Try a mock interview for accountancy, answering typical questions and also getting tips on how you should answer. There are also other questions students have been asked at accountancy interviews.

Assessment is by meeting the core competencies. These are the ones used by KPMG

  • Accountability
  • Career motivation
  • Making an impact

The sort of evidence you could offer includes:

  • Leadership - captaining a sports team or chairing a student society
  • Problem solving - a course project or dissertation.
  • Career motivation - finding out more about accountancy through work-shadowing.
  • Building relationships: Acting in drama productions.

Before you arrive ...

Before your interview make sure that you are well-informed about the firm, the accounting industry and the business world generally:


There follow some of the questions that might be asked at interviews for chartered accountancy training contracts. General interview questions are not asked here, so you might also like to try the general or multiple choice interviews as well for standard interview questions that can be thrown at any candidate, also our answers to 150 common interview questions. Click on "First Question" to begin. Think carefully about how you would answer, then click on "Show Answer Tips" to get an idea of how you should be answering.


Other questions students have been asked at accountancy interviews:

If you have been to an interview or assessment centre recently please fill in our interview report form to help other students.

Competency questions. See our page on How to Answer Competency-based Questions


Commercial Awareness Questions. See our page on How to answer Commercial Awareness Questions

Second interviews. See our page on second interviews

Partner interviews with accountancy firms

The final stage of selection will probably be an interview with a partner. This may be more of an informal chat, rather than a structured interview. The main purpose is usually for the partner to see if your personality would fit in well with his or her team, so they may be looking for a friendly, pleasant and easy to work with individual who has a got a sense of humour!

Tests given to candidates. See our practice aptitude tests

Group exercises. See our page on assessment centre exercises

Tips from interviewees

 “Accountancy is far more about communication skills – getting complex ideas across – than number crunching” (Grant Thornton)

 “The traditional image of accountants being geeky and introverted could not be further from the truth. We need people who can really make an impact when it comes to client and internal relationships”  (KPMG)

 “We don’t expect people to have detailed knowledge about the marketplace, but if you switch off the moment the Treasury is mentioned, or you have never thought to look at the financial press, this may not be the career for you” (KPMG)

“We want people who know what they’re applying for, can show why they have chosen it, what they've done to find out about it and what they can bring to it, using their past experiences” (Ernst & Young)


Common reasons for failure (KPMG)


KPMG Interview & Assessment Centre Success. Clear step-by-step guide that tells candidates what to expect and shows them how to succeed in one of the UK's most challenging recruitment processes. Competition for KPMG's grad scheme is ferocious and it's easy to understand why: Accountancy is always in demand, the salaries are superb and KPMG look after their employees well.

PWC Interview & Assessment Centre Success Success Guide, in the financial services sector.)


Accountancy Careers page ......... What can I do with my degree in Accountancy?

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