Sunday, March 6, 2011

the assessment day at ernst & young

It apparently has been very useful for others to read about the interview process I did with another company and people come to visit every month to read about it. I myself could never find much information about it at that time and I guess there is still not much information about it out there. It was the same in regards to the assessment day at Ernst & Young in Sweden. Not any information about it out there, but plenty on how it is in for example UK.

The day started with lunch with the seven other applicants at the same time as we got a presentation about Ernst & Young by one of the partners. Then it was time to start with all the tests. First the English test in three parts which was quite simple in my opinion. Then we moved on to the SHL tests, a verbal, a numerical, and an inductive test. The only test I had some problem with was the math test (numerical) and the main problem being the time constraint.

After a break it was time for the feared case interview. Working with cases, something I had never done before not even at university. We got 30 minutes to prepare for the case presentation. We received a three page summary about a company and the problem they have. A profitability problem had to be solved and present a strategy for how to solve it. I tried to gather my thoughts and get them in order. A woman came to listen to my presentation (luckily, I think, it was the same woman I had my first E&Y interview with) and I started talking. I felt kind of unstructured but I think I manage to get some thoughts out. She asked some questions and I answered. She could not give me any information at that point on how it went, but she said it I missed a few things but also mentioned many of the issues. In the end I felt quite satisfied as I had never done such a thing. At least I feel comfortable presenting things and never really nervous.

Then it was time for the interview and meeting a new guy. I think the interview can be very different depending on who is conducting it. He asked me to do was a presentation of my CV and to use the white board. I plainly did some sort of mind map of my CV with three subgroups of 'education', 'job experience', and 'other'. Piece of cake. Then he presented himself and I also started asking questions. I had prepared several good questions for the interviewer, like can you describe a typical working day/week at E&Y?, what is the biggest challenge with the job?, what's good working at E&Y?, are there any things you don't like working at E&Y or something you would like to change?.

At the end of the interview, the guy had one last case questions for me. I got one estimation question which I had dreaded: how many pharmacies are there in Sweden? I went with the simplest way and calculated an average for the whole Sweden based on the town where I grew up. He asked some questions linked to the estimation and I think I answered well, kept confident and presented well. When we were done and we packed up he said that I had almost been spot on with my answer from the calculation which made me feel good. And a little bit lucky too.

Walking away from the assessment day at Ernst & Young I was happy with what I accomplished. I felt that no matter what happened I was happy with how it went. Then we know how that feeling totally changed but it all turned out well in the end. Now I on for the final stage in the process and the partner interview. Cannot wait!

(Assessment dagen på Ernst & Young i Sverige)


  1. Carin, I'm one of those that (recently) found your blog while searching about 'M' interviews. I think your blog is great and I havent stopped reading since I found it. Unfortunately, though, I keep moving all over the place instead of starting from the beginning and going forward.

    Anyway, the interview stuff is awesome. But mostly I just think it's cool to kind of see your life as it unfolds. Tak!

  2. Always happy to help :) As I know how frustrating it is to not be aware of what's coming. And frustrating that no one out there have written about it considering how big internet is :) But I guess that's me now, the one out there :)
    Hopefully my life will make a big unfold in the nearest future :) Thanks for reading!

  3. Good luck with your future 'unfoldings' :-) I will indeed keep reading cause your writing is really good and you make even little things in life seem interesting the way you analyze them. In fact, you have me thinking that maybe I should start blogging...but then within 2 seconds of that thought my laziness yells, "uh, I dont think so". Ha! Oh well...

  4. Thanks for that great compliment :) Yeah, a blog requires quite a commitment, and sure, not always the funniest thing :) I started in 2006 and now it has become a part of my life. It's funny how I notice quite often I think in terms of a blog post :) haha Thinking in English too as I write in English :)