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Ernst & Young Assurance

Ernst & Young Assurance

E&Y Assurance provides companies, investors and regulators with confidence about the validity of financial statements, business-critical information or processes. Assurance professionals help clients make informed decisions about environmental policies, governance and management systems and fraud investigation.

Graduates that join the Assurance services line will receive an excellent grounding in business that will open up a wide range of career options. You will have the opportunity to apply your analytical skills and intellectual rigor to varied projects and to develop relationships with key client personnel.

There are 4 business ares to which graduates may apply:
  • Audit and Accounting
As an Audit professional, you will work with many of the world's leading organisations, in teams, to address there complex issues. You will use proven methodologies, consult with industry professionals and use high-quality auditing tools.
  • Climate Change and Sustainability
You will provide global advice and recommendations that help E&Y clients to confidently navigate their climate change and sustainability requirements. You will help clients understand business and regulatory threats and opportunities, explore and execute commercial transactions, monitor performance and assure public disclosures on progress.
  • Fraud Investigations & Disputes
You will join over 1000 fraud experts, helping clients develop strategies that pre0empt, manage and resolve the risks of business conflict that can emerge across an organisation. You will also be investigating alleged fraud, misconduct and regulatory irregularities.


The Ernst & Young Assurance application process differs slightly from the Advisory and Transactions process. The Assurance process will consist of an on-line application form, aptitude tests, a first round interview, an assessment centre and finally a partner interview.

  • Online Application Form
You will need to submit your personal details, choice of practice, 
academic results, positions of responsibility and work experience.

You will also need to answer the following competency questions:
  • What was the last activity you completed that took you out of your comfort zone?
  • Describe a time when you have contributed to motivating a team.
  • Describe how you have applied something that you have learnt to make a practical difference.
  • Describe a situation where you took responsibility without being asked.
  • Describe the last time you delivered a task that required sustained effort.
All questions have a 150 word max word limit. You should view the screening questions page for tips on how to answer these.
  • Aptitude tests
After your application has been successfully screened, you will be invited to take an on-line aptitude tests. The tests are GTIOS and consists of:
You should view the GTIOSnumerical reasoning and verbal reasoning pages for more information about these assessments.

  • First Round Interview
Ernst & Young Assurance operate a strength based interview, which is similar to a competency based interview. You will be interviewed by a manager from the service line to which you have applied and the interview will last around an hour.

The interviewer will ask questions from a booklet and grade your answer on a scale of 1-5. You need to average 3 to get to the next stage. You will be asked 25 questions out of 50 from the booklet (the interviewer will ask all of the odd, or all of the even questions):
  • What would you do if you found yourself in a room full of people with different interests?
  • What do you think makes a good concept/theory?
  • How do you deal with people who waste your time?
  • Do you get annoyed by people who waste your time?
  • How do you keep up with current business issues?
  • Do you enjoy working in a team?
  • Have you ever wanted to quit something?
  • Do you give up easily?
  • How do you make others feel confident in your abilities?
  • How do you solve a problem?
  • How do you make sure you understand a concept/idea?
  • Do you prefer learning theory or putting it into practice?
  • Do you think it's better to fully understand an idea or apply it straight away?
  • How do you make sure you always do your best?
  • What have you contributed to a team to help their success?
  • Have you ever used what you know to improve a situation?
  • How do you stay motivated?
  • Should there be more hours in the day?
  • Tell me about your group of friends?
  • Do you find yourself bridging the gap between different groups of friends?
  • Do you talk to different groups of friends differently?
  • Is there a company/brand you admire? What question would you ask them?
  • When have you persuaded someone?
  • Do you keep your promises?
  • Do you enjoy hard work?
  • Do you ask for more responsibility?
  • Do you plan your week?
  • What is your biggest achievement?
  • Are you a good listener?
  • Do you like listening to people?
  • What do you do when you don’t find a task interesting?
  • Would a friend say you are organised?
  • What do you call a good day?
  • How do you stay motivated?
  • How would a lecturer describe you?
  • How do you deal with a boring task?
  • How do you handle working with someone you don’t like?
  • Have you ever had to go out of your way to help someone?
  • How do you build relationships with people?
  • Do you prefer starting or finishing?
  • Do you need to be an expert at something in order to lead a team?
  • Do you work at something to get to the heart of the matter or just leave it?
  • Have you ever put the needs of a team before your own?
  • Do you consider what impact your actions will have on a team?
  • Have you ever done something differently second time around?
  • Have you ever built a relationship with anyone?
  • Why have you chosen Assurance?
  • Do you prefer quick action or careful planning?
  • How do you know your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What do you think your strengths and weaknesses are? How do you know this?
  • Assessment Centre
The Assurance assessment centre lasts 5-6 hours and you will be in a group of 10-12 applicants who have applied to various assurance and tax practices.
  • Welcome Talk
You will be given a short presentation by a member of the graduate recruitment team and a manager. You will be told about the timetable for the day and everybody in the room will introduce themselves by saying their name, what they are studying and which university they are from.
  • Group Exercise:
The group exercise task relies on the research that you were required to do before the assessment centre. It will last for 45 minutes and during this time you will be expected to talk about what information you have found and come up with a presentation outline for your imaginary manager to present to a client on the research area. You will be asked questions by the manager at the end of the exercise so be prepared to justify any points that you have made.
  • E-tray exercise
The e-tray exercise consists of two sections; a company analysis and an event planning.

Company Analysis

This last for 45 minutes and will be done on a laptop. You will be given some information regarding a company called Green-Move, who operate in the recycling industry, and a brief that you must follow. You will be expected to summarise 5 pages of information into 4 main points (including the company's performance, the future of the company, the recycling business as a whole etcetera) in condense the information given to meet the brief. 

Event Planning

This task lasts for 30 minutes and will be conducted on a laptop. You are expected to plan an E&Y careers event. You will be given a 6 page booklet with all of the information that you will require, such as information about the event and points of contact. Your job is to list all of the tasks which will need to be completed (including whose help you will require and what timeframes are required).
  • English Test
You will be presented with a report written by an E&Y intern. The report is five passages long and is riddled with spelling and grammar errors. You need to highlight these errors and then provide constructive feedback to the intern. You will fill in a sheet that explains how you are going to provide this feedback and what you hope to achieve. This lasts for 30 minutes.

You will then subsequently undertake a 8-10 minute pretend phone call to the intern (a manager in another room). You will go through your feedback points in the phone call.
  • Numerical Reasoning Test
The numerical test is conducted by PSL. You should review the PSL page for more details. There are 32 questions that need to be answered in 35 minutes.
    • Debrief
This is undertaken with a manager and you will be asked 23 questions. You are told this is informal, however this is still assessed so expect the manger to be making notes. You can expect questions such as:
  • What do you think of the other candidates?
  • How do you feel today has gone so far? 
  • What have you learnt from today? 
  • What task do you think you excelled at today?
  • Was the numerical test ok for you?
The day will end with the graduate recruitment staff informing you of when you can expect to hear back on the outcome of the assessment centre and if you will be invited to have an interview with a partner. You can expect to hear back within 2 days (via phone if you are successful, and email if not).

  • Final Round Partner Interview
Partners are senior members of E&Y and will have a wealth of experience behind them. This interview will focus on your commercial awareness and motivation to work at E&Y, as well as testing whether you will fit in.

Be expected to answer questions such as:
  • Why do you want to join E&Y? Why not a Deloitte/KPMG?
  • Why the consulting areas to which you have applied to?
  • What do you think you can bring to E&Y?
  • How do you think you will benefit personally from working here?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
  • What do you do for fun?
The partner will be assesing whether your are trustworthy, how you communicate, whether you will fit in and if you can be relied upon to deal with a client. You should be confident but not arrogant as partner's can see through first appearances and will be critical of you.

You should read through the competency question page for more information as the E&Y partner interview is mainly competency based.

Ernst & Young aim to notify you within 2 working days about the outcome of your application.