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PricewaterhouseCoopers Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns
Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Companies     Business     Management Consulting    

Question 1 of 30

How would you make PricewaterhouseCoopers more profitable?

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Answer Examples

1.

How would you make PricewaterhouseCoopers more profitable?

You work with your clients to help them scale and see more success and profitability. Now, how would you help PricewaterhouseCoopers to do the same? The interviewer is not looking for you to reinvent their entire organization; however, they are looking for one or two simple ways they could improve. Perhaps, during your application and interview process, you saw some room for opportunity and growth.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I look forward to helping PricewaterhouseCoopers be more profitable every day. During my application process, I conducted a lot of research on your organization. I noticed one area of opportunity being your social media presence. A strong presence on Instagram, for instance, can draw users to your website, creating more opportunity to educate potential clients."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I specialize in workforce optimization, so I always see room for opportunity in that realm. When I applied to PricewaterhouseCoopers online I saw some areas where the application process could be streamlined, saving time and frustration. I would be happy to walk you through my ideas."

2.

How would you explain the management consulting industry to someone who is unfamiliar?

Management consulting can be one of those career paths where people who meet you say, 'What exactly is it that you do?' It's best if you have a one to two sentence elevator pitch on what management consulting means to you! Having this pitch prepared, and memorized, will assist you in answering those 'What do you do for a living?'questions while also helping you sound confident and clear when discussing your career path. Use this pitch when you tell the interviewer how you explain the management consulting industry to someone who is unfamiliar.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Management consulting is best described as a group of people who help business answer tough questions surrounding their operations, strategy, and profits."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I explain management consultants as people who help businesses to clarify their operations and strategy. We help businesses of all kinds max out their profitability."

3.

What do you think makes a good management consultant?

This question can be a tricky one because the characteristics and traits you mention, are ones that you should also possess. A good management consultant will:

- Create a professional environment where their client is comfortable
- Exercise excellent judgment when it comes to problem-solving
- Come to conclusions that are well researched and unbias
- Lead their team with integrity, clear communication, and excellent time management
- Offer expert and well-researched advice to clients at all times
- Tap into their network of experts to find answers to questions they do not know

Discuss with the interviewer what you believe makes a good management consultant, expressing that you possess these abilities.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"A good management consultant will actively listen to their client, and make a commitment to them to give only the most sound, and well-research advice. They are full of integrity and know how to communicate. These are just some of the skills that I have honed over my years in consulting, and I look forward to making them work for PricewaterhouseCoopers and your clients."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"A good management consultant will have the ability to adapt and pivot on a moments' notice. They will be well-trusted, researched, and communicate clearly at all times. These skills are ones that I value, and work on bettering in myself, on a daily basis."

4.

How do you react when your team misses a deadline?

Missed deadlines are never good and can reflect poorly on you, but they do happen in the management consulting industry. The interviewer would like to understand better how you react to disappointment and plans not going your way. Give an example of a time when your team missed a deadline and walk the interviewer through the action that you took.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"My team is highly efficient, and we rarely miss a deadline. When we do, it's surprising. We had a very challenging client last year who made a significant amount of changes throughout the entire project. These changes caused us to miss our deadline. I took action after that to ensure a better client onboarding process. This new process made sure we dug deeper with each client at the start which has resulted in fewer mid-project changes."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"When my team misses a deadline it is disappointing, for sure. On the odd occasion that this has happened, I first ask my team for feedback. I want to know what I could have done better, as a leader, to make sure we hit our goal. Then, I ask them to look internally and tell me what they honestly feel they could have done differently. I prefer a collaborative approach to these types of conversations."

5.

Who are the biggest competitors of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and how do we stand out from the rest?

There are many management consulting firms out there, from solo-run consultancies to the biggest agencies in the business. Before your interview, do your research on the size of PricewaterhouseCoopers, who their clients are, and who their direct competitors are. Who do they compete against for business? Show the interviewer that you have researched PricewaterhouseCoopers and that you have a full understanding of why they are better than the rest! Which offering, in your opinion, makes them stand out?

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I understand the most significant competitors of PricewaterhouseCoopers to be A, B, and C. When I researched your firm these were the companies that continually came up as direct competitors. I combed through their websites and was happy to find that the messaging from PricewaterhouseCoopers was the most consistent. Your firm appears to have the most vision and direction, and a more robust client list, over a wider range of client industries."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"After researching PricewaterhouseCoopers I saw that your primary competitors are A and B. These two firms look like they do a good job; however, the consultants seem to rotate often. Most of their consulting teams were new and without longevity. I appreciate that PricewaterhouseCoopers has teams who are well tenured. This consistency tells me that you are better able to build client relationships and that your consultants are satisfied with the opportunities and growth here."

6.

As a management consultant, who is your ideal client?

In your career as a management consultant, you may have the opportunity to work with a vast range of clients, across a plethora of industries. Discuss the type of client with which you prefer to collaborate. You could mention the size of their company, the workplace culture they have crafted, their strategic process, or their vision. Whichever way you choose to answer, it's best if you can touch on the type of clients that PricewaterhouseCoopers works with, and express your interest in that demographic.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"My ideal clients are receptive to change, focused on scaling, while never forgetting their roots, and what their employees offer them. The industries which I am most interested in working, are the finance, real estate, and investment realms; however, I have found that there are excellent clients in every industry imaginable."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I am new to the management consulting industry so, at this point, my ideal client is one that I can learn from, who I can teach new things to, and collaborate in a way where we both grow. I see that PricewaterhouseCoopers works with businesses who are startups in the SaaS industry which is particularly interesting to me."

7.

What steps do you take when researching a new market or industry?

A successful management consultant will have excellent research skills. When laying down the groundwork for a successful project, this is where the work should always begin. As you likely know, cutting corners will result in a sub-par result. Take the interviewer through your process when researching a market or industry with which you may not be overly familiar.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"When I take on a project within a new market or industry, I will find someone in my network that I know, trust, and admire, and ask for 30 minutes of their time. Essentially, I want to interview a subject matter expert. I will uncover their best resources, and research thoroughly from there."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I have strong research skills and a three-step process when it comes to learning about a new market or industry. First, I find what I can from reputable online resources. Next, I create a list of questions that need answering. Third, I source and subject matter expert from my network whom I can ask these questions. It's important to use a wide variety of reputable sources when conducting research, and collecting findings."

8.

Who are our clients at PricewaterhouseCoopers?

Before your interview, it's vital that you have a full understanding of the industries and clients that PricewaterhouseCoopers serves. You will find this information on their website, press releases, social media, or even a Google search. If you have worked with similar clients in the past, you can mention this, to show the interviewer that you are already familiar with the type of accounts you may be handling, should you be the successful candidate.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I understand that PricewaterhouseCoopers works primarily with Fortune 500 companies in the medical, technology, and SaaS industries. I have a similar client portfolio, with smaller companies who have between 500-1000 employees."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Through my research, I saw that PricewaterhouseCoopers serves over 76% of Fortune 100 companies and more than 92% of Fortune 500 companies. I also understand that your clients span industries such as energy, financial services, Public services, and media/communications. The bulk of my experience is in the energy sector, and I look forward to making an impact in that area while learning more about your client scope."

9.

In your opinion, why do companies need consultants?

There are many reasons why a company would hire a management consultancy:

- Identifying the misuse of resources
- Find workable solutions to situations they are too close to
- A convincing way to turn the tide, when opinionated boards or c-suites are stuck in their ways
- To uncover a fresh perspective to an antiquated system

This list highlights just a few reasons why a management consulting firm may be engaged. Think of your best guess why a company would want to bring an outside group in, and discuss your reasoning with the interviewer.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I believe every company needs a consultant group, at any stage in their business. Only the most invested will take that step and hire one. Some of the reasons may be pain points they remain stuck on, due to differing opinions in the c-suite. Others may be that their processes are antiquated, but no internal employee is knowledgeable enough to change that. Whatever the reason, I am prepared to show my new clients how wise it was to bring on PricewaterhouseCoopers to assist."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I previously worked for a company that hired a management consulting firm. Their reason was that they needed an outside perspective when it came to processes and spending. They wanted to scale but did not understand how to do so. It was a fascinating process, which sparked my interest in joining this industry."

10.

How can PricewaterhouseCoopers motivate you?

Every employer should know how each staff member is best motivated, and PricewaterhouseCoopers knows that this motivation contributes significantly to employee tenure and productivity. Talk to the interviewer about the variety of ways in which you are best motivated on the job. Here are some ways that an employer may try to drive you. Which ones resonate most with you?

- Incentive programs where points are earned
- Showing complete trust in your work and performance
- Setting smaller, more achievable goals
- Helping you to find your higher career purpose
- Being a positive example to you
- Maintaining an open and transparent workplace
- Personalized incentives vs. team driven incentives
- Getting to know you on a personal level
- Positive feedback based rewards system
- Offering a stable work/life balance by encouraging time off
- Letting you know your voice matters
- Allowing you to take the lead on projects that excite you
- Handing out big-picture projects, so you feel that you are contributing to the company's future
- Public recognition

Rachelle's Answer #1

"My current manager motivates me by reminding me that she has full faith in my work. Those words give me a boost of confidence and feed my fire, especially on more challenging client projects."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Thank you for asking! I appreciate that PricewaterhouseCoopers cares about employee motivation levels. I am best motivated through words of praise and recognition for a job well done. I like to know that my efforts are noticed. In my current position, we have a team leaderboard, and I do like that concept because it creates a healthy bit of personal competition for me as well."

11.

Do you consider yourself a persuasive person?

Part of being an excellent consultant is also harnessing the power of persuasion when necessary. There is a difference between persuasion and debating - or even convincing. Persuasion is used when you want to influence someone rather than tell them that they are wrong, and you are right.

The power of persuasion is essential if you are selling or pitching anything. It is also a helpful skill when you want to gain momentum with your coworkers or have your boss better understand your approach on a project. It is not a negative thing to be persuasive. Talk to the interviewer about whether or not you consider yourself to be a persuasive individual.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I can be persuasive when it comes to helping my clients to understand the logic, or reason, behind recommendations that our group is making. It's important to lay out the intentions of any change and then express the importance of those changes."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Persuasion and management consulting methods go hand in hand so, yes, I believe that I am a persuasive person. My approach is not sly or combative in any way, however. I go about persuading others by displaying how my approach, or belief, could benefit their business and bottom-line."

12.

In your opinion, what makes you a great problem solver?

PricewaterhouseCoopers wants to know that you have a systematic approach to problem-solving. Consider the skills and qualities that help you successfully face problems, or get through a challenging project. Perhaps you have a keen eye for detail. Maybe you can see opportunity when others can only focus on the issue. Share your strengths as a problem solver, and your ability to come up with innovative solutions for your clients.

Strong problem solvers are:

- Systematic thinkers
- Open minded
- Okay with being wrong sometimes
- Always researching and exploring
- Able to identify the core problem
- Able to reverse engineer a challenge to avoid future issues
- Able to come up with multiple avenues that work well for all stakeholders
- Do-ers and not worriers

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I am a great problem solver because I can compartmentalize all aspects of a problem before studying it. I also like to bring more experienced team members in to add to the solution. I will never try to be a hero and solve a complicated problem without tapping into the resources around me."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I have been told that I am an excellent problem solver and I believe this is because I have a bit of an engineering mind. I can take the issue, work backward to solve it, and then use that resolution as a basis for avoiding the same issue on future projects. I am also a big-picture thinker which allows me to come up with various resolutions per problem."

13.

How do you manage the lifecycle of your projects, ensuring on-time deliverables, and deadlines?

An efficient process can be the difference between a job well done, and a job that falls apart. The interviewer would like to see that you have a process in place when you take on a new project. Discuss the tools, resources, and methods that you use to ensure that you meet client deadlines.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"When I take on a new project, I break it into four phases. Initiate, Plan, Execute, Close. These four phases are broken down into further categories, all with a linear timeline attached. My 'go-to' tools that I use to ensure the entire team is aware of their tasks and deadlines are Asana and Slack. I book regular check-ins with my team and schedule client touch points. My high-level view of the project, through all stages, ensures there are rarely any surprises and that everyone is on the same page."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"The last time I missed a deadline was five years ago. I trust my process fully and believe in its effectiveness. When I begin a new client project, I call a meeting with my client to create a detailed outline and lay out expectations. From there, I meet with my team where we build out the task list, and attach each task to a team member, with a specific deadline. We track all activity in Trello. We move as a team, meeting regularly and touching base with our client for end-of-day updates. I find that this method brings a high level of buy-in from my team, and accountability from all people involved."

14.

Our best consultants continually grow and learn. What have you done to expand your knowledge in the past three months?

Professional growth is vital and directly associated with the success you will see in your career. The interviewer would like to know that you understand the importance of expanding your knowledge and taking the lead in your own professional development. Perhaps you have taken coursework, attended a workshop, read books, or listen to podcasts. Share with the interviewer the ways that you invest in your career knowledge.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"To expand my professional knowledge, I have started an online course through NYU on microeconomics. It was important to me that I take the initiative to learn more on this topic and keep my knowledge current. To grow personally, I have read a couple of books on leadership. I love to read and learn from other professionals and behavioral experts."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I appreciate that you have asked about professional development. It's a topic that is important to me. I have committed to reading one new book per month on a topic related to organizational development, leadership, and strategy. I listed to The Growth podcast every day, on my commute, to hear business turnaround stories. I find them inspiring."

15.

At PricewaterhouseCoopers we use leading-edge technology. Which management tools have you used in your career?

In our digital edge, there are many tools available in the consulting industry, including websites, cloud-based applications, and other software. These tools make your job significantly more manageable, and the interviewer would like to know which ones you have experience using.

If you are unsure of the tech and tools used by PricewaterhouseCoopers, you can ask. However, be sure to comb through their job posting first to see if they mention any specific programs. You want to do your research before asking questions that you could have answered yourself.

Discuss any programs and tools that you have used in your previous roles. If you are new to the industry or your career, speak to your ability and willingness to learn their systems quickly.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have a great deal of experience with tools related to application management and implementation. I have leveraged software and other tech offerings from companies such as SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, Salesforce, and Cisco in the past. All of these tools are incredibly important for accelerating projects and elevating the result."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"In your job posting you mentioned that PricewaterhouseCoopers uses many Salesforce and Oracle products. I would love to learn more about your internal systems as well. I have about one year of experience with Salesforce; however, am eager to learn the offerings in greater depth."

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30 PricewaterhouseCoopers Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.

Interview Questions

  1. How would you make PricewaterhouseCoopers more profitable?
  2. How would you explain the management consulting industry to someone who is unfamiliar?
  3. What do you think makes a good management consultant?
  4. How do you react when your team misses a deadline?
  5. Who are the biggest competitors of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and how do we stand out from the rest?
  6. As a management consultant, who is your ideal client?
  7. What steps do you take when researching a new market or industry?
  8. Who are our clients at PricewaterhouseCoopers?
  9. In your opinion, why do companies need consultants?
  10. How can PricewaterhouseCoopers motivate you?
  11. Do you consider yourself a persuasive person?
  12. In your opinion, what makes you a great problem solver?
  13. How do you manage the lifecycle of your projects, ensuring on-time deliverables, and deadlines?
  14. Our best consultants continually grow and learn. What have you done to expand your knowledge in the past three months?
  15. At PricewaterhouseCoopers we use leading-edge technology. Which management tools have you used in your career?
  16. How do you keep up to date on the changes in our industry, from regulations to tech?
  17. In consulting, much of your growth will come from feedback on client projects. How do you accept and implement feedback?
  18. How do you exercise logic?
  19. How do you learn the company culture of a new client, when taking on their project?
  20. How do you prioritize multiple projects when they all seem equally important?
  21. What do you believe is the most important service we offer at PricewaterhouseCoopers?
  22. Have you ever supervised or trained junior consultants?
  23. PricewaterhouseCoopers works with clients across many industries. Which of our clients' industries interests you the most?
  24. What will be the greatest challenges faced in this job? How will you overcome these challenges?
  25. What have you done in the last few months to strengthen your professional network?
  26. What do you believe are the most critical KPIs for a management consulting firm to consider?
  27. What is the most challenging client issue you have faced this year? How did you overcome the situation?
  28. What are the components of a successful, and effective, presentation?
  29. How does a career in management consulting fulfill and satisfy you?
  30. Tell me about a time that you had to collaborate with a colleague with whom you did not see eye-to-eye. How did you ensure that you got along well enough to make it a success?
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