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Hr phone interview with PWC any advice or tips?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I need some quick advice my wife will be having a phone interview with pwc for an accounting position (she still doesnt know if its audit or tax), she's never done this before, anyone have any advice or tips they can share that would help her move forward in the interview process?
Any help would be much appreciated. (now i can justify spending more time on SF )
post #2 of 28
This is just my experience in interviewing this past year with PwC. All the interviews were in person, on campus or at office and were for an internship so your wife may be interviewing for a vastly different level. I was ultimately unsuccessful in these interviews so take that into consideration with my advice.

In general the interviews I had with PwC were more informal had a feel more of a conversation than a formal interview. They usually started with a bit about themselves, then let me ask questions and as I asked questions tossed in a question here or there about my resume or general behavioral things such as time management. I usually got a why public/PwC question as well. Compared to other interviews I had there was much more time to ask questions and the interviews tended to stray more from conventional things, I.E. because I spent one summer working in Florida I ended up spending a few mins talking about Disney World and with another person we talked about a volunteer experience we both shared in common. Other firms took notes and seemed to have a bit of script they were going off of where with PwC we were just talking for better or worse. Not sure if this is just my personal experience or a firm wide thing but it was pretty consistent with the four people I interviewed with.

I never got any technical questions or brain teasers, although I'd imagine that would vary by the level you are interviewing for. Going into the first interview I did not know if it was for audit or tax, they just asked which you were interested in (that and expected 150hr date were the only things they wrote down). I think at the entry level they have a bunch of people with similar 3.5+'s GPAs and work experience and who have a 50% chance of quitting within 3 years so they just try to see who would fit best personality wise.

Not sure how any of this stuff would translate to a phone interview or for more experienced jobs but best of luck to your wife!
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveB View Post
This is just my experience in interviewing this past year with PwC. All the interviews were in person, on campus or at office and were for an internship so your wife may be interviewing for a vastly different level. I was ultimately unsuccessful in these interviews so take that into consideration with my advice.

In general the interviews I had with PwC were more informal had a feel more of a conversation than a formal interview. They usually started with a bit about themselves, then let me ask questions and as I asked questions tossed in a question here or there about my resume or general behavioral things such as time management. I usually got a why public/PwC question as well. Compared to other interviews I had there was much more time to ask questions and the interviews tended to stray more from conventional things, I.E. because I spent one summer working in Florida I ended up spending a few mins talking about Disney World and with another person we talked about a volunteer experience we both shared in common. Other firms took notes and seemed to have a bit of script they were going off of where with PwC we were just talking for better or worse. Not sure if this is just my personal experience or a firm wide thing but it was pretty consistent with the four people I interviewed with.

I never got any technical questions or brain teasers, although I'd imagine that would vary by the level you are interviewing for. Going into the first interview I did not know if it was for audit or tax, they just asked which you were interested in (that and expected 150hr date were the only things they wrote down). I think at the entry level they have a bunch of people with similar 3.5+'s GPAs and work experience and who have a 50% chance of quitting within 3 years so they just try to see who would fit best personality wise.

Not sure how any of this stuff would translate to a phone interview or for more experienced jobs but best of luck to your wife!

thanx, did you get the job? and if yes are you happy in it?
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveB View Post
This is just my experience in interviewing this past year with PwC. All the interviews were in person, on campus or at office and were for an internship so your wife may be interviewing for a vastly different level. I was ultimately unsuccessful in these interviews so take that into consideration with my advice.
In general the interviews I had with PwC were more informal had a feel more of a conversation than a formal interview. They usually started with a bit about themselves, then let me ask questions and as I asked questions tossed in a question here or there about my resume or general behavioral things such as time management. I usually got a why public/PwC question as well. Compared to other interviews I had there was much more time to ask questions and the interviews tended to stray more from conventional things, I.E. because I spent one summer working in Florida I ended up spending a few mins talking about Disney World and with another person we talked about a volunteer experience we both shared in common. Other firms took notes and seemed to have a bit of script they were going off of where with PwC we were just talking for better or worse. Not sure if this is just my personal experience or a firm wide thing but it was pretty consistent with the four people I interviewed with.

I never got any technical questions or brain teasers, although I'd imagine that would vary by the level you are interviewing for. Going into the first interview I did not know if it was for audit or tax, they just asked which you were interested in (that and expected 150hr date were the only things they wrote down). I think at the entry level they have a bunch of people with similar 3.5+'s GPAs and work experience and who have a 50% chance of quitting within 3 years so they just try to see who would fit best personality wise.

Not sure how any of this stuff would translate to a phone interview or for more experienced jobs but best of luck to your wife!

..
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddievddr10 View Post
thanx, did you get the job? and if yes are you happy in it?

I did not. For this reason I tried to stay away from any specific advice as what to say and just gave my overall experience with them and what questions they asked.
post #6 of 28
Phone interview with HR is simply a fact-finding or fact-confirming type of exercise.

Basically, have your resume in front of you be able to speak clearly about anything on it.

I presume parts of the interview will be explaining to your wife what the position is for, some background and time allotted for questions.

Have some questions lined up, "more detail about the position, who will I be reporting to, what is the next step in this process?"

There shouldn't be any curve balls or anything complex or any hard questions in this interview. It's just a screening to get you in for the "real" interview.
post #7 of 28
The most important thing is controlling your voice. In an actual interview, one can compensate for silences or occasional stutters with body language. Not so in phone interviews.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbear View Post
Basically, have your resume in front of you be able to speak clearly about anything on it.

...

Have some questions lined up, "more detail about the position, who will I be reporting to, what is the next step in this process?"



+1

It's important to prepare as many notes as necessary in advance and have them organised in front of you so that you may refer to them with ease throughout the interview.
post #8 of 28
I had one of these last year, the feel was very conversational and laid back. It was more or less a run through of my resume, with a couple of questions about my current job and other stuff pertaining to my resume.

For the interview she should be seated at a table with her resume in front of her and know every detail without thinking twice about it.
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help! What would be the the one thing to be most careful about when speaking to a recruiter from pwc?
post #10 of 28
My experience with phone interviews suggests that they are intended to get a guage of the interviewees personality. The questions are very basic and the general attitide is very laid back; think phone conversation with a coworker. I interviewed with a consulting firm a few years ago and the first interview was over the telephone. They asked a few questions about my prior experiences and the rest were personal questions. I remember being asked a question about an ideal evening. The most important factors to consider when interviewing over the phone or speaking with anyone for that matter is to sound geniunely interested and answer the question that is being asked. Tell your wife to smile a lot during her phone interview. A few laughs wouldnt hurt either. Most people can detect positive/negative body language over the phone. Good luck!
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
is big4guru.com the real deal?
post #12 of 28
If she gets past the phone interview, I highly suggest she try to network with employees at the firm to get a sense of the culture and whatnot. Then, when she gets to the final round interview, she can say, "Well, I spoke to ____ and ___ and they both said how amazing the culture is. I think I fit into that culture because of X,Y, and Z."
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddievddr10 View Post
is big4guru.com the real deal?

I downloaded off of a p2p site. It might be helpful, if you want I'll email you the pdf. PM me if you want it
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddievddr10 View Post
Thanks for all the help! What would be the the one thing to be most careful about when speaking to a recruiter from pwc?

Big 4 looks for people that can work hard and get along well with others since they are known for putting their employees through long hours together. Your wife needs to sound personable and professional, and if the recruiter likes your wife they will probably invite her for a formal interview. Is this an entry level position? If it is, it will be a "fit" type interview asking questions like, "tell me about a tough situation you were in and how you dealt with it..." If it is not entry level your wife should expect some technical questions.

Since he is HR he probably doesnt know much about whatever profession he is recruiting your wife for, so he is likely just going to run through each line of her resume with her on the phone, but be very conversational about it.

Also, like I had said earlier, MAKE SURE SHE KNOWS EVERY PART OF HER RESUME and can actually sell her self based on what is on there. For example:

PWC recruiter: I see you you got your masters degree in 1 year and had a 4.0 in the program. That's impressive Jane!

Your wife: Yea, Mr. Recruiter, it was very difficult, especially since I had given birth quadruplets the day before I started the program....

get it?
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddievddr10 View Post
is big4guru.com the real deal?

Dude wants you to buy a book?!?! Hahaha.

Anyone who truly needs a book to do well in a Big 4 interview is not going to do well in a Big 4 capacity.

I'm assuming the phone interview is very much similar to the in person interview....99.9% gauge of personality/character.

As a big4 alum, there are a few things I always looked for (besides grades/technical ability...it is assumed you know that stuff or you wouldn't even have gotten this far)...and that was:

-"Would I want to hang out with this person outside of work?". Your ability to get along with co-workers in such a team oriented environment is truly make or break. I'd say that accounts for 50-60% of it (this is how I evaluated people...keep in mind, I never worked in a recruiting capacity but was always involved when intern/new hire season came about...most other professionals feel the same)

-"Is this person willing to work their ass off and not complain?". Humility has got to be another 25-30% of the equation. There is so much demanded of you as a first year, that you have to personally be able to work long ass hours and become a sponge...don't think you know anything because you don't know shit (my schooling provided the foundation, but 99% of what I know now is due to on the job experience)

If your wife can inherently convey this to the recruiters in a relaxed way, she should be fine.

I know my post basically boils down to a generic "be yourself", but that's kind of what she has to be. We really appreciated people who were genuine and down to earth...the suckups and people who said what they thought we wanted to hear stuck out like sore thumbs.

Good luck!
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