Realising how much this forum has helped me, after being made an offer last week (for Audit at a regional office) I’ve decided to write my experience which will hopefully be of some use to others.
I decided to do some research and make a list of bullet points about everything that I could find out about Deloitte and Audit then compile them into answers for each of the questions.
I used resources such as prospects, inside careers (really useful for information about chartered accountancy and structure of ACA), the website, careers fairs, and also attended an insight day and made notes (very useful) and Wikijob of course
Seems like a lot of effort but the advantage is to keep the list of bullet points that you’ve made because you can use them to refresh your memory and some points you may not be able to fit into your application answers, you can use them when preparing for interview and gives you something different to say than what’s on your application.
Not much to say about this really but practice. You can find a few SHL practice tests online and also contact your careers service as mine offered me a test that wasn’t online.
The numeracy test was easy for me as I’m a Maths grad but if you haven’t done any maths for a while you can probably brush up on ratios percentages and fractions on the BBC website. I wouldn’t worry about trying to answer all the questions as I didn’t answer much over half, I think it’s more important to be thorough and get as many right as possible than guess loads because they won’t know that you’re guessing and may assume that you just don’t know how to do them.
The verbal reasoning was a little harder for me but after a few practice ones it was pretty straightforward.
Make sure you prepare 2 answers for each of the competencies, team work, leadership, decision making, presentations, goal achievement etc and be ready to expand on these; they may ask if anything went wrong and what YOU did to overcome it, remember to use I and not we and don’t worry too much about what the examples are that you use, I’m quite lucky that I have a lot of work experience that I could use as examples but I also used a lot of university examples. For example using module choices for decision making, and saying that you did more research on the subjects that were offered spoke to lecturers, friends that had done it the year before and attended a few extra lectures to give you a taster, that sort of thing.
Then there’s the why Deloitte, why Audit what will you be doing questions which you will already have prepared. Also they asked me to talk about the ACA and basic structure ( like I said above inside careers give a really good diagram which shows how its broken up)
Commercial awareness - I was asked, give an example of a company that you’ve followed and admire and explain why, a story that has interested you in the news, credit crunch affect on Audit, and credit crunch affect on Professional Services as a whole, and they asked me about a company that I’ve worked for before, what problems I thought they faced as a business and what would I do to overcome those problems *I don’t think this is standard as I’ve never read that anyone has been asked it before and it did take me by surprise.
This isn’t something you can blag and they will grill you on your answers, I can speak from experience. I had an email inviting me to an interview with only a few days notice, the morning after completing my online tests so didn’t have much time to prepare and hadn’t watched the news or read a paper in months.
My interviewer advised me that if I got through to the next stage then I needed to brush up on business knowledge, so I worked hard and got on top of it before my partner interview.
I found it useful to set BBC news website as my homepage so it came up every time I wanted to check face book and watched the news every morning before going to Uni and in the evenings if I had time. Downloading the BBC wake up to money podcast is really useful which gets added to your iTunes each day. I find the FT much easier to read now but found it difficult at first and would suggest only using it to look at certain stories that you find interesting in more depth. The politics show on a Sunday is pretty good.
Final Assessment Day:
etray : use the civil service fast stream website to get an idea of the basic set up as it’s very similar however don’t be put of by all the reading as there’s not as much in the Deloitte one and there are more diagrams and tables. Some small calculations will have to be made, but this is just simple addition and division which you can do in your head. I unlocked the taskbar and moved it to the side and minimised the files after reading through all of them at the beginning so I had a basic idea of where all the information was and how to get to it easily. The trick is to definitely not panic and not to spend to long on the decisions that you don’t need the folders for.
Business example: It is the one that’s found on the website and you will have to give your opinion on the growth strategy from some basic information that’s provided. Everyone is right when they say that you can’t prepare for this as it’s more a test of how you structure your answer than any business knowledge. Just make sure when you’re reading through the information that you get a clear idea of how they want you to answer it. Make sure you use bullet points, and I split mine into main advantages of choosing option A and main reasons for not choosing B or C and filled in points under each example as I moved through the information so that if I ran out of time then I had some points under each heading.
Partner interview: You have to go through your choice again and answer any questions they have about it, stay strong to your answer and argue the points and you should be ok. The partner was really nice and he again said that my commercial awareness had been picked up as not so good in my first interview so he was going to ask me more about that. He asked me what the Government has done to try and improve things, what would I do if I was put in charge of the country for a day – I didn’t expect that question and as tempting as it was to say make pjs suitable attire for any occasion lol I managed to make up a half sensible answer, What interested me in the news, then he asked me some of the other competencies, goal achievement and decision making. He also asked me if I’d had to raise any large sums of money for anything, not sure if this is standard or whether he was just asking about things from my application form. The rest of the interview was just a general chat about Audit and what was going on in the business. I got taken for lunch with a 3rd year who was really nice and he told me a lot about what the job was really like, how much work you have to do for exams and just about social life and going out.
Got a call the following morning from the partner to say that I’d got the job.
Overall the process took just over a month but that was due to Christmas and me having exams all through January. The response from Deloitte was the next day after each stage of the application process.
Sorry it’s a bit lenghty but hope this is useful and if you have any questions please ask away and I’ll do my best to help