PWC GRADUATE APPLICATION PROCESS

The process for applying to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) is as follows: y Online application y Online Psychometric Test y Online numerical reasoning and logical or verbal reasoning test y First interview y Assessment Centre comprising: o Aptitude Tests: Numerical reasoning test, logical reasoning,diagrammatic reasoning and verbal reasoning test o Group exercise or Individual Exercise o Partner interview

Application Preparation Before starting your application you should also read the PwC wesbite'shints and tips section and company information about the firm's selection process.

PwC Online Application The online application form comprises sections on personal information, academic achievement, career motivation, and demonstration of key personality traits such as teamwork. The application will be referred to in both interviews. Make sure you retain a copy for your records. Psychometric Test PwC use an online psychometric test to find out more details about each candidate's personality

PWC APPLICATION QUESTIONS Business and Client Service "Please provide us with your understanding of the services offered by the firm and in particular, the work undertaken in your chosen line of service (maximum 150 words)." "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."

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Tips for answering this question: This question requires you to demonstrate: An understanding of what makes a good business. An understanding of the services PwC offer to clients and how PwC helps clients improve their performance.

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It is better to select a business you are familiar with to answer these questions, such as a high-street store. Online businesses such as Google, Facebook and internet gaming websites make poor examples to use as they are generally less well understood by older generations and their business model is still young and developing. Avoid discussing any technical types of business such as insurance or banking. If possible, select a business that is not a client of PwC as you may be interviewed by someone who knows a lot more about them than you do. Examples of services PwC could offer to clients might include: Tax advice Performance improvement consulting Internal control testing Strategic consulting (e.g. selecting potential targets for takeover)

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PWC ONLINE TEST Candidate's will typically be invited to take PwC's online test within two days of their online application. The online test is comprised of three parts: Numerical reasoning (basic skills: interpreting data from tables, fractions, percentages, ratios, time/date calculations, foreign currency conversion). Verbal reasoning comprehension. or Diagrammatic reasoning The PwC Student Talent Questionnaire.

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You will see practice questions before each section enabling you to famili arise yourself with the style of question asked. You will require a calculator, some paper and a pencil. Diagrammatic reasoning is a short test requiring you to infer solutions using logic. The problems are of a visual nature. The test is timed so you must apportion time correctly to each question. If you do not understand a question or cannot complete it in time, you should choose one answer and move on. You will not be able to return to pr evious questions.

FIRST INTERVIEW Your first interview will be a competency based interview conducted by a PwC Manager or Senior Manager from the line of service to which you've applied. It will last for approximately 45 minutes. The interview will focus specifically on your application form and previous experiences. During your interview you will be assessed on core competencies PwC have decided are important for all employees to possess. These are: y Commitment to Career y Commercial Awareness y Teamwork y Motivation and Initiative y Flexibility and Communicating with Impact. Interview questions at PwC, just like the rest of the Big 4, are standardised. Graduate candidates are usually asked some of the following interview questions: y What do you consider to be your strengths? y What are your development areas? y Why do you want to leave your present job? y How do you structure your time at university ensuring you balance your personal life? y Tell me about a difficult experience at work and how you dealt with it. y What made you decide to join this Professional Services? y What do you know about our business? y Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? y What are your major achievements to date? y What do you do in your spare time? y Describe how you see the role of a graduate at PwC? y What is the biggest mistake you have made? What did you learn from this mistake? y Tell me about a time when you have worked in a team? What was your role? y Have you applied for any other graduate jobs? y How does PwC add value to its clients? y How is PwC Assurance divided and in what division would you like to work? (see PwC Audit & Assurance) y Tell me what you know about the qualification which you will be studying? y Explain when you have been in a situation where you were working towards a deadline and the parameters have been changed? (i.e. you have been asked to deliver something slightly different) y Key Competencies PwC's key competencies are the qualities it expects all members of staff to have. You should aim to demonstrate these competencies at each stage of the interview process. The competencies are: Business Focus Building Relationships Leadership Problem Solving

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Drive and Resilience Career Motivation Making an Impact Task Management

In addition, you may well also be asked competency based questions which force you to demonstrate evidence of past experience relating to PwC's core competencies: y Give me 2 examples of when you have worked in a team to achieve a goal. (Teamwork) y Give me 2 examples of where you have had to lead a team. (Teamwork) y Give me 2 examples of where you have been in a situation of conflict, and explain how you choose to do the right thing. y Can you discuss any recent developments which have strongly affected PwC and the accounting industry? ( Commercial Awareness) y What do you anticipate you will be doing in your first year at PwC? y What can you tell me about the (ACA) qualification to which you have applied? y What can you tell me about the line of work to which you have applied? y What do you think you will be doing in your first year at PwC? y Discuss a recent piece of financial news that has been in the press? You should bear PwC's Global Core competencies in mind during your interviews as this is what you will be mainly tested on. At interview you must be able to give examples of how you have demonstrated these competencies in the past. You will be expected to give responses based on experiences within university years (work, education, extracurricular). School or College experiences are too far in the past. Overall, the PwC interview will be more of a flowing conversation between interviewer and candidate. Although the interview is competency based, the examples you are asked for may be linked in with your application form or as part of a general discussion about yourself and your achievements. Generally speaking, this makes the interview easier and a more pleasant experience than interviews at other firms. COMPETENCE QUESTIONS Describe two situations where you have had to work as part of a team." When asked a question like this, you should be able to talk for several minutes about your participation to a particularly strong team you have been part of in the past and how your sense of teamwork helped lead a task or project to successful completion. You should have an idea before the interview of the experiences from your life that you could use as examples to demonstrate the key competencies of the firm to which you are applying. You are likely to have to provide at least two examples for each competency during your interview. It is quite acceptable to ask for and to use a few moments of thinking time before answering competency questions. If necessary, simply notify your interviewer by explaining you "may need to think about this for a few moments". Once you have thought of a good example to use, continue with your answer.

Most questions are competency based interviews and lasts about 45 minutes, then 15 minutes for my questions and further discussion. The interviewers will press you to expand your answers so make sure you save some information in reserve. The questions posted above are pretty comprehensive so I would draft some notes to answer each one. The core competencies they ask you to demonstrate on the recruitment website are flexibility, curiosity, teamworking, courage + integrity, commercial awareness and communication skills. Therefore try to think of how you can demonstrate each one through any of your life experiences, including education and employment. I had a very good recruiter who gave me a lot of information before the interviews and AC, she would ask me to demonstrate times when I shown passion for a particular client, how I had built and sustained professional relationships in the past, times when my leadership had been challenged and what I had done to overcome that. Make sure you also research on the company you mentioned on the application, if that question is still there, as the questions will probe into your application answers!

MOTIVATION & COMMITMENT TO CAREER QUESTIONS What distinguishes this company, for you, from its competitors. This question requires you to discuss your knowledge of the firm in detail and prove to your interviewer your desire for a job. To answer this question you should describe: The key strengths this firm has over its competitors in the industry (e.g. more specialised in certain niche areas, more international scope, more respected). What appeals to you personally about the firm (e.g. your interests in the firm's niche areas, your relevant study at university). Other relevant factors you find interesting (e.g. the impression you have of the working style at the firm, the social side of the company, the type ofcharitable work the firm is involved in).

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Questions on commercial awareness will be based on current news items e.g. name an example of a current news story which interests you. PwC are really keen on green issues/accounting lately. From my experience it would not be based on anything that you haven't mentioned during the interview or on your application , so don't worry too much about being a walking news encyclopedia.

TELEPHONE INTERVIEW Normally competence based for example; y Give one current piece of business news that caught my interest . y Give one instance where you had to work in a team. y Give one instance when received feedback. y Give one instance when you had to work with a person who had a different management style than yours. y Do you prefer to work in team or individually. y Give one instance when you had to change your management style. y Have you recently set any goal for yourself, Give one instance when you were part of a change and how did you bring it across. What are the services that PwC provides What is specific to Assurance. How does PwC creates value for its clients.

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ASSESSMENT DAY Numerical & Diagrammatic Test The test is designed by SHL. This is a 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. The numerical test consists of 20 questions to be answered in 20 minutes. The questions are harder than those on the online test although the format is roughly the same. The diagrammatic reasoning test consists of 40 questions in 20 minutes. 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.

GROUP EXERCISE There will be between three and six candidates who take part in thegroup exercise at along with two PwC observers in the room. You will be given some general information about a company and its situation. Additionally each person wil l receive some extra information particular to them explaining their role at the company. You will have 20 minutes to read the information and then 30 minutes to di scuss it with the group. The group exerciserequires you to communicate and discuss with other candidates all points of view, and to finally reach a conclusion. There is no presentation element. make sure you know a lot about what you'll be doing in the job and how you could go about it. For the group exercise it's all about how you interact rather than the conclusions you make. Make sure you're persuasive but listen, and build on other's ideas as well as providing your own. Something that hasn't really been mentioned is that they ask you to evaluate your performance after the group exercise. Be honest and give your strongest and weakest areas. The written exercise isn't too bad, just present a clear and structured argument You cant really prepare for the written report, just ensure you write the report in a clear structured way with good english more than anything. So, give yourself time to read over before the time is up & don't go into to much detail! 30 mins isn't much time to read a few pages & then write 1/2 sides of a4 so manage your time well to

PARTNER INTERVIEW The PwC partner interview will focus principally on the following competencies: y Commitment to Career y Commercial Awareness Typical questions arising from these competencies would be: y Why do you want to work for PwC? Why PwC instead of another Big 4 firm? y Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? At PwC, in 5 years you can reasonably expect to finish 'Manager' position and be moving into managing staff and clients on your own. y What recent events have affected PwC and the accounting industry? (This would include the Sarbanes-Oxley Act). y What factors do you think are important to make a successful business? y If you were senior partner at PwC, what would keep you up at night? y Give me an example of a business you think is performing well/badly and explain why you think this is so? y If you had £1 million, how would you invest it? y Tell me about a time when you have had to motivate someone? y Tell me when you learnt something new? y Tell me about a time when you have to resolve a disagreement diplomatically. y What/where do you expected to be in 5 years? y If you met the CEO of M&S and were asked for advice from an auditory point of view, what would you say?

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If you were unsuccessful with PwC what would you do? Give two examples of when you've had to make and stick to a budget

INTERVIEW COMPETENCIES
It is important to us that you are adequately informed about the format and competencies against which you will be assessed in your interview. This will allow you to perform to the best of your ability. The Global Core Competencies which will be used during interviews to assess you against are highlighted below. But remember to start your preparation well in advance and consider your personal experience in each of these areas. Plan to offer the interviewer an insight into your particular abilities and/or achievements in each area. First Interview Competencies Communicate with Impact and Empathy y y Being able to communicate clearly and articulately is a vital skill for all our people. So too are listening and influencing skills. We will be assessing your ability to express yourself fluently and persuasively; to respond in a considered and succinct way to questions asked. Be Passionate about Client Service y y y PwC is passionate about providing our clients with excep tional services that contribute to their business success. We will be assessing your understanding of the services we provide and how we help to deliver business success for our clients Prepare to discuss your knowledge of specific PwC clients, their busin esses and operating environments (past and present). Based on these factors, consider what the future may hold for them and what PwC could contribute to their success. A good place to start would be to try and keep up to date with what is happening in the press; read newspapers and business magazines and/or on-line commercial articles. Please visit ourHints & Tips page for further ideas about how to improve your business awareness Reflect on any work experience you may have. What kind of business do/did you work in? What is their main product or service? Who are their main competitors in the market and why? What makes the business successful (or not)? If you were in charge of that business what changes would you make? Acquire and Apply Commercial and Technical Expertise y It is important to develop and apply a high level of technical/professional skills and knowledge. Due to the ever changing business environment it is also import ant to keep up to date with the latest business and relevant industry trends. We will therefore be assessing your knowledge and understanding of current business issues. Develop Self and Others through Coaching y We place a strong emphasis on personal development and on assisting others to develop. We'll be looking for people who can reflect on their past performances and recognise individual strengths and development needs, and who are also able to provide feedback fairly and constructively to others. Lead and Contribute to Team Success y Striving for excellence through working as part of successful teams is key to our work. We will be looking for evidence of where you have worked in teams and contributed to your team's success. Be Open Minded, Agile with Change and Practical

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Changing business needs require us to approach change positively and adjust to new work structures and processes while still delivering quality work. We will be asking you to talk about when you have had to deal with changing prioritie s/workloads and how you dealt with this.

Final Interview Competencies Demonstrate Courage and Integrity y y Honesty and integrity are core to our business and therefore we look for these values in our employees. We will be looking for evidence of when you have had to adhere to standards or procedures. And, if standards or procedures have been compromised, we would like to hear how you handled this. Communicate with Impact and Empathy y y Being able to communicate clearly and articulately is a vital skill for all our people. So too are listening and influencing skills. We will be assessing your ability to express yourself fluently and persuasively; to respond in a considered and succinct way to questions asked. Be Curious: Learn, Share and Innovate y At PwC, we value people who are able to take advantage of learning opportunities and share learning with their colleagues. We also encourage staff to use new information in novel ways, to think creatively about how we can improve the way we work. We will be looking for you to provide evidence of where you¶ve demonstrated these skills in the past. Be Passionate about Client Service y y y PwC is passionate about providing our clients with exceptional services that contribute to their business success. We will be assessing your understanding of the services we provide and how we help to deliver business success for our clients Prepare to discuss your knowledge of specific PwC clients, their businesses and operating environments (past and present). Based on these factors, consider what the future may hold for them and what PwC could contribute to their success. A good place to start would be to try and keep up to date with what is happening in the press; read newspapers and business magazines and/or on-line commercial articles. Please visit ourHints & Tips page for further ideas about how to improve your business awareness Reflect on any work experience you may have. What kind of business do/did you wo rk in? What is their main product or service? Who are their main competitors in the market and why? What makes the business successful (or not)? If you were in charge of that business what changes would you make? Build and Sustain Relationships y Building relationships through rich internal and external networks helps us to propose effective solutions for our clients. We will be asking you to tell us about how you build and maintain your existing relationships at university, work or in other activities that you are currently involved with.

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Also see - PwC Working Culture for information about working at PwC

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