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Accenture: My 1st Round Experience/Grad

#1 Accenture: My 1st Round Experience/Grad
29/07/2007 01:39


Hi, i just wanted to share my experience with the 1st round grad scheme interview at Accenture, London.

Well, the basic questions were:

1. Name a time you made a wrong decision

(I said I've never made a wrong decision and justified my answer and they insisted I mention something) I made up good example. Yeah I told a little white lie...

Why should I say I've made a wrong decision when I cannot recall of any?! And they also insisted I tell them where else I have applied after I only said 'I have applied elsewhere as well'.

Is this not my RIGHT to keep this info private?

2. Name a time where you had to take initiative OK

3. Name a time where you had to adapt ...OK

4. Why consulting, IT, what will you do as an Analyst..OK but they were more flattered by me throwing an ACC slogan at them rather than with my mentioning of working with RFID ..

5. Case study- one paragraph with no further info given.

Sorry but I thought the whole experience was a joke. I expected something more challenging (maybe bec I was preparing for 4 days and even prepared a portfolio of some freelance projects I've done as evidence that I know a bit of IT strategy) and maybe more of a discussion rather than the interviewer looking at me with a blank stare and telling me their stomach was growling ?!#

The whole vibe was just off. Maybe it's not for me- I though it was for 2yrs now. Did I outgrow it in just one hour? It seems like the ACC image for the graduate scheme is better than the reality. For example, when I was asked what I think I will ve doing as an Analyst one of my answers were 'powe point presentations.." and she said 'alooot!'...

....uh, no thanks...?

Did I miss something?

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#2 RE: Accenture: My 1st Round Experience/Grad
29/07/2007 12:29

Mike to frank (#1)

Did you actually get to the next stage?

By the sounds of that message you are an arrogant person who belives they are the dogs b0llocks. I would be very suprised if Accenture take you on.

Ps, you have never made a mad decision...ever? Thats b0llocks. Everyone makes bad decisions daily and we learn from our mistakes.

I really hope you dont get through, I will be starting Accenture in November and would hate to be put on a project with someone like you!

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#3 RE: Accenture: My 1st Round Experience/Grad
02/08/2007 02:07

frank to Mike (#2)

Hey I dont mean to sound arrogant. But I do know myself very well, my abilities and the contribution that I can make in a working environment. So I was just reflecting on my experience because I have taken into consideration that I may have misperceived the whole process. Hence my 'did I miss something' comment.

My note was meant to SHARE and get CONSTRUCTIVE feedback. But your comment jsut made me realise that if they hire someone that's as reactive as you rather than constructive or open to different points of view in order to add awreness to circumstances then they won't hire someone like me.

That's neither positve nor negative, just a different way of approaching 'professionalism' and the 'interviewing process', etc, etc.

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#4 RE: Accenture: My 1st Round Experience/Grad
02/08/2007 08:52

anon to frank (#3)

My experience was similar, I felt that all the questions did were test my ability to come up with noteworthy stories on the fly to satisfy behavioural type questions. I felt like the whole interview process was biased towards people who don't have actual relevant experience.

The whole thing seemed to focus on what I'd broadly label as 'social skills' rather than 'technical proficiency' (in the broadest sense). Whilst I accept that social skills are very important, they are in my view only one component of skill set required to succeed as a consultant, and I felt like the questions were dreamt up by a HR drone trying to picture the 'perfect human' rather than someone who actually has the skills, abilities and knowledge required to get the job done.

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#5 RE: Accenture: My 1st Round Experience/Grad
02/08/2007 08:58

paul to anon (#4)

Agree with Frank and anon completely. They are the most HR driven and impersonal interviews I have ever had. I rejected them on the basis of my experience. They were more concerned with ticking random boxes and getting to lunch than getting to know the candidate. Sure, they have a lot of people to interview, but come on, within 45 minutes a lot more constructive interviewing can be done. The difference in interview style between ACN and say McK (or even the big4) is staggering.

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#6 RE: Accenture: My 1st Round Experience/Grad
02/08/2007 09:16

anon to paul (#5)

How can anyone never had made a bad decision?

You are either god's gift or have never pushed yourself. If the former why do you want to work for Accn?

I've made loads of bad decisions. You make a decision in good faith at the time but with hindsight it was bad. So what. Learn and move on. I'm very successful because I've learned a let.

Seems to me you made a decision going for this interview. The process you decribe is exactly what is dicussed on this forum all the time so you know what to expect

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#7 RE: Accenture: My 1st Round Experience/Grad
02/08/2007 18:23

kk3 to Mike (#2)

have a second round assement center with Accenture and shitting my self what happens on the day.

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#8 RE: Accenture: My 1st Round Experience/Grad
02/08/2007 21:36

frank to anon (#6)

I'm sure I've made bad decisions, but I couldn't recall any work-related ones. I think in a working environment I've worked with teams so our decisions were it's a process that we kept refining along the way. As an individual employee I make decisions by first building on potential risks and scenarios and choose according to the most likely posistve outcome. If there are negative outcomes then I do not base it solely on my single decision but the subsequent impacts it had and how it was influenced by other interations as it was taking effect. Generally though, my response to that question was 'i don't think there are good or bad decisions, just choices that we make responsibly for, have no regrets, and maintain forward thinking'. That's what I said during the interview. And I think it is what consulting is about. Not black and white but reading between the grey areas...hmmm. I'll think about this good/bad polarity though...

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#9 RE: Accenture: My 1st Round Experience/Grad
17/02/2008 17:50

Zeemax to frank (#8)

I completely agree with Frank's observations and in no way feel he is perceiving himself to be an arrogant individual.

The first round interview in my opinion was constructed in the most appaling fashion possible. No effort was made by the recruitment officer to buld rappor with me. If anything, the whole process was an interrogation question as apposed to a discussion to find out my core competancies.

I was given the impression that any "out of the box" thinking was taken as an insult to the recruiter and by the end of the interview, felt very angry with the whole experience.

For example, I was asked in one instance, how I adapted to a particular individual's expectations, to which i replied, by using empathy, my body language and communicating in a tone similar to theirs. I also mentioned that I took the initiative to work with the individual in weighing out the pro's and con's of both ideas. I was then told that didn't answer the question!!!

I'm assuming you had the same individual as me Frank, and like yourself, came prepared with past projects I had implemented etc.

There was no interest in looking at these whatsoever.

Accenture adopt a vetting process to in my opinion, isolate individuals who aspire. They wish to recruit personnel who will just slave themselves for a big corporate and profit on the hardwork they perform.

So try not to be disheartened, as your time to thrive will come.

I know mine will

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#10 RE: Accenture: My 1st Round Experience/Grad
17/02/2008 18:10

anon to Zeemax (#9)

Agreed. Sounds a tad snobbish but I'm always skeptical of consultancies that use HR in any stage of the interview process. They don't know the job and they will have no knowledge of whether the answers given to the 'mini case' make any sense. Obfuscate them in corporate jargon and watch them nod approvingly.

p.s. How ridiculous was their mini case. Pluck out answers from the air for ten minutes which have no backing and 'see what technological issues they may face'. Silly. Very, very silly.

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#11 RE: Accenture: My 1st Round Experience/Grad
28/02/2008 20:56

Sorry Wha to anon (#10)

Interesting thread. Having been through the interview process for a Big Four firm recently I can relate the view that these competency/behavioural type questions are overly dominant the interview process. This seems to be part of a wider shift in the direction of softer skills and more personable individuals rather than the elite high fliers who are often, to be blunt, cocks. Those who are losing out seem to share a misplaced overconfidence, and unfortunately for you I think that’s the drive behind this type of recruitment. To openly argue, in the interview, whether you have or have not made a wrong decision sums it up.

During my Partner interview I asked them what they were looking for in analyst they went for the leadership, teamwork type skills. They backed this up by saying that academic requirements in consulting ensure that the candidates have the ability to learn and cope with the work, but that the softer skills make them more suitable candidates and attractive co-workers. Right or wrong, these people are going to have to spend significant amounts of time in your company so eliminating you on the basis of egotism doesn’t seem extreme.

Disagree with Zeemax’s view that these clueless individuals, who managed to negotiate the hurdles where he obviously fell, are slaving themselves, sounds much like a woman scorned. Were you not planning on working hard for the company? Yes, experience is definitely overlooked and I think that think that favours the last minute thinkers, but if you were exceptional you’d have the job, an exceptional, intolerable character is better worker than a nice undergrad, no arguements here. It sounds like you are neither.

Seems to boil down to two camps though, those who made it and those who didn’t. I am neither yet, but hopefully if I don’t get the phone call I’m hoping for I won’t be blaming the system instead of myself.

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#12 RE: Accenture: My 1st Round Experience/Grad
19/03/2008 16:01

Winger to Sorry Wha (#11)

HR interviews are done for a reason, and those of you winging about the process and the interviews clearly failed the interview and think you are far more intelligent than you actually are. HR interviews are done to weed out the boring intellectuals from the top consultants.

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#13 RE: Accenture: My 1st Round Experience/Grad
20/03/2008 20:35

j.s to Winger (#12)

For what its worth:

I've been to "big5" interviews in three different countries. One of the countries was the UK and I have to tell you that I noted a difference.

UK: Lots of skill questions + a HR guy ticking through boxes in his standard questions paper..."name a situation where u showed X" etc. No room for any type of "real" discussion. Just have your answers to the top 20 questions memorized and you are set.

The other two countries: More discussion based interview. More of "what do you think of...", "Why do you say that...". Much more fun interviews in my opinion each his own horse as they say.

Perhaps its just a coincidence or perhaps there are cultural differences...i dont know but it was an interesting experience.

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#14 machine
25/03/2008 10:51

Processed to j.s (#13)

After being "processed" by the Accenture machine like interviewers , which involved beauties such as:

• one of the assessors yawning during a group assessment

•During a Q&As session with a current analyst:

Q: Why did you choose to work as an analyst at Accenture

A: ...i did engineering, then just sort of fell into it.

I decided not to bother with Accenture. I definately got a very unpositive vibe from the firm. Plus, why on earth anyone would accept a job from a firm without having met the bosses is beggars belief. You can't accept a job having only had HR interviews surely?!

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