Largely recognised for its status as one of the Big Four auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is a renowned multinational professional services firm that originated in the UK. Securing employment or a place on one of their graduate programmes is extremely competitive and candidates must be prepared to undergo a lengthy selection procedure. Once an online application form has been completed, candidates are required to undertake online psychometric tests, which will be either numerical, verbal or logical reasoning depending on the job role. This is typical of graduate level positions, although further tests may be required for higher level roles. Candidates are informed in advance as to which tests they will be required to take.
PwC use a combination of (CEB) SHL tests and Saville Consulting assessment exercises throughout the recruitment process, as a means of screening out candidates who lack the abilities necessary for a career in this area. PwC assess candidates in terms of their 10 Global Competencies, which are listed at relevant points throughout “The PwC Process”.
The PwC Process
The PwC selection process is made of four stages:
- Application and Online Tests: 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 invited to undertake online psychometric tests, which will be numerical, verbal or logical reasoning, depending on the position applied for.
- First Interview: Successful candidates are then invited to attend an initial interview either in person or via telephone, this is competency based and will last approximately 45 minutes. The Global Competencies assessed at this stage are; communicate with impact and empathy, acquire and apply commercial and technical expertise, lead and contribute to team success, be open minded agile with change and practical, manage projects and economics, and demonstrate courage and integrity. It is recommended that applicants use this interview as an opportunity to provide evidence of their skills, as well as presenting a considered approach to their chosen career.
- Assessment Centre: Candidates are then invited to attend an assessment centre, during which they will undergo further reasoning tests, a written communication exercise and a group or individual exercise. At this stage, candidates are required to produce an original government issued photo identification such as a driving licence or passport.
- Final Interview: The final interview is more in-depth than the previous interview and will be conducted by partner or director from the applicants chosen area. During the final interview, candidates are assessed in terms of the following Global Competencies; communicate with impact and empathy, be curious: learn share and innovate, be passionate about client services, build and sustain relationships, and develop self and others through coaching. Successful applicants at stage 4 will be made an offer of employment or a place on a graduate programme with PwC.
*Typically the entire selection process should take around 4-6 weeks from initial application. Successful candidates may also be required to undergo criminal record checks.
PwC Verbal Test
In these tests candidates are provided with a passage of written information 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. The PwC verbal test is completed online and lasts approximately 20 minutes.
PwC 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 PwC numerical test is completed online and lasts approximately 20 minutes.
PwC Logical Test
Logical reasoning questions present a sequence of numbers or symbols and ask the candidate to select the next item in the sequence, from multiple choice options. These tests are considered non-verbal reasoning and require candidates to recognise patterns or rules and use them to make logical conclusions as to what will come next. Logical reasoning tests have a set time limit, so it is important to work efficiently and try to answer as many questions as possible. The PwC logical test is completed online and lasts approximately 20 minutes.