Questions for Partner?

#1

Hi guys,

I have a Deloitte assessment day next week, and I’m unsure as to what sort of questions to ask a partner. In my first round interview it was a manager so I asked him about the job role, training etc. However, what sort of questions would be suitable for a partner?

So far I have thought about asking him:

  • what his best experiences have been at Deloitte and why?
  • In what ways has Deloitte had to adapt to the economic climate?

Are they good enough questions? How many should I ask and does anyone have suggestions for other questions I could ask?

Any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks

#2

i think those are good enough! although probably the standard questions. i wouldn’t ask any more than 2 btw.

#3

What are the most demanding aspects of their job?

What was the most challenging ethical dilemma they’ve encountered?

How do they deal with receiving 300+ emails a day?

What are the qualities they admire most in staff?

What do they think of the new offices? Did the move cause any unexpected difficulties?

When was the last time they left at 5.30pm?

Of course, you’ll have to make a judgement on what sort of person the partner is. Maybe you’ll get one who ‘frankly has something better to do’ in which case I’d keep it brief and orthodox but if it seems like there’s some flexibility; there’s opportunity to distinguish yourself by asking something a bit different.

#4

Thanks a lot for your help guys - I will probably limit my questions to 2 or 3

#5

Do you think a question like ‘as a partner in the firm, how would you describe your role as part of the team?’ would be a suitable question, or is this a bit too basic and something applicant should have an idea of anyway?
I wasn’t really putting much thought into what I would ask a partner but post on this site have made me think perhaps I should be putting a lot more thought into it…

Dave

#6

That’s a perfectly fine question but the trick is to nuance it, to demonstrate you’ve looked into it a bit. You should be aware that partners are the client facing part of the engagement team. They handle all the major strategic decisions, approach and resources to be employed but the interesting parts are the more subtle questions:

  • How do they deal with clients that quibble about bills? Should they just give them a discount or wait it out? Some highly political decisions here.

  • How do they deal with overseas firms? None of the top firms operate as a single unified entity across the globe, so there is a little bit of push and pull in negotiations over fees with other member firms. How do they choose who to engage in the overseas firm? Networking is very important as they need to feel that the work performed on their behalf is going to be of a good quality and isn’t going to get out of control. Lots of soft skills required here.

  • Audit partners will also to have to make potentially high impact judgement calls on whether to qualify an audit opinion. If it gets out that the firm has given an unqualified report to an entity that subsequently goes bankrupt; it’s potentially a huge source of embarrassment.

The interesting part is when it’s a grey area; makes them think about their answer and where there are sure to be different approaches/ tactics. The more senior it gets, the less well defined the rules are. Pick a good question and you can really impress the interviewer.

#7

I asked the partner in my interview with PWC how has his career progressed and what oppertunities did he take so he talked about a 2 year overseas secondment and in my feedback after i received an offer i was told he was impressed with my question as it showed a willingness to learn and pursue oppertunities available at the firm

#8

Thanks a lot haggiz. Good question!