16 Behavioral Interview Questions Big 4 Firms Ask—and How to Answer Them

Listed below are the behavioural interview questions that experts at Big 4 firms (Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC)


We polled about 11,400 accounting professionals this winter, asking them to tell us about their experiences working for their companies. We inquired about various aspects, including culture, pay, hours, training, work/life balance, diversity, and the future of the company.

Along with these, we asked about the latest interview questions that their companies are putting forward to screen out candidates—Listed below are the behavioral interview questions that experts at Big 4 firms (Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC) tell us their firms are presently asking (along with helpful tips on how to answer them).

1. “Explain your biggest strength and weakness to me.”

(Hint: Your best strength should be a necessity of the position you're looking for, and perfectionism cannot be your worst flaw.)

2. “Tell me about a moment when you led by example.”

(Be explicit about the leadership steps you made and the effective solution of a problem.)

3. “Tell me about a moment when you tackled a challenge in school, at your previous work, or at an internship.”

(Ideally, this would demonstrate your teamwork and leadership abilities, but if you can't think of a team example, a solo accomplishment would suffice.)

4. “Tell me about the most difficult circumstance you had in your previous job.”

(Similar to, but distinct, from #3; this doesn't have to be something you solved, just something you've effectively dealt with!)

5. “Tell me about a moment when you made a significant contribution to your community.”

(This is an opportunity to dig into and highlight your volunteer experience; it may be anything, not just working for a nonprofit, and it can go back a few years if necessary.)

6. “Tell me about a difficult task you've had.”

(Don't discuss it with your significant other, friends, or parents; instead, discuss it at work.)

7. “Tell me about a moment when you had to work under pressure.”

(Show that you're capable of working on tight deadlines and are willing to go above and beyond to achieve.)

8. “Tell me about a time when you oversaw a multi-person project.”

(Another leadership question—an opportunity to demonstrate your leadership and collaboration abilities; bonus points if you can relate the project to something you'd be doing in the position you're applying for.)

9. “Tell me about a moment when you got unfavourable feedback.” “What was your reaction?”

(Refrain from claiming that, in the end, the criticism was unjustified and that you were correct; this will only serve to underline the fact that you are difficult to work with and don't handle criticism well—handling criticism effectively is a good trait that hiring managers to want in applicants.)

10. “Tell me about a moment when you had to give someone constructive criticism? “How did you go about it?”

(Turning the tables on #9, this question allows you to demonstrate your people skills, empathy, communication skills, and leadership abilities—make sure to mention all of these in your response.)

11. “Describe your most successful project and why it was so successful.”

” (Make it as closely connected to the position you're looking for as feasible.)

12. "Describe a moment when you employed technology to assist you with a project."

(This is your time to demonstrate that you're familiar with, if not skilled in, a software or application that you'll need in the role you’re applying for).

13. “Tell me about a moment when you were the leader of a group and helped someone who wanted to share their views find a voice.”

(A question that digs deeper into your leadership abilities, probing your ability to spot team members who have a hard time speaking up but who have a lot to give; an extra-credit question that you shouldn't stress, but if you can nail it, you will have a slight edge.)

14. “Tell me about a moment when you were working in a group and had to deal with opposing viewpoints from other members of the group.”

(This is another opportunity to demonstrate your leadership and teamwork abilities, though in a somewhat different way than in the previous questions; here, you should discuss how you handle uncomfortable talks and how you bring people together.)

15. “Tell me about your most recent learning experience and how it went.”

(Eagerness to learn and ability to learn quickly are key traits that recruiters are looking for these days, so make sure to express that you love to learn, are constantly learning, and can learn quickly, and then point to something you've learned that relates to the job you're applying for when answering this question.)

16. "Tell me about a time when you had to think creatively."

(This is a problem-solving and creative exam, so make sure you talk about looking at an issue from many perspectives, fixing a problem, and maybe even how you recruited the aid of others to solve the problem—you'll receive bonus marks for emphasizing your collaboration abilities.)


Of course, you'll need to nail more than the aforementioned interview questions if you want to work for a Big 4 business. You'll need to ace the "Tell me about yourself" inquiry, be well-versed in your financial documents, and be prepared to answer questions like the ones below (which Big 4 pros informed us their companies are asking these days): 

“Can you tell me what makes you special and why?”

 “How would you describe our firm's culture and how does it differ from our competitors?”

 “How and why do you learn best (self-study, online training, classroom training, shadowing a teammate, on-the-job learning)?”

 “Tell me about the last book you finished.”

The Getting Interview Ready workshop helps you out in your interview process by guiding you and giving you tips and specific preparation for your desired companies. It includes some of the following aspects:

  • Resume & Cover Letter
  • Aptitude, Technical & Psychometric Tests
  • Group Discussion
  • Personal Interview
  • Impactful LinkedIn Profile
  • Company-specific Preparation
  • Building your network