Guidance, tips & FAQs
How to make the best possible application
1. Do your research
Before applying for an accountancy apprenticeship programme, fully research the firm and the qualification. Visit the website of the professional qualification and make sure you understand what the qualification is about and the commitment needed.
It is essential that you proofread your application form. Applications are graded on communication so please ensure you double check your spelling and grammar otherwise you will lose marks!
3. Show your motivation
Demonstrate to us in your application form that a career in accountancy is something you really want to pursue. Applicants who show motivation through research into the sector and PKF Francis Clark will score higher.
Highlight any transferrable skills you have and show your understanding of what would be required of you if you secured the trainee position. Tell us about the ‘whole you’. We’re interested, after all, we are a people business.
Guidance for online ability tests
Practice makes perfect
There are many different varieties of free numerical and verbal ability tests to practice online. Practice these so you can get used to the style of questions and the time pressures. Our tests measure how accurate you are, as well as how much you complete, so try and complete as much as possible.
Guidance for phone interviews
1. What is a competency question?
Our phone interviews are in a competency based format. Therefore all the questions will be asking you to demonstrate a certain skill/behaviour. Research which competencies are needed to be a successful accountant and it is then very likely that we will ask you to evidence examples of these skills/behaviours on the phone.
2. It’s fine to be nervous
Don’t panic about being nervous. Nerves are a good thing, as it shows that the interview matters to you. You could practice/rehearse a phone interview with a friend so you can feel confident in your answers.
3. Be prepared
Make sure you are in a quiet and comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed. Have some water with you and any notes you might have to refer to in front of you. Be clear and concise, and remember to smile on the phone, people can tell!.
4. Stand out
Our resourcing team complete a lot of phone interviews so try to provide examples that will help you stand out from others. Use examples that are relevant to you and tell us about the role you played, not what others did or because the example sounds great on the internet!
Guidance for assessment day
If you’re invited to an assessment day – well done! You’ve already made a good impression. Here are a few easy things you can do to make the most of your assessment day experience:
1. Don’t be late!
Plan your route so you arrive to your assessment day on time and not in a panic.
2. Dress to impress
We are a professional accountancy firm and our dress code is smart office wear. Make sure you reflect this.
3. Have a go at all activities
At our assessment day there are a mixture of activities, some of these you will excel at and some you might find more difficult. Try to enjoy the whole day and don’t get caught up on the one activity you don’t want to do. We assess candidates across all activities and like to see someone who gives everything their best.
4. Make the most of the whole day
During your lunch break you’ll have time to speak to some of our current trainees. Use this opportunity to ask questions and find out more about what life is like at the firm. It’s always great to hear this from the people who are currently in the role.
I have a disability which may require special adjustments to be made throughout the recruitment process. What should I do?
Please contact a member of our Resourcing team, you will find our details on the contact us page, and we will work with you to support your needs.
When will I hear back following my application?
You will receive an email confirmation when your application has been submitted successfully. We strive to come back to all candidates as soon as we can with any updates but, if you have not heard from us within two weeks, feel free to get in touch to see what is happening.
You will receive notifications via email of any status updates, or you can log in to your recruitment account to view any messages. Due to the volume of applications we receive we are not able to give feedback to all applicants who have been unsuccessful at the initial application stage.
I have made a mistake in my application; how can I amend it?
Unfortunately once you have submitted your application you’re unable to make any changes to the information you have provided. Should you need to make a change please contact the Resourcing team and they will be able to help you.
Can I apply if I require a permit to work in the UK?
Unfortunately we are unable to employ anyone who doesn’t have the right to work in the UK or to sponsor work permits.
There isn’t a vacancy that matches my requirements, can I email my CV speculatively?
We do not accept speculative CVs by email. Please use the speculative vacancy to submit your CV to us. If you are looking for a trainee position speculatively we have a rigid timetable of when we recruit into these areas so its best to keep up-to-date with this via job alerts.
You can set up job alerts which will notify you as soon as something does become available.
Alternatively you can create an account and your details will be searchable by our recruitment team and we can notify you if we have something that we feel matches your skills and experience.
Can I apply for more than one vacancy with PKF Francis Clark?
Yes you can, however, please be aware that often vacancies will progress through the recruitment process at different rates. Please be mindful that we are unable to keep a position open unnecessarily so you may have to make some decisions along the way with regards to the roles you are applying for.
Can I apply for a job by email or post?
No, all applications must be made online.
How do I get feedback on my application?
Due to the volume of applications we receive, unfortunately we’re unable to provide feedback at application stage. If you have completed a telephone or face-to-face interview, we will provide you with feedback.
Can I claim travel expenses for attending an interview?
We do not cover candidate’s travel expenses for interviews.
What happens if I get offered a job at PKF Francis Clark?
We will get in touch with you straight away!
One of the Resourcing team will contact you by telephone to let you know the good news; they’ll also talk you through the details of the job offer. Your offer letter and full contract of employment will follow and be issued to you electronically via our recruitment portal. You will then be able to review and sign your contract by e-signature, reducing the need for paper copies to be issued.
Once you have accepted our offer of employment you will have access to more of our onboarding documents via the portal which will give you more information about life with the firm.
Our Resourcing and People team will be on hand to support you through your onboarding process and to make arrangements for you joining the firm.
Does PKF Francis Clark have a referencing process?
Yes. Your offer of employment will be conditional upon receipt of satisfactory references.
Once you have signed your offer of employment you will need to provide us with some personal information, as well as your reference details for us to contact the relevant parties.
We will not contact your current employer until you let us know that you are happy for us to do so.
What benefits will I receive?
We offer all permanent employees:
- Minimum 20 days’ holiday plus bank holidays, rising to 27 days plus bank holidays depending on your grade.
- Company pension scheme.
- Life assurance.
Other benefits include:
- Lifestyle benefits including cycle to work scheme.
- Employee Assistance Programme – a free 24/7 confidential service that supports wellbeing, advises on mental health issues or financial difficulties and any other life challenges.
- Perks at Work – a discounted shopping portal which gives you access to a wide array of discounts which could save you money throughout the year.
- Access to the Francis Clark Charitable Trust – an independent charity for current and past employees who might need support through financial hardship.
- Social events throughout the year including Christmas and summer events.
- Our client and candidate referral scheme – monetary rewards for you for the introduction of clients or future colleagues to the firm.