Finding articleship in a firm of your choice is as big a milestone as cracking CA Inter exams. There are various stages in joining an articleship firm- forwarding your resume to the firm, getting a call for interview and subsequently cracking it.
I will talk about the different rounds of interview and how to face them. This article is based on the top 5 firms.
1. Aptitude test:
Aptitude test is the first round in the interview process. It is designed to assess the basic knowledge of students. Different firms cover different areas with varying levels of difficulty. The basic sections covered in the test are:
i. Logical reasoning
ii. Numerical ability/ Quantitative aptitude
iii. Verbal ability
iv. General knowledge
v. Profile based questions (Audit, Tax, Accounts etc.)
No specific preparation is required for clearing these tests. Fundamental knowledge and conceptual clarity is required for clearing the test. You can brush basic IPCC concepts if you want.
2. Group discussion:
This round is not held in all the firms. Out of the top 5 firms, KPMG and Deloitte generally hold GD round. It is important to know how to ace GDs as mass elimination takes here. Out of a slot of 10-12 people, 3-4 people are selected.
The basic intent behind conducting GDs is to check communication skills, leadership skills, confidence, spontaneity, active listening skills, and non-domineering personality.
The topic of Group discussion can range from abstract topics to current affairs. Reading newspapers and staying updated helps to crack group discussions. Some topics that I can remember are:
i. Digital vs. traditional marketing
ii. Impact of social media
iii. Implications of Brexit
Have confidence and give your best. You will sail through!
3. HR round:
HR round is more about knowing and understanding you. The questions generally asked are listed below:
i. Tell me about yourself.
ii. Your family background
iii. Why CA?
iv. Why Audit/ Tax?
v. Why that particular firm?
vi. Future goals
vii. Comfortable with outstation audits?
viii. Long working hours etc.
It is always better to be prepared with these questions. You will come across as more structured and confident in the final interview.
4. Technical round:
This is one of the grilling rounds in the interview. You will be assessed on your IPCC knowledge. Generally profile based questions are asked.
For instance, questions asked for Stat Audit interview:
i. Questions on various AS
ii. SA based questions
iii. Company law
The interviewer might try to confuse you. You have to stay confident. More than just knowing the answer, they are concerned about your thought process and logic for the deduction. Even if you don't know the answer to a question, you can simply say ‘I don't know the answer to this question.'
5. Partner round:
Now that you have cleared the technical round, your concepts have been checked. The partner (the senior most level person in the firm) wants to meet you. Why?
He wants to know about your reasons for doing CA, why their firm, what are your expectations? The partner may also tell you more about the firm, terms and conditions, address any questions that you may have. It is more of a friendly discussion. It is generally non- technical.
Be confident. Put your best foot forward!