PwC Assessment Centre: 2021 Success Guide

In this guide, you will be able to access information and tips on what to expect on how to succeed at the PwC assessment centre and their difficult recruitment process. 

Important point

  • As mentioned in our other guides, employers use different assessment suppliers. As for PwC, they use SHL tests which means you could access practice tests here.

Get your copy of our Ultimate Assessment Day & Interview Guide here. It includes tips, insider- information and tricks which will help you pass and ace your assessment. 

PwC Assessment Centre Success Guide

PwC is known as one of the most challenging and competitive assessment events in the UK. This assessment is particularly administered to fresh graduates. If you will be taking this assessment centre, it is important that you understand what is required for you to succeed. Do not worry as through this guide, you will be equipped with tools and criteria used by PwC which will help you succeed. 

Criterion 1- Business and Client Service

Just like in other companies, it is also important for PwC assessment centre to see your interest in their business, their clients and even the market or industry they are in. Thus, with this, we highly recommend that you spend time to do some research about PwC. 

Download annual report of PwC here. Try to understand and ensure you digest the key points in their report. You could even mention your findings during the interview. This will show your assessors that you have an eye for details and you have a good commercial acumen. 

Many candidates do not do enough research before their PwC assessment centre. They do not have enough knowledge of their potential employer’s business and financial position. With this, we recommend that you have at least a minimum understanding of what is their turnover, their net profit, what are their challenges and their goals in the next five years.  

Tip: Read PwC case studies and think of three ways to improve their top 5 clients’ businesses.

Criterion 2- Working in teams

In this criterion, you will need to be able to highlight specific examples on how you could work with others and work towards a common goal. 

  • How adaptable is your approach?
  • Could you negotiate?
  • Could you influence?
  • Are you sensitive to others’ work styles and are you able to adapt or flexible with it?
  • How could you prove that you are respectful of others’ beliefs, culture and backgrounds. 

Tip: list down at list 5 examples which you could mention during your PwC Assessment Centre. 

Criterion 3 – Communicating with impact and empathy

Another way to impress your future employer is your ability to communicate effectively and fluently. We understand that this could be difficult especially when you are nervous. Hence, it is wise for you to prepare three examples of how your communication skills has directly led you to succeed. Try and prepare for at least one example for your colleagues, manager and client.

Tip: download and read our article on “How to Deal with Nerves and Anxiety at Your Assessment Centre.”

Criterion 4 – Manage projects and economics

In the PwC assessment, you will be asked to provide examples on how work in the event of having strict deadlines and pressure. Highlight the tasks and projects and how you do under pressure during your assessment. 

Tip: prepare at least two examples which you could show your ability to work under pressure. 

We recommend that you take time to prepare for this criterion as it has a huge weight on your assessment centre. 

Tip: ensure that you reference your CV and tie it with your examples. 

Criterion 5 – Be open minded, agile with change and practical

The most commonly used interview techniques that is used in PWC assessment centre is the rug pull. This technique would put the candidate off by introducing something new or unexpected. The assessors would assess on how you would react to the change and how good you are at thinking on your feet. 

Will you move from one topic to the next or will you display your focus?

Tip: practice talking in detail and move from one to the other every 30 seconds or so.

It is difficult to think and switch gears. However, this will get easier after 5 to 10 minutes of continuous talking. 

Tip2: prepare two examples for your PwC assessment centre of how you are able to deal with change in a professional or academic setting.

Download 12-step assessment day cheatsheet & be prepared. 

Criterion 6 – Personal Development 

One trait that separates strong candidates from elite candidates is their focus on self-improvement. 

Download and get a copy of our article, “The Real Secret to Career Success”.

Tip: spend about 10 minutes on how you could show your track record of your personal development and your commitment to it. 

Tip2: Get a copy of Stephen Covey’s business classic Seven Habits of Highly Effective People . Reference some of the key points from this book and make a good impression. 

Tip 3: you could ask about personal development during your PwC assessment centre.

Practice PwC assessment exercise and tests

As mentioned numerous times, the best way for you to succeed in any assessment is by practicing. Being familiar with the test and exercises will immensely help you. Not only that, it would make you feel relaxed and it could also boost your performance. 

If you wish to practice, we recommend these practice tests-Job Test Preps . These tests are offered with a fee but if you are serious on passing your PwC assessment, we highly recommend for you to get your hands on it. 

Important: PwC now use “cut-e” style tests

As you might have read it earlier, employers use different types of test suppliers for their assessment tools. The differences could be huge as format, questions, etc. varies from one supplier to another. 

PwC’s Audit and Tax graduate programmes, the tests that you will have to take are the cut-e tests. You could check and practice cut-e verbal tests here and cut-e numerical tests here.

Update your CV before your Interview

One of the biggest mistakes when going to your interview is not improving your CV. Here’s why:

  1. Update your CV before the interview event and take with you a fresh, newly and improved version. One that is tailored to the job or role you would want. 
  2. In interviews, one of the basis of your interview will come from the information on your CV. No matter the interview is competency based or no. You will have to answer the questions based on your CV. 
  3. Your CV is one of the basis in the hiring decision process. It is your CV that they look at when they decide whether to hire you or not. 

The CV is the one that reminds the hiring manager of what your skills and experiences are and what happened during your hiring process. Aside from that, your CV is also your first and last impression. With this, we remind you to make your CV as strong as you could. 

FastMaths- Case Study Interview Preparation

Below is a link for a course taught by Matthew Tambiah. .

In this course, he teaches techniques which could help candidates solve quickly commercial problems. If you are looking for a job in companies like KPMG, PWC and Deloitte, this course is perfect for you. 

The course has two parts and they are:

  1. First part shows techniques on how to solve numerical calculations quickly without using a calculator or a spreadsheet. 
  2. The second half show the common types of quantitative problems given in case study interviews. In this part, you will be provided with solution methods for each problem type. 

In this course, you will learn how to use results of quantitative analysis to generate insights and recommendations. 

Some questions for you:

  • Will you be taking a numerical reasoning test or verbal reasoning test? If yes, we suggest that you check out our aptitude tests section.
  • You could find practice tests and get free advice on other types of reasoning tests like numerical, logical, verbal, abstract, inductive, Watson- Glaser, spatial, diagrammatic, mechanical comprehension and UKCAT
  • Are you worried about your assessment day or performing a presentation or preparing for an interview or group/in-tray exercise?
  • Would you like to get some guidance on how to deal with nerves and anxiety at your interview?

Check our tools and resources page.