Application & interview tips

Application & interview tips

It’s how you make yourself stand out

Make your application form stand out

Remember, first impressions count. The application form is a big opportunity to sell yourself. Before you fill it in, gather all the things you'll need:

  • Full and accurate details of your college courses and exam results
  • Secondary education exam results
  • Details of any work experience or jobs you've had
  • Your preferences for where you'd like to work

Then, while you're completing the form, remember to:

  • Read and follow instructions carefully
  • Proof read everything you write
  • Check your grammar and spelling
  • Be concise – you can elaborate at interview
  • Avoid repeating statements you've read in our brochures and website
  • Be honest about your achievements – we’ll check them later on in the process

Get the interview basics right

  • Know exactly where the interview is.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Be punctual – plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment time. But don’t be too early either.
  • When you first meet your interviewer, shake hands and introduce yourself.
  • Sit up straight, relax and breathe normally.
  • Be aware of your body language – make eye contact and smile.
  • If you don’t understand a question, ask your interviewer to repeat it or clarify it.
  • Think about what you’ll be able to add to the position, the team and the firm.
  • Take time to think about what you’re going to say before you answer a question.
  • Be honest and concise.
  • Act naturally and be yourself.
  • When invited to, ask your own questions.

Do essential research

In the simplest terms, we want to find out:

  • Why you want to join PwC.
  • What you understand about the work we do.
  • What you think about the opportunity you've chosen.
  • How knowledgeable you are about the professional qualification you want to do.

Investigate:

  • Our careers and corporate website.
  • The financial media (press, TV, internet).
  • Relevant professional bodies (that offer the qualification(s) you want to do).
  • Anyone you know who works for PwC (or a similar firm).

And don't leave it all to the night before your interview.

Know how to answer competency-based questions

Use personal experiences to illustrate the skills that would help you handle the day-to-day situations that crop up at work. Think about situations where you had to solve a problem, show initiative, communicate well, collaborate in a team, make a decision, organise something, juggle priorities or manage your time. Then prepare answers that describe the situation and show your skills in handling it. Analyse the task you had to carry out, the actions you took and the results you achieved. It’s simple – think STAR (Situation – Task – Action – Result).

Make your business experiences count

Think about the business awareness you’ve developed thanks to, say, a part-time job, an internship or a Co-Op programme. Ask yourself things like:

  • What kind of business is it?
  • What’s their main product or service?
  • Who are their main competitors and why?
  • What makes the business successful (or not)?
  • If you were in charge, what changes would you make?
  • What business issues does that organisation face?
  • What skills have you gained from your experiences?
  • How will these help you in future jobs?

These are the kind of questions we might ask you at interview.

Develop your commercial awareness

Stay up to date with business issues by reading a quality newspaper or news website regularly. Show us you are really interested in business and our clients.

But remember – we’re not looking for people who can just recite information they’ve read in the Irish Times. We’re after those who can discuss a business issue that interests them sensibly and intelligently.