Technology is transforming every industry. In order to get and keep a job in 2018, workers must demonstrate technological literacy and an ability to learn and evolve with the times.
This is especially true for anyone looking to land a job at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). “Digital disruption is changing every role,” Mike Fenlon, PwC’s Chief People Officer, tells CNBC Make It.
The professional services firm works with companies from over 26 industries, offering strategy consulting, technology consulting and management consulting. The company evolved from accounting firms originally founded in the mid-1800s and has survived by adapting to the needs of a wide range of clients. Understanding the changing landscape of business, the economy and the workforce is central to PwC’s culture, business model and hiring efforts.
“It’s not enough to have your domain knowledge or domain skills, maybe that’s in business strategy maybe that’s in accounting,” says Fenlon. “You’ve got to also be equipped for success in a digital, data-driven economy, and that has implications for every role inside of our firm — every single role.”
No matter what you’re applying for, you’ll need to show that you go beyond the simple job requirements and are able to keep up with technology. Here’s how to land a job at PwC:
When applying for roles in the professional services industry, internships are incredibly valuable and cannot be overlooked. This year, PwC will hire between 4,000 and 5,000 interns from hundreds of universities and will hire about the same number of full-time employees.
“The majority of our hires will have done an internship,” says Fenlon. “The internship is an important opportunity for students to get to know us, and for us to get to know students.”
Those finishing college or recent grads should definitely consider applying for an internship with the company, and while early-career experience can provide applicants a significant advantage when at PwC, you shouldn’t panic if you haven’t interned for a consulting firm. The application process will provide you with plenty of opportunities to demonstrate your relevant experience.
PwC refers to their application process as a journey for one important reason — it’s not a one- or even two-step process. Applying for a role at PwC includes five stages.
In the United Kingdom, the first stage includes registering online and taking a 30-minute exam to test numerical reasoning. Next, potential hires complete a video interview in which they respond to pre-screening questions.
Third, candidates attend a full-day event at an assessment center, which typically includes two or three stages of group exercises, interviews and additional exams. Only once this day is over will candidates be granted the opportunity to interview with a PwC employee.
The fourth stage includes two one-on-one interviews with a manager and partner. The final step, for those who make it, is an official offer.
When PwC is assessing a potential employee, they are looking for five specific qualities that make up what they refer to as the “PwC Professional.” These include whole leadership, business acumen, technical capabilities, global acumen and relationship skills.
When you are preparing for your interview, think of ways you can demonstrate each of these qualities.
Some questions that your PwC interviewer will be asking themselves are: Do you learn from your experiences and take the time to develop your personal approach to work? Do you lead others to be the best they can be, whether you’re part of a team or leading one? Do you act with integrity and uphold professional standards at all times?
By practicing common interview questions out loud and preparing examples, candidates can make sure they show PwC hiring managers that the answer is “yes,” for all of these questions.
“Every single role in our firm requires digital fitness, whether I’m an executive assistant, whether I’m working in our HR organization, in marketing and sales or if I’m serving our clients in tax services or consulting,” says Fenlon.
Specific technical skills that PwC is interested in include data analysis and visualization as well as artificial intelligence and automation. Fenlon says that understanding how to manipulate data in Tableau or Alteryx can make a candidate stand out.
Beyond these particular skills, however, its important for applicants to demonstrate that they are able to learn new technological skills. “Tools change and we are in an environment where the cycle time for that is shortening,” explains Fenlon. “But I think there are certain tools that provide an advantage to students to hit the ground running.”
Design thinking, performance management and user experience skills can help candidates show that they will be able to adjust to new tools and stay ahead of the curve.
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