Ernst & Young
As one of the largest professional services firms in the world, competition for employment or a place on one of EY’s graduate schemes is fierce, meaning that there is an extensive selection process in place. This is to ensure only the most suitable candidates progress successfully, and a high calibre of workforce is maintained throughout the firm. Psychometric testing is adopted throughout the recruitment process, as a means of screening out candidates who lack the abilities necessary for a career in this area. Typically, candidates are asked to complete diagrammatic, numerical and verbal reasoning tests, although further tests may be used for some positions. Candidates are informed in advance as to which tests they will be required to take.
Ernst & Young reasoning tests are provided by Saville. The function of these tests is to screen out candidates without adequate diagrammatic, numerical and verbal ability, although higher level positions may require additional testing. The key competencies EY look for in potential employees are: Excellence in Academics, Leadership, Integrity, Enthusiasm, Respect and Teamwork; so be sure to demonstrate these throughout the application and assessment process.
The Ernst & Young Process
The Ernst & Young selection process is made of four stages:
- Application: Applications are made online and require candidates to provide their contact details, education and work experience. This is to ensure that the candidate meets the entry requirements for their selected role. After submitting their application, candidates are sent a link to the Ernst & Young strengths test, which again is to be completed online. Applications will only be processed once both of these have been completed and submitted.
- Testing: Selected candidates will then need to undertake an online psychometric test; comprised of numerical, verbal and diagrammatic reasoning questions. The test is provided by Saville and has a strict time limit, so practice tests are recommended.
- Interview: Successful candidates are then invited to attend an interview, which lasts roughly 50 minutes. Some of the questions are competency based and others are opportunities to demonstrate strengths and experience.
- Assessment Centre: The final stage is attendance at an assessment centre, during which candidates will undergo assessment exercises such as a written report, team meeting and a partner interview. It is during this interview that candidates are encouraged to ask questions about the company and learn more about the role for which they are applying. A final psychometric test may be administered during the assessment day, this is similar to the online test completed earlier, although it is written. Successful applicants at stage 4 will be offered a place on one of the Graduate schemes provided by Ernst & Young.
Ernst & Young Strengths Test
The EY strengths test is conducted online and is comprised of situational judgement (SJT) type questions. Candidates are provided with a fictional scenario and a selection of pre-written responses. They are instructed either to select the course of action they are most or least likely to adopt, the most or least effective option, to rank the options in order of effectiveness or to rate responses in terms of effectiveness and counter-productivity.
Ernst & Young Diagrammatic Test
In these tests, candidates will need to discover the rules associated with particular symbols or diagrams (e.g. rotates 90 degrees each time), and apply them by selecting the correct answer based on those rules. These questions will not be work place relevant and will appear abstract in nature. The EY Diagrammatic reasoning questions are part of an online combined reasoning test.
Ernst & Young Numerical Test
In these tests, numerical data is provided to a candidate, usually in the form of graphs, tables, statistics and financial data. To answer these questions, candidates must analyse this data and make a logical conclusion from it, allowing them to select the correct answer. Typical numerical skills which are tested include addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, ratios, fractions and percentages. The Ernst & Young test is a combined reasoning test and is completed online.
Ernst & Young Verbal Test
In these tests, candidates are provided with a passage of written information, often workplace related, and asked to analyse and draw logical inferences from that written information. The questions will be multiple choice with the answer options being: true; false; cannot say. The key here is to answer the questions based on purely the information contained within the passage (ignore any prior knowledge you may have). Think literally and go only on what you have been told in the passage. These types of questions will appear in an online combined reasoning test.