Telephone Interview with PwC


I have a telephone interview with PwC for Human Resource consulting this thursday, could anyone please suggest, what examples I can use for commercial awareness?

I am really scared and nervous, hence any further advice will be much appreciated! :slight_smile:

Thank you in advance :smiley:



I just finished my interview now. I dont know the outcome yet but Ill tell you the flow of the interview. The interview is around 30 mints, very structured with some probing.

she started off with the commercial awareness part: she did not probe me at all in this section

  1. tell me about the qualification you will undertake
  2. how do you keep up with business news
  3. current business news that interested you… I talked about Olympus scandal and how can PwC help

Other comp.: she grilled me in this section with lots of follow up questions

  1. tell me about a time when you worked with someone with different working style than urs
  2. Tell me about a time when you lead a project
  3. tell me about a time when you worked on a project with little information
  4. tell me about a time when u raised a concern at work
  5. tell me about a time when you were asked to do something you thought its unethical

I hope you find this useful


Hi GraduateS

I hope your interview went well and you get through to the next stage. I have my phone interview in the next few days. Could you give me any pointers as to how to pick the article/ what to look at. I think the thing I’m having the trouble on the most is looking at articles, and I don’t really see any way PWC could help.


Hi GraduateS,

Thank you so much :slight_smile: and I wish you the very best and hope that you get through to the next stage!

thanks once again!


Hi AbdurC,

there are lots of things going in the business world right now that you can talk about

for example the euro zone crisis… there is a very nice report by PwC which talks about what is next for euro countries which you will find here

there are also the audit reforms (you can just research google using keywords such as the split of audit and non-audit services, you will find plenty of resources with different analytical views). pay attention to those views as they will give you some nice ideas of what you can discuss in the interview

there are also UBS & Olympus scandals- big big issues with huge numbers

What I did- not quite sure thats the best strategy- is the following:

  1. discussed what happened with olympus (using lots of numbers to impress)
  2. the implications of the fraud on their current status (thin equity ratio, restatements with losses etc)
  3. advice what changes need to be done to fix their problems (joint venture with Sony for example)
  4. how can PwC help- I talked that PwC can run a forensic investigation to quantity the amount of losses, they can advise on how they can restructure, refinance through their strategic consulting arm…and you can see where is this going :slight_smile:

I hope you find this helpful



yeah that helps, I found some good stuff on UBS on FT so I think I’m going to use that. I think Im going to try and stay away from the Eurozone.

Thanks for the help, hope you get through to the next stage :slight_smile:


Hi GraduateS

I hope that you have already progressed with your application, small favour : Im just confused is that we decide the commercial topic on which we want to talk in telephone interview or PwC decides instantaneously during interview, Help appreciated.



Hi Valentino,

I can tell you from my research on the different forums on wikijobs. The commercial part will come in any of the following formats:

  1. How do you keep up with current issues? and then you are asked to discuss a current business news from your own choice ( this appears to be what is happening with most people including myself)

  2. Tell me about a company that is doing well/bad? and then they probe your answer further for example, what challenges are they facing atm, what would you do if you are the CEO and how can PwC help ( this format was used in the past, I do not think they longer ask the qs in this format anymore)

having said that, I was prepared for both. don’t forget that your business news could be a company doing well or a company doing bad. so it kindda overlap

I hope I answered your question. Good luck with the interview. btw commercial qs is not only your awareness with the business news, it will definitely include questions with regard to PwC services, your line of service and the qualification you will undertake if you applied for a graduate role.


@ GraduateS

Nice one dude,Really helpful discussion.I have got a telephone interview coming up at PwC.



hey everyone,

thanks for your feedback stw23490.

Having been unsuccessful in my interview now, I started analysing my own answers to find where did I made the mistake. Unfortunately, I could not figure out the exact reason for being unsuccessful.

I mean, comon, I did found few mistakes already but still want to know what is it exactly that gets tested.

Also, I am confident about the examples I gave and did convey them properly. I also got pretty much the same questions as you guys i.e. from the competencies.

Can somebody here tell me , how should you answer the questions to the competencies or what is it that is actually being tested during first telephone interview.
(P.S. I know there is no specific answer to these question but still… hope you know what i mean)

Any help, advice, experience appreciated guys !
Thanks a lot


Hey guys,

I had my telephone interview more than a week ago and I still haven’t heard back from pwc? How long did it take for you to get a response?


Hi guys!

Can someone please advise me on how to prepare for the commercial awareness question? I’m having a hard time with that. I can go on about the Eurozone crisis but I feel that they can probe around quite a bit with that and also, I’m guessing most people talk about that example anyway. I’d be grateful for your help!



Hi ivanovar89,

It usually takes a week for PwC to get back to you with the outcome; I was notified about 3 days after my telephone interview. If you are anxious, you can always call them up to see if they have reached a decision.

Good luck.


Hi radioactive123,

The only thing I can suggest is to look around on news websites and try to find a recent issue you find interesting. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a huge issue like the Eurozone, it can be a small article. For example, I chose to talk about tax avoidance schemes which were employed by Barclays and Apple. These were recent at the time I had my interviews and interested me, which made it much easier for me to talk about and recall a number of figures/percentages.

Sites such as BBC News, Guardian and Accountancy Age are invaluable sources for up-to-date information and interesting news articles.


Hello everyone,

I was just wondering if people who have passed the telephone interview have nailed each question asked (some, such as about ethics were hard to think about) or did you have some pbls answering some questions.



Did you have your telephone Interwiew with pwc?if yes,could you please provide me information?



Hello meow29:-) Have you been through the whole process? I also applied to HRC and would really appreciate if you could give me an insight into what partner interview is like:-)

Thanks in advance:-)