RECRUITMENT PROCESS AT EY
A PRACTICAL GUIDE
Are you a student or a graduate interested in consulting positions such as the positions offered by EY?
Then this guide is for you. Get an exclusive insight into the recruitment process at EY with this practical guide. Familiarise yourself with the application stages, the ways you can prepare for them, exclusive insider tips, and a glimpse at the growing community of College Life’s consulting academy.
Are you ready to find out more about the recruitment process at EY? Let’s dive in.
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The recruitment process for consulting companies varies. Here at College Life, we have partnered with EY to give students and graduates an exclusive insight into what you can expect from an application process at this multinational professional services firm.
Here’s what will be covered:
- What to expect
- What to prepare for
- How to prepare
- What to look forward to
The recruitment process at EY follows a specific structure that is tailored to each department. The company encourages both students and graduates to apply; while students can enjoy internship positions that allow them to earn valuable experience, graduates have the opportunity to start with a junior role and work their way up to a senior-level position within three years.
Application Process Rounds
When you apply for a position at EY, you will participate in three application stages. Read further to find out more details on each stage.
First Stage: Testing Knowledge
In the first interview round, you will participate in a series of online tests to evaluate your skillset. You may take these tests online from the comfort of your home office.
In this stage, you will be evaluated on
- your numerical abilities;
- your verbal skills;
- your general English proficiency.
Each question has a time limit. If you pass this exam, you will proceed to the second application round.
Second Stage: Getting Practical
The second stage of the process strongly depends on the team. You will meet with someone from EY — either with the recruiter alone or already with someone from the team as well. This meeting might also include:
- Solving a case study
- Present some tasks that you prepared beforehand
- Practice teamwork with a group
- Answer questions focused on thinking about problems connected to the area.
But don’t worry — EY will let you know what to expect from this round in advance.
In the second step, there may be even more meetings than just one - for EY, it is important for you to get to know the team and for the team to understand what are you looking for, so you will meet more than one team representative and in some cases complete more than one task in the process. After this stage, you will get feedback from EY about how you did.
Third Stage: Getting Personal
The last round is optional. Some of the senior managers or partners want to meet with the new joiners even before they start working with EY, so they organise a quick meeting/call/coffee.
Moreover, suppose you went through the process online because of the current situation. In that case, this is the stage when you can even ask for a personal meeting in the office with the recruiter or the team to ask some more practical questions and look around EY’s office in Florentinum.
Curious to learn more about the recruitment process at EY Prague? Ask Tereza Majkova, the Senior Recruitment Specialist at EY, directly via WhatsApp.
Preparing for the Application Process
Now that you are familiar with the application process, it’s time to prepare thoroughly. Find out how you can pass all stages successfully by following the steps below.
Research the Position
Understanding the role can help you answer questions such as, ‘why are you interested in this position?’ or ‘what are your expectations?’. Start by looking at the type of department that the vacancy is in. Then, research the role based on that department (i.e. business consultant). EY also has a lot of information about the teams on their website (link) or podcast (link), so feel free to search for more there.
Know your Department
There are six departments at EY that you can work in:
- Audit Services: Intensive analysis of the accounting numbers, key processes & general finances of a client company.
- Forensic Services: Detection & investigation of fraud in large companies.
- Business Consulting: Analysis of a client company's needs & the definition of a clear strategy towards meeting their goals.
- Technology Consulting: Expert advice on using state-of-the-art IT systems to achieve business objectives.
- Tax Services: Expert advice on tax matters.
- Strategies & Transactions: Advanced analytics and forecasting on various transactions such as selling and buying companies.
Research your Interviewers
Once you reach the interview stage, EY will most likely inform you about which people will be at your interview. If you have that information at hand, make good use of it by looking them up on LinkedIn. Try and learn more about them; is there something you have in common with them? What sparked your curiosity about their experience? Finding an answer to these questions will help you feel more comfortable when you meet them for the first time. Moreover, this can help you address any questions you might have for them.
Bonus: Seal the Deal with Perfect Questions
At the end of your interview, you almost always have the opportunity to ask questions. Although this might seem like a formality and have little effect on your interview, there’s a massive difference between a great question and a perfect question. Great questions are found in articles online when searching “What questions to ask at an interview”. These include:
- How long have you been with the company?
- How can I succeed?
- How did I do today?
Many candidates ask great questions. But these questions likely won’t make the recruiter smile and think hard about what you just asked. They also won’t be the ones that they tell other recruiters in their company to show off their quality. Perfect questions have the following characteristics:
- Specific. Focus on a specific development in the (consulting) industry, a recent controversial trend or an exciting post that one of the recruiters shared on their LinkedIn
- Unique. Don’t just focus on anything specific. Instead, find something that grabs your attention that will also hold the recruiter’s attention.
- Critical. Combine the specific & unique topic with your another - perhaps your own - perspective.
Here are some examples that candidates have asked in the past to give you some inspiration.
- How have the recent developments with the coronavirus measures in the Czech Republic affected how you work with your clients within the Strategy & Transactions department?
- I saw that you recently celebrated your 5th year at EY; congrats! What has changed with how your team works since the first day you started?
- You have an MSc from Erasmus University in Rotterdam. What helped you decide that working for EY in Prague was the right career trajectory to follow?
Now it’s your turn: use the comments section below to share a perfect question you asked during an interview!
Ask EY Directly
Do you have any questions about the application process, the interview, or the company? Write to EY in advance and visit the office in Prague. Alternatively, listen to EY’s podcast, or contact the right people:
- WhatsApp: +420 704 651 373
- Email: [email protected]
- Departments: Audit, Forensic Services, Strategy & Transactions
- WhatsApp: +420 704 865 153
- Email: [email protected]
- Departments: Business Consulting, Technology Consulting
- WhatsApp: +420 731 642 807
- Email: [email protected]
- Departments: Taxes, Internal services, Right
This chapter focuses on insider tips that can help inspire, motivate, and encourage you by increasing your success chances.
Apply All Year Round
EY hires newcomers for the Audit & Forensic departments, with the main start date in August. However, all other departments have open applications available all year long. Hence you may find a job at any time and choose from a wide selection of possibilities.
Attend EY Workshops
Expand your network by getting to know future colleagues. Do not miss out on the opportunity to attend EY workshops and showcase your interest in becoming part of the community and connecting with people through learning and training. Most of the workshops are held face to face, but some of them are even online, so keep your eyes open!
Try a Summer Internship
I understand that with your studies, your semester is quite busy, but you can consider applying for a summer internship at EY. EY usually opens those in early spring in different teams (i.e. Automotive). Internships tend to last for 4-6 weeks between June and September. They are a great opportunity to understand how consulting works. But even if you are interested in a team that is not looking for a summer intern, do not hesitate to contact someone from the recruitment team and ask about the possibilities directly.
Be Business Casual
Avoid showing up at the interview overdressed or underdressed. The best way to leave a good impression is to dress in business casual attire. Business casual usually means pants instead of jeans, including optional ties, button-downs, and blouses.
There is not just one right way to prepare for an interview. However, do consider the following tips below, as they usually are what interviewers will expect from you during the recruitment process at EY:
- Be on time;
- get a good night’s sleep the night before;
- Being nervous is normal! Try to breathe. And if you do not have an answer to the question you got from the interviewers straight away, do not hesitate to ask for a minute to think and summarise your thoughts;
- Prepare your questions ahead of time.
Understand Your Motivation
During the interview process, expect fewer formal questions and more motivation-driven questions that pertain to what motivates you. Prepare to answer questions that pertain to what you do, what you enjoy, and how you would like to develop further in your career. Remember that you will also likely be asked about different components in your CV. So think ahead — what might the recruiter wonder about?
The Consulting Academy is an exclusive community brought to you by College Life and EY. Its mission is to help you define your junior consulting success in Prague.
Define your Mission
Get a better grasp of your career trajectory in consulting by discovering whether working in this field suits you. The Consulting Academy will help you determine what you would enjoy doing in the following 2-3 years and what you must do to achieve this.
Access to Resources
The College Life Academy also equips you with the right resources to start your desired career path as a consultant. Get an accurate depiction of what your day-to-day tasks would look like, what projects you can expect to work on, what different departments focus on and the kind of people you’d be interacting with.
Select your Path
Have you decided that consulting is right for you? If yes, then College Life’s Academy can help you choose your path. First, select the position you would like to apply for and experience the entire recruitment process online. Then, submit your application & prepare for your online interview from the comfort of your bed.
Become an Ambassador
The Brand Ambassador Programme provides you with the chance of taking the lead and represent the Consulting Academy in your city. Become an ambassador and expand your network as a student seeking relevant work experience. Build business relationships with senior consultants, host meet-ups and guide other students using available resources.
Are you interested? Join College Life’s Consulting Academy now!
Download the 13-point checklist to prepare for the recruitment process.