Second Round Of Accounting Interviews & Why My Friend Didn’t Get The Job


Let’s take a dive into the Bean Counter mailbag with the most common question I’ve been getting all weak! It’s about the the dreaded office visits AKA second round of accounting interviews!

Hi Andrew,

Thank you for an awesome site. I’m learning a ton of great information there!

I did a campus interview and now have an office interview with KPMG for a Spring 2015 internship this coming Thursday and I’m wondering if you have any advice on how to succeed in the interview and receive an internship offer.

Look forward to any advice you have!

Loyal Bean Countador

First off, congratulations to all of you that are moving on through the interview process! It’s something to be proud of.

That being said…. remember this: every time you move forward in the process it’s another opportunity to screw up.

Yes, they like you. But you still need to be on your “A” game.

A good friend of mine made it all the way to the final interviews at PwC. The head recruiter in the office even told me she can’t wait for him to be working at the firm (my thinking: it’s a done deal).

He didn’t get the job.

He went through three interviews, and then out to lunch with a Senior and two Associates. They complained that he seemed disinterested and not very enthusiastic.

When I spoke to him he said:

“I had all my questions answered. There wasn’t really much else I needed to know”

What a colossal mistake dude!

You have to be on your “A” game until the very last minute. All three interviewers he had loved him. But one negative comment from anyone, and you’re ousted!

But the most important part of this interview, is that you’re prepared for all the questions they’ll ask you. I lay out 15+ questions that are the most popular and exactly what to respond in my 42-page eBook, “The Interview”.

The second most important thing, which I’ll share here is: What questions will you ask them?

They NEED to know that you are “OVER THE MOON EXCITED!!!” to work at this firm! And you show that by being curious, enthusiastic, and asking a ton of questions!

Here are a few I’d consider consider asking:

  • What is an initiative that company management has been focused on and how has that affected you and your teams?
  • What are the characteristics of a successful employee in your organization?
  • What are the most challenging things about the job?
  • What would a typical workday look like in this position?
  • Can you tell me a little bit about the evaluation process at your company?
  • What are the common attributes of people who really excel at your company?
  • What type of opportunities does your company have for professional development and training?
  • What are a few things that really drive results for your company?
  • If I were to be hired, what do you expect me to accomplish in the position?
  • What has been your favorite part of working at this company?
  • What are the major clients in your office?
  • How much say do the employees have about working on certain clients/industries/projects?
  • What are the major projects or initiatives your team is working on today?
  • What are the most important skills and attributes a candidate needs to be successful in this position?
  • What is the next step in the interviewing process? (always ask this last after no less than 3 questions)

The last piece of advice I’d give is to follow up with thank you emails to everyone you met the next morning at 8:30am.

Don’t send physical notes. They’ll already have decided who to hire by the time they receive the letter.

You want them to be sitting in the meeting say:

“He/she was great! Super enthusiastic, asked a ton of questions, has an interesting background, and I got an email from them this morning!”

Then everyone else in the meeting says:

“Hey I got one too! Awesome guy/gal”

Try to reference something from the conversation your had with each individual so it’s not the same email to 8 different employees. That takes the class out of it.

But good luck! You’ve done everything right, now it’s about the home stretch! If you’re looking to really go all out, check out my course where I have a 5 part interviewing series. I outline in articles, podcasts, and the eBook mentioned above every step of the interview process including:

  • What to wear
  • How to prepare and research the firm
  • Exactly what question they will ask you and what to respond
  • What questions to ask them
  • 35 reasons why people fail these interviews
  • Mock Interview I did with a Bean Counter fan
  • An interview with an Ex-Deloitte recruiter who shares her thoughts on interviews
  • and more!

If I missed something in the above post or you have another question, email me at