of a big pile, and then we had the one that people didn’t choose went in the middle of the table so you can choose from them aswell.


Congratulations pro_sser!

I was just wondering, what would you advise if we had to do a presentation that we had no idea about?

How would you structure it, and if you have hardly anything to say about it - how do you think the time can be filled?

Thanks for you advice in advance and congratulations again.


Hey Final_Year,

I think they are looking for a presentation which has a beginning, a middle and an end, for example and introduction to the topics, the main argument and then a conclusion. The topics are pretty broad so you will probably know something about it already, but if you don’t just make it up, no one will know!




Congratulations on your offer. I just wanted to ask a few questions. Was the individual presentation in front of one assessor or everybody?

Also for the interview that lasted only 20 minutes, was it mainly competency based and which questions were mainly asked?



I have also been made an offer by RSM Tenon, so I can confirm that what pro_sser has said is exactly the case for their application process and assessment centre.

ABC_123 - the individual presentation is in front of all the assessors and other candidates. Just make sure your presentation is well structured and rehearsed - don’t just stand their reading notes. There’s plenty advice on the net for presentation skills.

Personally, my 1-2-1 interview was more about me, what I knew about the firm and audit, rather than competency based. Just relax - you’ve done well to get to the AC and in the 1-2-1 interview I felt they were just looking to make sure you are an interesting person who has done their research - they weren’t looking to trip you up.


As blueandwhite has said the presentation are in front of the assessors and the candidates, In my case there were three assessors and 11 candidates, but it is really quite relaxed and everyone is in the same situation.

I was asked mainly competency questions like ‘describe a time you worked in a team’ and ’ describe a situation where the parameters changed’ I was also asked ‘why the Bristol Office’ and ‘why did I choose my degree’


Hi BlueandWhite,

Congratulations on your offer!, which office did you apply for?


Hi All

Just wanted to know do we need to be quite clued up with regards to commercial awareness?


Hi sunitakaur,

I would suggest preparing for some commercial awareness questions. I would find out as much about RSM Tenon especially about their merger with RSM Bentley Jennison and the fact they are a publically listed company. I would also look at issues in the accounting profession, for instance, Michel Barnier and his investigation into competition in the industry, Sarbanes Oxley, The convergence of IASB and FASB and future of the Audit Commission. Looking on is a good idea. It is probably also a good idea to have an example of a company doing well and one doing badly. A friend of mine was asked to name a company they admired and why, but that was for Deloitte.

As the interview is only about 20 minutes there’s not much time to ask too many commercial awareness questions. The interview will mainly be made up of competency based questions. I was only asked two commercial awareness questions, I was asked, ‘Have you read any interesting news stories about RSM Tenon recently’ and ‘what operational issues are affecting accounting firms in the current environment’

I hope this helps!


I agree with pro_sser - make sure you flick through the business pages of the newspaper frequently and browse through - read a few stories about RSM Tenon and their history and you will be fine.


Hi BlueAndWhite,

Which office did you apply for?



Has anyone heard from RSM Tenon about the job after the assessment day in Birmingham on the 8th March?



Hi Mavo1,

How did your assessment day go?

Could you provide me with details of what the day entailed, as i too have an assessment centre coming up for London.

And good luck!



nity007- read the very first post of this thread, it covers absolutely everything!


Hi Nity007

The post above does cover everything. I found the day quite good, they set it out in a way so that you get to know everyone quite quickly, relaxes you a bit more.

Its a very relaxed day, make sure you know alot about the company as they ask questions at the start of the day about what you know.

The interview only last fifteen minutes so its not to stressful, just have some good questions to ask at the end, like what they think of the audit reform and all the news about the audit commission etc…Look at accountancy age for this…

The logic test is fine and the grammar test is fine, just have to think a little bit.

Good luck


okay, thanks for that…is it possible to find out the competency questions you got asked as well as the commercial awareness ones?