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Big 4 's London Office is harder to get into than other offices in small cities? Watch

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    Hello guys, I am really confused about this issue. When I asked this question to some career consultants, some said big 4 never compromises the quality of their staff, so all the office should be equally difficult to get into. But some others said London office is more competitive and harder to get into.I think in London there are much more applicants, but also along with much more vacancies, so it is a bit tricky to judge its difficulty to get an offer. What about your opinions?
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    The recruitment process and criteria they are looking for will be equally rigorous whichever office you apply to - be it London or a regional one. Therefore I would advise that you do not base your choice of which office to apply to on the hope that one might be easier to get into than another. True, the London office has more vacancies but it also has more applicants. Likewise, the regional offices have fewer vacancies and potentially fewer applicants.

    But, provided you apply sooner rather than later, this should not really impact your chances of getting in. What will do, however, is how good your application is and how well you interview!

    Out of curiosity, which of the Big 4 are you looking to apply to?
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    (Original post by crazycoconut)
    The recruitment process and criteria they are looking for will be equally rigorous whichever office you apply to - be it London or a regional one. Therefore I would advise that you do not base your choice of which office to apply to on the hope that one might be easier to get into than another. True, the London office has more vacancies but it also has more applicants. Likewise, the regional offices have fewer vacancies and potentially fewer applicants.

    But, provided you apply sooner rather than later, this should not really impact your chances of getting in. What will do, however, is how good your application is and how well you interview!

    Out of curiosity, which of the Big 4 are you looking to apply to?
    Thanks for your reply. I am quite interested in PwC, which has the value and culture I fancy. I haven't started my application.


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    (Original post by ShinLee)
    Thanks for your reply. I am quite interested in PwC, which has the value and culture I fancy. I haven't started my application.


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    Best of luck All I can say is, have a look around them all (if you haven't already) - attend any open evenings on offer and use them as a way to get a feel first hand on the culture and set up of each programme, as well as for the particular office. And start having a think about your motivation for applying to your chosen service line / firm, find out as much as you can about them - and I don't just mean reading the "about us" section on their site. Then get your application in as soon as they open!

    I have joined EY so I am biased of course - fantastic people culture and a wealth of opportunities for growth and development (they recently overtook PwC as the best professional services firm to work for!). However, equally, I have friends at PwC who are perfectly happy - all I can say is make sure you investigate and ensure wherever you end up is right for you
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    (Original post by ShinLee)
    Hello guys, I am really confused about this issue. When I asked this question to some career consultants, some said big 4 never compromises the quality of their staff, so all the office should be equally difficult to get into. But some others said London office is more competitive and harder to get into.I think in London there are much more applicants, but also along with much more vacancies, so it is a bit tricky to judge its difficulty to get an offer. What about your opinions?
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    London is more competitive than the regional areas as this is where most of the big companies are located and therefore where the ambitious candidates want to work. You could always join a regional office and then move to London after a few years when you qualify. I plan on applying to the Regional offices which are close to London (Reading etc) as you get access to some big firms whilst having a more chilled culture and a higher chance of getting in. You are right in saying that big 4 won't compromise quality of candidates but i would have thought more London candidates reach that required level so are able to be more picky.
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    I was also thinking of applying to Reading (live near Hounslow), but I think they may look at distance and reject the application that basis alone if it's far. It just doesn't make sense to hire someone so far away, right?

    Also, London is definitely more competitive. Vacancies for London are always the first to go, followed by other larger cities, and some regional offices still have vacancies open for graduates/school leavers at Deloitte, PwC and some others.

    Are you applying for graduate or school leaver OP?
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    (Original post by popcornjpg)
    I was also thinking of applying to Reading (live near Hounslow), but I think they may look at distance and reject the application that basis alone if it's far. It just doesn't make sense to hire someone so far away, right?

    Also, London is definitely more competitive. Vacancies for London are always the first to go, followed by other larger cities, and some regional offices still have vacancies open for graduates/school leavers at Deloitte, PwC and some others.

    Are you applying for graduate or school leaver OP?
    They don't care where you live as they expect you just to rent/buy a house nearby
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    (Original post by Sun_Bear)
    They don't care where you live as they expect you just to rent/buy a house nearby
    Yeah I don't think that's true mate...

    I feel like they'd take the safe option always and go for someone who lives closer, there's really no reason for them to go for someone that lives far out on the promise that they'll move to the area 'soon' (not to mention any issues arising that prevent said moving)
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    (Original post by popcornjpg)
    Yeah I don't think that's true mate...

    I feel like they'd take the safe option always and go for someone who lives closer, there's really no reason for them to go for someone that lives far out on the promise that they'll move to the area 'soon' (not to mention any issues arising that prevent said moving)
    They really don't care. People, especially grads, move for work to different places all the time. It's just expected of you to make sure you can get to wherever the office/client is.
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    (Original post by popcornjpg)
    Yeah I don't think that's true mate...

    I feel like they'd take the safe option always and go for someone who lives closer, there's really no reason for them to go for someone that lives far out on the promise that they'll move to the area 'soon' (not to mention any issues arising that prevent said moving)
    These firms are pretty big, they could care less where you're relocating from

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    (Original post by popcornjpg)
    Yeah I don't think that's true mate...

    I feel like they'd take the safe option always and go for someone who lives closer, there's really no reason for them to go for someone that lives far out on the promise that they'll move to the area 'soon' (not to mention any issues arising that prevent said moving)
    I really don't think they care. Plus many of them help you find a place to live. I'm starting at Deloitte and they have provided special offers for accommodation and such.
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    (Original post by ShinLee)
    Hello guys, I am really confused about this issue. When I asked this question to some career consultants, some said big 4 never compromises the quality of their staff, so all the office should be equally difficult to get into. But some others said London office is more competitive and harder to get into.I think in London there are much more applicants, but also along with much more vacancies, so it is a bit tricky to judge its difficulty to get an offer. What about your opinions?
    Go for wherever you want to live mate. Just prepare enough and be yourself. Honestly, I just got myself to completely relax before it, made sure I had enough sleep, and didn't try to be something/someone else to look better. It helps if you're enthusiastic about the role, they really seem to look out for that. I spoke at length to my interviewer about the smaller details which we both got really into and the interview sidetracked for a while (do not force this whatsoever, just keep it flowing in it's natural course). Several of the questions in my partner interview I had no real answer to. For example "where do you think you'll be in five years time?". It's a common question and people (at least, those I know) seem to prepare heavily for it with a plethora of dreams they want to have accomplished by that point. I just said "I'm not really that sure, it's a bit tricky to think that far ahead. I guess outside of work I want to still keep up my sports". My exact answer wasn't quite that and it was a lot longer, but you get the point. I had a few other questions like that, such as "what do you think you'll be doing in your first year at Deloitte?" and I think the guy really appreciated the honesty in my responses. I guess I came across less fake than some applicants can be. At the end he said "in reality very few really know what it's going to be like or what they're going to do when they start".
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    (Original post by popcornjpg)
    I was also thinking of applying to Reading (live near Hounslow), but I think they may look at distance and reject the application that basis alone if it's far. It just doesn't make sense to hire someone so far away, right?
    I seriously doubt companies care, I'll be moving almost 2 hours away to start my grad scheme (not a top 4 accountancy firm, but a graduate role nonetheless). I've been invited to interviews over 200 miles away too, they wouldn't invite you if they weren't serious about considering you. Grads relocate all the time, and they expect that.

    The only time your distance would work against you, is if they pay you quite low and know that themselves. But I doubt you'd want to work in those places anyway.
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    Hm, I guess I was wrong. Glad to hear it actually, will probably apply to Reading as I'd rather not work/live in London.
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    (Original post by pzoDe)
    Several of the questions in my partner interview I had no real answer to. For example "where do you think you'll be in five years time?". It's a common question and people (at least, those I know) seem to prepare heavily for it with a plethora of dreams they want to have accomplished by that point. I just said "I'm not really that sure, it's a bit tricky to think that far ahead. I guess outside of work I want to still keep up my sports". My exact answer wasn't quite that and it was a lot longer, but you get the point. I had a few other questions like that, such as "what do you think you'll be doing in your first year at Deloitte?" and I think the guy really appreciated the honesty in my responses. I guess I came across less fake than some applicants can be. At the end he said "in reality very few really know what it's going to be like or what they're going to do when they start".
    I second this.
    I know of people who have apparently given answers like "In 10 years I'm gonna be a partner and sitting in your exact position right now", but honestly how many of them will genuinely believe you?
    I have been very honest in all my interviews. By being honest I mean having an opinion, an idea but being very realistic about the circumstances and how you may get to that point. Just have an answer to these questions and show you've given it a thought at least - almost everyone I've spoken to has been asked the above or similar in their final interviews.
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    Wouldn't surprise me if it works the other way to be honest. All locations will have the same 'process' so should be equally rigorous, however whoever happens to be assigned to your interview will undoubtedly have an impact.

    That said, if you meet the standard in London you're pretty much guaranteed an offer because there's so many positions (albeit first come first serve, spaces do fill up). I'm guessing in some of the smaller regional offices you could equally meet the standard but find yourself rejected if others exceed the standard, simply because there's perhaps a handful of spaces going. Guess work really though.
 
 
 
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