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Tuesday, 25 April 2006


I got through CBA!!

Congratulations! You have done very well throughout our recruitment process and we would like to invite you to attend an assessment centre held onsite at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
All assessment centres will be held at Level 35, 52 Martin Place, Sydney. The entrance to this building is on Phillip Street. Once inside, you will need to take the first bank of lifts to the reception on the 35th floor. The closest train station to this building is Wynyard or Martin Place.
If you are not based in Sydney you will need to make arrangements for travel and accommodation. Unfortunately the Commonwealth Bank does not cover this cost.
The Retail Banking Services assessment centre is on Monday May 8th.
Book yourself in!
Our booking system is self serve and you are able to book a time and date for testing that is suitable for you. Please make sure that you book yourself in immediately as places are available on a first served basis.
If you need to reschedule, please contact us prior to your specified assessment date. There is no guarantee that an alternative time will be available. The assessment centre period is noted above.
To make a booking please log on to and enter your email address and password.
Please note that the assessment centre stage of the process will take approximately 2.5 hours
What does an Assessment Centre involve?
The assessment centre is designed to assess your skills and abilities against the key competencies required for success on the GradConnect program. To assess these competencies objectively, fairly and accurately, a series of exercises will be conducted, including a group discussion and an individual presentation.
These exercises provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate, in a practical manner, your ability to cope with situations that you may encounter working as a graduate within the Commonwealth Bank. You will not be expected to have a detailed understanding of the Bank’s culture or operating environment.
The results of the assessment centre will not be examined in isolation. They will be combined with other sources of information, such as interviews, psychometric testing, your previous work history, qualifications and other achievements, to assist the Commonwealth Bank in making an objective selection decision.
How can I prepare for the Assessment Centre?
· Have a good sleep the night before.
· Plan your travel so that you arrive in plenty of time (10 mins prior to commencement of assessment centre)
· Bring reading glasses if you need them
· Dress Requirements: Business Attire
· Review the Commonwealth Bank website
Will I receive feedback on my results?
YES! We will contact everyone and discuss feedback verbally. This will hopefully assist you in future job applications.
Feedback will be provided by 19 May 2006. If you have not received an email or phone call by this date please contact the Commonwealth Bank graduate hotline 1800 448 880.
Thanks again for your interest in GradConnect with the Commonwealth Bank and good luck with your application.
Graduate Recruitment Team

I guess I am excited, but also really scared as the job is in Sydney which means leaving Kon and life as I know it to live an expensive life with strangers. Who cares, it's only an interview, an adventure and a trip to Sydney.

Also got a call back from Deloitte for a final interview on Friday. And to think I was happy with just a govt job. Life is so unpredictable! That's why I love it. Going with Kon for ANZAC day service tomorrow. YAYNESS.

Saturday, 22 April 2006

Which bank?

Not long ago, I had my phone interview with CBA. That means that I had made it past the assessment day. I was told 300 people were being interviewed via the phone. I'm pretty sure that they have a few grad positions, but they're in Sydney :S

Her name was Abbey.. she didn't ask me too much.

+ Why I want to work fro CBA?
+ Why I like their program?
+ Why I chose my preferencial division?
+ What sort of people do I think CBA hires?
+ What I've got out of uni and why I chose the course?
+ Something else I'm sure
+ Who else I've applied to and how I was going? She was so pushy about it too! It was annoying, wanted me to name names etc.

Not cool.

It's Good Friday and I should be being good.. need to study but am also going to work tonight :S

KPMG was meant to be on today, but was rescheduled... eek. I was too lazy to prepare last night so did some last minute research today. Bleh

Thursday, 13 April 2006

More boring stuff.

Ok, so I left you on Monday night with a fried brain from PwC, things have not improved. Kon called me to save the day as he's decided that he will apply for jobs. He's so sweet and innocent. Yet so confused.

Clonked out rather early due to afore mentioned friend brain.

Tuesday was spent largely trying to study for Monetary Economics. I got distracted a lot also as per usual. Work sucked extremely. Kay called in sick which left us short staffed. Rushed home and did some research on Moore Stephens for my interview.

Woke up this morning at 5.59am, dead tired. Did some exam revision in bed lol

Headed out the door at 8.30, on the bus into the city then off to uni. The exam was ok, doable but nothing special. Not that I care, I'm stuffed!

Paid $20 for my academic transcripts, oh the torture, I have such terrible terrible results.

Ran off to city for the Moore Stephens interview. They seem a really sweet and a tight knit bunch. They asked me general questions.. why I want to work there yadda yadda.. hardest question I got was.. what is the biggest risk you have ever taken. .. eerrr??? so they pushed me through to next round already :D

CBA test followed.. just reading graphs and working out stuff from the data.. a weird english test.. a passage and then "which of these is likely to weaken the statement"... then a whole bunch of personality tests.. i am a great leader, agree or disagree.. yawn.

Highlight of the day was buying a lime green business shirt for my EY interview and a Jag leather wallet for $5.59. My life is so exciting!

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

PwC conquest

I am so brain dead. I have an exam on Wednesday, yet my brain is unable to absorb any more information even if it were to save my life!

Today was the PwC conquest.. a full blown day of activities and tests to land a $37 000 graduate position with the world's number 1 accounting and business advisory firm.

As I went to the movies with Kon last night, I didn't get home, showered, to bed etc til after midnight - not a great start is it silly me! Anyway, woke up this morning at 6am, couldn't get up, so snoozed until 6.30.. eekk

I was a bit nervous so I couldn't really eat breakfast, but did force myself to have half an english muffin. I knew what to expect, but I was still nervous/excited.

I managed to get the bus on time, a great achievement, considering I am ALWAYS late to EVERYTHING!!

So here is my day

8.30am - got to the office and was shown into a room.. everyone was pretty much already there... so early and so eager.. I'm good with people thankfully so I got chatting with everyone quick smart...found out a lot of others had interviews with a lot of other firms.. but I was still the best with 4 our of 4 Big 4.. not to mention modest HAHA

9am - we were allocated groups.. i got 3 people with poor English skills and another weird smarty nerdy guy who says he has a passion for maths.. go figure... the assessors all introduced themselves to us.. all over achievers.

9:10 - ice breaker. this was pointless. instead of telling people about ourselves, we had to practice doing parachuting formations.. like straight line.. spider things or what not. and then we had to do as many in order as possible in 50 seconds. i have no idea how this helped us learn about each other, but each to their own!

9.30 - muffins and coffee for morning tea! yay

10am - first group activity. we were all given the same case study.. on which we had to do a SWOT, debt to asset ratios etc, and split it up and present to the assessors who were the board of directors. the accents etc were a barrier in my team, but i guess maybe that was good for me as i got to clarify points to the assessors and they could mark me up for my communication skills. yes pwc process is very dog eat dog. we all went over time which was typical. we all talked too much. the best advise here is to just be confident and comfortable with your answers, they will ask questions at the end based on your case study... for eg.. our company was based in china so they asked.. how would be overcome the differing accounting standards, the differing culture, how could we raise money to acquire this firm etc. they didn't care about what you said, but about how you said it. so don't stress whether your answer is right or wrong.

1130 - we then moved onto rotations. my first rotation was to be paired with a partner and we are given a task.. the task is that one of the assessors will come and "meet" with us in a board room as a potential client.. our job was to talk to the assessor as though they were a potential client

2nd rotation was a written task, we had to wrote an email to the employees encouraging them to volunteer and give back to the community. easy. i wrote about volunteering when i was in miss australia and when i spoke at events for the starlight foundation, so i just ripped off those speeches lol

3rd, a numeracy test, which was crap hard and crap not enough time to do it. apparently they take off marks for wrong answers so i didnt take any guesses.. nobody got past 15/20 questions, i had just started q 17. was so abstract, it wasn't difficult, just time consuming as each question had multiple parts to calculate to get to the answer. no biggy

4th, interview with a manager, what do i know about pwc, what is high performance culture, what problems do accounting firms face in today's world, give me an example of when you've stuffed up and how have you fixed it, yadda yadda.. i told them how at DHL i shipped someone's wedding dress to Brazil instead of London by mistake LOL

5th, just a tour of the office. us poor tax people have a shit floor.

Overall tips - be yourself, after 7 hours you won't be able to be fake, and you wouldn't want someone to hire you based on a fake you as neither you nor them will enjoy it a single bit. Tell them why you really want to work there, what you want out of a career etc. Be honest! It is their priviledge to have you, a highly desirable asset on their team, so let them sell themselves to you and win you over. Be confident, even if you don't know the answer, be creative.

If I think of more, I will add it and I will also update the other things I have been to.