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Landed a job with Big 4: My Experience

big 4 cpa assurance dream hired

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#1 The Bored Accountant

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 05:21 PM

Hey everyone! I am new to CPANET as a registered user, but I have been browsing through this forum looking at other people's advice and experience on the accounting recruiting process. I would like to just share my amazing experience in finally getting the job I've wanted: landing Big 4 right after college.


I am a graduating senior at a California State University majoring in Accounting and a minor in Communication Studies. I have a 3.6 GPA, no accounting internships, but have been involved with Delta Sigma Pi, Beta Alpha Psi, and Alpha Phi Omega in leadership roles (VPs, President, etc). I have finally made strides to get involved with Career Connection this semester, and participate in On Campus Recruitment.


I have interviewed with the following in the past 3 weeks:

1. Macias Gini & O'Connell

2. CohnReznick

3. Crowe Horwath 

4. Gilbert Associates

5. Moss Adams

6. Ernst & Young


My goal is to get to a Big 4 firm as soon as college was over. I was able to be a part of Beta Alpha Psi for a few semesters as a member, so I had opportunities to meet Big 4's staff. I really liked how our EY office was over here, but unfortunately I was not able to sign up for an interview for them (I'm on a waitlist). They called me four days before my first-round interview, expressing interest in that they looked over my resume and wanted to interview me. So of course I accepted.


1st round: Oct 28

I interviewed with a Senior Manager, who has been in charge of recruiting for the past 6 years (he's been with the firm for over 10 years). The interview was pretty conversational. He asked me a few behavioral questions such as: "Give me a time when you had to make a decision that was not well-liked by others in your group, and how did you resolve it?" Another question was "At EY, we understand that our work requires excellent speed and excellent quality. What do you feel is more important and why?" I was able to sneak in some football talk into the interview, which I felt was key. He had a brace on his finger and I casually asked him what happened. He told me he plays football with his EY friends, and he plays Fantasy Football with them too. Thank goodness I loved those subjects, so we spent 5 minutes just talking about the Seattle Seahawks and Fantasy Football. 


1 day later: Got the voicemail and e-mail that I was being invited back to In-house 2nd round of interviews.


2nd Round: Nov 4 

Group of 12 people: half of which are from my school, the other half from other schools around the region. All day affair.

9:00AM-10:00AM - Breakfast with staff, Presentation on Who is EY and Their Goals, Objectives, and Purpose

10:00AM-11:30AM - 3 Rounds of one-on-one interviews consisting from 2nd year staff, to partner. (I was glad I got one interview with the partner himself) - Mix of behavioral questions, Answering my questions, Talking about sports

12:00PM-1:30PM - Lunch with EY staff, Interns, Other Candidates - This was split into 3 groups; we went to one restaurant while others went to different ones.

1:30PM-2:00PM - Presentation on EY Benefits, Why you should Join EY, and Reception of Gift Bag (came with mouse, pens).




Got a phone call from the recruiter about 3-4 hours after the second round interview. He verbally extended the offer and then will be getting the physical offer and contract e-mailed to me within 72 hours. DREAM COME TRUE. :)

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#2 cpanet



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Posted 07 November 2013 - 08:30 PM


#3 Lipi



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Posted 08 November 2013 - 05:54 PM

Congratulations and all the very best.  I can appreciate how excited you are!

#4 bella.dreamer


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Posted 09 November 2013 - 04:59 AM

Good job and congrats!

I graduated from CSU EastBay, is that the school you went to as well? In hayward. Are you studying for the CPA exam? Sounds like you are a dedicated person so am I. I am looking for an online study buddy, let me know if you want to study together. I am doing FAR right now.





#5 The Bored Accountant

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 05:29 AM

Thank you everyone for your replies! As for you, Bella, I'm not from Eastbay, I'm from Sacramento; not too far from you and I'm sure we can relate on how our experiences was on recruiting. I am planning to take a Becker CPA review course this spring to study for CPA exam. We can definitely study together, but you are probably ahead of me at this moment in time. I'm planning to study FAR as I believe it is hardest, and move down from there.

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