Regardless of the office location or the line of service, there are many common Deloitte interview questions that you can expect during your interview process. In fact, most of the questions in this article are popular at the other Big 4 firms (PwC, EY, and KPMG) as well. Part of doing your homework before the interview is understanding what types of questions you’re going to be asked and preparing your responses in advance. This allows you to present a more thought-out, complete answer and prevents you from getting flustered and screwing up any of the questions. You’ll never be able to practice all of the Deloitte interview questions you’ll get asked, but if you focus on preparing for the questions that are asked the most frequently, and start to think about your responses, you will have a real advantage over candidates who make a poor impression on easy questions.
Preparing for the Most Common Deloitte Interview Questions
We interviewed two managers at Deloitte about some of the interview questions that are the most frequent – they provided me with the following examples of questions they ask almost every candidate, especially those coming from college:
- Why do you want to work for Deloitte over the other three Big 4 firms?
- Why did you choose to be an accounting major and get into this field?
- Where would you like to be in your career after your first five years?
- What is your greatest strength?
- Walk me through your resume.
Why do you want to work for Deloitte over the other three Big 4 firms?
“Deloitte consistently tops Businessweek’s tops best places to launch a career. 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 or an interaction with recruiter) 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 of the 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.
Why did you choose to be an accounting major and get into this field?
“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. This is the strategy you should use with any of the super generic Deloitte interview questions.
Where would you like to be in your career after your first five years?
“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. 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.
What is your greatest strength?
“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 is one of the easiest Deloitte interview questions to answer, especially compared to its reverse which is, “what is your greatest weakness.” Just say something that isn’t extremely superficial or fake.
Walk me through your resume.
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.