Deloitte Interview Questions and Answers
The interview questions that Deloitte, and all other Big 4 firms (KPMG, Ernst & Young, PwC) tend to ask of prospective employees can be similar, even across the world. Part of doing your homework before the interview is discovering those questions and putting together some answers in the event you get asked them. There are of course an unlimited amount of questions that could be asked, but if you focus on the questions that get asked most frequently, and start to think about how you might respond, you can have a real advantage.
I’ve been there first hand – you get in the interview and they ask you a question like “tell me about a time when you had to challenge the authority of someone above you.” I couldn’t think of an answer. I thought for a few minutes, made a weird chuckle and said “umm… I really can’t think of anything.” As you can imagine, this is not ideal.
When you’re stressed and uncomfortable in an interview, you simply aren’t able to think as clearly, particularly when trying to reflect on your past and produce an example that somehow presents you in a positive light.
What you should do is take the time to come up with the answers to these questions while you have the time (which is now while you’re reading this post). Even if you don’t get asked that exact question, you may have a similar question asked that you can still apply that example to.
I interviewed a Manager at Deloitte about the interview questions that are the most frequent and he provided me with the following, which I will also explain a good example of each:
Most Common Deloitte Interview Questions
1) Why do you want to work for Deloitte & Touche over the other Big 4
2) Why did you choose to be an accounting major?
3) Where would you like to be in your career after 5 years?
4) What is your greatest strength?
5) Walk me through your resume.
How to answer Deloitte Interview Questions
1) “Deloitte consistently tops Businessweek’s tops best places to launch a career, and I also really like the idea of being able to work with some of the largest companies in the world. Deloitte is obviously a very respected accounting firm globally, but I am also really interested in Deloitte’s office here in XYZ. At the (insert recruiting event, Beta Alpha Psi meeting, Deloitte social ect) I was able to meet some of the people in the office and I really felt comfortable and enjoyed their company. At some of the other offices I thought it was a little more uptight and uncomfortable. Also your office serves (insert client) and I am really interested in working in the (insert industry). “
My take: Honestly all big 4 are pretty much interchangable, at least when it comes time to leave public accounting. Some may bicker that PwC is the “best” and KPMG is the “worst” because Pwc is the biggest and KPMG is the smallest, but when an employer wants to fill a spot with a Big 4 alum, there is no distinction among the firms. There really isn’t much difference between the firms as far as development or training. What actually matters is the office that you will be working for. For example a Deloitte office in Houston will be completely different than a Deloitte office in San Francisco. Similarly, KPMG can have a great office in a particular city and a not so good office in another city. What makes an office good is the clients they serve and culture of the office. You should express that you enjoy the company of the people (hopefully you’ve met some people in the office), and that you have an interest in the particular office you are interviewing for.
2) “I chose to be an accounting major because I was pretty good at math and really enjoyed the entry level accounting courses. I think I became the most excited about the accounting major when I discovered the career opportunities in public accounting. From the professors I’ve talked with and the research I’ve done online, public accounting offers such a great career and provides a great foundation right out of school. I wanted to set myself up for success and felt that accounting was the best route for me. “
My take: Depending on when your interview slot is, they will have heard the same answer from everyone: I like math, I like accounting, it is a stable career, it has good placement rates into jobs. Say something different, as I’ve described above, and turn it into why you like public accounting.
3) “One of the most attractive things about working in public accounting is the quick progression and promotions in your career. I have heard that typically after 5 years of being a good performer that you may be promoted to manager, and that is where I would want to be. There aren’t any other careers that I know of that offer management positions 5 years out of school and I think I would really enjoy being a manager.”
My take:The more likely case is that you leave after 3 years for better pay and less hours, but you don’t need to tell them this. They want people that they can invest in and plan on sticking around for a while.
4) “I think my greatest strength is my ambition. It has gotten me to work really hard, make great grades, and allow me to be in front of you today. I think my ambition will make me a really hardworking and great employee.”
My take:This question is a lot easier to answer than another frequent which is “what is your greatest weakness.” Just say something that isn’t extremely superficial or fake.
5) I won’t give an sample here but what you need to focus are a few things:
GPA: If your GPA is great – then obviously just say it. If you have a high accounting GPA, say that instead
Internships/Jobs: Talk about the internships or jobs you had especially if they are accounting related. Discuss something you accomplished or a role you had.
Extracurricular: Discuss what you do outside of the classroom, whether it’s in a club, a fraternity/sorority, or even a sports team. They want to see well rounded people.
CPA Exam Requirements: You 100% have to be able to say that you have a plan to sit for the CPA exam. An example could be “I’m graduating next May and will start graduate school next May. I will be CPA eligible and will begin taking the exams after graduation.” If you don’t plan on being a CPA, you have no chance.
If you want to see the top 30 interview questions among all the big 4 with examples and explanations, take a look at the Big 4 Blueprint. This 50 page guide I created covers not just interviews but the entire recruiting spectrum from social events, to partner interviews, and Big 4 resumes.