Assessment Centres

PWC Telephone Interview

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A PWC telephone interview will be similar to any other telephone interview; however, they will focus more on the Global Core Competencies of their company, and expect you to have done your research on related topics in their field. The interviewer will most likely start with the normal questions of why you want to work at their particular company, and try to find out how much you know about their business. Much of the interview will be based around competency questions, such as asking when you have worked in a team; having your response practised to the various questions they could ask here is crucial, you usually only have around 25-30 minutes for the interview, so having long pauses and sighs can really cut into valuable time. When looking at actual examples of PWC telephone interviews it becomes clear that a lot of their focus is on commercial awareness, based around cases that are happening in the business world at the time. Thoroughly researching businesses around PWC, and those in the news, will give you a good footing to efficiently answer the questions they throw at you.

As with all telephone interviews there are certain things to remember, so as to come across as competent to the interviewer:

  • Have your CV and application to PWC at hand: you may need to go over certain areas to clarify what you have already told them.
  • Get a pen & paper ready: you will most likely (and should!) have questions to ask them at the end, and writing down their responses will be better than having to ask them again at a later date.
  • Research! You need to know as much about their business as you can, if you don’t it will become clear when they are probing you on certain business areas.
  • Know the market! As well as PWC itself, you should have a good grasp on any businesses it has been affiliated with, and those that are big in the news at your time of interview.
  • Conduct yourself in the same manner that you would in a face-to-face interview: be polite and confident, and make sure you sound enthusiastic about the job role throughout the call.
  • Be aware of the time limits: make sure you are actually answering the questions they have asked; if particularly interested a certain area it can be easy to go on a tangent, leaving out other crucial information they may want.
  • Try to build a rapport with the interviewer: you may have things in common and this will put you at ease for the rest of your interview.
  • Try to take the call where you have no distractions or loud noises: it will not go well if you are constantly asking them to repeat themselves, or worse, if you are in the middle of something else and seem uninterested in talking to them.

It can be difficult to get into ‘interview-mode’ over the phone, as you may only be used to taking social calls from friends and family, but it is important to take this seriously. Telephone interviews will usually be conducted when there have been a large amount of applications for a job, and candidates need to be screened so that only the most suitable will go on to more in depth assessment. You really want to stand out at this stage; although your work experience may be lacking, your personality can be crucial here in securing you a further interview or placement at an assessment centre. As long as you have a thorough knowledge of the business you are applying for, and be yourself throughout the interview, you should be successful in the telephone interview.

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