The assessments you'll complete will depend on the kind of role you apply for. These assessments help us build a clearer picture of your capabilities and where your strengths lie.
Whichever opportunity you're applying for, there are some things that you should be thinking about, so we've put together some hints and tips for you:
Remember what we're looking for
Throughout the process, we'll be looking for you to show awareness and evidence of the skills and qualities you need to succeed in our business. Wherever possible, you should be able to demonstrate and highlight how you match our requirements. For more information, please refer to the 'The skills we look for' page.
Do your research
We'll expect you to be able to talk coherently and confidently about PwC, the position you're applying for, the business world in general and yourself. The more you know about these things, the more prepared you'll be, so you'll have to get researching. Take a look at our commercial awareness page for more information.
Think about investigating the following sources of information:
Don't just give them a quick glance the day before your interview. Examine them, understand the issues and keep yourself up to date.
Completing your application form
Remember first impressions count so the application form is a major opportunity to sell yourself. Before you complete the form, you should gather accurate details of your academic and employment history including any work experience placements. While completing the form, remember to:
The majority of our opportunities require you to have an ability to work with numerical information, so you‘ll be asked to take an online numerical reasoning test. We ask most candidates to complete further tests to assess verbal reasoning or inductive reasoning (sometimes called logical reasoning). Don't be put off by the tests - ensuring you take the time to prepare and completing some practice tests, will give you the best possible chance to succeed. Later in the process you'll sit paper versions of these tests, so it’s good preparation.
Some of our jobs require you to complete the work style preference questionnaire (OPQ). This questionnaire looks at your behavioural preferences in relation to a range of different aspects of working life. It's not about your knowledge, skills or abilities, but about how you like to do things and what approach you would typically take; your preferred working style. It provides a measure of how you see yourself in terms of the way you respond to other people, tackle problems, and deal with feelings and emotions. To find out why we use it click here.
When completing the questionnaire you're asked to choose between different statements, which look at various aspects of preferred working style. Your task is to choose one statement which is most like your everyday behaviour one statement which is least like your behaviour in work situations.
We recommend that you start preparing for your interview well in advance. You need to think about the topics which might be discussed and how your experiences and skills relate to these.
Prior to your interview we'd encourage you to:
Remember, we're not expecting you to be perfect but preparing for some of these questions will certainly help you to feel confident that you've given it your best shot.
During the interview:
Face to face interview
It's extremely important that you're not late so aim to get there in good time. If you're delayed, try to call ahead to warn us so you may want to bring a copy of your interview invitation along with directions.
Prepare what you're going to wear beforehand - if in doubt, dress conservatively. When you enter the interview:
Economics Technical Question
Applicants to Economics Consulting are required to answer a technical question during the final interview. The questions are based around projects that are typical of the work undertaken within this business area and you are required to select one of these. You'll have 15 minutes preparation time and are required to spend the first 15 minutes of the interview providing your opinions on the scenario and discussing your approach and ideas. No prior preparation is required.
The assessment centre is designed to give you the chance to demonstrate your qualities and to find out as much about life at PwC as you can.
Group or individual exercises
A group exercise allows us to observe how people perform when working in a team. We give you a pack of information and ask you to use it as a team to come up with solutions to a range of issues. This type of exercise allows you to demonstrate communication and influencing skills, teamwork, and your ability to manage a task and deal with changing priorities.
We may ask you to take part in an individual exercise depending on the size of the assessment centre and/or the location you've applied to. The individual exercise assesses the same skills as the group exercise but you'll interact with a trained assessor rather than other candidates.
Each type of exercise will last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes and no prior preparation is required. Ensure that you speak clearly and audibly so that the assessors can hear you
The written exercise is designed to assess your written communication ability. You’ll have 30 minutes to read the exercise briefing materials and prepare a written report on the given subject. This exercise is designed to assess your ability to produce written reports to an appropriate standard. Your report will be assessed on the basis of your application of structure; use of clear, concise language; and logical and coherent presentation.
A certified Test Administrator manages each assessment session and will tell you clearly what to do and how to do it. We do everything we can to make all our candidates' assessment experiences professional and fair. Please help us by being considerate of other candidates, including respecting their privacy and confidentiality.
Each assessment has its own scoring system. During the introduction to the test we'll explain the best way to answer.
For most ability tests, your accuracy can be checked. We advise working quickly and accurately. If you're unsure of an answer, mark your best choice and avoid wild or random guesses. Your 'best choice' is when you have narrowed the answer down to one probable answer or two likely answers, and then select one of them. Wild guessing is when you cannot decide which of the multiple-choice answers is correct and randomly pick one.
Before using any assessment tool, we work out what level of achievement indicates that a candidate has the potential to do a specific job successfully.
We'll compare your results with the level of skill needed by the role you've applied for; and with those of candidates who have a similar educational background and have previously applied to similar roles.
Sometimes the questions in a test become progressively more complex, but not always. It's best to listen closely to the instructions given at the assessment session. Usually the best strategy is to work through all questions in order, and as quickly and accurately as you can.
Some people will complete an ability test in the time allowed, others won't. Don't be too concerned if you can't finish all the questions. We score on the number of correct answers given in the time allowed, so just work as quickly and accurately as you can.
Yes, we'll inform you of your result along with feedback on the rest of your application. This will be once a recruitment decision has been made.
You can use a calculator in many of our numerical ability tests. We'll let you know in advance if you'll be allowed to use one and the Test Administrator will let you know again at the start of the session. If you are allowed to use a calculator, we'll provide you with one. Or, if you prefer, you can bring your own.
In every case, the rules of your testing session will be the same for all other candidates applying for the same role.
The assessment tools give us extra information on particular areas like reasoning ability or the quality of your team working skills. It's difficult to assess these skills objectively from other parts of the selection procedure.
Each assessment focuses on a specific, job-relevant skill. People who have little experience of a particular job may well be very capable of doing that job, and the test gives them the chance to prove it. All candidates for a role complete the same assessment exercises which means we can compare them fairly and objectively.
It is possible to fail the tests. Before using any assessment tool, we work out what level of achievement indicates that a candidate has the potential to do a specific job successfully. As such, if you fail to meet any of the criteria, at any stage of the recruitment process, your application will not progress any further.
We're committed to the fair and ethical use of assessment tools and provide information to help you understand why and how we use them in our recruitment process. We've also prepared a detailed statement of our commitment to all candidates.