Deloitte Interview Process Expert Guide: Questions & Tips for Success
Discover the secrets to success in the Deloitte interview process. Read on for an expert guide filled with practical questions and advice.
8 min read
9 Feb, 2023
As the largest of the Big Four auditing companies, a job at Deloitte is extremely sought-after for those working in finance and accountancy. But as expected, it’s not easy to land a job here. They receive millions of applications a year, and with a 2.4% acceptance rate, you’d have better luck securing a freshman slot at Harvard (5.4%).
While improving your CV and making sure you have an excellent cover letter can give you a leg-up on competitors, you’ll also need to prepare for the interview thoroughly.
In this 4 Day Week’s feature, we’ll give you a look at the Deloitte interview process and what you can expect when you apply.
Deloitte Hiring Process Overview
The Deloitte hiring process isn’t a secret. You can find many publications and articles online from Deloitte, going into details about how they select and interview for positions.
There are six steps that you have to go through before you become a full-fledged Deloitte employee.
- Initial screening
- Assessment and testing
- Pre-employment checks
- Job offer extension
The second and third stages of joining Deloitte, interviewing and assessment/testing, are the most important.
This consists of 4-5 interview rounds which could be face-to-face or online. Each interview round will last around 30-60 minutes and you should expect to be put through numerous behavioral and technical tests.
Once all is completed, you should receive a result in two weeks by email from HR. If successful, a final check of your application (cross-referencing job references and qualifications) is done before a job offer is extended.
Here’s What Interviewees Say
According to this former Senior Specialist at Deloitte, his interview and onboarding were well-organized and efficiently done. The person was interviewed and worked for Deloitte’s office in Mumbai, India.
In contrast, there are many negative reviews about Deloitte’s interviewing process, ranging from being convoluted and faulty to the interviewers having terrible attitudes.
This ex-employee reported being assigned to a different job compared to what Deloitte explained they would do during the interview. They weren’t qualified for the job and were let go.
All in all, be prepared for anything when you receive an invitation for an interview from Deloitte. And most importantly, don’t get spooked by the stories online. Working at Deloitte can still be a very rewarding experience and great for your long-term career.
Deloitte Interview Process Timeline
Do note that the interviewing process will differ from one branch to another. For example, in India, candidates must take the Versant test, which assesses their ability to use English. This test isn’t done in English-speaking countries like the US.
This guide will mostly focus on the process in the US.
How Long Is the Process?
Depending on the role you’re applying to and the specific interviewing process, the whole affair, from start to finish, can take anywhere from 2 days to a month.
Step 1: Initial Screening
Initial screening is done by recruiters at Deloitte’s Talent Acquisition team. They’re the ones reading your application, cover letter, and CV. These people select the best out of the thousands of applications they receive daily.
They’ll tell you whether you can proceed to the next stage within 7-14 days of receiving your application. It may take longer if they receive a high volume of submissions.
Step 2: First Interview
The first interview round is typically conducted over the phone (but in some cases, the first interview may be organized face-to-face). They’ll test your understanding of the role you’re applying for and your motivation. Your personality will also be scored in this stage of the process. If all goes well, you’ll get a green light to proceed to the next round.
At the end of the phone screening, you can also take the opportunity to ask the recruiter more about your role and Deloitte in general.
A phone interview can last anywhere between 30-60 minutes.
Step 3: Second Interview (Service-line Interview)
Deloitte has numerous service lines (departments). For example, Audits; Mergers & Acquisitions; Core Business Operations; Customer & Marketing, etc. Depending on the one you apply to, representatives from that service line will interview you and assess your working knowledge and fit for the job.
The number of interview rounds differ from one service line to another. It’s something to keep in mind when you’re applying.
Step 4: Partner Interview
The partner interview is the last step. A Partner (a Deloitte professional) from the service line you’re applying to will conduct this interview. They will check your technical aptitude and test your personality and motivation to join Deloitte.
Would you like a 4 day work week?
Step 5: Pre-Employment Checks/Offer
Suppose you’ve passed all of the interviews above. Congratulations! You’re more or less “in” at this point. Deloitte will do a final pre-employment check by reviewing your employment references, criminal history, and education.
You’ll get your offer in a few weeks if everything checks out. Once you’ve received the offer, you’ll typically be given 72 hours to consider the details and sign.
Deloitte Interview Stages
Stage 1: Resume Screening
Before you send in your application and resume, ensure that the content aligns with the job description you’re applying for. Deloitte’s recruiters seek applications with good focus and clearly-articulated points on why you’re a good fit for the role.
Format your CV cleanly and use bullet points (avoid paragraphs wherever possible).
Use clean, professional fonts like Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial for texts.
Stage 2: First Interview
Your first interview will usually be with a recruitment team member over the phone. This first round will assess your motivations and behaviors. It will also give the recruiters a brief glimpse of your skills and knowledge.
Expect questions revolving around your understanding of the job and what it involves, why you selected Deloitte and your motivations when you apply. They’ll also grade several aspects of your personality, like your thinking behavior (how you approach tasks), people behavior (how you build relationships), and impact behavior (how you communicate with others.)
But other than showing the recruiters your grit, you’ll also get to ask them about the company. It’s a two-way process, according to Deloitte. Both parties should finish this interview knowing more about one another.
Stage 3: Second Interview
If the first interview is in-person, the Deloitte second round interview can occur shortly after the first (often, on the same day). But if it’s done over the phone, you’ll get an invite to another session in a day or two.
You’ll be asked several behavioral and situational questions at the second interview. If you’re applying for a technical role, you’ll be supervised by a senior manager, who will run you through some technical questions.
Stage 4: Third Interview (Partner Interview)
This stage is the Deloitte final round interview. It has the same format as the second interview (situational and behavioral questions). This time, there’ll be many more advanced job-related questions.
Third interviews are attended by Partners (senior members of the company). So, it’s important to try and bring your A-game to this one. Whether you get a job offer will entirely rest on the impression you make with them.
Stage 5: Pre-Employment Aptitude Testing
You may be asked to do a final aptitude test in certain cases. This test aims to determine your skill level and whether you have what it takes to do the job. Depending on the role you’re applying for, you may be asked to do mock audits (for auditors) and solve math and algorithm-related problem sets (engineers and programmers).
Stage 6: Pre-Employment Checks/Offer
And that’s that! Once the test results are in, they’ll do a final check on your application (verifying your references, education, etc.)
As long as you’ve passed all other stages and they’re happy with your application a job offer will be extended to you, with a deadline of 72 hours.
How to Nail Your Deloitte Interviews
Use the STAR Process to Adapt Your Resume and Cover Letter
Even if you have every quality that Deloitte is looking for in a good candidate, you won’t get far without a good resume and cover letter. In their guideline, Deloitte specifically requests a focused, well-articulated resume.
To that end, you can use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) process to adapt your resume and cover letter to the job. With it, you’ll be able to highlight relevant skills, qualifications, and past experiences. This will make you stand out in the eyes of recruiters.
Many roles in Deloitte require you to work remotely or hybrid. In that case, go a step further and prepare yur resume for remote work.
Build Your Network
A referral from someone within the company will boost your chance of getting in massively. This isn’t unique to Deloitte. 80% of jobs are filled by referral and networking.
Attending networking events like trade shows and Deloitte events in your area and talking with people there is a great way to get your foot in the door. Ask them for their LinkedIn, and reach out to them. If they respond and you manage to have some good words put in on your behalf, you’ll have a huge advantage when you come in for an interview.
Practice Answering Technical and Behavioral Questions
It’ll do you a lot of good reviewing popular technical and behavioral Deloitte interview questions that the recruiters could ask during the interview. By preparing beforehand, your answers will sound natural and smooth.
Studying technical questions is especially important if you’re applying for a technical role at Deloitte, like a programmer or engineer. In that case, look over your notes in college on programming languages, popular mathematical and computer science-related problems, data structures, algorithms, etc.
If you apply for other roles like an auditor or financial advisor, expect questions regarding your background in finance and accounting, your Excel skills, and questions that delve into how you approach clients and build relationships.
Deloitte behavioral interview questions are used to gauge your personality. You can use the STAR approach to craft effective answers to these questions.
Here are a few examples.
Q: Tell me about a challenge you faced at work?
A: While working as an auditor in a different company, the auditee wasn’t cooperative when providing me with the data I needed to complete the audit process (Situation). So, I had to schedule talks with higher management and various leadership figures at the audited company to let them know the situation. I explained that the sooner and more detailed the audit is, the faster they can get it over with and the less issues they’ll have in the future (Task). I gave them a plan of action, complete with suggestions on how they can get me the data I need and how soon I’ll need them (Action). The final audit report was done on time because of this (result).
Q: How do you manage multiple deadlines and tasks?
A: With two years of professional auditing experience, I’ve become used to working on multiple tasks and meeting many deadlines (Situation). I realized very early on that I needed to devise a way to manage my work (Task) effectively. So, I used paper calendars as well as apps to prioritize and set up plans for tasks and create goals. I’d delegate when possible and constantly communicate with my team (Action). Due to my planning and time management, I was regularly able to meet deadlines and avoided handing in my work late (result).
Find an Opportunity with a Better Work-Life Balance
The bad thing about working at Deloitte is that you'll likely be working long hours. According to their Glassdoor page, you can expect to work 50-60 hours per week on average, almost 50% longer than a "normal" 35-40hr week.
If you'd prefer to work 32 hours, why not consider getting a job with a 4 day work week?