My interview experience with PwC – Sarah Shafii

Hello, dear readers! I am Sarah and I recently completed ACCA (although a bit late lol). Woo hoo!! Studies are done, it’s job hunting time! Which lands us to the title of this article.

Before I share with you my interview experience, I’m going to explain the whole process that I went through leading up to it, just so that you’d have a rough idea on how the whole thing generally goes.

Firstly, the HR will call you and conduct a phone interview (so please be with your phone at all times after you have submitted your CV to any firm. If you notice a missed call from an unknown office number, CALL IT BACK!!) They will try to get to know you better by asking you to explain about yourself, your achievements (mostly to verify and clarify the information you put on your CV), your experiences, et cetera. It’s generally laid back, this part. 

The HR rep who called me did not ask me much because we have met each other a few times in person. Because I really wanted to work at PwC, I took the effort to meet her in person such as joining PwC events and visiting PwC’s booth at a career fair (I was shameless lol).

The next stage was the assessment stage. You will receive an invite to PwC’s HQ via email once you passed the phone interview stage. You will need to go through a numerical assessment and a written assessment there. They will also ask for important documents for you to bring as well.

After you have passed this stage, you will receive a call for a scheduled interview session with a director/partner/manager.

Most of the questions that the interviewer asked me were technical. Some of his other questions were:

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Explain one accounting standard that you know.
  3. (Because I failed a few times) I see that you have failed a few times, could you tell me why?
  4. What would you do if one of your team members is being difficult?
  5. Share a difficult situation that you have faced, and how you dealt with it.

There were quite a few questions on teamwork, so if you plan to join a club where you need to deal with people, I highly suggest that you do.

At the end of the interview session, the interviewer asked me if I had any questions. Honestly, I did not, because I did a lot of research on PwC. However, I took this opportunity to verify the knowledge that I gained from all the Googling (mostly to show how interested I was in PwC).

Frankly, I really enjoyed the interview session (I actually enjoy most of the interview sessions that I attended). I think I spent extra 20 minutes just discussing with the interviewer about PwC’s portfolio.

Of course, different interviewer will ask different questions. Some other candidates were asked:

  1. Your five-year plan
  2. Why audit?
  3. Why should PwC hire you?

So it depends. I think it’s important to feel comfortable while talking to the interviewer. This is so clichèd but I’m going to say it anyway— just be yourself.

To add on (since most likely everyone will try all of the Big 4), KPMG’s interview process is quite similar. They will call you and ask you to do a numerical assessment and an English assessment (albeit via an online portal; you would not have to go to KPMG’s office). Once you have passed, they will call you for a group interview (it is actually a two-to-one interview and by two, I mean two interviewers interviewing one candidate). If you pass the interview session, they will call you to inform you that you are selected to join KPMG.

If you are not successful, do not despair. EY rejected me after the phone interview hahaha.

There are many opportunities out there. You just have to find it, chase it and grab it! I hope this sharing of my experience will help you in one way or another. All the best!

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