[Accounting Interview] Office Visit doesn’t mean: “Come check out the break room”


When I first started out in accounting, it was 2007 and I was taking a required business course, Financial Accounting I at 8:30am. It was the only 8:30am class I regularly attended for entirety of my freshmen year. No joke… I remember seeing the equation Assets=Liabilities+Equity up on the board and in that moment I realized: There is an entire language of business that I don’t understand at all. And I was intrigued. It literally took me until my sophomore year until I fully understood what accrual accounting was. I knew there was a concept, or something. Then I knew you had to do them at month end, I think. From that day forward, I wanted to be in accountant. I had no idea what I was getting into. I now commonly refer to accounting as a cult as it’s one of the most cultured professions  among the people with whom I graduated. Think about it:

  • The CPA License is pushed hard
  • People say you need to work at the Big 4 Accounting Firm or you’ll never amount to anything
  • Accounting Professor are highly respected and expected you to respect the implicitly.
  • The “elders” are pictured to hold the keys to success (partners, professors, etc)
  • Everyone (literally everyone) thinks you do taxes

It was hard for me. I went to a small school (~4,000 students) where the Beta Alpha Psi Chapter wasn’t that great and hardly any companies hired from the campus. I wanted to know more and learn about the industry, but didn’t have the resources available. For example, when I toured the first public accounting firm office I thought, “I don’t want to work for the government”. I thought public = government *sigh* One last example. When PwC asked me to go to their “Office Visit”, I told a friend I was getting tour of the office. He was like, NO! First off you’d better where a suit, and bring your resume. This will be three interviews and a lunch! Good thing I told him, because he was right, and I got the internship. There were so many things I didn’t know and I had to learn most of them on my own through mistakes. That’s why I created The Bean Counter, and specifically my eBook, “The Interview“. I posted an excerpt earlier this week from my 42-page eBook, The Interview which details:

  • How to prepare for accounting interviews
  • What to wear
  • The differences in an on-campus interview & office visit.
  • 15+ questions they will ask and exactly how to respond
  • 15 questions you need to ask company representatives
  • Exactly how to follow-up after the interview
  • And more.
If you’re interviewing this fall, it’s a must read.