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PwC Experienced Hire Application Stages

#1 PwC Experienced Hire Application Stages
25/10/2013 11:49



I have recently completed the PwC Technical Interview for an experienced hire position (Senior Associate) in Consulting.

Previous stages I have completed are:

- CV Application

- Telephone Interview

- Numerical and Verbal Online Tests

- Technical Interview

I have not yet heard back from the Technical Interview as it has only been a few days.

Is there another stage after this, and if so, is it the 'Face to Face Interview', or the 'Selection Day' or both?

Any guidance much appreciated!

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#2 RE: PwC Experienced Hire Application Stages
25/10/2013 13:04

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to ACONTACT (#1)

Goodness me, talk about putting somebody under the microscope.

Back in the day, all you needed was a CV to show you had relevant qualifications and experience, followed by a face to face interview to check that you'd fit in.

It would seem these days that employers don't trust academic qualifications as being a trustworthy indicator of your abilities. For instance, assuming you have a half-decent GCSE in maths, then why would they want you to do their own numerical tests?

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#3 RE: PwC Experienced Hire Application Stages
25/10/2013 16:48

optimist456 to ACONTACT (#1)


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#4 RE: PwC Experienced Hire Application Stages
29/10/2013 11:27

ACONTACT to optimist456 (#3)

Thanks Optimist456,

You're further ahead than me through the process - good luck with the Partner interview.

Do you know if all experienced hires go through the same number of stages or the same route to get an offer?

You said you're applying for Ops, however I am applying to Consulting - is there any difference you know of?

Or did they mention to you that the stages you have gone through / going through are the standard for all new applicants?

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#5 RE: PwC Experienced Hire Application Stages
29/10/2013 17:16

Imperial1309 to ACONTACT (#4)

You are being interviewed for consulting (rather than ops) because at SA you are only just at the point where you are aligned to a competency, so they want the flexibility to place you as required.

Just focus on core generic skills and you will be fine. Although you are coming in as an 'experienced hire' at you level all that is really required is someone who is capable generally.

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#6 RE: PwC Experienced Hire Application Stages
30/10/2013 13:06

optimist456 to ACONTACT (#4)


Imperial is spot on!

To add to this, it seems everyone goes through the same rounds. So you should have a Selection Day and a partner Interview.

EXPECT A DELAY hereon as PwC integrates its business with Booz!

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#7 RE: PwC Experienced Hire Application Stages
03/11/2013 10:59

ACONTACT to optimist456 (#6)

Optimist - thanks,

wanted to get clarity on whether the rounds can differ, or are always the same regardless of role / level.

I'll read your thread to pick up as much info as possible on the selection day before asking any questions!

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#8 RE: PwC Experienced Hire Application Stages
08/11/2013 14:21

ACONTACT to optimist456 (#6)

Optimist - you were right; got through to the Selection Day :)

The insight from your thread I imagine will prove extremely useful!

Anything fresh from experience that isn't covered or just worth re-emphasising?

One question I have:

Who are the other people in the group exercise? I assume they are applicants for various roles that happen to be at the same selection day as you (given it is about how you interact in a group, not whether you're better than the group for one specific role?)

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#9 RE: PwC Experienced Hire Application Stages
09/11/2013 18:22

optimist456 to ACONTACT (#8)


There will be no more than six of you on the Selection Day. Most probably (because it's designed to be this way), all candidates will be applying for different roles, sectors and businesses. You will absolutely, definitely & categorically NOT BE IN COMPETITION WITH ANYONE OF THEM. You can ALL FAIL or ALL PASS the SD. So the only pressure on you will be to manage yourself: time & focus!

GROUP DISCUSSION (1h): All participants will be discussing a case, with various choices, with a view to select the best possible choice. In this, each participant will be given a common brief and a unique brief regarding their own choice. As a group, take about twenty minutes to absorb the information and then start discussing the pros and cons of each choice. As you go along, you will eliminate the choice until you reach the optimum one, on which you all HAVE to agree.

Defend your choice (defending your analysis is a KEY consultant strength!) as much as you can, however, be willing to let go of it, if you have to, IN THE INTEREST OF THE GROUP REACHING AN OPTIMUM CONCLUSION! Somewhere near the end, each participant will receive another unique piece of information that you will be expected to factor in, and share, with the group. It COULD change what you as a group would've decided thus far.

IT IS VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY IMPORTANT THAT THE GROUP REACHES A CONCLUSION and comes out with a choice, otherwise, in some companies' assessment, they mark down all participants, even if they did well individually!


WRITTEN EXERCISE (1h): Similar to the Group Discussion above, you will be given a written exercise, in which you will be given a set of choices, out of which you have to select the best one. I'd say, take about twenty to thirty minutes to absorb the information, taking notes of pros and cons of each choice. Then start writing (you'll be given only one sheet of paper - two sides), structuring your report in a way so that you define the pros and cons of each choice and then conclude with which you think is the best one and why! This exercise is designed to press you for time and few people finish it to their satisfaction. The point here is to see how structured your thought process is.

THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWER FOR THIS EXERCISE AS EVERYONE WILL HAVE THEIR OWB REASON(S) FOR THEIR CHOICE. And this is exactly what they want to see - how good you can argue and structure what you have chosen.


DIRECTOR INTERVIEW (1h): Typically same as your Technical Interview. If you can say, and perform, the way you did on the TI, great chance you'll ace this too! A good idea would be to contact your Recruitment Manager and get feedback on your TI, if you haven't already. Then replicate that performance. Competency based!

THE MAJOR THEME SHOULD BE WHAT YOU WILL TAKE FROM THE FIRM (training, career, networking) & WHAT YOU WILL GIVE BACK TO THE FIRM (knowledge, relationships and commitment). Ask a couple of smart questions around what projects the practice is currently doing & how has the Director's time been at the firm. Tell yourself it's JUST A CONVERSATION AND NOT AN INTERVIEW (well, I was having coffee and biscuits during our 'chat') and you should do well! But this doesn't mean start winking at the female (or hi-five the male), ofcourse!

If I was to define the entire Selection day in a word, it would be (no surprise)...STRUCTURE! Structure your GD to assess each choice against some given variables, structure your WI to select a choice using its pros and cons and choosing the best one, structure your thoughts when faced with competency-based questions and answering.

Enjoy the day - good luck - you WILL do well!

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#10 RE: PwC Experienced Hire Application Stages
26/11/2013 10:45

ACONTACT to optimist456 (#9)


thanks for the description - it was exaclty as you said, however I was told beforehand that my Director interview would be on a different day, and dependent on me passing the group and written tests.

The group test was OK, although we did not reach a decision conclusively, mainly due to running out of time.

However I do not think I passed the written test. Again, the time pressure was immense and I found I had left too little time to physically write up my report. I do not know the official outcome yet but I expect to go no further.

I was, and still am quite devastated because I do not know how much emphasis they place on a good score on this test. To me it doesnt seem to test what it states it does. It is designed to be so time pressured that creating a thorough report is almost impossible, especially a hand written one. Also, after planning my response, I genuinely had a sound analysis of all the options with virtually all of the metrics available which given how rushed the exercise was would have set a strong and broad rationale for my choice in the time available.

Its as if the output is not really a report, more a risk/benefit decision by the applicant in whether to start writing and risk losing marks on structure and detail but complete within the time, or try to perform a relatively thorough analysis but risk not completing. I clearly went for the latter and realised the risk.

It seems unclear as to what the expected output should be, at least it was for me anyway. I understand it is an extreme situation but making a rushed choice because the time forces you to seems to work against many attributes and competencies that would otherwise be favourable; such as making calculated, evidence based decisions.

Obviously absorbing that amount of information and producing a sound analysis in the timeframe is a highly desirable skill in employees, but I probably would have only needed an extra 5 minutes to write up my report - is that really the definitive cut off point for performance/calibre?

Either way I have learnt ALOT, and just hope they do not discount my performance in my technical interview.

Thanks for the help.

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#11 RE: PwC Experienced Hire Application Stages
27/11/2013 10:31

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to ACONTACT (#10)

Hmm. Well, the thing here is that in real life you don't have unlimited time. If a manager gives a job to somebody and asks for something to be ready by a certain time, it can be VERY disruptive to them if it's not ready by then. When you have a client breathing down your neck, saying they want something by 5.00pm, sometimes you just have to get something - anything - to them by 5.00pm. If it's not perfect, that's fine - you just say where it needs further work, or point out any assumptions you have made. Going back and saying "it's not ready yet, we'll get it to you next week when we've done a proper job of it" sometimes simply isn't an option. People work against deadlines, and if they fail to meet a deadline, that can be the end of the show sometimes. It's like travelling on Ryanair - you can't just phone up and say "hold the flight for another 5 minutes, I just have to finish my breakfast properly" and expect other people to oblige. Sometimes, doing something fast and imperfectly is more important that taking your time and doing it perfectly...

There's a tired old phrase in the industry - "Do you want the 30 second answer, the 30 minute answer, or the 3 day answer?"...

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