PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is the second largest professional services firm in the world and is one of the "Big 4". As such, PwC is highly selective in the candidates they hire, and has created a challenging recruitment process to help find best and brightest applicants.
Spots on PwC’s undergraduate programmes, graduate schemes, and senior managerial jobs are some of the most sought after positions so, the competition for open positions is intense. (You can get a clue of the chances of getting into PwC by looking at the data presented to the right, taken from the official PwC website.)
Therefore, as a candidate, you need to make sure you have a full picture of the application process ahead of you and that you prepare for each stage of the process in advance.
Below we will go through the different assessments you can expect when applying to PwC and offer tips and tailor-made preparation materials that will help you pass the application process with flying colours.
The recruitment process for PwC varies between candidates depending on the type of job or programme for which they are applying, as well as the level of the position. Therefore, when preparing for the process, make sure to pay close attention to the information you receive from the recruitment team.
The typical application process involves the following stages:
Below we will discuss the basic things all candidates for PwC should be aware of when applying to the company. We will start with the core competencies PwC is looking for in each and every prospective employee. Then, we will move on to the first stage of the recruitment process — the application form. This stage is common for all applicants to PwC and its subsidiary Strategy&.
Later, we will present the next stages of the application process. As the process varies between applicants, we will focus on applicants for the PwC UK graduate programme and internship. To learn about the recruitment process for other job levels, check out our PwC Experienced Hires and School Leavers pages. If you are applying for a position in another country, you might be interested in our PwC Australia or Ireland pages.
A main goal of the recruitment process is to assess how well you fit with the key competencies PwC values. Thus, it is important to keep these skills and behaviours in mind throughout all stages of the process and demonstrate them as much as possible. Here are the five core competencies PwC is looking for, which together comprise the company’s professional leadership framework:
It is therefore necessary to try and incorporate these competencies into all of your answers. By doing so, you will show recruiters that not only do you have the skills needed, but also that you really want to work for the company. On many occasions we have seen that motivation is the deciding factor on whether you actually get the job offer, so make sure to have these competencies in mind every step of the way.
All candidates, both novice and experienced, begin their recruitment process by filling out an online application form.
For school leavers, students, and graduates, the application continues at this point. You will need to answer questions about your eligibility for the job and your educational and employment history. You will also be asked to explain why you have chosen this position and career field in 500 words. You may also be given several competency-based questions to answer.
For experienced hires, a well-structured and informative CV should give the company all the information it needs to decide if you have what it is looking for. Be sure to tailor your CV to the job description and make any necessary changes or highlights.
When filling out the form, bear in mind PwC’s core competencies and integrate them in your answers. Be careful not to do it too bluntly, though. PwC wants to get to know you, so use your own language and avoid copy-pasting from its leaflets or website. Before clicking on the send button, go over the entire form and make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. After all, you do not want to lose out on your dream job for something as fixable as that.
Once your application has been submitted, it is reviewed by PwC. If it is approved by the recruiters, you will be informed of the next steps you need to take.
After passing the online application, students and graduates applying for an internship or a graduate scheme usually need to go through the following stages:
Most candidates need to complete one or more psychometric tests provided by CEB’s SHL. These include numerical, verbal, logical, and/or personality tests. Some candidates will be asked to take numerical and verbal reasoning tests delivered by a different company called cut-e. If you wish, you can read more about PwC’s Online Tests.
If you manage to successfully pass the online tests, you will be invited to the first of two interviews with PwC. This interview is conducted either face-to-face or by telephone depending on the job for which you have applied. It usually lasts about 45 minutes, with candidates for summer internship and work placement programmes having a shorter interview lasting approximately 20 minutes.
The next stage of the recruitment process for graduates and undergraduates is an assessment centre. This includes verification tests for the aptitude tests you previously took. There is also a written communication exercise and a further exercise performed either individually or in a group.
The final stage of any student or graduate recruitment process — the final interview — takes place either at the assessment centre or at an arranged time afterwards. You can expect your interviewer to be either a partner or a director from the business area you are looking to join.
Interviews can be the most nerve-wracking part of the process, but preparation is key to helping you stay calm and focused. With the help of our experts’ guide, you can ensure a stellar performance during your interview. The guide, included in our PwC Interview & Assessment Centre Preparation Pack, offers useful tips and insights as well as recommendations for answering common questions.
PwC’s undergraduate and graduate schemes are a great way to begin your future career, but getting there can be a real challenge. With the help of JobTestPrep’s preparation packs, you can greatly improve your skills and increase the chances of getting that long-awaited job offer. We offer two packs specifically tailored for applicants to internships and graduate programmes at PwC:
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