We recently caught up with Tanya about securing a Tax Analyst role with Deloitte, how she built up her commercial awareness before the interview and her top tips for members going through the application process.
What stood out to you about Deloitte?
I’ve always wanted to work for a big, international company and I like to challenge myself. Deloitte seemed like the natural choice for me to push myself and gain opportunities to work with many different, diverse people.
I also really value working for social good. Deloitte’s commitment to diversity and inclusion stood out to me when researching the company and throughout their assessment process. The assessment centre tasks were all themed around sustainability which was unique and engaging!
Deloitte also offers the joint ACA-CTA accounting qualification, which I wanted to pursue as opposed to the stand-alone ACA.
How did you build your commercial awareness before the interview?
I did some brief internet research on industry trends and how they impacted or related to the firm I was applying for. Following the Twitter or LinkedIn of companies you’re interested in is an easy way to keep up to date with their latest news.
I also made sure to keep up with business news relevant to my personal interests such as gender equality in the workplace, which can make you stand out from other candidates and give you something to talk about that you can really show your enthusiasm for.
Bright Network’s Weekly Commercial Awareness update also helped me keep up to date with a broad range of business-related news.
What would be your top tip to members going through the application process?
Practice your soft skills. Presentation skills, teamwork, written communication, even just knowing to be professional and friendly are all incredibly valuable.
As someone with a social sciences background, I worried that perhaps I didn’t have enough mathematical or financial knowledge to get a job in accounting, let alone in the Big Four. In retrospect, the soft skills I’d acquired from my degree and extra-curricular activities were the most important part of how I was successful in my application. Just try to be someone you would want to work with!
How did Bright Network help you secure this role?
In the summer of my penultimate year at university, I completed the Finance & Professional Services stream of Internship Experience UK.
At that point, I didn’t have a very clear idea of the career opportunities out there or what I wanted to do. I also felt quite behind compared to other people who had done internships or already knew what career they wanted to pursue.
Listening to so many diverse employees from different companies gave me some really valuable insights and helped me lots in deciding what graduate schemes to apply to. It also broadened my commercial awareness of the financial sector, commercial banking and accountancy.
What’s been the toughest interview question you've faced and how did you tackle it?
On the whole, I haven’t faced any very difficult or impossible interview questions. The vast majority of accounting interview questions are strengths/competency-based and rather straightforward.
The toughest questions for me personally were hypothetical ones, such as ‘what would you do if you’re working on a project and one of your team falls ill?’. For these, I remained calm and presented my answer in a logical structure, kind of how you would put forward an argument in an essay. I would justify my decision and try to link it back to the company values, such as behaving ethically or paying attention to detail.
I would therefore advise thinking about potential responses to ‘situational judgement’ type questions in preparing for video interviews or assessment centres.
Did you use Bright Network Academy in your career search and if so, how did it help you?
The last time I’d done maths was for GCSE, so I found Bright Network’s free psychometric tests really useful to practice my basic numerical reasoning. It especially helped that they take you through everything step by step so you can really make sure you understand everything.
I also practised doing video interviews using the how to succeed at an assessment centre Bright Network Academy module to get used to the format of the assessment and to get used to talking to myself!
What top three tips would you give Bright Network members looking to follow in your footsteps?
- Do your research: Relate the company to your personal interests and skills. Make sure you have a good idea of what the role entails, the professional qualification (if any), and network with people from the company.
- It’s not what you say but how you say it: Clear speech and confident body language can go a long way in video interviews and assessment centres.
- Get started early: Applying for penultimate-year internships and spring weeks (even if you don’t get the role) can get you used to the application process and build your commercial awareness, saving you a lot of time and effort when it comes to applying for graduate jobs in your final year.