Selection Approach

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Selection approach

At PwC, recruiting has never been a one-dimensional process. It’s not just about your grades or how much volunteer work you’ve done. We look for a combination of skills, experience and personality traits that we know are good indicators for on-the-job success – both now and in the future.

In general, we look for people with great “soft” skills gained from community work, work experiences and leadership roles both on and off campus. We focus on diverse skill sets and identify candidates who meet all the requirements we’re looking for. This doesn’t mean we’re looking for one specific “type” of person, but we do want to understand how well your attitude, working style and values align to PwC’s - just like you also want to make sure that we’re right for you.

We believe that the recruitment process should be a two-way street that helps us (and you) better understand what you’re capable of achieving today – and tomorrow – and will also provide insight into the underlying potential, strengths and skills that you may not even know you have. That’s why we developed the PwC Professional Talent Centre – a comprehensive interview that is unlike anything you’ve ever done because it focusses on what you can do, rather than what you can’t.

The PwC Professional Talent Centre is an important part of our recruitment process for full-time, co-op and summer internship roles in Consulting, Deals, Risk Assurance Services, Tax and also full-time and summer roles in Assurance for Calgary and Toronto.

We want you to do well and we know our PwC Professional Talent Centre is a relatively unique concept, so we’ve provided lots of information to help you prepare for an interview with us and what you can expect if you are invited to participate in our PwC Professional Talent Centre.

Good luck! We’re excited to see what you can achieve.

Application hints & tips

Whichever opportunity you're applying for, there are some things that you should be thinking about:

Remember what we're looking for

Throughout the process, we'll be looking for you to demonstrate the skills and qualities you need to succeed in our business. Wherever possible, you should be able to display and articulate how you match our requirements. For more information, see the skills outlined in our What we do page.

Do your research

We'll expect you to be able to talk knowledgeably and confidently about PwC, the position you're applying for, and the business world in general. The more you know about these things, the more prepared you'll be, so you'll have to get researching.

Think about exploring the following sources of information:

  • Our websites (careers and corporate)
  • Our people at campus events, skills sessions and business simulations
  • Our social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • The financial media (press, television, internet)

Don't just give them a quick glance the day before your interview. Examine them, understand the issues and keep yourself up to date.

Completing your application

Remember that first impressions count, and the application process is a great opportunity to sell yourself. Before you submit your resume, cover letter and transcripts, or CACEE form in some provinces, remember to:

  • Review our roles and office locations, since you can only make 1 application to PwC each fall campus cycle
  • Apply to the city and area of business that interests you the most
  • Read and follow instructions carefully
  • Proofread everything you submit, and check your grammar and spelling
  • Ensure your resume and cover letter highlight your achievements
  • Don't be vague or misleading

Applying with a disability

Accommodation of disability, impairment or learning difficulty

We encourage applications from disabled students. For some learning disorders, or physical and mental impairments, we adapt the recruitment process so you can perform at your best. You'll find details of our process on this site, but if you have a disability, a learning difficulty such as dyslexia, a medical condition or individual need that may affect your performance, we're happy to discuss this with you in advance so we can adapt our recruitment process for you fairly. Please call your local campus talent acquisition specialist, via their contact details on our office profile pages to discuss this in confidence.

Interviews

Congratulations, you’ve made it to interview with us! This is a great achievement.

This is your opportunity to demonstrate the skills and abilities beyond what’s written on your resume. We're looking for evidence that you have the qualities we're looking for and reassurance that you've thought carefully about your career choice.

You need to demonstrate that you have a clear interest in both the business world and PwC. This is also your opportunity to ask us questions that matter to you, to help in your decision-making process. Remember, we want you to make sure that PwC is right for you, and this is also your chance to interview us.

Depending on the area of our business you’ve applied to, you'll either have a telephone or a face-to-face interview. Start preparing for your interviews well in advance. You need to think about the topics that might be discussed and how your experiences and skills relate to these.

Before your interview:

  • Do thorough research
  • Remind yourself of the experiences you’ve had that can help you demonstrate the skills and qualities we've listed
  • Consider the competency-based questions you're likely to be asked and your responses
  • Come up with questions you want to ask us

Remember - we're not expecting you to be perfect, but preparing for some of these questions will help you to feel confident that you've shown us who you are and what is important to you.

During the interview:

  • Listen carefully to what the interviewer is asking
  • Take time to consider your answer if necessary
  • Express yourself clearly and concisely
  • Be as specific as you can
  • Ask considerate questions about PwC or the business area you’re applying to
  • Be truthful and concise
  • Answer the specific question being asked and try not to get off-topic

What is our interview style?

We use a behavioural interviewing style that is based on the idea that your past behaviour is indicative of your future behaviour, should a similar situation arise again. When answering questions, we encourage you to use specific examples. We’re keen to understand how you’ve tackled situations in the past and what you learned from that experience.

If you’re invited to attend a telephone interview:

  • Ensure you're available at the specified time to take the call, without any interruptions
  • Since we usually contact you via the mobile number provided on your application, ensure it is fully charged and that you're in an area with good reception
  • Have your resume and notes handy, but don't be distracted by them - focus on the interviewer
  • Don't think that food or drinks will be unheard
  • Ensure your tone of voice is clear and confident
  • Smile as you're talking - this will actually help you to relax and engage your interviewer

If you’re invited to attend a face-to-face interview:

  • Dress to impress - prepare what you're going to wear beforehand
  • Smile
  • Make eye contact with your interviewer
  • Try to relax and breathe normally

Consider your personal experiences and plan to offer the interviewer an insight into your particular abilities and/or achievements.

Here are some examples to help you get prepared:

  • Why do you want to join PwC?
  • What do you understand about the work we do?
  • What do you know about the position you've chosen?
  • What do you know about our business?
  • Why have you decided to apply to us?
  • Are there any business stories or current affairs that interest you?
  • What has been your biggest challenge?
  • When have you worked in teams?
  • How are you able to juggle your commitments?

PwC Professional Talent Centre

For roles in Deals, Consulting, Risk Assurance Services, Tax (in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal) and Assurance (in Calgary and Toronto), you’re likely to be invited to the PwC Professional Talent Centre. This will give you the chance to showcase yourself and to find out more about PwC. The PwC Professional Talent Centre involves a range of exercises that will vary depending on the area of our business you’ve applied to, but will include a group and written exercise and for Consulting and Tax, a logical reasoning assessment.


“Initially, it sounded a little scary. But on the day of the PwC Professional Talent Centre, the campus team put everyone at ease so that we could perform at our best. I ended up really enjoying the experience.”

These sessions are designed to be interactive and collaborative, ensuring we get a well-rounded understanding of each candidate’s capabilities. This approach allows us to measure those aspects of behaviour that are harder to evaluate with interviews alone. It gives us the opportunity to understand what you can offer beyond your resume, and it gives you the opportunity to demonstrate how well-rounded you are.

The best part is that after your evaluation, you’ll get verbal feedback on your performance against our evaluation criteria. Feedback is a big part of the PwC learning culture, and this feedback will help you grow and succeed in your career – wherever it takes you. The PwC Professional Talent Centre will show what you’re capable of achieving, and will also give you insight into your underlying potential.


“I learned a lot more about myself and PwC from this process”

Tips to help you prepare:

  • All materials required such as paper and pens will be provided for you; you can bring your own calculator but if you choose not to, one will be provided for you
  • Make sure you bring all necessary additions. Example: reading glasses, inhaler, prescribed medication
  • There will be several other participants attending the PwC Professional Talent Centre, but remember that you're not in competition with them; you’re assessed on your own merits

PwC Professional Talent Centre components:

The PwC Professional Talent Centre is designed to be as interactive and enjoyable as possible, giving you the chance to demonstrate your best qualities and get an inside scoop on life at PwC.

Final interview

You will have the opportunity to experience a one-on-one interview with a partner or director from the business area you want to join.

This will allow you to demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for our business and your understanding of the importance of client service. It also provides you with a chance to ask our senior leaders specific questions on topics that matter to you. Remember, we want you to make sure that PwC is right for you, and this is also your chance to interview us.

Group exercise

A group exercise allows us to observe how people perform when working in a team.

We give you a package of information and ask you to come up with solutions to a range of issues contained within the package. This type of exercise allows you to demonstrate a range of skills to us, rather than just talking about them as you would in an interview. The exercise will last approximately 1 hour and no prior preparation is required. The exercise is not evaluating specific accounting, tax or consulting academic knowledge, but how you work with others to solve a problem. It will feel just like a group exercise at school.

Written exercise

The written exercise is designed to evaluate your written communication ability. You’ll have 30 minutes to read the exercise briefing materials and prepare a written report on the given subject. This exercise is designed to evaluate your ability to produce written reports to an appropriate standard. Your report will be assessed on your application of structure, use of clear, concise language, correct spelling and grammar and logical and coherent presentation.

Logical reasoning evaluation

If you’ve applied to Consulting and Tax, you'll undertake a logical reasoning assessment, which evaluates your ability to recognize logical rules for patterns and sequences.

Ensuring you take the time to prepare and completing some practice assessments will give you the best possible chance to succeed.

  • You can practice taking the assessment before you sit the real one on www.shldirect.com
  • The assessment will be timed and you should work as quickly and accurately as possible through the questions you're presented with
  • Make sure you read each question carefully and that you understand what's required before committing yourself to an answer, especially where multiple choice answers appear similar
  • Note that the practice assessments are online but you will be completing a paper-and-pencil one.

FAQ

1. Why can I only apply for one position or business area at PwC?

We want the opportunity you choose to be the best fit for you, so we encourage you to explore the Pathway to PwC to help you in your decision, which includes learning about our areas of business on our website, following us on social media, watching our videos, attending a campus event and then creating an application profile.

Your opportunity of a lifetime can take many directions with us. We have opportunities in Actuarial, Assurance, Consulting, Deals, Risk Assurance Services and Tax. Each role empowers you to connect and collaborate with some of Canada's best-known brand names and industry leaders, but the work is different. This is why we look for a thorough understanding of the position and your passion for this field.

2. Is it easier to get a job in certain lines of service or cities than in others?

In short, the answer is no.

We apply the same high standards across all of our offices and lines of service, from Vancouver to St. John's. Gaining a role with PwC is not a numbers game. You need to demonstrate the skills and passion for the role. To stand out from the crowd, we encourage you to research, network and highlight your achievements.

3. How can I stand out from the crowd?

Define what makes you exceptional and maximize your strengths. Be the best of you.

First impressions count, especially at an event or a career fair. It's important you prepare for your first interaction with us: dress well, do your research, brainstorm questions and know what makes you unique. Being confident and enthusiastic makes a positive impact. A smile and a good handshake go a long way too. Approach us one-on-one—try not to hang out with friends at recruitment events.

Secondly, prepare a flawless resume and cover letter, free from spelling and grammatical errors and addressed to the firm you're applying to. Highlight your achievements in roles and extra-curricular activities, such as sports, volunteering and professional experience. Ensure you use an easy to read font and that your resume is no more than two pages.

4. Do you consider GPA when reviewing applications?

We use your cumulative GPA, as well your accounting and tax courses for CPA roles, when reviewing your application. We believe your grades are a predictor of your future success in CPA exams, and a testament to your intellectual agility and work ethic.

“Smarts” are important to us, but we also look to identify people who have outstanding soft skills including: teamwork, project management, leadership, relationship-building and communication skills. We'll be looking for strong examples on your resume and in your interview.

If your grades are a little lower than your friends’, but you have led teams and excelled in other areas, such as sports, professional experience or volunteering, we will take this into account.

Prior to joining us, we will ask to see your official transcripts and we’ll verify your grades against those submitted to us at application.

5. Is travel/mobility required to work for PwC?

Whatever area of PwC you join—travel and mobility to our clients' offices will be needed and expected.

We're a client-service business looking to provide our clients with the best service. This may involve working at the client site for an audit, tax, or consulting project. You may also need to attend meetings with clients and industry leaders in the field and may even require you to travel to other parts of Canada or global locations.

To be successful in any of our roles, you need to be comfortable with frequent travelling and changing environments.

6. Why should I do my CPA in public accounting rather than industry?

As a public accounting firm, we specialize in the training and development of CPA students, so when you are at your best technically, you are able to provide the highest level of service to our clients. That’s why we invest heavily in your career to help you learn, grow and excel – which in turn contributes to the growth and success of our firm. Positions in industry, are simply not able to offer you the same kind of development opportunities.

Our teach-don't-tell approach to learning, coaching focused culture and access to highly talented people, provides you with the opportunity to really shine.

Also, our leading industry CFE program with dedicated teams of L&D professionals, many of them former auditors and tax professionals, in our 'CPA Centre of Excellence'— are here to help you succeed in your exams. They ensure PwC is at the forefront of the latest developments in the changing professional qualification landscape so that you have access to the best guidance and advice available.

7. How long will it be before I can take a Global Mobility assignment?

With us, you can grow your career in any of the 157 territories where PwC has offices.

Opportunities to gain experience in another culture on a two-year secondment are usually available to senior associates or higher.

Global opportunities are based on business need. Other PwC member firms will consider your performance with us, as well as your soft skills and expertise through interviews. If you're eager to gain a global opportunity, our dedicated Global Mobility team will help you realize your dream and ensure a smooth relocation experience.

Prior to a global mobility assignment, you may have the opportunity to work abroad for PwC, as part of a specific client engagement or on a short tour, usually to the US, to help during a busy season.

The opportunity
of a lifetime

Apply now