If you’re pursuing a job with a Big 4 firm such as EY, we’re here to help you achieve your goal! The interview process is quite rigorous, as it includes numerous interview rounds and various behavioral questions. Whether you’re a new graduate or an experienced hire, the process will be similar. However, some small differences will be covered below.
For those looking to get a job with a Big 4 firm right out of college, the recruiting process will begin very early. Many students begin their endeavor by joining Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), an international honor society for accounting, finance, and business students. Joining an academic society such as this opens so many doors and opportunities to connect with EY professionals. The meeting speakers are generally Big 4 employees or regional CPA recruiters or professionals, and they individually hold meet-and-greets before or after the meeting.
If you’re an experienced hire, you’ll likely begin your application process by personally reaching out to a recruiter or submitting an application online (or both). You’ll want to be sure that your resume is updated and reflects any experience that may set you apart from other experienced hires. If you can include key phrases like working in a fast-paced, evolving, or diverse environment, this will help set you apart from other candidates.
EY Interview Process
You’ve scored an interview! Now what? EY interview questions can be pretty hard to tackle, but with a bit of preparation, you’ll do just fine. First and foremost, dress professionally. Whether it’s an EY video interview or an in-person interview, wear business professional attire. Next, you should prepare yourself for some EY behavioral interview questions. If you’re an experienced hire, you should prepare for some technical questions as well. However, if you’re a new hire right out of school, it’s unlikely that you’ll face many technical questions.
Before we dive into specific questions you may hear, there are a few general things to keep in mind. EY will want you to understand who they are and what they do, but more importantly, they want to understand how you stand out from other candidates. Often, the interviewer will start with a simple “getting to know you” question. This is your opportunity to express your interests outside of your extreme love for accounting! Do you like volunteering for a specific non-profit? Or are you an avid rock climber? Anything that will help them remember you is an appropriate response to a question like this.
EY Behavioral Interview Questions
While there are a variety of different behavioral questions you may be asked, some of the most common are:
- Consider a time when you worked in a group setting, and someone wasn’t carrying their weight. How did you handle this?
- What are your top 3 strengths and weaknesses?
- During your personal life and your academic life, what time-management skills have you developed?
- Describe a time that you had to modify your communication style or change your communication approach altogether. How did you handle this?
While this is certainly not a comprehensive list of questions you may be asked, it does cover the big picture. During an EY interview, you’ll need to be prepped and ready to tackle questions where the interviewer wants you to (1) describe a situation that wasn’t easy and (2) explain how you professionally and peacefully managed the situation. These questions are typically asked during the first interview, and they are also common EY internship interview questions.
EY Second Round Interview
So you made it through the first round of interviews. Nice work! Now you will likely need to prep for a few EY technical interview questions, too. The degree of technicality that these questions will entail depends on your level of experience. If you’re a new graduate, you’ll likely just be asked about basic accounting concepts or your overall understanding of the service line you’re interested in. If you’re an experienced hire, the questions may be a bit more in-depth. Common technical questions include:
- What is net income, and how is it useful for financial statement users?
- Can you describe a capital gain and explain the difference between a short-term and long-term technical gain?
- What is an intercompany reconciliation?
- What are the objectives of an external audit? (Exclusive to interviewing for a position in the assurance practice)
- Why do you want to work in tax? (Exclusive to interviewing for a position in the tax practice)
EY Final Round Interview
If you’ve made it to the final round of interviews, you may also be invited to an EY pre-interview dinner. Big 4 companies love to host corporate events that are in a casual setting so they can really get to know you. This dinner is really your time to shine and to speak to as many professionals as you can.
You should make a point to say hello to those who have interviewed you in the first or second round, thanking them for their time and expressing that it was a pleasure to get to know them. If you know who will be interviewing you the next day, you should ask someone you know at EY to introduce you to them. This will not only help alleviate any jitters you may have but will also likely help them remember meeting you when you see them in the formal interview the following day.
Your last interview is your final chance to shine. Go into the interview with confidence. Be sure to plan a few questions to ask the interviewer and express your gratitude for the opportunity. At the end of the day, EY really cares about who you are as a person. You’ll work with a variety of teams and will likely spend many hours with your co-workers, so it’s important that you like each other!