PA Consulting Group Interview Questions in London, England | Glassdoor

PA Consulting Group Interview Questions in London, England

Updated May 22, 2017
63 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Enterprise Architect Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at PA Consulting Group (London, England (UK)) in February 2017.

    Interview

    Initial screening followed by an assessment centre. The interviews followed the usual experience and competency questions typical for these roles. There was a written exercise and some white-boarding was expected to explore solution design experience and approach. The interview process was OK, good facilities and everyone was very professional but it was let down by the feedback which was extremely poor and not helpful considering the time invested.

    Interview Questions


  2. Helpful (3)  

    Implementation Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at PA Consulting Group (London, England (UK)) in January 2017.

    Interview

    There's not too much info about this online so here's my experience of the process:

    1st stage: Online application + cover letter
    - Don't underestimate the importance of this stage. They only take a small percentile through to the telephone interview so it's really important that you make yourself stand out and put in an application that shows you genuinely want the role.

    2nd stage: Online tests
    -These were similar to the standard psychometric tests other top firms are using. I found them marginally harder than the others so just keep an eye on the clock whilst you're going.

    3rd stage: Telephone interview
    - Lasted around half an hour. Started with a couple of questions asking why PA, why the particular role. Then the standard competency based interview questions. Just be flexible and ensure you have a solid bank of experiences to draw from. The HR person was very friendly and easy to talk to so there's nothing to be afraid of. You get the chance to ask questions at the end so make sure you think of something

    4th stage: Assessment day
    - Held in their offices in Victoria, London. I was grouped with others who had also applied to the Implementation internship.
    - 3 tasks over the course of a 5ish hour session: An interview, individual case study and a group task. The interview is just an extension of what you discussed on the phone so again, nothing to be afraid of. The interviewers were employees who worked in that particular section and easy to talk to.My interviewer was very honest so this is a good chance to answer any concerns you have about the particular role.
    -The individual case study scared me the most beforehand but it's not nearly as daunting as it may seem. You're given all the materials, a flipchart and 40 minutes to prepare yourself for a 20 minute meeting with a client. Just make sure you digest the key points thoroughly. I found holding a Q&A session after the meeting allowed me to get through
    - These two tasks are then followed by a lunch with employees who work in the section you are interviewing at (the food was actually great). It was interesting to hear about the diversity of projects people had worked on, so be sure to engage with as many of them as possible to get a real feel for the role.
    - The day ended with a group task, where you are given a booklet of information on a prospective client to help create an effective business plan for. You're given 10 minutes or so to read through the information then given a half an hour session to angle a solution to the client's issues. This follows with your group giving a presentation to the 'board' of the prospective client and then again, a short Q&A session where the panel will communicate some of their concerns about your proposal.

    The assessment centre and the overall process was really enjoyable, and they will do everything possible to make you feel comfortable so don't fret it too much beforehand. Best of luck!

    Interview Questions

    • Phone interview: Why PA, why implementation + competency based questions.
      AC interview: Extension of phone interview, CV based + competency questions.   Answer Question
  3.  

    Summer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at PA Consulting Group (London, England (UK)) in January 2017.

    Interview

    Submitted CV and cover letter online; a day later received the invitation for online numerical and verbal reasoning test; received another email informing me of a phone interview almost a month later; but told me that the interview slots were no longer available as I replied email slower than the others.


  4.  

    Marketing Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at PA Consulting Group (London, England (UK)) in January 2017.

    Interview

    Sent aptitude tests in advance of a 1 hours face to face interview. Following face to face interview, I was told I would be contacted the following week. No contact was made. I followed up with an email to which again I received no response. Poor communication and handling of candidates. No respect for others' time is telling of the way they do business.

    Interview Questions


  5.  

    Graduate Role Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a week. I interviewed at PA Consulting Group (London, England (UK)) in October 2016.

    Interview

    Application (CV, Cover Letter etc..), followed by online tests (both verbal and numerical reasoning). A few days later a 20 minute phone interview. Standard competency based questions which I will elaborate on in more detail below.
    Rejected after this stage, with no reason.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe a time you had to deal with a difficult situation? And how did you make it better?
      Leadership, team work
      What is your best achievement to date?   Answer Question

  6.  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at PA Consulting Group (London, England (UK)) in October 2016.

    Interview

    3 Level interview - 1. Telephonic which is a mix of technical and general 2. Assessment center 3. Partner round. Very well organised and amazing interview process. Gives you a clear picture of what you can expect from PA when you get employed.

    Interview Questions

    • Strengths, Difficult situations faced and how you overcame, kind of projects you have handled etc.   Answer Question

  7. Helpful (1)  

    Principal Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at PA Consulting Group (London, England (UK)) in April 2016.

    Interview

    I had a telephone interview and was asked if I wanted to participate in a recruitment event, which would be an opportunity to meet the Business Design team

    There were about 20 PA staff in the event and with exception of one recent junior hire, all staff were white British. The event was divided into three sections, a presentation by Conrad the business partner, three case studies and then some opportunity to network and ask questions about the firm.

    Conrad went on about how PA had become the most innovative consultancy in the market place, business as unusual as they say, how they beat every other consultancy firm when they competed for assignments globally and how PA invented the mother of all methodologies in business design, some sort of Einstein’s theory of relativity for the business world. For all the innovation talk, sure enough there it was the old PowerPoint presentation. It had some sort of child like design graphics and drawings in vivid colours and funky fonts.

    After that, the case studies were presented. The first one was about a CRM for a bank based in Jersey, so not really ground-breaking or exciting. The consultant told us he spent 12 months doing this fantastic design work just to be told by the bank that the regulator required changes to the operating model to be introduced in three months, and the consultant then told that they delivered the CRM in three months using Agile. To me, the consultant should have identified the regulator as a key stakeholder in the beginning and not have wasted 12 months doing design work, or taken an Agile approach first hand.

    The second case study was about Citizens Advice Bureau. The consultant went on and on about how innovative the project was, but I doubt that anyone in the room understood what was actually delivered. From the presentation, I guessed there was some channel shift to online services, again not earth-shattering stuff. I also happen to work near a CAB office and continue to see the same contingent of desperate people queuing on in the morning and leaving the place looking even more desperate…

    The third case study was again about a bank with something to do with regulatory work and this point I switched off. We were then free to roam about and ask questions to the PA staff in the room. They were all very polite, but in all honesty they seemed to give some very generic answers and were quite restrained, so there wasn’t much insight to gain.

    I was seen by five white British PA staff during the assessment centre. For the written report I was emailed an article from PA’s website from two years ago and on the day asked to write a report in 30 minutes based on some additional information. I was given a page of A4 with a pie chart showing only a small percentage of companies knew how to properly utilize customer data, and was asked to write a report giving some examples of how data could be used to create a personalized customer experience. Well, the above link did not help at all because the examples are few and very high level so you actually need to use your own knowledge to write something meaningful.

    In the competency interview, the consultant who interviewed me failed to make eye-contact, sat slumped in her chair, wrote copious notes and failed to engage in a meaningful dialogue. I felt like I was talking to a machine.

    In the case study I was given a page of A4 with a retail case. It asked me to “outline the top challenges you think the retail company will face with the transformation programme; additionally you should suggest an approach to planning the transition. Focus your presentation on your area of expertise based on your real life previous experiences”.

    I had 20 minutes to read and prepare and sure enough this is what I did. I was met by another consultant who started asking me questions about the actual design of the programme (not the transition as requested) and I was also bombarded with specific retail questions, instead of focusing on the approach (as requested in the A4 sheet). I did some similar exercises for other jobs with much more senior people and PA were the only bad experience, the consultant was unprepared and did not bother to actually follow the instructions of their own case study.

    One of the issues with the assessment centre is that multiple consultants will see different people, so there isn’t much to contrast and compare if the same interviewer see all the different candidates.

    Overall I was not impressed at all and thought there was a lot of hype in their talk but the actual content and interview process failed to live up to the expectations set out by Conrad in the business event. If they are truly after innovative people, then they need to complete revamp the selection process. If you are white British you’ll feel at home, however if you are after a more international environment (which you’d expect from a truly global consultancy) I would avoid PA altogether.

    Interview Questions

    • For the assessment centre, typical competence based (i.e. describe how you dealt with a difficult stakeholder, how you use data to improve business process, etc)   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (8)  

    Consultant Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a staffing agency. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at PA Consulting Group (London, England (UK)) in March 2016.

    Interview

    Telephone Interview - First impressions count! You should be keen, hopeful and actually rather excited.
    Written test and Face-to-Face interview with manager. 30 mins written test; you're given everything you need in the interview. No other knowledge required. You type out a brief report on a laptop.
    Partner Interview. If you get this far, then continue to impress; you're almost there, but not quite!

    Interview Questions

    • How have you handled a non-performing member of staff?
      Should you find yourself not involved in a project for a period, how do you intend on filling your time?
      If you found yourself to be struggling during a project, how would you seek to rectify it?
      Why PA?
      Why Consulting?
      Tell me about yourself.   Answer Question

  9. Helpful (1)  

    IT Transformation Analyst Placement Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in London, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at PA Consulting Group (London, England (UK)) in March 2016.

    Interview

    I submitted my CV and cover letter, was then invited for a phone interview which i scheduled at a time best for me. The interview was really nice and asked questions about myself and situation based. BE Confident. in your answers because that is what they are looking for as well. Make sure you do your research about the company and practice answering questions about your self, skills and ambitions and basic situations.

    Interview Questions


  10.  

    Business Design Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at PA Consulting Group (London, England (UK)) in March 2016.

    Interview

    The interview process had 3 stages:
    1. HR call
    2. Face to face competency interview with a Principal Consultant followed by an informal case study with a managing consultant (discussion rather than presenting) and a written test (summarising a longer report)
    3. Partner interview
    Overall, I thought the process was relaxed and reasonable and gave a good impression of the company.

    Interview Questions

    • Why do you think you would be a good hire for PA?   1 Answer

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