Life at Deloitte

Launching your career in Audit

Authenticity, motivation, interest and preparation are essential.

Insights into our application processes and Assessment Days, including insider advice from our recruiter Drenushe Kica for applicant interviews

As a recruiter conducting up to 10 interviews weekly, Drenushe reveals the best tips for strengthening your application and interview.

What's the typical application process for an entry-level position?

The application process is divided into three main steps:

In a preselection phase, applicants first take an online test and their application documents are reviewed. Roughly seven to ten days after their online test, applicants receive initial feedback on whether they're invited to an interview or to attend an Assessment Day. The goal is to invite applicants just once so that they receive a decision as quickly as possible.

Within ten days at maximum following their interview or Assessment Day, applicants are contacted by telephone with either a job offer or rejection, and provided with more feedback. In many cases we're able to reach a decision within five days.

What are Assessment Days, and how are they structured?

The purpose of Assessment Days is to give applicants a much more in-depth look into the world of Deloitte. There, they get to meet Deloitte employees at various levels (from seniors right up to partners), hear and gather a wide range of impressions and personal experiences, and see first hand the team relationship and corporate culture at work at Deloitte.

We don't practice any one-sided interview process, rather it's our wish that applicants, too, are able to gain a strong personal impression of Deloitte and its workforce.

What's important when applying, and what's often done wrong?

Although it's clearly specified at the end of our job advertisement what documents are to be submitted, some applicants fail to include all of the documents requested. An applicant's dossier needs to include the following:

The content of applicant motivation letters is one aspect in particular that often misses the mark. The purpose of a motivation letter is not to formulate an applicant's developmental history in running-text format – after all, we see that history and experience already in the curriculum vitae. What we seek to learn from the motivation letter are namely those things that aren't apparent in an applicant's CV, such as what they find motivating about the advertised job, the field of auditing and accounting, or even Deloitte itself. If you can name any pivotal point of reference, then by all means do so. If you've attended pertinent events, workshops or lectures, then mention them in the motivation letter. You can also describe there, in greater detail than in your CV, any previous professional experience in auditing, or possibly even at Deloitte.

We want to be able to see what reasons, exactly, are driving your application to join our team, and not some other firm. Incidentally, a motivation letter should be no longer than one page.

What do applicants tend to get wrong in their personal interviews? Do you have any tips about what not to do?

It's important to have a good grasp of the company and what position your applying for. Many applicants sit down for their interview with no inkling of what the job's actually about. This information can be easily culled from our website, the job advertisement and the internet.

Be informed, too, about the company, its Audits unit, and its continuing education opportunities to qualify as a certified auditor. You can inject this information into your motivation letter or make reference to it in your interview. It's always very positive to hear that an applicant has explored our website to learn about us.

Such preparation demonstrates that you've delved into the needs and wishes for this position, and aren't just applying on a whim. So, come armed with a writing pad, your questions and a pen, as it's very important, too, is to take notes if you wish to. That's definitely allowed, and also makes a good impression.

Are there any other helpful hints you can give about the overall application process?

Here's what I recommend first and foremost:

  • Submit all documents required for your application.
  • Prepare for the job interview by learning all you can in advance about the company, the position, and the organisational unit.
  • Ask questions: don't hesitate to ask anything about the team, the job, training and continuing education, the starting date and induction, etc.
  • Try to formulate your answers from your standpoint using the first person singular. Too often we hear "we did this" or "this is what was done". We want to know what YOU yourself have done, rather than what the majority did.
  • If you're uncertain whether you've correctly understood a question, don't hesitate to say so, and ask for clarification.
  • Get in touch with us (by e-mail or telephone) if you need feedback earlier. We don't consider such requests pushy, rather we're actually pleased to know your situation so we can respond accordingly with greater speed.

Are there also any strict don'ts or no-go's?

No preparation:
  • If lack of preparation leaves an applicant unable to answer (almost) any question well, this really does demonstrate a certain disinterest. Yet, what we also don't want are the memorised, standardised responses learned by rote that are heard time and time again. So, we're far less interested in knowing your strengths and weaknesses than in learning exactly what it is about Deloitte and auditing that attracts you, and how they connect to you. Be precise in your answers, and bring examples.
Overly long answers and missing the point of the question:
  • I'd also advise against giving lengthy responses to questions. If we interrupt you and put the same question to you in different words, then you must ensure that you don't respond verbosely off target, but rather answer the question that is asked.
  • One absolute no-go is to speak in derogatory terms of other people, whether about work colleagues or your most recent employer. I urge you in such cases to merely explain what you felt was lacking, and that you would welcome a different situation at your new employer – instead of saying what, specifically, was poor or bad. This lends an impression of objectivity and loyalty.
  • Be careful not to make a boastful or haughty impression. Self-confidence but with a healthy, balanced sense of self-assessment are very important.

And last but not least:

Try to learn and benefit as much as possible from your interview or the Assessment Day. After all, we want you to come away with a good impression of us, too. We're aware that interview situations can make applicants very nervous. Our goal is conduct interviews that are pleasant, interesting and positive – on both sides of the table. So try to bear that in mind, and remember that laughing during your interview is not only permitted, but encouraged!

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