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Interview for CA firm tomorrow, nervous

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  • Jun 17th, 2010 8:52 pm
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Feb 26, 2008
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Interview for CA firm tomorrow, nervous

I'm having an interview tomorrow and I'm not sure how I should prepare for it. Can someone give me some tips?
19 replies
Deal Addict
Mar 24, 2009
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q0192837465 wrote:
Jun 15th, 2010 2:12 pm
I'm having an interview tomorrow and I'm not sure how I should prepare for it. Can someone give me some tips?
Small, mid-size or big4?
Newbie
Apr 26, 2010
36 posts
Toronto
know your technical stuff because they surely will ask.
[OP]
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Feb 26, 2008
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It's a mid size firm

what technical stuff are yo referring to?
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Oct 25, 2008
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Wrong. CA firms rarely ask any technical questions. All of their questions are mostly behavioral question so OP better prepares real life rateable examples prior going in for interview.
[OP]
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Thanks

I'm totally expecting questions like, what are your strengths & weaknesses.

Strength is easy but the weakness part is kinda hard. I'm planning to say 1 of my weaknesses is that I have a tendency to forget about things. To overcome this, i make full use of my iphone and note down everything that i need to do and make sure I set 2 alerts.

Does that sound wierd?
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accperson wrote:
Jun 15th, 2010 3:17 pm
know your technical stuff because they surely will ask.
...why are you giving advice when you have absolutely no clue what you're talking about?

CA firms, especially the big and mid-size firms, will NEVER ask technical questions for entry-level or intermediate hires.
q0192837465 wrote:
Jun 15th, 2010 7:56 pm
Thanks

I'm totally expecting questions like, what are your strengths & weaknesses.

Strength is easy but the weakness part is kinda hard. I'm planning to say 1 of my weaknesses is that I have a tendency to forget about things. To overcome this, i make full use of my iphone and note down everything that i need to do and make sure I set 2 alerts.

Does that sound wierd?
Do not mention that you are forgetful. Having a good memory is essential to being efficient as an auditor. When we ask for weaknesses, we want to hear the truth as the interviewer. However, as a candidate, you don't want to tell us anything that only swings on the bad side of things. You want to tell us something that could swing either way. Tell them you're too intense when you zero in on a task. Tell them you're shy by nature, but you've gradually worked to change that and you're now comfortable any sitution...etc...
Member
Jun 23, 2009
226 posts
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Vancouver
Seems like a good answer to me. Keep in mind that you may also get a number of situational type questions. (Tell me about a time when...).

Keep in mind that the key to CA firm interviews is to come across confident even though you may not be feeling fully confident. They have to believe that you will be comfortable and confident in front of their clients even though you may not always know exactly what you are doing.
So- from an interview perspective - Don't worry too much about what your actual answer is - but focus on how you come across, and work to ensure you don't become flustered, etc.

Try to build rapport with the people interviewing you. (try doing this from the beginning). Get them talking about what they do, the firm, etc. Hopefully then the interview will be more like a conversation than just formal questions.

Also, have you done your research into the firm? If you can, get an idea of what type of clients they focus on

Can I ask are you part of a co-op program, or ? Seems strange that interviews are going on right now.

Best of luck!
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Oct 25, 2008
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q0192837465 wrote:
Jun 15th, 2010 7:56 pm
Thanks

I'm totally expecting questions like, what are your strengths & weaknesses.

Strength is easy but the weakness part is kinda hard. I'm planning to say 1 of my weaknesses is that I have a tendency to forget about things. To overcome this, i make full use of my iphone and note down everything that i need to do and make sure I set 2 alerts.

Does that sound wierd?
Yes it does. People do forget things but if you just say that, your answer is going to be an absolute average if not below average.

You can say: I have tendency to forget things because I have tons of energy, I do many things at once and usually before I realized it, I'm onto the next thing already which sometimes leave me some loose ends. I have recently started paying more attention to one task and try to prioritize my day so that at least I get most of important things done first before I'm onto the next thing.

Make sure that you prepare TONS of examples for different questions like

- Handling difficult person / team member
- Handling conflict situation
- The biggest challenge you ever faced / biggest drawback
- Team work
- Leadership ability
- Problem solving
- Taking initiatives
- Going above and beyond call of duty
- Weird / random tough questions
- Standard questions like why should we hire you, tell me about yourself, any more questions you have?
[OP]
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Feb 26, 2008
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Thanks for the inputs

It is a midsized firm and they are hiring for this September. I was surprised they're hiring at time too but my boss told me about it. I sent my resume and got an interview. I'm a recent graduate from accounting program but I was not successful at securing a job during the last recruiting season.
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Sep 9, 2009
324 posts
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Toronto
Definitely all behavioral. Above poster has it right for sample questions.

At the minimum, YOU MUST NAIL:
-Tell me about yourself/walk me through your resume (this should be 3-5 minutes, without looking down at your resume)
-Why [firm]
-Why accounting
-Why [school you went to]
-Strengths/Weaknesses (have 3 examples of each IMO)
-Favorite/Least favorite course
-Why should I hire you
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Oct 5, 2003
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accperson wrote:
Jun 15th, 2010 3:17 pm
know your technical stuff because they surely will ask.
I was never asked anything technical during recruitment.
Deal Addict
Mar 21, 2007
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Toronto
It never hurts to be prepared for both behavioural and technical questions, just in case. Good luck and let us know how it goes! ;)
Newbie
Apr 26, 2010
36 posts
Toronto
When I went through the on campus hiring season with a big 4 they asked me and all my classmates technical questions. Not sure this will apply to you as your going for a mid size but I would be prepared just in case.

In my case they told a few scenarios and then asked for the answer. I forget the scenarios but one question related to principals of revenue recognition and one question related to classification of assets.
Member
Jun 23, 2009
226 posts
5 upvotes
Vancouver
accperson wrote:
Jun 16th, 2010 2:21 pm
When I went through the on campus hiring season with a big 4 they asked me and all my classmates technical questions. Not sure this will apply to you as your going for a mid size but I would be prepared just in case.

In my case they told a few scenarios and then asked for the answer. I forget the scenarios but one question related to principals of revenue recognition and one question related to classification of assets.
Really ? That is bizarre. I've never heard of technical questions being asked in Vanocouver, but that is interesting to know. Different locations, different approaches I guess.

I'm surprised that they would bother given that they have your transcript and your GPA. Typically the firms here focus their questions on the behavioural/leadership qualities since someone with a high GPA doesn't necessarily have those attributes.

I do wonder if the technical questions you were asked were done so to see how you would react more than anything? In other words - would you be totally thrown off if a client asked you a technical question on the spot ?
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