Ernst and Young Partner Interview


I had my Partner Interview today for a position in Audit UK&I at Ernst and Young, Nottingham Office. I thought I would write up my experience of the interview to help anyone who has a Partner Interview coming up.

I would however say that it is my personal view that the structure of the Partner interview totally depends on the person who interviews you. Therefore my experience may differ substantially from a Partner interview at another office or with another Partner.

My interview was with a Director at the Nottingham Office and lasted for around an hour. The interview was very much a two way process. The Director asked me some questions, I was free to ask him questions and he gave me some general information about the firm. This included what they expect and what I should expect from them. The interview was very much structured as a conversation, whereby the Director could get to know me and I could learn more about the firm. I found this much better than interviews at other companies whereby the interviewer has a set list of questions which are asked, then as you speak your answers are noted down.

In this sense the Partner interview is different from the Ernst and Young first interview. I wasn’t asked any competency based questions, and the questions that I was asked followed on from my performance at the Assessment Centre. The focus was very much on whether I would fit in with the firm’s way of working and the people in general. The Director had a form to fill in some details of what I was saying, but he ignored this and just recorded anything relevant on a piece of paper.

The interview started with a question on why I had chosen to apply to the Nottingham office. This was followed by the standard opening question for a Partner interview, which is, tell me about yourself? Here I talked about my schooling and university life and finished by explaining why I had decided to go for a career in accountancy. The Director then looked over my grades from University and went through some of my strengths that had been highlighted at the Assessment Day. He then moved on to my weaker areas and asked me why I thought I hadn’t done as well in these areas at the Assessment Day.

He then gave me some information about Ernst and Young as a firm within the UK and globally and talked about its aspirations for the future. I was then asked why I wanted to work at Ernst and Young? and why I had applied to Audit? Here I mentioned the qualifications the firm offers, its position in the top four, and the impression of the firm I had from the First Interview and the Assessment Centre. For why Audit? I mainly focused on the client facing aspect of the job which I believe to be one of my strongest areas. I was also asked what I thought would be most challenging about working at Ernst and Young?

After this the Director gave me some information about the clients that Ernst and Young has, and how the firm is organised in the Midlands. This focused on how the Birmingham and Nottingham offices work closely together across all its clients in the Midlands area. This was followed by a question on how adaptable I would be at working with new and different people. He also asked whether I had a driving license, which I don’t think you will be discriminated against if you don’t, but he seemed to suggest that it would be a lot easier to move between client sites if you did.

The Director then talked about the kinds of hours a graduate is expected to work in a week. I was asked how this compared to jobs I had had in the past and to my expectations of what the job entailed. He then revisited my academic background and highlighted the level of practical application the job entails. He asked me whether I thought I would be good at applying what I learnt in the training to the job itself. They want to see that you’re an all rounder and not just book smart.

He also explained the opportunities for career development and outlined the possibility of being fast tracked to Partner for those showing exceptional progress in their work. I was then asked how I would see my career progressing at Ernst and Young? if I was made an offer.

I was also asked if I had applied to any other firms, which I think you just have to answer honestly as they don’t expect you to put all your eggs in one basket. I said that I had applied to the top four and left it at that. He said that was a common answer and one which is probably expected. He also asked whether I had any family ties to accountancy, which is a simple enough question to answer.

Finally he asked if I had any questions for him, which he dually answered and this ended the interview. I was told that someone from the recruitment team would contact me within the next few days to let me know the outcome.


Thanks great jonny!


Wow~ Thanks a lot jonny~!
And congrats again~! :slight_smile:


Well done Jonny. I just thought I would quickly share my experience of the partner interview. I had mine with a partner of the London office. He was incredibly welcoming and friendly, (that’s what I like about EY above all of the other interviews I have had.) Although I was really nervous he did ease my fears a lot, and the questions I was asked weren’t at all like the ones that I had prepared for. I thought it was all going to be about my strengths and the typical why EY?, Why audit?, He asked me what my strengths where, which I felt was a broad question and I knew that I had to limit what I said so as to not get lost. From there it seemed like the interview became a conversation. At the end he asked me if I had any questions, and I asked him about his sector: Hospitality and Leisure, as it was the one that I was most interested in specializing in. The interview was about 45 minutes long, and for the first time I was a bit upset that it had to end as he was a very interesting guy. I think that is something you have to remember: The partners and directors of a firm like EY will have had some incredibly interesting experiences, so ask them, they want to talk about it as much as you want to hear it.

To conclude, it sounds like my interview was completely different from Jonny’s, so don’t follow a format. Go in with an open mind, and give them something that will make them think how interesting the interview was, instead of how mundane it was.

I got a call the following Monday from the partner offering me a position, and to be honest my experience of EY is the same as Jonny’s; they are friendly and kind, where as my experience of the other 3 has been hostile to say the least. I will be accepting the offer.

Thanks to Jonny for keeping these two posts going, and good luck at Nottingham mate, I am at Uni here and it is a fun place. I wish you the best of luck.


wow, thanks for the help guys


and anybody knows the rate of failed in partner interview???
did anybody hear any cases?


When I got the call from the recruitment team following the AC to say I had been successful I was told that people have been rejected after partner interview. Not sure if this was just to make sure I didn’t take it lightly and assume I had already got the job. Ain’t read owt from anyone saying they were rejected after partner interview. Think it is just best to go into the partner interview with the knowledge that you could still be unsuccessful, so you give it all your attention.

After having the partner interview I would say that they are just making sure that they are confident that you will be able to succeed at the firm. The partners do have the final say and do need to protect their firm by making sure they only hire strong candidates, who can progress at the firm and be successful for them in the long run.


How did you get on with your AC trecrosby?

I will post my experience of the partner interview after I have had it on Thursday.

Jonny and arcmoore your comments are really appreciated!


Hi aliroo! I have posted my experience under the ‘EY new assessment thread’. I’m now waiting for my Partner interview date. Thanks 4 ur help!!


Hi Jonny,

This is a fabulous article. Congratulations on getting the job.

Please can you tell me what the strengths were, and which ones they thought you did well in the ac and which not so well?



All the best in you partner interview aliroo!


Thanks trecrosby. I think it went well fingers crossed!!

Again my partner interview was different from the other 2. He wanted to know my interests, hobbies, why ey, why tax, my 3 strengths, my 3 weaknesses. The only thing he mentioned about my AC was that I scored well and he had received positive feedback from my first round interview. I prepared a lot of questions to ask him so i think that helped alot. Aside from that we were talking about life outside of work hobbies, interests etc.

If anyone has any questions feel free to ask.


Hey aliroo,

When was your AC and in how many days did they fix your partner interview? I am asking this as I had my AC more than 2 weeks back and they informed me that I was successful but have not heard from them about my partner interview yet. Should I be worried about this?? Just curious.


hey Sam16

My AC was on a thursday, they emailed me by the Friday afternoon but then did not call to arrange my partner interview until the Friday after that and the partner interview was arranged for a week later. I wouldn’t be worried they are so busy but it is such a nightmare waiting for them to email you with news!


im in the exactly same position as sam 16, i was told on 14th of november i passed the AC and they would organise a partner interview. They rang me 2 weeks after the AC saying the position i applied for (indirect tax) has filled up in london, and i now have switched to Corporate tax. They were supposed to ring today to confirm a date and time for partner interview which they once again have not. So looks like i have to ring them again instead tomorrow.


Thanks Aliroo, you are lucky that they arranged your partner interview.
Hey lse,
They have not informed me anything as yet. Most of the time their phones would go on voice mails. Even after leaving a message nobody cared to get back to me. They have not even replied to my mails. i am really worried now.


hey, does anybody know the difference between:

indirect tax- london
indirect tax- financial services

I been told by EY that they have switched me from indirect tax financial services to corporate tax last week. Now, after their phone call today, they have switched me from corporate tax back to indirect tax london since places have been filled up.

Sam 16 I would just try and keep on phoning to get through to see where they are with your application. Also, what service line have you applied for?


Hi everyone,

I’d be really interested to know what questions everyone asks the partner. I have an interview coming up and I would like to ask about their experience of EY, but don’t want to sound too probing or intrusive.

Does anyone have any experience of doing this?


I second HLevison’s comment about asking questions of the partner. How happy will they be to talk about the firm in general, e.g. if was to ask about Asian expansion and what plans are there? It applies directly to me - this isn’t just a points-scoring question, I want to know because working for EY out there is one of my long-term goals. But I’m not sure if the partner will just wonder “Who does he think he is, asking about the firm’s international strategy?” and also whether the partner will really be able to give an answer.


Hey lse thanks, finally I have been informed that the position i had applied to is already filled up but thankfully they have offered me an option. I had applied to Tax human Cap. They will come back to me with my partner interview date.
Well, best of luck all for your partner interview. Maybe people who have had partner interviews will be able to give better suggestions.