The four stages of your PA Consulting application

To apply for one of the graduate analyst roles at PA Consulting Group you must submit a CV and covering letter via the online portal (which you can access via our 'Apply online' button). There is also an option to attach up to five supporting documents.

PA Consulting uses a mix of interviews and assessment centres in its recruitment process. The assessment centre is not the final stage, as is usually the case, but is followed by a final interview.

Four stages

There are four stages to the application:

  1. Online application.
  2. Initial interview and aptitude tests – a one hour competency interview, focusing on the applicant’s submitted CV and requiring real life examples as evidence. There will also be motivational questions such as ‘Why PA?’ and ‘Why this business area?’
  3. Assessment centre.
  4. Final interview – with a member of staff from the business area being applied to, potentially a partner.

What to expect from a PA Consulting assessment centre

Candidates are advised to be enthusiastic, but not to overdo it. PA Consulting aims to foster a ‘collegiate’ atmosphere at work, with an emphasis on listening to others and taking their opinions on board, so this would be a good attitude to take. To this end, candidates should also be aware of their body language, and stay alert and attentive in order to give off a good impression.

The assessment centre consists of the following:

  • First interview – usually with a member of the business area a candidate is applying to.
  • Individual case study and role play – candidates do not need to prepare anything beforehand.
  • Group exercise – as with the case study, all information is given on the day.
  • Second interview.

The power to influence

During interviews and your time at the assessment centre, bear in mind the importance PA Consulting places on having strong communication, influencing and relationship-building skills. These stages of the application process are when you can best demonstrate these skills. Recruiters will be asking themselves if they can see you successfully convincing a client of your point of view. ‘You might have produced the best analysis ever and communicated this perfectly to the client, but if you’re not actually able to convince them of your point, it’s not very useful,’ explains Amelia Scott, graduate recruitment manager at the firm. And at interview, if you’re asked about a time when you successfully influenced someone (and you’re very likely to be asked this), Amelia advises: ‘Show awareness in your answer of some of the following: the need to establish a rapport, talk convincingly and with enthusiasm, see things from different points of view and support points with fact to ensure credibility.’

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