Accounting Interview Questions

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  • KPMG Audit Opportunities for Graduates

    4.0/5 | Interview date: October 2018 | Job offer? Yes |

    Was this helpful? Yes

    Sectors: Accounting

    Difficulty rating 20.0 / 100

    Interview process

    The telephone interview was the 2nd step in the recruitment process, after the application and online tests. It lasted around 45 minutes, as I was told. I was asked a set of basic competency questions and some business-related questions. I had more or less prepared using various forums so I was able to answer most questions with relative ease.

    Most difficult question

    The scenario questions were difficult as you cannot really prepare for them. I was asked 2 of these types of questions. The interviewer will first describe the scenario both of which were quite long and boring. One was about time-consuming tasks with similar deadlines and the other one about a group situation

    Interview tips

    Prepare thoroughly using popular forums where participants have usually described in detail what to expect. However there will always be tests you cannot fully prep for, such as role play and e-tray. Which is where I think I struggled - so make sure the preparation is there and then the rest is a bit up to luck!

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    Report writing, role play and e-tray. The report writing is straightforward, candidates are given various texts and then asked to write a report with recommendations. Role play involved two situations, one with an unhappy client and another with your manager. E-tray was quite hard, there were numerical questions, voice mails, video messages.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 3/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 4/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 4/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • Audit Programme - KPMG

    4.0/5 | Interview date: July 2018 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes

    Sectors: Accounting

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    Tasks: An initial verbal reasoning test to assess there was no wrongdoing during the online test. This was then followed with the unique KPMG immersive assessment centre (based on an imaginary company), where tasks followed what would be a typical day for a new graduate. This included a Virtual Office exercise, writing a report with recommendations based on the company, and then two role-playing exercises with a potential client and your manager. The format was designed as a natural progression as you learned more about the company, for example you could use all the information you gathered from the in-tray exercise to use in the client meeting.

    Most difficult question

    Due to the nature of the immersive AC there were not any personal questions asked. I would say some of the questions from the potential client were difficult, where the exercise is designed for the client to have aggrievances and you need to overcome them and build a relationship. So for example one question the client had was "in the past we have had a difficult working relationship, how do you plan to overcome this in future?". This required innovative and immediate quick-thinking answers to address client concerns.

    Interview tips

    Carefully choose which information to read, if you analyse everything given to you, you will easily run out of time on all of the tasks.
    Relax as much as possible during the role-playing exercises, although make sure you time keep during your client meeting.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    We all did a verbal reasoning test consisting of 30 questions in 17 minutes. After this the immersive assessment centre begun, prior to starting the tasks everyone was given 15 minutes to take in all the background information we had been given. In the morning everyone did an in-tray exercise lasting an hour, and then the virtual office exercise lasting an hour as well. In the afternoon, the groups were split up with some doing their role-playing exercises, whilst the rest of the group had lunch. After every single task there was also a 10 minute self-review exercise where we commented on what went well, what did not go so well, and how we might change our approach if we faced with a similar scenario in future.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 3/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 3/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 3/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • Audit

    4.2857/5 | Interview date: June 2018 | Job offer? Yes but declined |

    Was this helpful? Yes

    Sectors: Accounting

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    The phone interview was super relaxed, it was the best one I've had - it felt like I was having a chat with a friend I haven't spoken to in ages and needed to catch up with.

    Assessment day - There were 3 parts to this, a group case study, a partner interview about the case study and an one-to-one interview with all the competency questions.

    Most difficult question

    I found the partner one the most difficult because they give you more information on the case study and I got asked about things in more detail, so, for example, I was asked to suggest some things the Partner may need to ask the CEO of this fictional company, I suggested knowledge of the 5 year plan, to which I was asked how you go about doing a 5yp.

    I had absolutely no clue about the detail on how to do this, but they were fine with me saying I wasn't sure - you're not expected to know everything

    Interview tips

    Grant Thornton are all about the personality, just keep calm and be yourself - the reason I got the offer was because I was quite confident and relaxed. They also don't expect you to know everything so it's fine to admit gaps in your knowledge once or twice as long as you show a willingness to learn

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    We got about 20 mins to read the case study silently, then 30mins to discuss it as a group, with 5 to present.

    We then got another 20ish mins to read the additional information before our partner interviews

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 4/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 4/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 5/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 3/5
  • Audit Programme - KPMG

    3.4286/5 | Interview date: June 2018 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes

    Sectors: Accounting

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    The first stage of the application was the personal information and then there was a situational, numerical and verbal reasoning test.
    After this was a phone interview which lasted about 45 minutes. The interviewer introduced them self and told me about their background. Then it was straight into the interview questions. It was a competency based interview focusing on KPMG's competencies of career motivation, delivering quality, collaboration, continuous improvement, professional judgment, seizing business opportunities, innovation and resilience.
    They also asked a fair amount of questions about commercial awareness. This was my first interview and wasn't as prepared as I should have been so some of the questions caught me off guard and I didn't really provide good answers to the questions. The interviewer was friendly enough but if you haven't done your research, the interview will be tricky. The interviewer would ask a lot of follow up questions to your answers such as "Why do you think that?"

    Most difficult question

    Pick a company that has had some troubles over the past couple of years and give four ways to help this company.
    What has been going on in the business world that affects the company.
    A more junior staff member undermines you in a presentation to a client stating that what you are proposing could be done more efficiently. How do you respond to the staff member? How do you respond to the client?

    Interview tips

    Make sure to do your research on the company and the role and what you will be doing in your first year. Work on commercial awareness and read websites such as Accountancy Age. Don't go in underprepared as you cannot provide adequate answers to some of the questions without preparation.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    Did not attend assessment centre

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 4/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 3/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 3/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 4/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 3/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 3/5
  • Opportunities in Assurance with PwC – April and Autumn 2014

    5.0/5 | Interview date: June 2018 | Job offer? Yes |

    Was this helpful? Yes

    Sectors: Accounting

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    My first interview was on the phone. I was mainly asked competency questions here based on their common competency's outlined on the recruitment website.
    This interview was the hardest. For example, they asked me a time I had to correct someones mistake. I chose a time when someone at work wasn't doing there job correctly and I had to speak to my manager about this and he dealt with this.
    They then wanted another example as I had not directly dealt with it myself and therefore for this interview thinking on the spot of several examples was required making it relatively hard.
    The 2nd interview I had was with a partner of the company and was one to one. This I preferred, it was more like an informal chat, there was some competency questions but a lot of it was checking I understood the role I had applied for and what would be required of me if I was to be offered the job.

    Most difficult question

    Describe a time when you had to improve a piece of work after criticism?
    Who are our clients in the local area?
    When was the last time you read something about us (PWC) in the news?

    Interview tips

    I would advise other students to really research PWC and the specific role they have applied for. I would advise using sites such as wiki jobs to become informed on what to expect. Preparation in advance is key. Also keeping up to date with current affairs (read a few news stories daily) may also be useful.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    I had to do paper versions of the online numerical and reasoning tests. I also had to spend half an hour preparing and writing a report on a water conservation issue. I then had a group exercise where we had to work as a team to solve a common problem (ours was the best way to generate revenue from 5 different energy problems).

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 5/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 5/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 5/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • Credit Risk Analyst

    2.8571/5 | Interview date: June 2018 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes

    Sectors: Accounting

    Difficulty rating 80.0 / 100

    Interview process

    The interview was the initial part of the recruitment, it was split into 3 parts:
    Testing - a set of 2 tests were used (numerical and verbal reasoning) - 20 mins, this was round a boardroom style desk in front of management and with the other candidates
    Group session - 35 mins this was a set group work which was monitored by senior management of the division.
    Presentation - 20 mins the company carried out a presentation and then actively seeked for the candidates to get involved and ask questions relating to the presentation in order to find out more about the company.

    1 on 1 interview:
    competency questions 30 mins
    questions regarding cv spec - 30 mins
    questions about the company - 30 mins

    Most difficult question

    How to respond in real life working situations.

    Interview tips

    Use a logical approach when answering questions and relate your answers to previous examples of similar work.
    The role required a large amount of data analysis and experience from this, so by proving past examples and using organised answers and solutions to problems would help.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    Group work

    4 people given 35 minutes to complete a communication task. We were given a task that helpes the group to communicate, all participants were required to communicate without showing their given cards, all data had to be communicated verbally and then an answer can be derived after working through all the parts of the end question. required a very methodical approach between the group.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 3/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 3/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 2/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 3/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 1/5
  • ACA Graduate Scheme

    4.2857/5 | Interview date: April 2018 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes

    Sectors: Accounting

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    The application process began with an application form which asked general questions such as why accountancy, why our firm, there were a few more unusual questions as well such as 'if you had £100,000 to invest what would you invest in?'. If you were successful in this you were moved on to the online tests which were the normal kind of verbal and numerical reasoning. Some people I spoke to at the assessment centre said that they had a phone interview as well, I personally didn't so I couldn't say what to expect but just be prepared. If you were successful in the tests you were invited to the assessment day. The day began with more numerical and verbal reasoning tests (no harder than the practice ones available online). Then there was a group exercise which was a discussion of which option was most financially viable for a company (don't worry it just needed common sense looking at pros and cons and making a decision as a group). We then took a break for lunch after which about half the group was told they had been unsuccessful and were sent home. Then came the interviews, the first was with a couple of members of the management team but was generally just competency based questions. Then you were given a presentation to do individually on the problems and possible solutions a company was having (again common sense) followed by a short Q&A. After this came the final interview with a partner and a member of the management where they asked you more competency questions and why this company, why accountancy, your interests etc.

    Most difficult question

    What was the most difficult time you've ever had?

    Interview tips

    Make a good impression in the early stages of the assessment centre because people were sent home after lunch so just make sure to do some practice tests before you go and make yourself heard during the discussion. Make sure that you contribute, don't be shy but make sure to listen to others as well. I would also recommend just being yourself in the interview.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    Numerical & Verbal reasoning tests
    Group discussion
    Interview (competency based 40 mins approx.)
    Presentation
    Final Interview (competency based 40 mins approx.)

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 3/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 4/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 4/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • HP Graduate Programme - IT

    3.8571/5 | Interview date: April 2018 | Job offer? Yes |

    Was this helpful? Yes

    Sectors: Accounting

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    First of all was the phone interview. It lasted roughly half an hour including my questions on the end. They were the typical competency based questions along the lines of 'Why do you want to work for HP' etc...

    I was told that i would find out the results of my interview within 5-10 days but i was actually called the morning after which was fantastic.

    The face-to-face interview was scheduled for the following week in the London offices. It was a 2 hour interview which consisted of 1 hour with an HR representative and one hour with a Technical representative.

    The HR interview was a development of the phone interview with more questions on my knowledge of Accenture such as: What HP does, What does the role entail and who are their main competitors.

    The Technical interview comprised of questions that asked me to describe situations that demonstrate i have the technical skills to fit in with HP.

    Both interviewers were very calm and made me feel so comfortable. Overall from the point of me applying online to hearing my final result was less 3 weeks!

    Most difficult question

    They asked me some questions like:
    -Identify the 3 main problems of this company.
    -Suggest solutions to the problems.
    -How could the company fix the problem quickly (ie. quicker that the suggestions you already made)
    -What will the result be after the problem is fixed.

    Interview tips

    Google typical competency questions as through the process you will be asked them all! Ensure you know what the role you are applying for does and read up on HP clients (they may ask). I also know someone who got asked about a recent news story they were interested in, so be prepared to answer that (if it is about one of their clients they are even more impressed). Be confident and don't be afraid to say that you don't know. At the end of the day, every graduate they take on is there to be trained. You don't need an accounting background, in fact the more diverse the better, gives you more to talk about.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    The assessment centre was very friendly. I was given a tour of the office and introduced to staff in the department where I was applying to.
    I then had a panel interview with three members of staff that lasted about an hour; and was then given 30 minutes to prepare a presentation .
    I then had a 1-on-1 interview with the recruiting manager which was very informal and lasted about 45 minutes before spending 30 minutes delivering the presentation I prepared early.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 4/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 3/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 4/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 4/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 4/5
  • external audit graduate trainee

    4.4286/5 | Interview date: February 2018 | Job offer? Yes |

    Was this helpful? Yes

    Sectors: Accounting

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    My interview was a one on one interview with a member of their graduate recruitment team, the interview took place at their London office. The interview starts with an exercise where you are given an article to read and must discuss certain points about the article. My article was about the childhood obesity and school meals. The questions I was asked were quite straightforward for example outline the main stakeholders, how would you fix this problem, what obstacles is your solution likely to face. After that i was asked more standard interview questions such as why Mazars, why audit, what do you know about the ACA, Tell me about a time when you had conflict with someones decision, tell about a time where you showed leadership. The interview last for around an hour it can be longer depending on the amount of questions you have for the interviewer at the end.

    Most difficult question

    I struggled with the tell me about a time when you had conflict with someones decision? My advice would be to try and relate your answer to the Mazars core values of Integrity, Responsibility, Respect for individuals, Cultural diversity, Independence and Continuity.

    Interview tips

    Read the core values section on their graduate website and try to relate your answers to these values. Also try to think of some good questions to ask the interviewer this helps to show that your really interested in the company.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    We were quite a small group only 6 of us the day starts with a brief presentation of the company after that you complete numerical and verbal reasoning tests similar to the online ones done for the application form. Next you have a group assignment where each member of the group is given information on a fictional candidate and the group has to decide which of the candidates are most suitable for the job. This is followed by individual presentations you are given ten minutes to come up with a presentation on any topic you can think of and then 5 minutes to present. Then you get a lunch break and the chance to speak with some of the graduates there. After lunch is the inbox exercise this is not done electronically and can be quite daunting bu just make sure you respond to the e-mails and you should be fine. After that you have an interview with a director the questions are similar to that of the first interview the last part of the day is listening to a presentation on the ACA i was given he results of the assessment center a day after.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 5/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 4/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 4/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • Deloitte - Opportunities Within Audit

    4.2857/5 | Interview date: February 2018 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes

    Sectors: Accounting

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    I had two interviews for Deloitte, the first was with a previous graduate and the second was with one of the partners.
    The first interview was mainly competency based and lasted around an hour, with roughly 5 questions being asked. The questions centered around commercial awareness, leadership skills, teamwork skills, problem solving skills and achievements. Each question was followed by a few smaller questions relating to my previous answer and were quite probing.
    I passed the first interview and then attended the partner interview which was much more intense. This involved a presentation revolving around the changes being made in the accounting industry which I found very challenging! I could tell my interviewer had strong opinions on the topic and so I thought it was quite difficult to please him. I also had a few more competency based questions, as well as questions regarding my motivation for the job and hopes for my career.

    Most difficult question

    The presentation was the most difficult part as I found it difficult to find information beforehand that I could talk about confidently.

    Interview tips

    Make sure presentation is well prepared and that you have some fairly recent examples for your competency based questions- a few of mine were examples from high school and this was part of my feedback. Commercial awareness is also a big factor!

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    n/a

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 4/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 4/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 4/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5

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