Feeling confident going into your Big 4 interview? Not so much? Well – you’re certainly not alone.
Your interview with any Big 4 firm is your make-or-break chance to land a job offer.
Leading up to your interview, you’ve spent hours researching the firms, preparing and editing your resumes and cover letters, and filling out the necessary paperwork to get the opportunity to cement yourself as a great addition to their team.
Whether it is your first interview or your fifteenth, it’s natural to be nervous about going into the office and convincing them you’re the person for the job. However, you need to show confidence in yourself and confidence that you will be a good fit for the role.
It’s important to continue to focus on preparing so you can gain confidence for your meetings with your future managers, directors, and partners. Below, we’ll detail how you can gain confidence that will help you crush the interview.
Researching Your Interviewers
When the recruiting manager reaches out to schedule your interview, she’ll ask if you have any questions. If it hasn’t been provided, ask politely if you can have a schedule that includes the people that you’re meeting with.
The stress of meeting new people and making a good impression is always tough, but it’s even tougher when you’re relying on this person to get your job. Understanding whom you’re meeting with before the interview gives you the chance to research each person’s background and role.
Spend some time researching each of your interviewers online before the big day. You should leverage LinkedIn, any information you can find on the company website, and your existing network to get an idea of who they are.
This is helpful for a few reasons:
- Knowing whom you’re meeting with will help you understand what their role is and what part of the business they own. This can help you predict the questions they will ask.
- Their information will help you recognize any mutual connections, such as mutual colleagues you may have worked with, schools that you attended, or even something as simple as what they look like so you can introduce yourself if you bump into them in the elevator.
Take a few minutes to check out the profile of each interviewer and use that info to inform the rest of your preparation.
Practice Mock Interview Questions
No two interview processes are exactly the same, but the general format and types of questions you’re asked will remain constant throughout your process.
Before your interview, going through a mock interview can be one of the best ways to gauge what you feel comfortable with and where you need to work to improve.
If you are interviewing directly out of school, some career centers may provide mock interviews for their students to use as a guide. This is an excellent opportunity to get professional feedback about your techniques and responses.
Unfortunately, not everyone has access to these resources. If you don’t, then you can prepare by finding your own interview questions and practicing your responses by recording yourself and listening back to the tape.
Just like professional athletes watch their game footage, listening back to your own answers helps you understand how you sound and where you want to improve.
We’ve provided a great list of sample questions on our blog, but we can also help you schedule a mock interview with a member of our team if you want to invest in real practice.
Understand the Purpose of the Interview
One of the biggest mistakes that applicants make is not understanding the true purpose of a Big 4 interview.
If you’ve been invited to come into the office, the hiring team has already screened your resume to determine that, on paper, you have the credentials and hard skills needed to perform the job.
The interview has two real purposes:
- Ensure that you weren’t exaggerating your credentials. If you list hard technical skills, you can expect some questions about your experience and what you’ve done before.
- Determine if you’re a good culture fit. Big 4 employees spend countless hours with each other, especially during the busy season. It’s important to know that you interact well with others and will bring a positive attitude and demeanor to the team.
Don’t act like a robot in your interview – interact with them professionally as you would with anyone else and feel comfortable knowing that you have the background needed for the job.
Ensuring you prepare for the interview like you prepared for the application will help you feel more confident going into the day of the interview. That confidence will show through and give your interviewers confidence in you as an employee.
Follow these instructions, eat a good breakfast, take a deep breath before you head into the interview, and you will succeed.