Interview Question: Why not Big 4?


I was interviewing with a top 10 accountancy firm (Tenon) for an audit trainee role and they asked me during my interview “Why have you applied to us? Why not the big 4?” I wasn’t really sure how to answer this one. The best answer I could come up with was that some of my university peers did their placement year for big 4 companies and having spoken to them, they find working in such a large organisation a bit stuffy and hierarchical. I couldn’t really think of anything else to say. What are the advantages of working for a smaller firm and what would be a good way to answer interview questions such as this?

Any ideas would be much appreciated. Also, how would you answer that sort of question if you were interviewing with, say, a top 30 or even top 50 firm?


Tough question to answer, but there are good answers to give. You didn’t do too badly, but rather than criticise the [[Big 4]], it’s much better to explain the benefits you see in working for the small firm in question.

See this post - [ Why work for a small firm?]


say you want more responsibility


Many thanks for the replies, there is some really useful information in that link. I will be sure to use that at future interviews and I’m sure it will stand me in good stead. Man, just from poking around this website for the last couple of days I’ve already found out so much more than I have from dozens of meetings with my university careers advisers!


What university are you at?!