Hello everyone. I read this site for weeks and eventually got an offer from BDO. Theres not much I have to add and everything I have read I have found to be accurate, but heres my two cents. Things that maybe havnt be mentioned previously. All audit London applications.
I got as far as assessment centre and failed. Everything was as described on wikijob. One piece of advice I would give to someone coming from a non-business or non-accounting degree is do a small bit of reading about general business first. Maybe google ‘ways of expanding’ or ‘ways of increasing profitability’. These things are obvious and commonsense, but I struggled a bit with the group discussion. I feel had I done just a small bit of reading to freshen these things in my mind and improve my confidence it may have helped. I was a bit overwhelmed and got a bit lost, everyone else was overflowing with ideas and I struggled to get a word in. The partner presentation was fine – I chose primark- and my partner actually remarked it was refreshing because a lot of people choose small businesses he’s never heard of. Contradicts what some others say on wikijob, I don’t think it matters big or small, just choose a company you feel comfortable with. He actually worked previously with Primark as a client, when I heard this I panicked!! But his questions were nothing like as hard as I feared, if anything they were easier than expected, and I felt that part of the ac went fine. E-Tray make sure you know what you are doing, take a minute and read the instructions!! For the second part I got confused as to what information I was using to write the first email and was looking at the wrong stuff unable to understand how it was relevant but making up some rubbish in the email anyway. I realised my error with about ten mins to spare and had to rush a pretty poor attempt. Not ideal !!! Not surprising I didn’t get this job really. First ac though, so I chalked it up to experience and moved on.
Completed and passed first interview, interviewer actually told me she doesn’t work for EY but works in recruitment. It would have been nice to speak to an actual employee, although perhaps understandable at busy time of year. One question I came across that I hadn’t before on here was ‘someone you admire and why, what have u learnt from them’. I was waiting on an assessment centre and got emailed last week saying my app was on hold as they had so many candidates booked on acs it was likely positions would be filled. For anyone wondering I applied around the start of November.
Was due to attend 1st interview but got snowed in, they kindly offered to do it on the phone. One thing I noticed about this interview was the managers determination regarding the ‘why deloitte’ question. I chatted the usual ‘community work, environment (always using specific and recent examples), career progression, the culture’, she replied ‘yes but all of the big 4 demonstrate these things, why deloitte’. At this point I was a bit taken aback and blabbered something about not seeing as much evidence of the things I had mentioned at other firms (a lie). I added they had Olympics 2012 showing they are at the top of their game. She seemed to like this. I mentioned that I wasn’t sure how true it was but I heard the people were just nicer. She asked me had I met any and I said no and for that reason I was sorry I couldn’t go to the office in person. She agreed and commented about the people being wonderful and said it was a shame I wasn’t at the office. She then asked me what one thing about deloitte specifically that excited me the most. She was really going for it! The only thing that could come to mind was again the bloody Olympics, I just said ‘well the first thing that’s jumped into my head is again the Olympics’ and how exciting it was and id love to get involved etc gave a fuller discussion of the olympics. The Olympics saved the day!! I am currently waiting on deloitte ac date.
First interview was a totally different and refreshing experience, much more two way, much more relaxed and friendlier. It took them about 6 days to email me to say had passed so don’t fret over response times.
Ac was as explained on here. DEFINATLY be aware of BDOs services. You will need this. Pick key things out, probably don’t worry too much about their services for individuals. The group discussion involved among other things a proposal to expand the company into another city. As an example, we mentioned corporate finance team to adivse on funding, possibly private equity team to suggest investors. The one-to-one presentation is fine, mine lasted about ten minutes. I was then asked about 20 mins of questions, such as additional possible ways of funding, she then asked me to talk about pros and cons of each type of fundraising. I had mentioned how tax teams could reduce overall tax rate and she asked how specifically so I mentioned stamp duty on the acquired property, corporation tax, VAT analysis, employee tax (since they would need to hire a whole new set of employees), possible exemptions they weren’t aware of. I was quite surprised at the detail they wanted you to know – maybe most people already know all this stuff – but I was really glad I had spent the night before going through all of BDOS services. Other questions were things like ‘what would you advise the company directors to take with them to a meeting with the bank about funding’. As part the presentation they specifically request you to present a personal opinion and give ideas that weren’t maybe expressed in the group discussion or further ideas that were. For this reason I think its worthwhile maybe holding just a little back from the group discussion, so that you do have additional things to add. The group discussion is very long however so this may be difficult. There is lots of time to fill discussing!!
The SHL test I found easy. There really is nothing you can do to prepare!! One tip I think is to group cards carefully with specific details matching, they don’t need to stay on the table in chronological order. Put them in groups to help you see patterns, I re-arranged some of the sets a few times. There is some maths, but nothing too difficult and at least a couple of sets don’t require any maths whatsoever.
My partner was fantastic, a couple of competancies and a general chat about current work etc. I was totally honest about who I had applied to, big four etc I explained the current grad job competition is ridiculous and I wanted to keep options open and he said he didn’t blame me. He did say if I had a few offers who would I choose and I explained the reasons for wanting mid-tier and specifically bdo because I loved the atmosphere and the people I had met and how the recruitment process had been pleasurable and beneficial.
i messed up the online test
didnt have any offices left which i fancied working in by the time i got round to applying.
This site is amazing. It is the reason I have a job! ive waffled on, but hopefully there is something there of use to someone. I had to give something back- good karma. Sorry the SPAG is all over the place, I just typed this as it came into my head.
Good luck to all.