My articleship interview experience in big 4's [march 2017]

Karan Jain (student) (37 Points)

09 July 2017  

Hi everyone,

In this article I will share my articleship interview experience in Big 4’s. My purpose of sharing this experience is that I don’t want CA Aspirants to commit such basic mistakes like most students do.

So here comes the first question, “How to get into Big 4’s?”

For this I would say that you must have an inside friend or any other source who can forward your CV to the Human Resource department unless you have cleared your IPCC both groups in first attempts or you are from a renowned regular college.

Now comes the next question, “what is the procedure of interview?”

In all big 4 the procedure is almost same with just a little variation, they start with a written MCQ test or a short essay writing or mix of both which is quite normal and can be easily cracked by a little practise before the interview that consist of logical reasoning, quantitative aptitude, general knowledge, English, etc.

There can also be a group discussion and for that I would suggest, before going to interview make yourself aware about common GD Topics which can be easily googled out and watching YouTube videos.

In KPMG I was given the topic “Demonetization” which went quite well (Though I was not selected: P)

Next comes the HUMAN RESOURCE (HR) round where you are asked basic questions about yourself like:

  • Tell me about yourself? (Which is the most critical one and it is asked at every stage of interview)
  • Why did you choose CA?
  • Why tax/audit?
  • Why EY/KPMG/PWC/Deloitte?

These are very common questions and you can easily google them out as well as their answers.

That’s where you get knocked!

Most candidates just gobble these answers form the internet and vomit them as it is in front of the interviewer.

It doesn’t take him more than 2 seconds to know that you have memorised those answers and just blabbing them away.

Solution: you may refer from the internet but the answer has to be developed from your mind so that it doesn’t seem that you have memorised those and recite it like a poem.

Come up with something that most ppl won’t think of by gathering knowledge from various sources and combining them.

If possible practise these questions and their answers orally with a friend or in front of a mirror cause that will increase your confidence and you’ll feel like a boss in front of the interviewer.

Also do not get frightened it you answer something wrong or get stuck somewhere cause that won’t matter much but getting scared because of that will lead to further wrong answers.



Questions in this round depend upon the field you choose. I opted for statutory audit as well as internal audit so I was asked the following questions:

  • What is internal audit/statutory audit?
  • Explain AS 1,2,9,10......(can be any AS)
  • What do you know about GST?
  • Give some highlights of budget 17?
  • How will you audit payroll/fixed assets/cash...etc?


How to crack this round:

First of all I would like to discuss the DONTs:

  • If you don’t know the answer just say that you are not able to recall or something like that but don’t give them the excuse that you had your exams long time back so you are not able to remember as this is a very lame excuse as per them (yeah...that is the reality but still).
  • Answer the question very precisely i.e. do not add something extra as that may lead to cross questioning and ultimately you get stuck.
  • Don’t be over confident as they already know the answers very well.

Most importantly you should have the knowledge to the field you are applying and you should be able to explain it in your own words.

Revise the AS and SA’s thoroughly,

Revise the vouching and verification of various items in case you are applying for audit and also revise the complex accounting entries and that’s more than enough.

In case you are applying for taxation you should know the provisions (you can skip the dates and rates though).

While waiting for your turn if there are other candidates who are through with their interview ask them what they were asked as there are 90% chances that you may get that same question.

And the last but not the least – PARTNER ROUND

There is big ruomer about this round that is as simple as eating a cake but that’s not totally true.

This is a mix of HR as well as Technical round. The questions in this round are not tough they are easy to answer but the most important thing that matters is confidence.

Questions asked from me:

  • How will you audit payroll?
  • Tell me any 3 strengths/weakness of you?
  • Why should we hire you and not the other candidates?

While answering Q no. 2 you should be prepared for cross questioning like:

Interviewer: your 3 strengths?

Me: hardworking, determined....lab lab lab

Interviewer: how can you say that? Convince me to believe that

Me: BAM!!(Thinking......ab Kya bolu...)

So I suggest you to be prepared for that (I wasn’t) and come up with a good example.


So come up with a good reason for these types of questions, be prepared with an example like from your school time or college or extra-curricular activities, etc.

All the best for your Interview.