Deloitte Audit 2012 Grad Scheme - Successful Experience!

Civil Service Fast Track

Hi everyone!

I pretty much lurked WikiJob when I was applying for Deloitte, so I thought I’d share my experience and give something back. I’ll go through the different stages, and include all the hints and tips I have gathered along the way!

So, there are five different stages when applying for Audit at Deloitte. I have included the dates that all of these events occurred.

  1. Online application form - submitted January 20th.

Pretty straightforward and simple.
Note that you need at least 4 weeks WORK EXPERIENCE when applying for their grad schemes. I didn’t notice this was a requirement until afterwards, but I’ve had a steady part-time job since Summer 2010 so it didn’t really matter much to me anyway.
Don’t worry about not uploading your CV, because I didn’t bother. It’s not mandatory, and I wrote about most of the things that were on my CV on my application form. Don’t worry if there’s one or two extra things on your CV that you didn’t include on your application form, you get the chance to talk about them at both the line manager and partner interviews.

  1. Online numerical and verbal reasoning tests - invited to sit numerical on January 25th, verbal on January 30th (although I didn’t take the numerical one until about the 27th).

Practice, practice, practice!
I wouldn’t recommend buying any material to help you pass. Just practice the free ones provided by SHL, and any others you’ve come across while applying for other jobs.
Have a calculator, lots of paper and a couple of pens to hand for the numerical test.
You get five working days to complete each test. First you’ll be invited to sit the numerical one, and then you’ll be invited to sit the verbal one.

  1. E-Tray day. (Invited to book a slot on February 2nd. I wanted to take it in their Birmingham office but the option wasn’t available, so I had to wait for an answer. I sat the E-tray exercise on Febraury 20th in one of their London offices).

I wore a suit jacket and dress, even though the dress code says business/casual, and I’m glad I did as a lot of the others were dressed very smartly!
You go into a room with the other candidates, and there are around 20 netbooks set up on rows of desks. They provide you with water.

Before attending the exercise, I recommend that you read the information about Trafford Lea that’s on Deloitte’s website EVERY DAY. Familiarise yourself with the company.

Part 1 - Responding to e-mails
You’re given a notepad and pen.
Don’t worry about moving the taskbar to the left, the computers we were on were all set up like that.
Scan through all of the information folders before you start answering emails to give you a rough guide of where everything is.
Also, keep the folders open and make a note of what’s in them.
Make sure you open all of the attachments when responding to emails.
The timer starts after you’ve read the instructions. That means that you have to read all of the info and respond to emails in the 1 hour given. The timer is in the top right hand corner of the window.
They’re multiple choice answers - you get a choice of 3 and you have to pick what you think is the most appropriate course of action.
Work quickly but accurately. Don’t guess, either. I had about 5 minutes left at the end, so don’t worry if you get stuck because there is enough time.
You’ll have to do a few basic calculations. I didn’t bother taking a calculator, but the lady that was running the E-Tray the day I went allowed people to use their phones, which confused me a little.
Practice the Civil Service one to give you an idea of how the layout will be.

Part 2 - Writing a Recommendation
You have 40 minutes to read the information they give you and to write your letter.
You don’t have to read up on anything about acquisitions before the E-Tray.
You get given lots of comparable information to write about the pros and cons of each target.
The E-Tray exercise is taken on a Netbook, so the keys and keyboard are smaller than a normal sized laptop.
Anything more than 3 spelling/grammar errors is an automatic fail --> make sure you check your spelling as you type. That’s what I did, as I didn’t have much time at the end to check my spelling thoroughly. You are not allowed to use MS Word to check your spelling, either!
Stick to the facts and don’t waffle! Time is very limited.
Make sure you conclude properly with sound reasoning. There is no right or wrong answer, just make sure you show the reasoning behind your decision.
Write formally --> Dear X, Kind Regards Y
You do not have to give a short presentation on your justification anymore, as was the case with previous Deloitte grad recruitment processes.
Once the time is up, the programme automatically logs out and sends whatever you’ve written.

  1. Invite to First Interview - Line Manager. Was told that I had passed my E-Tray on February 23rd, and then emailed later on on the same day by a different recruitment person. I was asked to contact them ASAP with regards to arranging a date. The dates that they had given me were unsuitable as I was in the middle of writing up my dissertation and getting ready to hand it in, so don’t worry about rearranging. I agreed to attend an interview on March 7th.

All of the competencies are available on the Deloitte website. Make sure you have 2 examples available for each competency/situation. They only ask for a second answer if they feel that your first one wasn’t detailed enough or showed you in the best light. Be prepared for any follow-up questions on what you could have improved or what would you have done differently. The manager also tried to get the best out of me by prompting me for any additional bits of information I could have included. Unfortunately I can’t remember all of the questions they asked, but here are a few:

  1. Give me a time when you had to give a presentation.
  2. Give me a time when you achieved a goal.
  3. Give me a time when you failed to achieve a goal.
  4. Give me a time when you have had to prioritise tasks (or something along those lines)
  5. Give me a time when you worked in a team
  6. Give me a time when you had to make a decision
  7. Why audit
  8. Why Deloitte

He also asked me a situational/technical question with regards to audit. He said it didn’t matter if I didn’t know but he wanted to know if I did have an idea!
He also asked me if I wanted to ask any questions, and I was a bit annoyed that he didn’t ask me any commercial awareness questions so I asked him for his views on the articles I had found. He also gave me the chance to add anything to my application that I didn’t include in the form or hadn’t told him about.

Overall, I found the interview to be formal but friendly. Be confident, smile, don’t hesitate and make sure to show yourself in the best light!

  1. Invited to Second Interview - Partner Interview.
    I received an email an hour after having my line manager interview to say I was being progressed to the next stage. Fortunately the date was suitable this time so I agreed to attend this interview on March 12th. Once I had confirmed the time and date, the recruitment team emailed me back with the topic of my presentation.

The partner was nice and friendly, and we had a bit of a chat at the beginning. Make sure that you show yourself as being approachable but professional. Dress smartly, smile, be confident, be friendly, have a chat but still talk formally.

a. 5 minute presentation on topic given and around 10 minutes of questions.
My topic was on Independence in an auditing context.
You won’t have access to a computer, projector etc. so I recommend you print a handout of the PowerPoint presentation you would have done to give to the partner. I presented standing up, but apparently it’s OK to sit down and do it.
I took the questions part sitting down. The questions were actually OK. He gave me a few different situations to test if I really knew what independence meant and if he would have been independent in those situations. He said it didn’t matter if I was right or wrong, he just wanted to see my thought process. He also gave me a few hints when he could see I was getting a bit stuck! I’m pretty sure he only asked about 3 or 4 questions.

b. Competency questions
I’m pretty sure we covered adaptability here because I didn’t have it in my first interview.
He also asked me about a piece of news that interested me.
Why did you choose your degree?
Why audit?
Why Deloitte?
Do you have an idea of what you’ll be doing in your first year?
What do you understand about the ACA?

For those last two, I had a good idea and explained what I knew, but he also gave me lots of info about it all and we had a good chat.
Then he asked if I had any questions for him and we chatted some more about his career. He also gave me the chance to provide any additional information that I hadn’t included on my application form, CV or talked about in the interview.

And that was it really! It went by so quickly!
After an hour or so of leaving the office, the partner gave me a ring. Unfortunately I missed it but he left a voicemail and his number showed up on my phone so I gave him a ring back as soon as possible, and I was offered the job!

I hope my hints and tips have helped. Any questions, just post in this thread :slight_smile:

N.B. One more tip! Sign up with a buddy! It’s available on their graduate recruitment website. It’s good to have someone to talk to about the process and ask for help. Mine was especially useful in helping me prepare for the first interview.


thanks. really helpful.


This is the most detailed post I have ever seen! Really appreciate it!


^No problem :slight_smile:
It’s just a lot of hints and tips that I have gathered along the way, especially regarding the E-Tray exercise. Have you applied yet?


My e-tray is actually tomorrow morning. I think I’m OK with the multi-choice but slightly worried about the written exercise, especially the typo!!


Thank you for the post as its the best i have ever seen on this site.


No problem :slight_smile:
The recruitment process has changed recently so a lot of the things I have read we’re often out of date.

Any questions, just ask in the thread!


It is really helpful. Thanks a lot. I was invited to E-tray this morning. One question about the written recommendation, is it still Trafford Lea’s acquisition? Analyze pros and cons around Tarrini, Zambezi and Marikoco? Thanks again for sharing such valuable information. All the best for your career and future!


Hi guys,

How do you find out that you have passed the numerical reasoning test once you have submitted it? Did those of you who passed get the link to the verbal straight after submitting the numerical test? Do you know what the minimum pass mark/number of correct answers sufficient to pass is? What did the status of your application say after submitting your numerical test?

Thanks a lot for your help and btw this forum is great!


@Auroradream Hi, have you finished ur e-tray? Could u pls provide some information about the written part? Is it still about acquisition or the topic has been changed? Many thanks!


I mentioned it in my post right at the top of the page :wink:
I know it’s a lot to read through, but I’ve included lots of tips! :slight_smile:


Awesome, thank you


Great post!

I have the same presentation topic for the partner interview.

How did you go about it? I was thinking of taking a general ‘an auditor cannot be entirely independent in the regular sense of the word’ and then give the reasons why etc.

Is this the type of thing you did?

I’d be really grateful of any help as my interview is next week!

Thank you


Congrats on getting through to the partner interview!
I did my presentation along slightly different lines, but I just went with my gut feeling. Go ahead with yours and carry on with that theme :slight_smile: As long as you do enough reading around the topic, you’ll be fine.

Good luck!


How did you go about reading around the topic? How broad were the follow up questions you were asked?

thank you


Thank you very much :slight_smile:


^No problem :slight_smile:

I started looking at the ICAEW website, and my follow-up questions weren’t broad at all. I imagine it depends on the partner, though.


@J_Economics In the first interviews, approximately how many questions did the interviewer ask? Do you prepare each example within 3.5 minutes or other lengths? Do you remember any tricky questions the interviewer asked?

Thanks a lot.


Hi Auroradream,

I can’t remember exactly how many questions he asked, but he covered all of the competencies apart from commercial awareness from what I can remember. Just be sure to have a few situations you can use which can cover many competency areas. The most difficult question he asked was something regarding how I would make sure that the fixed assets figure on the balance sheet is right. Obviously I couldn’t prepare for this but using what I learnt from Economics I managed to come up with a reasonable answer. I didn’t time my examples to see how long they lasted, instead I used the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) approach. The interviewer cut me off or interjected when he felt I was rambling/could go into more detail, so he asked me different questions to either cover more of the competency or ask a different competency question.

Good luck!