How to fail a job interview with Deloitte

There are many ways to fail any job interview. You may not see the mistake at all (even after the interview) since there are millions ways of doing it wrong. When talking about Deloitte and their recruitment process, the stakes get astronomically higher and failing an interview is easier than you think.

It is very important to know what to do during an interview, but most people forget the job interview ‘don’t’s. With a company like Deloitte you would think that the reasons for failure run deep, but in fact most mistakes are right on the surface for them to see. Remember, every candidate interviewed is taken into consideration, and unless you behave as their next hire all the way through the interviews you will not get the job.

Not knowing where you stand

You have to keep in mind when you apply for a job at Deloitte that it hires as little as 3.5% of all applicants on average. In most cases the company is looking for one single person for the position, no more – regardless of how big the competition is and how many candidates have an impressive CV to their name.

While this company is a household name, the usual things that fail an interview at Deloitte are the basic job interview ‘don’t’s that apply elsewhere. You may know these very well, but take note again.

  • Being late. Unless you go to the interview with plenty of time, you are setting yourself up to fall victim to traffic, being stuck in an elevator or another extraordinary happening.
  • Dressing for the wrong job and the wrong company. You are sure to fail Deloitte’s policy regarding clothing if you do not check it and carefully plan your outfit for the big day.
  • Not doing your homework. Failing to know the company, what they do and the answers to all the questions about Deloitte that will surely be thrown at you. Deloitte recruiters will be very unimpressed if you have not taken your time to research and learn about the company.
  • Asking the wrong questions, or no questions at all. Just like bad answers will kill your changes to work at Deloitte, so will having the wrong questions. Asking about the company and the position shows interest and seriousness about being hired, but asking bad questions shows that you failed to prepare.
  • Letting your anxiety get the best of you. Unless you are fully prepared, your anxiety will be overwhelming and prevent you from focusing or doing anything calmly.

Poor behaviour

Recruiters can smell what kind of applicant you are from how you behave. Showing up all over the place is a sure way to present yourself as someone who just wants a better job – or a job at all – rather than an applicant who actively wants to be a part of Deloitte.

Another way to fail a Deloitte job interview is to contradict your cover letter. No matter how great, short and straightforward your cover letter is, if you fail to answer questions related to it the recruiters will know you are not Deloitte material.

Many rules that apply to cover letters also go for the interview, only instead of typing you will be talking. Coming across as a qualified professional encompasses all aspects of speech including tone, grammar, wording and even your timing. Whenever you open your mouth, if your grammar is anything short of impeccable you are not fit for the job. Deloitte is looking for the best, and the 3.5% that make the cut have excellent command of the language (or languages) they work in instead of making beginner mistakes. The way you talk also tells volumes about your mindset and how you operate professionally. If you fail to be to the point, if your ideas are scattered or you need to go on for 3 minutes to convey a simple point, you clearly are not someone Deloitte wants in its ranks. Ignoring basics of politeness such as not interrupting an interviewer or talking for longer than you should are also ways to fail the interview.

Not listening is a guaranteed way to flunk too. If your replies do not perfectly answer any questions posed to you by the recruiters, including questions which are not explicit but implied, you will be out before you know it. Failing to pay attention at a Deloitte interview means you might ignore some important detail of a document if they hire you, thus causing a major problem for the company. Deloitte does not want to hire a risk, it wants a solution. Anyone who may become a nuisance later is undesirable.

Working at Deloitte is not for everyone, and the recruiters will push you to the limit. If you are being considered, prepare for a marathon of three up to ten interviews where doing good in the interview before does not save you from the next, and screwing up anything from a handshake to eye contact could throw all your effort out of the window. If you forget to follow up after any one of them, they may take note of this too.

Presentation matters

Your presentation throughout the recruitment process will be scrutinised, and no mistakes will be tolerated. While you may want or need this job badly, Deloitte is sure they do not need you.

References come into play further down the line, when Deloitte is sure they are interested in closing the deal with you. Failing to provide a stellar reference from your previous employers ends your application there and then. If you are fresh after graduation and never had a job before, unless you know young employees who went to university with you there is no way they will hire you. Referrals are the game-changer for 45% of all Deloitte hires, so everyone who fails to bring a good name with them is positively out.

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