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CA intermediate exams are over and you are all set to take the next big step - The CA articleship. Finding the right space to work at is a very crucial decision as this will be your first hands-on experience which will give you a birds-eye view of what actually it means to be a Chartered Accountant.
The whole task of going through an interview process may seem daunting at first, but once you are well prepared it will be a cake walk. Each firm will have a different selection process, so in this article, we will brush all the crucial steps that one may need to crack the interview.
- Aptitude test - Some firms conduct an aptitude test, this will help them to access your capabilities and will give a clear idea of their knowledge level. The paper pattern will vary across various firms but mostly they will include the following topics
- Logical Reasoning
- Numerical ability
- General Knowledge
- Verbal skills
- Profile related questions
Fundamental conceptual learning is what is needed for this, you don't need to make any extra preparations apart from that.
- Group discussion - Not all companies hold a GD but top firms like KMPG and Delloite etc do. A GD round is where mass elimination occurs. A GD is normally conducted to find out if the candidate is having the required skills such as communication, leadership skills, listening skills etc.
The topics of GD will mostly be based on the current affairs, so make sure that you are aware of the latest news, specifically aligned towards the financial side. Eg: Implication of Brexit.
The most important factor for GD is confidence.
- HR / Interview Round
An HR round is held so that the company can get to know you a bit further. Some of the most common questions will be
- Tell me about yourself
- What is your family background?
- Why did you choose CA?
- Why did you choose Audit/Tax?
- Why you picked that particular firm?
- Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
- Are you comfortable working in a new environment?
Just keep yourself prepared with these basic questions. These will give a vibe of confidence and self-assurance.
- Technical Interview - This is mostly the round that students will be most nervous about. It can be a gruesome round as they will check in depth as to how much you know. They will check your IPCC knowledge. They will ask questions mostly based on the profile. Some of the general questions they may ask are:
- Tell us the major amendments made by the latest Finance Bill passed.
- What is the last date for filling the transfer pricing report?
- Why do we need IFRS in India?
- What is the impact of an implication of Long-Term Capital Gain Taxation in India?
- Whether Muslim and Sikh families are considered as a recognized HUF?
The interviewer may try and ask difficult questions or they may try to confuse you. But be confident. They are mostly more interested in finding out your thought process and the logic that you have applied. In case you don't know the answer simply state the same, it is always better to say that than trying to bluff your way across.
- Final interview / Partner - Once they have ensured that you have good subject knowledge then in most scenarios you would have an interview with the firm partner.
This is so that they can better know why you picked CA, they will give you a better idea about the firm, what they are expecting from you. They will also answer any questions you may have. This round will mostly be non-technical and rather a platform to bring clarity about the applicant and the firm.
You CV is what normally helps to form the first impression, it is a very important document. So, ensure it has a good layout, there are no errors (grammatical or spelling mistakes). It should also give a clear idea to the interviewer about you.
Also, make sure that you are thorough with your own CV, you should be able to answer any questions based on it. Please do not use someone else's CV layout as it may not suit your role or your profile, sometimes this may get you into trouble.
Be confident as that is the key to crack an interview. It will be a great learning opportunity for you, so go forth and conquer.