What does it take to get a job/internship at Big 4?

<p>Cumulative is more important, also don’t worry too much about extracurricular junk. Better off getting random work experience. Remember kids, GPA is king. Of course, we’re only talking about getting the initial interview. After that it’s all interviewing skills.</p>

<p>What to do if I’m a horrible at interviewing? I consider myself the greatest failied interviewee not being able to land one internship after 4 interviews(small to middle to big 4 :(() Is there anything I can do to be good at that? What interviewers look for from candidates?
Thank you for any advice.</p>

<p>Well, first you can learn how to interview and then you need to practice it. Practice these techniques at phone interviews, networking events, or career fairs. To learn, you need to know what they are looking for and how to present your experiences to cover every area. The most important thing you need is confidence. You have to exude confidence. I know people like angryengineer can’t because he is geeky looking and a quiet little punk in real life, but you have to do the opposite.</p>

<p>Haha his look does match my imagination of a typical engineer person. Sorry if it offended any engineer but it’s just common sense stereotyping/joke.
I will keep practicing at appearing confidence at best like you suggested, because it seems like I don’t have a lot of that.
I wonder if I should take a sales class just to learn their speaking skills. Those people talk like gun machine.
Interviewers also said I have a great smile but…it’s just that.
Some of the things I screwed up on interviews that I suggest first-time people should seriously avoid:

  • not having done enough researches of the company beforehand. Some interviewers might pretend to be sleepy when you get to ask about their companies, I guess, to test how much about them you know. Not cool.
  • Check yourself in the mirror before the interview. For the sake of God I was not aware of a big white scratch on the back of my vest and just walked like an innocent goose to the interview room. OOps
  • Be decisive. I was applying for a Cost accounting position at one company and they ask if I am interested in financial service job from my description of career objectives. I was saying I’m interested in both. Big no-no
  • looking elsewhere when talking to them. even if you are tempted to.</p>

<p>Btw,thank you Dawgie</p>

<p>I definitely agree with Dawgie about confidence. You don’t need to walk into your interview thinking that you’re the s**t because the interviewer will see right through that, but you should be there feeling like you belong and that you are the best person for the job. If you can’t convince yourself that, how can you convince your interviewer?</p>

<p>I would also say know your resume like you know your multiplication tables. For every bullet point for every activity you have, be able to give 3-4 sentences to elaborate. Know how to intertwine those bullet points and the behavioral questions that you will be asked.</p>

<p>Finally, be yourself, be enthusiastic and have a good time. If you have a good time, your interviewer will also have a good time and will have a good feeling about you after the interview is done. This is exactly what you want.</p>

<p>i don;t know if someone has already mentioned this but location of your university…which is hard for you to change now…DC’s not too bad. But in the mid-west, Chicago and Minneapolis is the place to be for big 4. I’m a finance guy but i see accounting recruiters throwing themselves at average students everyday. There is every chance you could have to meet a Big 4 recruiter and if you are good enough, you will definitely get a deserving look here. Chicago will be harder because of the higher competition, but it is pretty common to see someone intern or work for one of the big 4 (& grant thorton) from the twin cities campus.</p>

<p>My friend got a summer internship at PWC with a 3.67 GPA, one previous internship at Washington Post. He told me that GPA is mostly just to get that initial interview and anything over a 3.5 is okay. After that threshold, it’s basically how you answer questions and your personally. </p>

<p>My school, George Mason, does have on-campus interview with all the major firms except E&Y.
Does “class rank” matter at all? Because at Mason, I believe I am in the top 50 of my year (I have a 3.53 GPA. Would have a 3.93 if I hadn’t fail an elective class because I had to seek depression treatment during one semester).
Does recruiters have to hire a certain amount of students from a school? Or can they choose to hire none? If recruiters usually hire a certain amount of students at a school and being in the Top 50 with good extracurricular activities (V-P of tennis club, founder/President of club), would I have a good chance to get interviewed? </p>

<p>I’m really concerned about getting into the Big 4.
I failed one class and it totally tanked my GPA from a potential 3.93 to 3.53 :(</p>

<p>Failed one class and tanked your GPA that much? That means you have like 15 credits.</p>

<p>I have 33 credits from AP credits and the 3.53 GPA is with only 33 course credits.
By the end of this semester, I’ll most likely have a 3.67 with 51 course credits.</p>

<p>So why are you concerned and how’d you fail? You can withdraw you know?</p>

<p>I’d try to get that class recomped if possible…</p>

<p>@Dawgie A 3.67GPA is only average though. I feel I need at least a 3.8 to be competitive.
The reason for the failed cause was being during that semester, I had to go to counselling and treatment for depression. I wasn’t in the right academic mindset. Didn’t really care about school that semester…should of withdraw–big regret. </p>

<p>Should I not be worried with a 3.67 and a bunch of EC (president of 2 college clubs, VP of one, member of 3, president of toastmasters club)? Would I be a good candidate for Big4? </p>

<p>You think it is possible to send a letter explaining the reason for the F along with my resume/cover letter when I go apply for interviews? My resume is pretty much all A’s, 1 B, 1 F. So strange… :(</p>

<p>@WailingConstant I’m considering it but it was an elective and even if I retake it and get an A, they would average the grades to a C. I just might though :)</p>

<p>the only thing sending a letter would accomplish is you’re telling the company “I have depression problems and there will probably be times when I’m unable to work up to the standards of the company.” Companies don’t care about your problems. They want the best possible workers.</p>

<p>Those clubs are worthless. It’s all about GPA, networking, and interview skills.</p>

<p>@kgoscohockey027 The depression was only for that year because a lot of crazy personally stuff happened to me in that freshmen year; it wasn’t drugs, suicide, or anything too drastic.
It wouldn’t hurt my chances TOO much if I send them a brief letter explaining that there was a legitimation reason behind the F besides laziness/slacking right? </p>

<li><p>Do companies just glance at your GPA and ‘throw away’ your resume if they see that it isn’t high enough? Or would they take the time to look over your resume, see what classes you took, and how you did in those classes?
If the latter is the case, they would see that I have 1 F in an elective and the rest are As and 1 B.<br>
From those A’s, they would think I am a good student and wouldn’t they question why I have 1 F in mist of those all As? So sending a letter would explain to them that I’m not a slacker just had a rough semester. They must be at least a bit forgiving! :smiley: </p></li>
<li><p>On a different topic, If i was to transfer to a different school (got accepted to Illinois Urbana-Champaign accounting), would colleges look at both of my college transcripts and get the GPA from averaging all my classes out?
Ex: If I get a 3.6 at George Mason, then transfer to Illinois and get a 3.7, would they look at both transcripts equally or more emphasis on the more recent school? </p></li>

<p>@Dawgie Yeah, it pretty much is all about those 3. I do have a few friends who have gotten an internship at Big4 and will be working there full time next year. If those friends refer me and put in a good word for me to the managers, would that help my chances?
Or do I need to know someone that is top in the Big 4 or someone in the hiring staff to be considered networking?</p>

<p>You may be right. I just try to think as if I was the one hiring people. If I look through a transcript and see that a person has one F with a ton of A’s, I would probably think little of it as its clearly an outlier. However, If you mention the depression, it may be a red light to the employer, regardless of the situation. Remember that this isn’t school anymore. The Big4 doesn’t care about you and just wants the most productive employees possible. If one candidate for a job has a slightly lower gpa but the company feels he will be more productive, you’re screwed.</p>

I’m still a student and I’m just trying to think as if I was the one hiring. Don’t take what I say as fact.</p>

<p>I don’t think you should send them an explanation. Like kgoscohockey027 said, they’d probably just assume the F is an outlier. When going through interviewing, it’s best not to bring up any negatives about yourself unless they’re brought up by your potential employer. If so, prepare to explain them, but ALWAYS make sure to portray them in a positive light. Most of the time, however, they probably won’t even bring them up.</p>



<p>You might want to check out Mason’s policy on repeating classes. At my son’s school, when you repeat a failed class the F will still appear on your transcript, but it won’t be included in your GPA. The grade you get the second time around is used to calculate the GPA.</p>

<p>Never heard of averaging it, but I have heard of replacing it.</p>

<p>My school does not replace bad grades if you retake the class either. i think it averages them as well.</p>

<p>I have a question related to the original topic - has anyone actually had success applying for internships/jobs at public accounting firms that did not recruit on campus? it seems like they dont even consider students from other schools nowadays, regardless of how high your gpa or impressive your experiences are. so i doubt applying on their websites would help you get an interview. but, i guess i doesnt hurt to try. </p>

<p>You would probably have more success trying to go to a networking event with the firm recruiters, then they could potentially make an exception if they like you.</p>