The interview process at Accenture is as follows:
- First interview
- Assessment Centre
- Third interview (Strategy only)
The selection process starts with a 45-minute interview with a member of the recruitment team or a manager from your department. This interview will take place at Accenture's London office if you live locally, or via a Telephone interview.
There are 3 main components to the first interview:
Carefully read through the information in your invitation email, as the interview is likely to stick very 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 there. Know who their major clients are and read several of Accenture's cases beforehand. You interviewer will want to be certain that you have researched your career options and can show your commitment to a career in business and IT.
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 are likely 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 such as 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 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 a strong emphasis 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.
You should find out if your interview was 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.
If you pass the initial interview stage you will be invited to attend a half-day Assessment Centre, once again at the London office. Typically, six to ten candidates attend each assessment.
(Note: Applicants to Accenture Technology Solutions will not be required to attend an assessment centre, but instead will sit a second round 1-hour interview.)
The half-day Assessment Centre will be made up of the following:
Manager Presentation (NOT assessed): This is a presentation delivered by a manager from the business, followed by a question-and-answer period. It will give you more information about Accenture and what happens on the day, and it’s your chance to ask any questions you may have about the company. You will also have the opportunity to speak with current analysts and spend one-on-one time with a recruiter, who can clarify any further questions you may have.
Group Case Study: The candidates will likely be split into two groups, and within your groups you will have to discuss the key issues relating to the case study. Take notes during the initial presentation of the case. You group will need to consider possible solutions/approaches with regard to strategy, process, people and technology.
TIP: The key to this exercise is time management and team interaction. Welcome and encourage others to speak, while ensuring that the group stays focussed. 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 have come up with. You will be given 15-25 minutes to prepare a 12-month timeline which plots out your solutions. You will also be required to think about the project's dependencies and risks, and you reasoning for all of your decisions.
TIP: Consider overlapping time segments when advantageous, or leaving excess time open for unforeseen complications.
One to one interview: Your interview will commence with the presentation of your project plan, after which you will be questioned on 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 what 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 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 probe 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 and interest in strategy.
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 be interested in working in that area 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.