Grant Thornton Interview 2011/2012

Grant Thornton

Just been offered a job at Grant Thornton, so thought I would share my experiences!!

Telephone interview was meant to last 45mins… mine lasted 20mins so was pretty sure I had failed. Turns out everyone else had similar experiences. Cant remember all the questions, but nothing too challenging:

  • Why Accounting?
  • How are you finding the course?
  • Why audit?
  • Asked a few questions about part time job and work experiences
  • A time when I turned a negative into a positive
  • A time when I used initiative to improve a way of doing things
  • A time when I demonstrated a flare for business
  • Any questions I had to ask!

Pretty quick and nothing toooo hard to answer!

They rang me the next day to invite me to the assessment day and interview.

Assesment day and interview lasted 3hrs 15mins. Firstly I had a case study on a business that was looking to increase sales, you have 40mins to read it and prepare 3 answers to questions to present to the partner:

  1. 3 big opportunities for the business
  2. how grant thornton could develop a relationship with them
  3. other areas grant thornton could help the business with

After that, I went to do my interview with 2 managers, but it is a rotation so u may be doing the office tour or case study first! The interview was not too bad, very relaxed and quite like a conversation rather than an interview. They asked:

  • My understanding of grant thornton / audit / professional exams
  • Why accounting
  • What i did in my part time job
  • Time when I had worked in a team
  • Time when I had gone the extra mile for a customer
  • Time when I made a real difference to a situation
  • Time when I suggested a new way of doing things
  • How I balance time
  • Time when the deadline changed and how i reacted
  • Time when I have set a challenging goal
  • Anything else I would like to tell them that would enhance my application

And that was that!! Then I had to do the case study with the partner, which was honestly even more informal than the interview. It was very much like a chat and he wanted to get to know me as well as do the case study. We went through the 3 questions I had prepared for, but he veered off them at times. The questions r common sense, just be yourself and answer them honestly - the partner explained there is no right or wrong answer, it is just to hear ur perception of doing things. I really wouldnt get too caught up on the case study, it is very relaxed and not at all stressful. Just make sure u speak loads and come across friendly!

They rang me 2hrs later and offered me the job, so hopefully my advice is helpful!!


Hi JC14,

Thanks a lot for your post, very useful. I have assessment day in a few days, and I was wondering if you could tell me more about the case study. Would I need detailed knowledge about the services Grant Thornton provide in order to explain to the Partner how they can help the company in the case? And what questions did you ask the Partner at the end?

Would be much appreciated if you could reply. Thanks.


i would strongly advise learning their services, a member has recently posted a thorough explanation of what happens. check out the thread link below

the post by malatian is pretty much all you need to know but i would strongly advise learning the business lines


Thanks a lot, zyzzbruh. Also, does anyone know if you are allowed to bring real life business knowledge into the case study or just base everything on the case?


na stick to the case study


nabsy5 : when i went through the case study with the a partner it was verrry casual, more like a chat than anything. we just chatted around the casestudy, so i did bring outside knowledge in a little bit…but i dont think u would need to research anything, but if u have knowledge on the topic or have ideas then i would def recommend sharing them with the partner. he stressed there was no right/wrong answer, it was more to see how you think about things and explain them!


Dear All

I had mine telephone interview on Tuesday January 2012 for Audit
Interview was fairly straight forward, it meant to 30 minuet but last 16 minuet anyway I would like to give you some tips and the feedback from Grant Thornton

Why Grant Thornton?
What differentiates from the others?
What attracts you to audit?
What is your understanding of the role of Audit?
What do i know about the qualification?
Describe situation you solved a difficult problem?
How is the d current economic climate affecting GT?
How is going to effects you as an audit trainee?
What would you like to ask me about GT?

Guys I had a feedback they mentioned I have done all the answer correct except one which is business insight, guys tell you the truth my answer was perfect according to the question phrase, now my tips is what they are looking for, theanswer in details saying that how GT services are effecting for example, Public sector, private sector, and Audit services , Tax services, Advisory services, basically they would like to hear about their services name, that’s all. As mine answer was based on the question above which overall effecting in Grant Thornton not individual services, should affect the overall profit rather than individual services.
I did not pass my interview because of the one question according their feedback

How is current economic climate effecting GT?

During this time of financial hardship a lot business are down with sales low and profits lower. Investors are scarce or non-existent. It’s hard or impossible for small money to get a bank loan. This may lead to Clients losing business, enter bankruptcy or go out of businesses either may not need service or, worse, may not be able to pay for the services they have already received. The government’s business secretary recently announced new plans that the government intend to change the law to relax the audit rules for SME’s which should save UK companies up to tens of millions of pounds in unnecessary audit fees. These new laws may affect the demand for audit jobs and will most likely affect both internal and external auditors as well as audit jobs in general. This was done to allow new companies to concentrate on expanding instead of investing in detailed audits However , without performing an audit, SME’s may find it more difficult to secure credit from lenders with a lack of proof of their financial situation. an annual audit should actually be something that companies should invest in for their own benefit in order to keep their finances in order to protect their brand reputation.


hey man,

thanks for the help. I have a phone interview with them on Thursday for the same position as u have applied. However, I don’t understand what is the kind of question they asked you that according to them you didn’t manage to answer correctly?

Could you please emphasize more on that?

Thanks in advance. Really really appreciate your help.



I just had my phone interview for Audit and the questions were similar to the one posted above. It is really friendly interview and the interviewer was really nice. You need to make sure that you have really researched the company and the services the company provides.

-Why GT?
-Why Audit?
-What do you think you will be doing as a trainee in the Audit department?
-What differentiates us from our competitors? (be careful on this one - you need to answer from your perspective and client’s perspective)
-How the economic crisis has affected GT and its business services?
-Where else have you applied?
-Why this specific office?
-What do you know about the qualification (ACA, ACCA) and etc.?
-What do you know about Audit?

Waiting for the response…will see what happens :slight_smile:

Good luck to everyone


Hi Ivan

Hope you were successful. Thanks for the information provided.



Just had a telephonic interview with GT. It was a pleasant experience and the interviewer made me comfortable right from the start. The questions were pretty much all the same as above, however there was a question about public sector in particular, so i advise preparing that a bit.

It was something about how the current economic condition has affected public sector in particular. Why did you choose to apply in public sector training? why specific qualification? Why Birmingham office? experience about leading a team, taking initiative and what results did you get? what was your manager’s view on outcome etc.

Wish me Luck :wink: hope it turns out well fingers crossed


Hi guys,

I just wanted to say bless you all for the help and tips on this forum. It really helped me in my interview. However, I got a bit nervous when I was being questions and tripped up in some areas.

The questions I got asked were mostly the same. I didn’t quite know what to say to “Where else have you applied?” – I just said Deloitte and HW Fisher (eventhough that is NOT true. I just wanted them to think I am an able candidate and that competitors are looking into my profile).

I got asked how GT is different from competitors. I had a list prepared for why their audit division appeals to me in particular. But then in the end she grilled me by asking “What is THE most critical reason you would choose us?” – Completely messed that up because I didn’t know what to say.

I was also asked what GT can do to overcome the problems it is facing in the current market conditions. I just gave a generic answer that it should expand its client base to maximise revenues.

I get quite nervous in interviews. Can someone please tell me how I can overcome that in a face to face one?


Hey guys,
I passed my telephone interview a couple of weeks ago, but I still have not heard back from GT with regards to the Assessment Centre. Is anyone else in a similar position? I’ve been calling them everyday, 5 times a day, and it simply goes to the Recruitment Team’s voicemail… I’ve left lots of voicemails as well, but still no response.


Hi radioactive,

Just heard today that I passed my telephone interview!

I’m very happy, although my email said that i had sucessfully passed but i was being pooled against other candidates to be considered for the final assesment day, did you get that or did you get a straight yes? As I am worried they will come back and say no now when i feel that theyve already said yes!!

Many thanks


Hi flavelle,

First of all, congratulations on passing the first round interview! Well done!

Yes, the email I got was the same as yours. However, I’ve spoken to many people who applied to GT and they said that they were invited to the AC about 3 days after being informed that they passed, which is why I’m getting a bit worried now. What’s worse is that I’ve been calling the GT office but everytime it either goes straight to voicemail or the line is busy because the person is talking to “someone else”. Leaving a voicemail is pointless as well. Either way, calls/emails are not answered. It’s quite alarming. I’m sure that the Big 4 get FAR more applications than they do, and they are very prompt when it comes to a candidate trying to get in touch with them.

Let’s stay in touch with regards to this matter!


hello everyone,

I am currently waiting for my AC to be scheaduled, and have question about competency questions. What questions you were asked regarding “Ownership” , “Business insight” and “Builds business relationships”? i would appreciate any examples and what they are looking to hear from you


Hi guys,

I also passed the telephone interview with GT.

They sent an email stating I was in a pool of candidates to be considered for the next stage and this was on 25th September. So it has been a month and no reply.

Could you give me the number you have been calling?

Let me know when you get the invite.

Do you think they have alot of candidates at this part of the process or are just waiting to get more in?

Also, what office have you applied to? Mine was London.




hi Raj,

I also waiting for the AC, but is been more than a month. I was told there will be places at the beginning of November, so just waiting for the time being.


I was told during the interview (held yesterday) that my AC would be held within two weeks of when the interview was held but i still got the email saying I was in a pool of candidates when i passed


I was told during the interview (held yesterday) that my AC would be held within two weeks of when the interview was held but i still got the email saying I was in a pool of candidates when i passed