The PwC graduate application process explained

30 Oct 2023, 09:25

We take you through how to apply to PwC and how to succeed at each stage of the Big 4 firm's graduate recruitment process.

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About to start the PwC graduate application process? We're here to guide you every step of the way - from the PwC Career Uncovered self-assessment tool to the PwC virtual immersive assessment centre. This article will not only give you tips on how to apply to the Big 4 firm, but will also help you keep in mind the skills PwC looks for.

Before we start, what skills does PwC look for?

While the firm has different entry requirements for each of its graduate programmes, in general the PwC graduate recruitment process assesses you against the core skills that form the ‘PwC Professional’ global leadership framework. This is a set of specific skills that PwC supports employees to develop with the aim of furthering their leadership abilities. You can find out more about this framework on the ‘Skills we look for’ page of the employer’s website. Keep these skills in mind while tackling each stage of the recruitment process.

Jump to a specific stage of the PwC application process

Although some of the application process outlined below may differ according to the role you’re applying for, here is a breakdown of the six basic steps you can expect during the PwC recruitment process:

  1. Career Uncovered
  2. Online application form
  3. Online assessments
  4. Video interview
  5. Assessment centre
  6. Job offer

1. Career Uncovered

Career Uncovered is an online tool that allows you to learn about the different business areas and find the one that would suit you best. It helps to ensure that you’re applying for the right programme based on your interests and level of study.

By completing the tool’s different modules you can also gain insight into the organisation’s culture, work environment and employee expectations, which makes it a good starting point for researching the employer.

Once you’ve completed Career Uncovered, widen your research to other sections of the website. Head to the ‘Our purpose and values’ and ‘Job search’ sections.

Delve further into the business area that piques your interest. Learn about the aims of the business area and how it helps clients. When reading about the graduate programme, pay attention to the role responsibilities, the skills required, the training and support you’ll receive, and whether you’ll need to work towards a professional qualification.

For some of PwC’s business areas, such technology, you can join one of several specialised routes as a graduate. If this is the case for the business area that you want to join, spend time comparing the different routes using the criteria mentioned above.

Find out more about the requirements for securing a graduate role at a Big 4 firm and how to research a company for a job .


Learn more about PwC and its opportunities and to discover insights from graduates at the firm.

2. The PwC online application form

This stage of the PwC graduate recruitment process consists of a single online application form. You’ll need to have decided which business area to apply to – the research you carried out for the previous stage should have informed this.

You don’t need to upload a CV or covering letter. Instead, you’re required to list your language abilities and skills, and to detail your education history. You’re presented with a drop-down box that allows you to search for and select skills. Make sure to select all of the skills available from the list you have developed.

For any skill that you select, it’s important to have examples that evidence it. You don’t need to include examples in the application form, but have them ready in time for interview in case you’re questioned about your skills.

PwC does not set application deadlines for the majority of its graduate programmes, instead recruiting on a rolling basis. However, the employer clearly states on its website that, due to a first-come-first-serve approach to hiring, many of its graduate positions fill quickly.


Check out these articles for more tips on developing the skills needed to secure your role at PwC.

3. Online assessments

If your initial online application is successful, you’ll move on to PwC’s online tests, which will be assessing your:

  • cognitive abilities (numerical and/or inductive reasoning and verbal reasoning)
  • natural behavioural preferences (eg how you face challenges and approach goals)
  • numerical reasoning abilities.

If you're anxious about any of these and think that you'd like to know more about what to expect, head to PwC's 'Employability hub', where you'll find practice tests.


We’ve got more advice to help you prepare for psychometric and aptitude tests.

4. The PwC video interview

The next stage of the PwC recruitment process is the video interview, where you’ll be asked to record your responses to questions and case studies. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your motivation for working at the firm as well as your skills.

Graduates who made it to this stage have reported being asked the following questions. There is no guarantee that you’ll be asked these questions, but they make good material for practising your interview technique:

  • Describe a situation where you had to work collaboratively as part of a team.
  • What do you know about PwC?
  • Why do you want to work for PwC?
  • Why do you want to work in (specific business area)?

When answering the PwC video interview questions, try to tie your motivation for wanting to join the firm to its values, the work you’d be doing in the role, the clients you’d be serving, the training you’d receive and the opportunities for development.

Take the question ‘Why do you want to work in (specific business area)?’ If you’re applying for a role within the consulting business area, for example, you might talk about how you enjoy working with other people in a collaborative environment and that you want to use your business acumen to work closely with, and improve, PwC clients’ business. You might then go on to talk about the specific stream of consulting that interests you (eg cloud and digital transformation), the responsibilities that you’d most enjoy carrying out and why, and name a project that PwC consultants have worked on and why you’d like to work on similar projects with the firm. Head to the ‘PwC client case studies’ webpage to learn more about the organisation’s client projects.

Our article on answering PwC interview questions has in-depth advice on how to tackle the questions you could be asked at a PwC interview. It would also be a good idea to look at our article offering expert performance tips for video interviews in preparation.

PwC places importance on candidates appearing professional in recordings, as this is an indication of how you’d present yourself to clients. So, move to a quiet room and clear your background, dress professionally and look into the camera when speaking.

Remember to test your tech beforehand. Ensure that the video interview platform is compatible with your web browser and that your internet signal is strong.

5. The PwC virtual assessment day

The last-but-one stage of the recruitment process is the PwC assessment centre. This is a virtual assessment centre that involves working in groups and individually on a variety of activities such as case studies and meetings, which will allow you to learn more about a typical working day at PwC. You’ll have a personal schedule outlining the activities and you’ll need to manage your time effectively. You may be given a second virtual interview if you're applying to certain roles.

The assessment centre is your chance to demonstrate your suitability for the role and your enthusiasm for joining PwC in ‘real time’. You’ll also be able to show your understanding of what the job involves (including the commitment that obtaining a professional qualification will take, if appropriate), demonstrate that you are in tune with the firm’s values and show that you have the skills PwC looks for.

Demonstrate during group tasks that you have the potential to develop your skills within PwC’s framework by:

  • Contributing to but not dominating the conversation . Along with sharing your ideas, you should encourage quieter group members to give their thoughts.
  • Speaking clearly and confidently . Think about your ideas and how you’ll communicate them before speaking. Volunteer to present feedback to assessors after an activity.
  • Listening and not interrupting . When other group members speak, show that you’re listening by looking into the camera and hear them out fully rather than interjecting before they’ve made their point. This way you’ll understand their full meaning and can respond appropriately.
  • Being respectful . If you feel that the group is heading in the wrong direction, don’t shout down other people's ideas. Instead, acknowledge the good points, but politely make a case for why your proposal might achieve better results. If, however, the majority opinion is against you, accept this gracefully.
  • From time to time, summarising the group's progress . Keeping an eye on the clock and periodically confirming what has been decided so far, along with what needs to be done in the remaining time, will help keep the whole team on board with the task and demonstrate that you understand the importance of achieving the objective.

Remember to come prepared to the assessment centre with questions to ask your assessors and interviewers. Asking questions about the graduate role and the working environment will give you better insight into the firm and will help PwC’s recruiters to see that you are keen to pursue a future with the employer.

6. Job offer

If you impress during the assessment centre you’ll be made a job offer. PwC aims to let candidates know as soon as possible after their assessment day whether they have been successful or not. Note that for some positions you may be invited to a final interview before being made an offer. Head to our article on graduate job offer etiquette to learn how to handle an offer of employment professionally.

Further help with the PwC graduate application process

PwC’s own website contains a series of e-learning tools to help prepare for each stage of its graduate recruitment process.

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This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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