The four big names in the accounting and consulting firms include:
- Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC)
- Ernst & Young (EY)
Opportunities most popular include auditing and attestation, risk and governance services, internal control services, tax consulting, legal and financial services and other business advisory services.
Together they hire the largest number of Indian accounting graduates for their offshore and onshore firms. But, getting into the Big 4 is not as easy as one might think.
What are they looking for after all?
The following are the three most sought-after skills the Big 4s are looking for:
Communication Skills: A candidate’s communication skills must be top-notch. She should have excellent command over English, should be able to communicate in groups and in pressure situations. In additions, the candidates are expected to display controlled and powerful non-verbal communication.
Technical Skills: The Big 4s are looking for the best of the best from the industry. Technical knowledge and skills in accounting standards, corporate taxes and laws, acts and amendments, and new updates in the industry form part of the selection criteria.
Computer and Technology Skills: Candidates are expected to be comfortable with latest operating systems, software, and applications to be able to work with efficiency.
Apart from the three, the Big 4s are also looking for candidates with an impressive personality. This includes her preparation for the interview, her performance during the interview, and her humility.
Typically, there are multiple rounds of interview that a candidate goes through; each round tests the candidate’s core competencies and skills. The common rounds could include:
Initial HR Round
This round is perhaps the easiest to get through.
The focus is on the candidate’s educational background, her career objectives, and her strengths and weaknesses.
Note that campus interviews are more likely to hold group discussions or debates.
First Technical Round
The technical round tests the candidate’s understanding of important accounting and corporate law concepts.
This round is conducted by the Team Leader or Manager.
Depending on the candidate’s performance, she will move on to a second or even a third interview round.
Director or Partner Round
This round is for mid-level positions and does not usually apply to the entry levels.
The focus is on determining whether the candidate is right for the firm’s culture and meets the skills and qualifications necessary for promoting its goals.
The candidate’s social and behavioural aspects are also analyzed.
Final HR Round
The last round includes discussions on monetary aspects and for understanding the terms and conditions of the employment.
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