Headquartered in London, Ernst & Young (EY) is one of the “Big Four” accounting firms. It is one of the largest professional service firms in the world with operations in more than 140 countries. EY employs people at many different job levels, from school leavers all the way up to experienced professionals. Below we lay out the application and hiring process for EY’s student and graduate careers. This includes their scholarship programs, year-long internships, summer internships, as well as positions you can have with them during school and once you graduate.
All applicants begin the process by submitting their basic details through EY’s careers website. This is the very first impression of you which the company receives so make sure to highlight anything and everything that can help you stand out on your CV. You must also supply your basic contact details and relevant information such as your academic and work history, to give EY a full picture of yourself and your potential.
Ernst and Young has a set of values, a global code of conduct, that is visible throughout the recruitment process and in the workplace. Show the company you are a perfect fit for your chosen position by displaying these values in your application, aptitude tests, interviews, and assessments. These values are:
In order to show that you have these skills and have used them in the past you need to showcase them at every available outlet. Developing a strategy for each one where you highlight your achievements and skills is recommended and we show you how to do this below.
Before inviting you on to the assessment centre, EY recruiters want to double check that you have the potential they are looking for. This is done through a short telephone interview. The conversation is between 20-25 minutes long and focuses on your competencies and why you want to work at EY. This helps the recruitment team get to know you better. As the interview is conducted over the phone, you should have your CV with any notes you need in front of you at all times. Make sure you are in a quiet area where you can concentrate and not be disturbed.
This is a full day assessment centre and you will be evaluated throughout the day, not just during the assessments themselves. Make sure to take advantage of the day to learn more about the company. During the lunch break, employees and current graduate scheme members are available to chat and offer useful advice.
There are various activities that you will go through, and whilst not every Ernst & Young assessment centre is the same for every path of entry, on the whole, the process is very similar. Many of the tasks and exercises overlapping not only in format but also in content.
This is a team exercise where candidates are split into groups of four, each group receiving a packet of information to use to complete the exercise. You have 15 minutes to read through and quickly analyse the information provided individually. This is followed by a 30-minute discussion period among the members of your group. In this exercise, you want to make sure that your voice gets heard without being overbearing. Be polite and listen to the other members of your group and whenever possible, take a leading position. Remember EY is looking for individuals who work well in a team as well as have leadership skills. For tips on achieving this balance, check out our group exercise guide.
The case study is one of the most demanding EY assessment centre tasks. You are given the details of a fictitious company facing some tough business decisions, and a set of relevant materials. In the allotted time frame, you must go through the materials, analyse the case in hand, devise a recommended plan of action, and prepare a written report, or short presentation of your findings and recommendations. The key to success in this exercise is working quickly through the documents, prioritising and identifying the key issues.
The case study exercise lasts for 40 minutes and is divided into two parts. In the first part of the exercise you have to work your way through a case study on a new topic. You need to analyse different facts and figures similar to that of what you will face if you are given the job. For example, you may need to summarise profit trends and percentage increases or decreases. You then present them in a report in the correct manner with tables and succinct points along with different recommendations.
The second section of the Ernst & Young case study asks you to plan a way to deal with a team that you are going to be leading. You have to devise timetables, progress reports, deadlines, contingency plans and everything else that you need to run a team of individuals working towards a common aim.
In general, you will need more time to do the first part of the exercise than the second. Your reports are written in Microsoft Word so you can utilise the spelling and grammar check when you come to proofread your work. It is very important that your work contains no spelling mistakes as this will count against you.
Using the information and analysis from the previous exercise, you need to prepare either a presentation or take part in a role play exercise. Depending on the number of candidates at the assessment centre, this is done either individually or in pairs.
For the presentation, you need to present your findings to a panel of EY recruiters, all of whom are already familiar with your topic. You can expect questions on the information you are presenting as well. This presentation is short, usually about 10 minutes with about 15 minutes to prepare. Make sure to work quickly and accurately to ensure a good performance.
For the role play, you are again making a type of presentation but this time it is over the phone. The style of the presentation should be more fluid and conversational when making your points. Expect questions and comments from the assessor, some of which may include new information which you need to adapt into your analysis on the spot. Role plays can be a challenge but with the assistance of our guide, you are sure to do well.
To verify the results of your previous aptitude testing, there is a second round of tests at the assessment centre. These are administered on paper and you are given the same amount of time that you had for the previous Ernst & Young online tests. Ensure you are fully up to date with your practise to give yourself the best chance of success.
As a general note, the partner interview can be scheduled either during the assessment centre or at a separate date and time according to the partner’s availability. The interview is also done either at the beginning of the day or the end in order to keep the flow of the activities going.
There are two different styles to this approximately hour long interview. It can either be a conversational interview, walking you through your CV and application form or it can be more business related. For the latter, you are asked how you think Ernst & Young should deal with with an issue that has something to do with the business world at the moment. This leads into a discussion with the partner about the case. Make sure you are fully aware of the services that EY provide because it is very easy to be caught off guard. It is impossible to know which of the two you will get for the simple reason that you won’t know who your interviewer will be until the assessment day itself.
Preparing for an interview is difficult and here at JobTestPrep we offer a full selection of different interview preparation packages to help you get through this final stage of the Ernst & Young recruitment process. See our PDF on the Ernst & Young interview questions for more tips and example questions.