More First Interview Questions



I had my first interview last week, and got through it thank goodness (assessment centre at the beginning of April for UK/Germany Audit with KPMG).

Anyway, I got asked a couple of questions on top of the ones we have on our list. As well as being asked to describe a company I thought could grow, I also got asked: “Can you tell me a company that has grown a lot in the last couple of years and what would you advise them to do next?” I would definitely think about this one cos I wasn’t expecting it, it stumped me and I ended up going with Facebook just to block a long silence! Anyway, that ended up being OK cos I talked a lot about how their challenge now wasn’t so much growth as stopping people flocking away due to the current privacy angst and recommended some strategies for retaining current users.

I was asked about 4 teamwork related competency questions (so much for two per competency!) so think of LOTS of teamwork stuff.

I happily used my Liechtenstein example and also manage to mention Socgen.

However, in the stress of the interview I completely forgot to mention the credit crunch and only briefly mentioned SARBOX. Argh!

Anyway, as I said it wasn’t the end of the world, I got the AC so just have to remember not to make the same mistakes in my partner interview!

I’m probably going to do Lufthansa for my company to present so just have to spend the next two weeks swotting up on their 300 page annual report!

standardcrow :slight_smile:


Great post! Well done on fielding the question and getting through to the next stage!

I would just say - don’t worry too much about Lufthansa report and so on- just make sure you can talk about it much the same way as in the first interview. Also make sure you swat up on the SOX, credit crunch, Bear Stearns, Societe General and other miserable news- especially if you can show an understanding of how it all hooks together, and how it affects everyone.


who audits nationalized ROCK tell them about that. I think investors might have filed against its auditors now. emphasize those points if necessary. good luck

Lufthansa will be a tough choice in light of the “GREENER” life era. Mention their plans to buy greener planes, if they plan so of course


Haha northern rock auditors were PwC!

PwC urged to return Northern Rock fees - Accountancy Age


I work in aerospace now, that’s why it will be easier for me to talk about the relevant issues but I didn’t want to do a manufacturer in case it made me look onsided (I work for a manufacturer who shall remain nameless). So I know plenty about the environmental demands on the aerospace industry.

I was quite amused by that story about PWC, I found the little conflict of interests there was quite interesting and did slip it into my first interview quite successfully without specifically criticising PWC during what are the big issues for audit firms questions: ie be careful that they maintain integrity and that there are no conflicts of interest that may come back to haunt them should a company later fail.


Really it wasn’t so much a conflict of interest as the fact that PwC didn’t identify Northern Rock’s exposure as a significant risk. It is the job of auditors to find these things out and alert shareholders. One can speculate why this was… but the bottom line was they didn’t fulfil their role.


I was kind of more referring to this…

Rock auditor criticised for role in crisis | Business | The Observer



It might seem like a lot of money, but £500,000 is ptetty average for audit fee. PwC achieved the record audit fee recently for Shell, clocking in I think at £21.7m or thereabouts.

There is specific guidelines on what constitutes ‘conflict of interest’, set out by the APB, and PwC will have been abiding by these rules.