PWC graduate

Apply for this position here

Notes on the job interview

There is an extensive program in the application of a graduate position at PWC. The steps include:

an online application

an online maths/verbal/diagrammatic test

a generic first round interview

an assessment day which includes:

> a numerical test/verbal/diagrammatic test
> a group exercise
> a partner interview
> lunch with last year's starters

Online job application

The online application form comprises sections on personal information, academic achievement, career motivation, and demonstration of key personality traits such as teamwork, leadership, determination and ethics.The application will be referred to in both interviews so make sure you retain a copy for your records.

Job application questions

PwC is passionate about providing our clients with exceptional services that contribute to their business success.

From a business perspective, if you were to join PwC, which organisation would be your ideal client and what services do you think PwC would be providing to enhance the organisation’s continued business success (maximum 150 words)? Please note the organisation does not have to be a current client of PwC.

First round interview

Interview questions at PwC, like many other of the big graduate employers, are standardised. All or some of the following questions tend to be asked to all new graduates:

  • Tell me a little bit about yourself?
  • What do you consider to be your strengths?
  • Do you have any weaknesses?
  • Why do you want to leave your present job?
  • Tell me about a difficult experience at work and how you dealt with it.
  • What is your current salary?
  • What made you decide to join this profession?
  • What do you know about our business?
  • Do you work well under pressure?
  • Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
  • What are your major achievements to date?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • Describe how you see the role.
  • What is the biggest mistake you have made? What did you learn from this mistake?
  • Do you prefer working with others or working alone?
  • Do you make your opinions known when you disagree with the views of your supervisor?
  • Have you applied for any other jobs?

In addition, you may well also be asked:

  • Give me an examples of where you have had to lead a team
  • Give me an examples of when you have worked in a team to achieve a goal
  • Give me an examples of where you have been in a situation of conflict, and explain how you choose to do the right thing.
  • Can you discuss any recent developments which have strongly affected PwC and the accounting industry? (Commercial Awareness)
  • What do you think you will be doing in your first year at PwC?
  • What can you tell me about the ACA qualification to which you have applied? Why do you want to do this qualification?
  • What do you know about the type of work you will be doing at PwC? What do you think you will be doing in your first year at PwC?
  • Discuss a recent piece of financial news that has been in the press. How will impact upon PwC's business.
Assessment day
Numerical test

This is a timed, multiple choice test. You will require a calculator, pencil and eraser. These will be provided for you if you do not bring your own. If possible, try to bring a calculator you are familiar with.

There will be extreme time pressure. You must apportion your time correctly and move on if you get stuck. Unlike the online test, this test will be extremely challenging, and you should prepare yourself for this. Candidates from a non mathematical background may struggle with the math part of the test, and you should spend the time attempting the questions you are most likely to get correct.

The diagrammatic questions are also difficult, and will become more difficult as the test progresses.

Do not be disheartened if you struggle during these tests. PwC hire a great number of people from artistic backgrounds and considers the entire application for every person in perspective.

You should read the information PwC have provided related to these tests prior to the assessment day. It can be found here

Group exercise

There will be between three and six candidates who take part in the group exercise along with two observers in the room. You will be given some general information about a company and its situation. Additionally each person will receive some extra information particular to them explaining their role at the company. The group exercise requires you to communicate and discuss with the other candidates all points of view, and to finally reach a conclusion. There is no presentation element.

Karen Poulton, an officer in the Student Recruitment Team in London, offers the following advice:

"Be inclusive and self assess yourself about half way through. You need to contribute otherwise we can't assess you and if you know that you are prone to being quiet - or quite dominant in a group you may need to moderate your communication so that you include yourself and other people. Make sure that you follow the instructions that are given to you - and ensure that you link information back to the brief that you are given. Try and prioritise, watch the time ( but make sure that you are accurate!) I would advise against using people's names unless you are 100% sure that you are correct!"

Partner interview

The partner interview will focus principally on the following competencies:

  • Commitment to Career
  • Commercial Awareness

Typical questions arising from these competencies would be:

  • Why do you want to work for PwC? Why PwC instead of another Big 4 firm?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? At PwC, in five years you can reasonably expect to finish 'Executive Level two' position and be moving into managing staff and clients on your own.
  • What recent events have affected PwC and the accounting industry? (This would include the Sarbanes-Oxley Act).
  • What factors do you think are important to make a successful business?
  • Give me an example of a business you think is performing well/badly and explain why you think this is so?
  • If you had £1 million, how would you invest it?
  • Tell me about a time when you have had to motivate someone?
  • Tell me about a time when you have to resolve a disagreement diplomatically.
  • What/where do you expected to be in five years?

Source: WikiJob.co.uk


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