Navigating Deloitte's Interview Questions
Here are some sample questions you could be asked at different stages of the graduate recruitment process at Deloitte, followed by tips on how to show their recruiters that you possess the competencies they're looking for!
Remember that even if the questions you're asked on the day itself are different, thinking about how you'd answer these will be great preparation for your interview regardless.
“Why do you want to work for Deloitte?”
Employers always tell students to provide examples in their interview answers, so take them up on their advice! You can demonstrate your commercial awareness and passion for your career path by giving a couple of examples about what Deloitte is currently doing.
The points you make should show that you’ve researched the company thoroughly – simply referring to Deloitte’s quarterly results doesn’t really say much, and that won’t make you stand out from the competition! They key to answering this is that you need to talk about what the facts you bring up mean.
Think about recent developments. For example, what does Deloitte Singapore’s 2015 launch of the Deloitte Risk Innovation Centre say about the company? Explain how these developments are relevant to you, your interests, and your decision to apply to Deloitte.
Don’t say: Any clichéd statement about: “Deloitte’s strong reputation for excellence”, “The chance to work with market-leading auditors and tax associates”, “Working within a true meritocracy”, or anything that sounds just as sycophantic.
“Why did you choose this service line at Deloitte?”
Think about the day-to-day tasks of the job you’re applying for. If you’re working in the restructuring services team as part of the corporate finance division at Deloitte, then you’d be doing different tasks than a peer in corporate finance advisory. These two areas may fall within the purview of corporate finance, but you’d need to talk about the specifics of your particular position within that division.
In this case, a very basic answer would be saying that corporate finance is an area where you can utilise your problem-solving skills. A more detailed answer would be that working in the restructuring services team means you’d be analysing problems from the perspectives of both Deloitte and the client. An even more detailed answer would be to then relate those tasks back to your past experiences, either through previous internships or your time at university!
Don’t say: “I'm not sure which service line I’d like to join yet, actually.” You need to prove that you’re decisive and determined about what you want in your immediate career!
“If you were asked to run Deloitte for a day, what would you do?”
Deloitte is looking for graduates who can make and carry out clear decisions, and who have excellent planning and organisational skills. Your interviewers will likely bombard you with follow-up questions that challenge your opinions – they’ll play Devil’s advocate to ensure you have considered things from every angle.
You could suggest, for example, that you would identify a number of growth areas for Deloitte in the technology sector. By citing Deloitte’s “Tech Trends 2015 Report – The Fusion of Business and IT”, you can tie your thoughts in line with some of Deloitte's published market research. Still, if you plan on giving an example like this, you also have to consider the potential impact of your decisions on Deloitte’s other service lines and their markets beyond Singapore, as well as the long term impact your decisions may have on the business.
Don’t say: “I would make wholesale changes to X business area and focus only on one or two markets alone.” Remember to think about how your actions here could impact the rest of the business! It’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing only on what you are interested in, rather than the best interests of Deloitte as an international business.
“What kinds of documents would an auditor check?”
Throw in a real world example if you can. Think about Deloitte’s investigations into the controversial 1MDB government-linked investment fund just next door in Malaysia. It’s a highly-politicised case, so if you were working on this audit there would be absolutely no room for mistakes.
Work your way through this hypothetical case systematically. Who would you need to investigate? What systems would you need to look at? How would you prioritise your tasks? You may face follow-up questions, such as: “How would you obtain these documents in this case?”, or “Which of those problems would you tackle first?”
Don’t say: “I’d check X, and Y, and Z, and...” It’s not enough to just rattle off a list of the documents involved – you need to explain what you’re checking them for, as well!
“What are the challenges that Deloitte is currently facing?”
This is a particularly fun question, because it’s a great opportunity to sell yourself in terms of what value you could bring to Deloitte!
You need to take some recent news about the company and tie it in to what you do. To cite the previous example, Deloitte has recently come under heavy fire for their handling for the 1MDB audit in Malaysia. However, just stating that fact isn’t enough: you need to be able to follow up with something like: “What this means for Deloitte is X...” Or even better: “This is what it means for the division I’m applying to, and how it might affect our work here in Singapore.”
Don’t say: Avoid dropping filler about how “The current economic climate makes things difficult for Deloitte.” You’ll need to know plenty about local, national, and international economics before you should even dare to make a sweeping statement like that!