Big4 Interview Questions
Almost every interview you’ll ever have at the Big 4 will combine traditional and behavioral questioning.
If you’re applying for advisory or consulting, it’s almost guaranteed that there will be some case study aspects thrown in.
These Big4 interview questions are asked to see if potential employees have critical thinking skills and self-awareness.
Common Traditional Big 4 Interview Questions
(KPMG, Deloitte, E&Y, PwC)
- Walk me through your CV
- Tell me about yourself
- Why do you want to work for KPMG/Deloitte/E&Y/PwC?
- What do you know about KPMG/Deloitte/E&Y/PwC?
- Why audit/tax/advisory?
- Where do you want to be in 5-10 years time?
- How well do you work do in a team setting?
- What is your biggest weakness/strength?
- What do you like to do in your spare time?
- What is your greatest achievement (or What are you most proud of)?
- Give me an example of a time when you disagreed with a superior.
- Do you like to travel?
- What sets you apart from the rest of the candidates?
- If your friends could pick 3 words to descibe you, what would they be?
Behavioral Question Examples
- Give me an example of a time when you were in a moral dilemma and how you handled it.
- Give me an example of a time when you were working in a team, and a team member wasn’t meeting their responsibilities (and how you handled it.)
- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with someone in your group.
- Tell me about a time when you had to be a leader.
- Tell me about a time when you were had to overcome an obstacle to get something done.
- Tell me about a goal you had and how you achieved it.
- Tell me about a time when you had to handle a difficult or angry customer/client.
- Tell me about a time when you had to work under pressure with strict deadlines.
- Tell me about a time when you failed or made a mistake and how you handled it.
- Tell me about a time when you improved a process (or came up with a creative solution).
- Tell me about a time when you had to prioritize your responsibilities.
- In our business, we need to stay well informed about the marketplace. Tell me about a time when your research of a particular topic allowed you to make an informed decision. How did you approach the research?
- In order to grow the business, we identify client needs and recommend solutions to address those needs. Tell me about a time when your knowledge of a topic allowed you to make a recommendation to resolve a problem or fulfill a need.
- Strong communication skills are critical to the selling of services to clients. Tell me about a time when you were successful in communicating with a difficult person or under difficult circumstances.
- Our business requires flexibility when negotiating with clients. Tell me about a time when you had to adjust your negotiating position in mid-process in order to achieve an objective.
- We often have to rely upon our innovative thinking to solve problems. Tell me about a time when you came up with a breakthrough idea or saw possibilities that were not obvious to others. What were the circumstances? Describe your idea and how you developed it.
- When working in teams, the ability to obtain the commitment of others is critical. Tell me about a time when your positive example influenced others to be more committed to a project or task.
- With so many conflicting priorities, it can be challenging to motivate a team to complete projects. Tell me about a time when you were successful at achieving results even though you were part of a team that was difficult to motivate.
- Sometimes we have to sacrifice individual recognition in order to help a team be more successful. Tell me about a time when you put the needs of a group before your own when completing a task.
- Knowledge sharing is an essential part of our firm culture. Tell me about a time when a willingness to share your knowledge significantly enhanced the outcome of a decision or situation.
- Describe a time when you needed to consider a range of options before zeroing in on a solution. What was the situation? How did you handle it?
- Exhibiting personal ethics is critical to gaining buy-in from a team. Describe a personal, team-based situation where the resolution clearly reflected your level of integrity.
- Listening to our clients is essential to understanding their needs. Tell me about a time when your listening skills allowed you to exceed the expectations in the delivery of a task or project.
- In order to serve our clients well, we must be interested and knowledgeable in our clients’ businesses. Tell me about a time when you made an extraordinary effort to learn about or understand another person’s interests or perspective.
- We are very focused on exceeding the expectations of our clients. Tell me about a time you worked with significant time constraints and exceeded someone’s expectations.
- We are often faced with time constraints and balancing multiple tasks while delivering a quality product. Tell me about a time when you influenced/convinced a group to stay on target to achieve a defined objective when they considered changing the approach to save time or effort.
- Can you remember a time when you needed to deliver a sensitive message to someone whose reaction you were unsure of? What happened? Give an analysis on your part. What was the situation? How did you approach it?
- The ability to “get at the heart of the matter” is a valuable tool in Consulting work. Can you recall a time when you successfully did so when dealing with a problem?
- We believe we make better decisions when we solicit input from others. Tell me about a time when you actively sought out input from others prior to making an important decision.
- In business, decisions frequently have implications beyond what may initially be obvious. Tell me about a time when you sought additional information that broadened your perspective and changed your initial opinion regarding a decision.
- To manage effectively, leaders must clearly communicate expectations. Tell me about a time when your ability to clearly express expectations allowed a team you were leading to be successful.
- You will frequently have competing priorities and put in long hours at times to serve our clients. Tell me about a time when a non-academic activity competed for your attention and you prioritized your time appropriately.
- Being an effective manager of your own expectations is as important as managing the expectations of those around you. Define your standards for success in your last job. Describe what you did to meet those standards, and if you fell short, how did you become comfortable with that?
- Project teams’ members must rely upon each other to succeed. Describe an event that portrays you in this type of scenario.
Case Study Question Examples
- Your client is an oil and gas company that was consistently earning $500 million a year. This year it has lost $50 million and no one knows why. How do you turn it around?
- Your client is Microsoft. The year is 1985. They have just released the first version of Windows. They want you to estimate the demand for this product over the next 30 years and tell them if there is a market for this invention (and prove it).
- Your client owns a number of beach resorts. Half of their portfolio was recently hit by a giant tidal wave and suffered significant damage. They are currently deciding whether to liquidate the assets or rebuild. What would recommend them to do and why?
- Your client is a cinema and the market is so competitive that they make no money on the movies. All the profit is made in food and other related sales. What is most effective way to layout the cinema to increase profitability and why?
- Tesla claims it is the safest car in the world because fewer people die in a Tesla than in a car made by any other manufacturer in the world. What’s wrong with this conclusion and how could you test it for accuracy?
- Your brother runs a lemonade stand. Yesterday was Tuesday and he was open from 2pm – 5pm and sold 5 cups. What should she do differently tomorrow?
Brainteasers Question Examples
- How do you define greatness?
- What is the similarity between a milk carton and a tractor?
- What is the meaning of work?
- How long would it take to move an average sized mountain from one side of the U.S. to the other using a teaspoon?
- If you were an animal what would you be and why?
- How much water is contained in all the world’s oceans?
- If this room was completely sealed and covered in concrete, how would you attempt to escape?
Most Common KPMG Interview Questions
- What makes KPMG different from the rest of the Big Four? Why do you want to work here?
- What’s the difference between an internal auditor and an external auditor?
- What do you think this job will involve exactly?
- Talk about a time you’ve managed multiple tasks to finish a project for a deadline.
- Talk about a time you worked in a team where there were communication problems. How did you help resolve them?
- Can you talk about a time you’ve had to deal with a difficult customer? How did you diffuse the situation?
- What’s good about you? What’s not? What do you need to learn?
- Can you give an example of a time when you’ve had to communicate an idea persuasively in writing?
- Can you tell me something interesting you’ve read about KPMG in the news?
- Can you tell me about a time when circumstances changed? How did you adapt?
- Can you tell me about a time when you’ve had to overcome a setback? How did you overcome it?
- Can you talk about a business that’s doing well? Which three things do you consider key to their success?
- Can you talk about a business that’s doing badly? Which problems does it face?
- Can you talk about a time when you’ve motivated a team to work together? What did you d exactly?
- What are you most proud of?
- Which opportunities can you see now for KPMG to develop new business?
- Which skills do you think you’ll need in the role you’re applying for at KPMG?
- Can you tell me about a time you felt bored at work? How did you make the job more interesting?
- Can you talk us through the way you evaluated a challenging situation in the past?
- A company wants to relocate overseas. Talk us through the problems it faces.
- How do you manage your time?
- What are your two biggest accomplishments in life?
Most Common Deloitte Interview Questions
- Walk me through your CV.
- Why do you want to work for Deloitte over the other three Big 4 firms?
- Why did you choose to be an accounting major/auditor/advisor and get into this field?
- Do you have a career plan? Where do you want to be in 3-5 years time?
- What is your greatest strength?
- Tell us about a time you led a team.
- What can you bring to Deloitte?
- Why should Deloitte invest in you?
- Describe your role in a piece of work you’re particularly proud of.
- Describe a time you cllaborated with others to achieve a goal.
Most Common E&Y Interview Questions
EY focuses on asking ‘strengths’ questions
- What are you good at?
- What do you most enjoy studying?
- Are you a starter or a finisher?
- Are you into big picture or detail?
- Describe a successful day you had recently.
- What do you love doing in your spare time?
- When are you happiest?
- When you do you feel most like yourself?
- Do you find there are enough hours in the day?
- Have you ever done something differently the second time around?
- Tell me about your friends.
- Which three words would you friends use to describe you?
- What’s your biggest weakness?
- Have you ever wanted to stop doing something?
- Do you think you need to be an expert to lead a team?
- Would you say you’re organized? Would your friends?
- Do you enjoy hard work?
- Why do you want this job?
- Give an example of a time you asked for more responsibility.
- If there was a family member or friend sitting next to you, what would they tell me were your top 3 strengths and top 3 weaknesses?
- Which books do you read?
- Tell me about something that’s not on your CV.
Most Common PwC Interview Questions
PWC really, really, really likes competency interview questions.
- Why do want to join PwC?
- Why do you think PwC is a great brand?
- Why audit?
- What are your goals?
- Describe a time when you had to improve a piece of work after criticism?
- What have you read about PWC in the news?
- Can you describe a time when you have worked in a team to deliver a piece of work? – What was your role in the team? What did you do exactly?
- Describe a time when you’ve successfully managed a project for example coursework or organising an event. What challenges did you overcome? Who supported you? What was the outcome?
- Can you tell me about a piece of recent financial news you’ve read? Why did you find it interesting?
- Give an example of a time you failed to accomplish something.
- Give an example of a time you built a relationship.
- Give an example of a time you worked with someone with a different style. How did this differ to your own?
- Give an example of a time you said something unethical.
- Give an example of a time when you weren’t given enough guidance.
- Give an example of a time you overcame conflict.
- Give an example of a time when you worked with people outside your usual network.
- What’s the most difficult thing about working with you?
- Give an example of a time you solved a complex problem.
- Give an example of a time when you had to complete multiple different projects to a short deadline.
- What would you do if you heard one of your co-workers releasing confidential client information?
- Tell me about a time when you were given vague instructions for a task and had to figure out what to do.
- Give an example of a time you dealt with a team member who didn’t pull his weight.
Big4 interview questions for Video interview
— What would you say are your strong points?
— What were the responsibilities of your last position?
— What parts of your education do you see as relevant to this position?
— What do you think, would you be willing to travel for work?
— What negative thing would your last boss say about you?
Tips on how to pass Big4 interview successfully
- Find out how the Big 4 will Interview you (study all the abovementioned questions or take a Big4 prep course)
- Find out everything you can about the company, its culture and its goals.
- Undertake as many mock interviews as you can. (mentors at SuperStudy.Club can help you with that. Apply now, mentioning Big4 course)
- Use S.T.A.R. (Situation, Task, Approach/Attitude, Result) method in your answers
- Find out which qualification the interviewers expect, training courses, applying procedures, etc.
- Illustrate your examples with experiences from previous jobs, internships, activities, team involvements and community services.
- Try to answer Big4 interview questions completely.
- If interviewing for a professional-level position, be ready to answer questions about standards within the industry. Make sure to tell the interviewer about the positive results your actions produced.
- Be very thoughtful about your answer. Note down your answers. These may be useful later if the interviewers wish to confirm any answer with you as they forget or wish to discuss more.
- If you do not have specific experience, get as close as you can. Be yourself. Don’t pretend to be somebody else. The interviewers want to know the real you, the potential candidate they may accept in.
- Answer Big4 interview questions pertaining to job qualifications and skill sets honestly.
- Just try to stay focused on the job you’re interviewing for.
- Be ready with a short prepared answer but make sure it doesn’t sound rehearsed.