Why is the big 4 interview process so confusing and long?
You have to apply.
You have to prepare your resume.
You have to answer questions in the interview.
You have to pass an entrance questionnaire. You have to get good grades.
You have to get your cpa.
You have to go through multiple rounds of interviews.
You have to get an internship.
You have to receive an offer.
There are so many pieces of the big 4 interview and application process. Why are there so many parts to the process and which one is the most important.
The reason that the big 4 interview process is so long and difficult is because these organizations are huge. Because they are huge they are similar to government organizations and have large bureaucracies. Large bureaucracies often have numerous employees. The big 4 are the largest employers of professionals in the world. This means they aren’t just hiring you and your buddy. They are hiring 10’s of thousands of people every year out of hundred’s of thousands of applicants. Therefore, they put as many steps in the process as possible.
Similar to other bureaucracies, they also hire a lot of people that aren’t that talented. After hiring people that aren’t good, they try to put more rules into the system to prevent them from hiring bad people again. This doesn’t really prevent bad people from entering the organization all it does is put more steps into the process. This is something you’ll learn more about when you join the big 4. You have to remember that human resources is in charge of hiring and not the big 4 partners themselves. This is where most candidates get confused. They think that partners are reviewing their applications and resumes. Trust me, they aren’t. Partners have been working for 10+ years. You think they are going to spend much of their valuable time reviewing resumes from people that have limited to no experience?
What does this mean for you?
This means that there are tons of steps in the big 4 process, but you shouldn’t get too bogged down in the individual steps. The most important part is making sure that your application gets accepted.
The second most important part of the process is to make sure that you treat the people in the process like people. This means connecting with your recruiter and interviewer on a personal level. These people are stuck in these huge organizations and don’t normally get treated like an individual. They get treated like pieces in a million-piece puzzle. If you can treat them like people and connect with them one-on-one, you will set yourself apart from the crowd.