Big Four Interview Advice

Getting hired by the Big Four can prove to be a milestone in accounting careers. The firms, namely Deloitte & Touché USA, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PwC, utilize extensive resources to hire accountants in the thousands every year. While auditing is the most popular service these firms offer, they also hire accounting professionals for assurance, consultation, corporate finance and advisory services. Big Four accounting positions are filled only by experienced accounting professionals. Here are some important details you need to know about the process.

How to Apply?

The Big Four firms ask the interested candidates to apply through their respective websites. The candidates may also apply through an existing firm employee, an alumnus or through a recruiter working for these firms.

Who Can Apply?

Candidates with degrees, MBAs or an equivalent qualification and relevant experience can apply for the positions available in these firms. Those who have attained certification to earn the designation of CPAs have greater chances of getting the interview call.

The Initial Phase

The firms employ experienced-hire recruiters who begin the first phase of the interview. The recruiters interview the candidates over the phone to evaluate their experience for the positions in question. Be ready to answer questions like why you want to join the Big Four firms and what made you not consider other firms so far.

Interviews by Human Resources teams are the next level for the candidates. In this round, the candidates are screened on the basis of their backgrounds. Any criminal or credit-defaulting records may go against you.

The Main Interview

After getting through the initial phase, the candidates appear for a face-to-face screening by managerial level professionals. The questions in these rounds may be related to:

  • Candidate’s work experience
  • Candidate’s field of specialty
  • Current trends and issues in accounting field
  • Technical knowledge, and more

The candidates are assessed on the basis of their leadership skills, behavior, teamwork abilities, and expertise in dealing with clients. Depending on the position, the candidates may be subjected to case studies and other tests.

Useful Interview Tips

  • Always appear as an informed candidate with useful information about the firm and the position you have applied for
  • Be prepared to answer things such as different ways to achieve a goal
  • Be confident in answering questions such as how can you contribute to a given task or in handling an immediate situation
  • Don’t indulge in illogical or extremely informal conversations
  • Don’t show negative perspective or unwillingness toward any particular area, but highlight the areas you are comfortable in
  • Don’t try to be dishonest while giving an account of your previous jobs
  • Don’t show a negative attitude by degrading your previous employers

You must know that interview schedules may change and you don’t need to worry about the same. The Big Four firms are fast at taking the decision of hiring a candidate or not. If you have given your best in the interview, you can expect the final call within two days.