Accenture Interview Questions & Application Process
If you’re applying for a role at Accenture, the interview process will generally follow the stages below:
- First interview
- Assessment centre
- Third interview (strategy only)
The selection process will start with a 45-minute interview with a member of the recruitment team or a manager from the department you’ve applied to. This interview will take place at Accenture's London office if you live locally, or via a telephone interview.
The first interview has three main sections:
The Accenture interview is gruelling: use this guide to be as prepared as possible.
Before the interview, make sure you read your invitation email carefully, as the interview format is likely to stick closely to the guidelines therein. During the first part of the interview, you should be prepared to answer questions such as:
- Why Accenture?
- Why consulting?
- Why did you choose your particular degree program?
- What is your long-term career plan?
- Who are Accenture's main competitors?
- Tell me about a few cases/projects you know of that Accenture has worked on.
TIP: Before attending your interview find out exactly what Accenture does and what you will be doing if you are successfully offered a job. You should know who their major clients are and read several of Accenture's cases beforehand. Your interviewer will want to see that you have researched your career options and can demonstrate your commitment to a career at Accenture.
Want an advantage over other candidates in your accounting interview? Check out this free ebook on Finance Skills and Accounting Principles, with chapters on cash and accrual accounting, the purpose of the income statement and balance sheet, etc.
Competency based questions will be assessed to assess your:
- Decision-making and problem-solving skills
- Innovation and ability to work with uncertain parameters
- Persuasive skills
- Adaptability and flexibility
- Teamwork potential
- Communications and Tech
- Supply Chain and Customer Relationship Management
Past topics have covered issues including company mergers, competing businesses, and delayed service times. You will have to identify the main challenges that are present in each situation and propose solutions that are feasible as well as creative. Try to think of ways that the problem could be solved quickly without costing the company too much time or money, but remember to be as innovative as you can. Standard, safe answers will not impress.
TIP: The interviewer will read the case twice, but do not hesitate to ask him or her to repeat any parts that you wish to hear again.
TIP: Accenture places great importance on technologies, so be sure that you have a good understanding of current technologies and how they could be used to help a client or solve a problem. Come prepared with a few examples to back up your ideas.
Generally, you’ll find out if you were successful within 10 working days of your interview taking place. If you have any questions in the meantime, you can call the Accenture recruitment helpline on 0500 100189.
In preparation, here’s a practice interview course to help you prepare for those difficult questions. You can also read our informative guide for help with specific interview questions, including “Why do you want to work for us?” and “Describe your ideal job”.
If you pass the first interview you’ll be invited to attend a half-day assessment centre at the London office. Generally, six to ten candidates will be invited to attend each assessment.
The half-day assessment centre will include the following:
Manager Presentation (NOT assessed): This is a presentation delivered by a manager from the business, followed by a question-and-answer session. It’s your chance to ask any questions you have about the company and will give you more information about Accenture and what happens on the day. You’ll also have the opportunity to speak with current analysts and spend one-on-one time with a recruiter, who can answer any further questions you may have.
Group Case Study: For the case study you’re likely to be split into two groups. Within your groups you will have to discuss the key issues relating to the case study. Make sure you take notes during the initial presentation of the case - your group will need to consider possible solutions/approaches with regard to strategy, process, people and technology, and it’s important you make a note of key points that may be relevant later.
TIP: The key to this exercise is time management and team interaction. You should welcome and encourage others to speak, while helping to ensure that the group stays focussed. Make sure you provide only well-reasoned statements, and keep in mind that this is a teamwork exercise and not a competition; potentially everyone could advance to the next stage. There are no correct answers to any of these problems, but there are correct ways of interacting with other team members.
Individual Project Plan Exercise: Following the group exercise, you will be asked to prepare a project plan based on the solutions you’ve come up with. You will be given 15-25 minutes to prepare a 12-month timeline which plots out your solutions. You’ll also be required to think about the project's dependencies and risks, and explain the reasoning behind all of your decisions.
TIP: Consider leaving excess time open for unforeseen complications.
One to one interview: At the start of the interview you’ll be asked to present your project plan, after which you will be questioned about your proposal. You will be interviewed either by a manager in the business or a member of the Graduate Recruitment team. The remainder of the interview will focus on questions similar to those you faced in the first interview; your motivation for joining and knowledge of Accenture, and competency based questions to assess your suitability for the job. This is your final opportunity to get to know staff at Accenture and decide if this is the company for you.
TIP: Your invitation email will include a list of competencies that Accenture looks for in its graduates. Use this to your advantage when answering competency questions, but also think about which ones you possess and which you consider to be most important and why, as you may be questioned on this.
The third round assessment is for those potentially suitable for a strategy or SITE (strategic IT Effectiveness) position and consists of two parts.
*First Interview: (1hr) This will be with a Strategy/SITE Manager from within the business, who will ask you in more detail about your career focus and motivation for applying to Strategy/SITE at Accenture. You will probably discuss where you might fit best within Accenture and he or she will answer any further questions you may have about the company and your job.
Second Interview/Case Study: This interview will assess in greater depth your approach to problem-solving, how you structure your thoughts and how you communicate your points to clients (or in this case, the interviewer).
Your interviewer will be looking for evidence of your ability to think logically and laterally within and ‘around’ the problem, your capacity to prioritise and to suggest solutions and action plans where relevant. The case study interview is intensive and you will have to think on your feet. The case study may be on a very obscure topic, but the important thing is to support your reasoning. You may be asked:
- What is relevant and important about this topic?
- What are the main elements of the situation described?
- How might these change or develop in the future?
- What are its wider implications - possible rewards and benefits?
- What can we do about it?
- How would you put your plans into practise for both the short and long term?
Throughout the two sessions you will be assessed on a number of criteria, including your problem-solving skills and initiative, as well as your level of career focus, interest in and ability to strategize.
TIP: The company may feel that your skills are better suited to another practice area, and it is also possible that you may be offered a place in the Analyst Consulting Group or Systems Integration & Technology Consulting. For this reason, it is important that you take the time to understand what is involved in these areas, and whether you would also be interested in working on that side of the business.
TIP: Think laterally and keep an open mind about all scenarios that may come up in each of your interviews. Keep an eye on the time, make your notes brief and be enthusiastic and engaging throughout the day. It makes all the difference to your interviewer if you present yourself as a motivated and enthusiastic person. They will want to hire someone they like and that they think will like working for Accenture. This is your final chance to make a good impression.
You will be informed of the outcome of your interview by e-mail within 10 working days, so make sure the company has your email address and that you check it regularly.
Once you've joined Accenture, you will gain access to a special "Waiting Room" site. This is designed to help you transition smoothly and easily into the company. It provides you with a central source of information with everything you need to know as a new starter, including contacts for help and advice, a guide to company technology, a 'Who's Who' guide and a helpful jargon buster.
Accenture’s dress policy is smart business casual. This means that staff wear tailored trousers or a skirt, a shirt with collar or a smart top/blouse (for women). When you meet your interviewer, he or she may not be wearing a suit.
Candidates are not required to wear a suit (although they are not discouraged from doing so) but must be smartly dressed. There is more information regarding dress code in the General interview advice section.
The budget for first round and second round interviews is around £120. If you are likely to spend more than this on travel you may be able to claim a slightly larger amount but you will need to confirm this by replying to your Invitation Email and confirming with HR that it is acceptable to do so.
TIP: Try to meet a member of staff from Accenture at a graduate recruitment fair before you make your online application as they will be able to provide you with useful hints and tips for applying. Alternatively, why not check out our forum for the latest interview hints and tips from real graduates who’ve applied to Accenture.