Guide to Ernst & Young Assessment Centre and Interview Preparation

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If you have done well in the online testing stages, you will be invited to attend the Ernst & Young telephone interview and assessment centre. At both of these stages, Ernst & Young want to find out if you possess the skills and strengths to succeed. They want to see you have used these skills in the past in order for this is a predicator for your future success. The various exercises and interviews you can expect are outlined below along with how best to tackle them with the help of our resources.

EY Recruitment Process

EY Telephone Interview

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 can have your CV with any notes you need in front of you at all times and this is highly recommended. Make sure you are in a quiet area where you can concentrate and not be disturbed.

Our free EY interview guide includes great pointers to help plan an interview strategy and give your answers in the clearest way possible.

EY Assessment Centre

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 as well 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 with many of the tasks and exercises overlapping not only in format but also in content.

Group Exercise

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 amongst 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 leadership skills. For tips on achieving this balance, check out our group exercise guide.

Case Study

The case study is one of the most demanding EY assessment centre tests. You are given the details of a fictitious company facing some tough business decisions, and a set of materials relating to the business and their decision. In the allotted time frame, you must go through the materials, analyse the case in hand and devise a recommended plan of action, including preparing 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. Learn more about this exercise here.

Presentation & Role Play Exercise

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. Looking for pointers? Explore our presentation page for more info.

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.

Ernst & Young Ability Tests

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.

Ernst & Young Partner Interview

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.

In this approximately hour long interview there are two different styles of interviews. It can either be a conversational interview walking you through your CV and application form or it can be more business based. For the latter, you are asked a leading question to do with the business world at the moment and how you think Ernst & Young would deal with it. 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 out. 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.

In Summary

We have covered the entire Ernst & Young recruitment process providing you with information and tips to help you overcome every stage. Ernst & Young are not looking for good candidates, they are looking to employ great ones. For you this means that you have to be at the top of your game to fully succeed. We hope you have enjoyed this article and look forward to seeing you back again soon. Good luck!


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