Applying to Deloitte is similar to applying to other Big 4 (PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, E&Y) accounting firms. See my posts on the other firms I interviewed for. I got the job at Deloitte but ended up working at PwC. The application process is as follows:
Online application form
Online aptitude test
Online Application Form
Tricky to fill out, there are a lot of questions that need fielding, and your answers have to be quite well focussed. You need to use as much of the word limit given as possible, to maximise the amount you sell yourself. You must use proof read and spell check your work; you are guaranteed not to get any further by submitting an application form with errors. Realistically, set aside a whole day for filling in the application form. The application form is not the place for humourous remarks, so don’t add any. Accounting is not a humourous business
Make sure you print a copy of your application form so you can refer to it before interview.
Online Apititude Test
Not easy, but not impossible either. Split into two parts, verbal and non-verbal. The verbal part requires you to demonstrate basic comprehension skills. There will be a passage of text, and then there will be some multiple choice questions. The exercise is designed to confuse you with ambiguity. You must answer the questions based on precisely what the text says, not what you could infer or interpret from it. You have 30 minutes to complete the test.
The non-verbal part is a math and logic test, and tests basic math skills, mainly:
Interpreting data on graphs & charts
[*]Interpreting data in tables
You should be familiar with the aforementioned topics otherwise you will fail miserably; although it is not a mathematical job, these basic skills are essential for accounting. You will require a calculator and some paper. Once again, there are a few practice questions. You have 30 minutes to complete the test.
Practicing Tests - Read This
The test that Deloitte use is the same as that for a large number of accounting firms, both large and middle sized. It is provided by a third party. The questions that come up are random each test, but there are only so many questions, and once you have applied to a few firms, you will see the same questions appearing time and time again. So much did this help me that one firm I applied to phoned me up to say how unbelievably well I’d done in the test. Not a surprise if you finish a 30 minute test in 11 minutes. I wouldn’t really call this cheating; there’s no way to avoid knowing the answers after having done a few tests.
You can also disconnect your computer if really stuff up the test and start again.
Honestly though, if you can’t get the test right first time then you will struggle in the job & training (in my opinion).
I had gotten lost trying to find the office, and got caught in the rain and was soaked to the bone. My suit smelt like a dead animal. I’d also had no sleep, driven for 7 hours the night before, and had another interview booked for the afternoon at Mazars. I felt pretty ill. I was interviewed by an ex-Anderson employee at the London office, in the basement where the graduate recruitment is. He was a pretty useless interviewer, and seemed disinterested, which furthered to my woes. The standard character interview questions came up, almost robotically:
Discuss 2 examples of when you’ve been in a team
Discuss 2 examples of when you’ve been a leader
Why do you want to work for Deloitte?
What is your understanding of Audit? (audit is the process where we gain comfort over the financial statements of a company by selecting transactions on a sample basis and testing them)
What do you think you will be doing in your first year? (the answer is ticking, studying and working long hours)
Give me an example of a company you think is good and discuss? (I used Google)
[*]Give me an example of a company you thought was poor and discuss? (I used M&S; they were having problems at the time)
You must make sure you understand exactly what you will be doing in your first year, what the job is, and what the training will entail. They are looking for commitment to career, and will not admit anyone who has not done their research.
They told me they would contact me in 3 days. I had to call them after 10 days. My interview went terribly, but I was pleasantly surprised that they invited me back for an assessment day.
The assessment day is split into two main parts:
The E-tray exercise is a sort of computer based business simulation. Everybody gets a computer, and on it is a simulated email inbox. Over the course of 30 minutes, emails come in, and you have to respond. There a selection of multiple choice responses. Consequent events occur based upon the choices you have already made. Sometimes you have wrestle between conflicting situations, the purpose being to determine what you’d do in said situation. I found the E-tray exercise relatively straight forward and finished with time to spare.
The partner interview is your rubber stamp. Assuming you have made it through the other parts, the partner will be vetting you to see if you are likely to fit in with the firm’s culture. You will probably be asked some questions about what you might do in certain situations, and you will probably be asked to discuss your interests and so on. This is a character test, being too up tight will not do you any good, but being too casual will not either. Partners command the highest respect from juniors so you should bear this in mind. They will be looking for social skills, the ability to act professionally and responsibly with clients. Professionalism is really key.
Getting the Job
On the way home I received a phone call from the partner offering me the position. In due course, I actually accepted a position at PwC and declined the position at Deloitte. Looking back that was the correct decision.