I can’t even tell you how many people have emailed me asking to know the top Big 4 interview questions. As you can guess, the questions that you’ll be asked during your interview is very dependent on the person interviewing you. Often it’s a partner that does the first round interviews. Occasionally, a recruiter may handle your interview. Either way, different people have different questions that they typically asked. So, to help you guys out I spoke with three people at my firm who interviewed people for full-time positions and internships this past year. I told them that I was interested in being involved in the recruiting process some more and casually asked them what are some of the interview questions they like to ask.
It might surprise you to know that they often don’t ask a single accounting-related question during the first round. Below are a number of the questions that the partners told me they ask:
- “Tell me about a time when you worked in a group, either at school or at a previous job, when things didn’t work as smoothly as you had hoped.” They will often then follow up with something such as: “And how did you handle this?” Follow up questions will depend a lot on your answer, but to prepare you should have at least one solid experience in mind.
- Why do you want to work in auditing/tax/financial services? What do you know about it?
- What was your most favorite class you took in college and why?
- Which accounting classes have you taken?
- What do you think makes you a better candidate than some of the others I have interviewed today?
- How do you currently balance school and life commitments?
- Have to been in any campus clubs or groups?
- Have you applied and interviewed with any of the Big 4?
Remember, during the interview your interviewer is obviously going to ask you a number of questions and this isn’t a complete list by any means. However, you should also be prepared to ask them questions also. Take the time to learn more about the job and the firm. Good luck at your Big 4 accounting interview!
If you found this information helpful, you may want to check out the Big 4 Recruiting Secrets.