From the Mock to the Talk: Your Guide to Interview Success

By Ron Zarfati

Staff Accountant | Assurance and Advisory (Summer Student)

You’ve heard how to succeed in interviews before – first impressions are everything, wow the interviewers with extra-curriculars, and most importantly…be yourself. While these are all important tips for winning that prized position, I want to give you a more honest look at some actual steps I took to prepare for my interview with Deloitte that helped me land my dream job.

Learning About the Company You'll Love to Keep

First off, make sure that you know Deloitte is the right place for you. Visit Deloitte’s website and read blogs like this one (good on you!), have coffee chats and research the industry. Most importantly, I recommend going to networking events. Talk to everyone from the most junior to the most senior reps there. Many students focus on the lead recruiters at these events, and while it is important to get that face-time in, it’s the people who were in your shoes most recently who have the best insight into the day-to-day life at Deloitte. When someone hands you a business card after a good chat, write about your conversation on the back of it. The recruiters talk to dozens of people throughout the year and reminding them about your unique conversation with them will make all the difference in getting noticed in your follow up email.

Really Get to Know Yourself

You learned about Deloitte and now it’s time to not only show how much you want the job, but why you’re the best fit. What prepared me best for my behavioural interviews was writing down core questions that I knew would be asked. While I prepped answers for how I excelled in leadership, teamwork and going above and beyond, I also recalled times where I failed in these areas or how I dealt with challenges. But most importantly, I practiced. Get a friend to ask you questions. Get your mom to ask you questions. If no one is around, ask yourself questions and answer them out loud as you would in a real interview. Practicing this way will make you more comfortable when sharing your experiences and answering questions in the actual interview.

Don't Worry, They're People Too

While pre-interview jitters aren’t something you can control, I find that showing your nervousness in an interview is never beneficial. To offset your fears, go into interviews feeling excited rather than anxious. You've made it this far and the interview is a confirmation of your personality and skills rather than a test of your wits. This leads me to my final point: the interview is not an interrogation, it's a conversation. Too many people try to be overly formal in the way they speak in an interview. You can still be professional without complicating the way you talk. Additionally, just as much as the interviewers want to get to know you, this is a chance for you to get to know more about them and their firm. Be sure to ask genuine questions that you legitimately want the answers to and be open and friendly in your discussions.

Good luck with your interviews!

Ron was a Staff Accountant summer student in our Assurance and Advisory practice. He is currently completing his Bachelor of Commerce at Queen’s University. 

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