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Winning the interview
Ernst & Young LLP (EY) is guided by a purpose that we hope will inspire and motivate you: building a better working world. We encourage you to get to know us better — who we are, what we do and what we think — and learn how those principles align with your own passions and personal and professional goals.
You’re at the right place to learn more. The links above and ey.com in general are great resources, as well as our social media channels, including those from our leaders. It’s also helpful to consider what we look for in job candidates to see how you fit in.
This might help you gain firsthand insight into individual experiences with our organization.
Here’s how to find the right opportunity for you:
- If you are a student, we invite you to learn more about our student-programs. We also encourage you to visit your campus career services office and, if we visit your campus, attend an EY campus event or career fair to meet us in person. Consider speaking to peers who have participated in one of our student programs, or professors who may have experience with us.
- If you are an experienced professional, we invite you to search jobs by keyword or location. On this platform, you can create and manage a profile and set up job alerts to be notified of new postings. Additionally, EY Watson Candidate Assistant can help answer questions about EY job opportunities, our culture, benefits and much more, and you can upload your résumé to the tool as well. Submit an application for each job posting you’re interested in; the site allows you to track each one.
To comprehensively present your skills and experiences in a relevant way, consider your application as a whole piece of work, instead of a series of individual answers. After you submit it online, we’ll send you an email confirmation, and if your qualifications and experience match our requirements, a recruiter will contact you. (Because we receive so many applications, we can’t make personal contact with everyone.)
Your EY interview process will consist of one or more phone, video and in-person conversations. Let’s look at some best practices.
We lean heavily on a type of interviewing called behavioral interviewing. It’s based on the premise that past behavior predicts future behavior, and it focuses on knowledge, skills and abilities, backed by specific examples. The questions are open-ended and typically start with phrases like “Give an example of” or “Describe a situation when.” Your answers will be measured against these criteria:
- Did you provide a relevant experience that answers the question?
- Did you explain what action you took?
- Did you describe what your action led to?
With that in mind, here are some specific steps to take to prepare:
- Practice articulating why you want to work here and what interests you most about the position. Ensure that you fully understand the position and how you’ll fit into our organization, and if you’ve worked in a different type of role or industry previously, think of your transferable skills and how they relate to the position. Also, consider how the job could evolve in the future.
- Take advantage of the interview as an opportunity to tell your story. In a diverse marketplace, the EY organization values diverse perspectives — all the things that make you, you. Share experiences you are most proud of, relating them to the job, and practice some “go-to” stories out loud. For example, you should prepare 10 to 15 examples you can adjust on the fly to suit a question. Determine your strengths that you want the interviewer to take away from the discussion.
- Research whom you’ll be interviewing with. Look at professional networking and social media channels to view his or her experience or publications so that you’ll make a connection and discuss relevant topics.
- Demonstrate interest with the appropriate conversational eye contact or body language. It’s not just your words that count — it’s your confidence, expressions, posture and more.
- Come in with questions. It’s an exciting, dynamic time in professional services, and in all the industries we serve, driven by new technologies and new ways of working. If you’re engaged, then you should also be curious and inquisitive. If you really can’t think of a question, you can always ask the interviewer about his or her personal experience at our organization.
Tips for a live or prerecorded video interview
Video or “virtual” interviews are increasingly part of our interview process. They can be prerecorded video interviews, in which candidates record responses to questions sent in advance, or live video interviews that act as a dialogue with a member of the EY team. Let’s explore what you should and shouldn’t do — and what you don’t need to worry about.
- Read and follow any instructions precisely. Ensure your internet browser is up to date (Chrome is recommended).
- Use earbuds or a headset to reduce background noise and computer speaker feedback. Find a quiet place and minimize distractions.
- Dress like you would for an in-person interview. Speak clearly and slowly and be energetic. And don’t forget to smile!
- Do not memorize or read your responses from a script. You don’t want to sound too rehearsed.
- Do not take the interview outdoors or in a crowded location with distractions or ambient noise that might make it difficult to hear you.
- Do not forget about your body language — it is noticeable on camera.
- Do not be too hard on yourself — we are our own worst critics.
- Do not worry if you sneeze, your dog barks in the background or an ambulance goes by — we’re not looking for perfection. And don’t worry if there is a blip in your audio or video.
If you’re a student recording an interview response, do not wait until the deadline to complete your video — you don’t want to be rushed. Do not think you have to use all of your allotted time for each question, and don’t look at yourself on the screen — look directly into the camera. If seeing yourself onscreen bothers you, place a piece of paper over the computer screen.
After the interview
Lastly, do what you can to thank those you’ve met and reinforce your narrative:
- Send a follow-up note. This further indicates your interest and provides closure to the process. Or make a call, if you have developed relationships with your recruiters. Remember that one thing that you want them to remember about yourself and make sure you communicate that effectively. Don’t let too much time pass without making that connection and be sure to use the person’s name in your communications.
- Work all the angles. If you know others from your network or university who work with a desired employer, use them to connect with decision-makers. If you’re a student, consider faculty who can give a good reference, or individuals whom you may have met through on-campus organizations — Beta Alpha Psi or local chapters of NABA, ALPFA, other diversity or campus community groups.
- Stay professional. While creativity is desirable, it’s best to remain straightforward and to-the-point in your post-interview communications. And don’t call in two days asking about a decision if we said we would be back in touch in, say, two weeks.