Urgent - Individual Exercise For PwC

#1

Apologies if this has been posted before but I’ve my assessment centre for PwC tomorrow and have just been told by a member of recruitment that I will be having an individual exercise as opposed to a group one. I am a bit worried about this because I had planned little things I could do in a group exercise (like remind the group of the time remaining, involve those who are being a bit quiet and give positive body language to the group - especially those making points). I understand the individual exercise is just you presenting your case to the Assessor who will on occasion ask you questions.

I was just wondering if anybody that has had experience of the individual exercise could give me any pointers/share their experience? And what little things I might be able to do? Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

#2

Here is something that I have come across that somebody else wrote about his/her experience of the individual exercise. I hope this helps a little and gives you an idea of what to do. I adopted the phrases a little for my use.
“I was given guideline criteria that the resort had to meet, and then given about 8pages of information, each one regarding different areas of improvement…how they could be improved, and the cost of the improvements
You’re then given a budget, and have to decide what to do…have to be able to justify your decisions. All the choices will have pro’s and con’s. Choose priority areas and focus on them. Say that there were areas of information missing, and with the given information I would do ‘A’, but if we could get more information about it, perhaps ‘B’ would be a better option. Explain your choices and decisions!”

Where do you have your assessment and for what route?

#3

Hi, thanks for your reply. London - Assurance. Does the budget/time limit change in the individual exercise like it does in the group exercise? Any other advice you could offer me?

#4

Hi jjsone24 and 1Ger,

I had an individual exercise with pwc, and it was exactly as stated above.

I found it fine, its quite nice to do it on your own as you don’t have to worry about being diplomatic, working around different opinions, you can just work with the information and present the facts!

It was on corporate responsibility, and a company wanting advice on how to spend their budget to improve thier holiday packages.

I was given all the information and left alone to read through it, and work out how the money should best be spent.
At the end of the individual time, it was like a board meeting situation, and I had 20minutes to explain how the money should be spent, and why certain things were more important (all information in the stuff given to you, and abit of common sense!).
The budget was cut before I even had time to speak! So straight away had to readjust - i had kept a note of how much each individual thing would cost, and the overall cost anyway so it was quite easy to do this - but be aware of why you would cut one thing, over something else!!
I gave my presentation of what i thought would be the best thing, and then the budget was cut again, so more readjustments and reasoning for these had to be given.

I finished within the time given and was worried this meant I had missed something out, but I was complimented afterwards on how it was very good that i was clear and too the point and hadn’t waffled on for too long!!

I think the main advice I would give would be to be sure you read the instructions clearly and understand what will be asked of you. Read through the information and make sure you set out the main points you want to bring up in your presentation. Be clear on costings and any problems that may occur with doing certain things and include this as you speak about ir in you presentation to show you have considered all the options. And mainly have reasons for choosing what you do…I don’t think there are any right or wrong answers in this kind of exercise, but you much be logical with your choices and be able to explain them.

Good luck, and give me a shout if you need any more information.

#5

Thanks embee for confirming and given us the information.
So did they tell you in advance that it was an individual exercise? I havent heard from them, so I am assuming that it is a group one.

#6

Hi jjsone24 and 1Ger,

jjsone24, it says that you do not accept private messages, so I will answer your private message on here with more information.

1Ger, I was told in advance that I would be doing an individual exercise, on the timetable for the day that I was sent with the confirmation.

My exercise was for a resort, who wanted to become an eco resort, and I was given information of about 9-10things that could be done to improve their eco status.
Each thing costs different amounts to set up and may then have a running cost too, these are fixed costs though so unfortunatly can’t so half of this and half of that!! although I’m sure it could be suggested! As you might in an actual meeting!
I first decided what I felt to be the ‘necessary’ things to do, i.e. the things that I felt would benefit the criteria the most. and then the rest where ‘nice’ extras!!
I think within the first budget I could do all the necessary things, and then my main decision was what 'extra’s to choose.
With the next budget I had to cut some of the extras.
With the final budget, I had to cut one of the necessary things to get below the budget. Then there was a small amount of money left (not enough for a main thing) so I could add back in some extras!
I hope that makes alittle bit of sense - sorry if its abit waffley!!

Don’t be afraid to add in extra information. For example I started my presentation giving an outline of what had been asked, and then explained why I considered certain things to be necessary (i.e. they would get closer to fulfilling the criteria as set out). I stated what these were, how much they would cost, and then whether it meant the eco-criteria would be met fully.
I then stated how much additional funding was left after all necessary payments. I could then explain the additional things to be done with this money and again why I had chosen them.
When the budget was then cut I had to explain why I got rid of certain things. Mixing my previous comments with cost factors too.

I wasn’t asked many questions as I tried to anticipate what might be asked and answer in my presentation. For example - why choose ‘A’ rather than ‘B’. How could this benefit them? what other ways might it benefit them?
I was asked what other services PwC could help the company with, but that was about it!

Hope that answers everything, give me a shout if not

#7

PS. sorry for any bad grammar or spelling, I’ve broken my wrist so am typing one-handed and getting very fed up!!

#8

I am sorry to hear that. I hope it heals quickly!

#9

Thank you! Good luck with the assessment, let me know how it goes!

#10

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#11

Hi embee16, thanks a lot for the information! It really helps!
I’m going to have my AC with PwC next week, and was just informed it will include an individual exercise…
Just wondering that is there anything I can prepare for it? a bit worried coz never had this kind of exercise before. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated~ !

1Ger, good luck with your AC! let us know how it goes~

jjsone24, how was your AC? hope the good news is coming soon!

#12

…er why dont you read the post before asking the same question again.

anyone done any written exercises?

#13

Thank you for the reminding, qwerty89
found my words above maybe a little misleading…
was meant to ask embee16 for some advices on how to prepare in advance for this kind of individual exercise… btw, also wondering that besides the 20 min for explaination and presentation to the assessor, how long for us to do the reading at the beginning?

#14

hi ghinuk,
not sure there is much more I can tell you that might help, it really is a matter of working off the information provided to you. As far as I remember there was maybe half an hour to read through the information and work towards the brief that was given to you. I’m not sure the brief was written down as such, it was explained to me before I was given the information, so make sure you listen to the assessor (hopefully you’ll be doing that anyway!!) and ask any questions you may have.
I really think that once you are left on your own, take a few moments to ensure you know what you are aiming to do, and then read through the information and maybe make a few notes if necessary. Focus on what applies to you, there is bound to be some extra information that is good to read through but you shouldn’t be spending time trying to remember word for word. Focus on what is important to the brief.
make notes and any simple calculations you may have to make and keep an eye on the time. You should be aim to roughly split the time in you your head so that you can answer the brief fully, and ensure you leave a few minutes to focus on what you are going to say and in what order.

Then when the assessor comes back in, take a deep breath, present clearly and confidently and be yourself! How you communicate is a huge part of this, and you can obviously do that to get through the first interview! So be confident but not arrogant, present the main points clearly, and make sure you can explain the reasons behind your choices.

Any other queries, I’ll try to answer them!

Good luck

#15

Hi embee,
Thank you soooooo much for the advices!!! They are greatly helpful~

#16

Hi embee,

whats the difference between written exercise and individual exercise?

hope your arm is getting better.

thanks,
PJS