"Interview" with the Big 4 - or not? Advice wanted

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"Interview" with the Big 4 - or not? Advice wanted

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:56 pm

I've been emailing back and forth with a recruiter from one of the Big 4 accounting firms and he sent me a calendar invite today next week for "coffee/" and conversation about *name of firm*". I need some help with what to expext. In the first email I specifically said I' wanted to apply for a position with them but the fact that the invite doesn't say it's an interview worries me. Anyone know if this is just custom? Or should I just take this to be an informational interview? Thanks inadvance.

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Re: "Interview" with the Big 4 - or not? Advice wanted

Postby iliketurtles123 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 7:16 pm

Always prepare for an information interview as if you'd prepare for an actual interview.
I had a similar "informational interview" at a non-legal firm (bank) once and it ended up being a full blown interview, despite the recruiter giving off the tone it was informal.

This is probably a pre-screener or even a screener type "interview" to see gauge how serious you are and to get to know your qualifications more in detail, before the recruiter actually puts your resume into consideration.

In any case, I'd prepare as if it were an interview. However, if it's over coffee, I'd try to keep it light and casual, if possible, and try not to sell yourself too hard. Be prepared but go with the flow.

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Re: "Interview" with the Big 4 - or not? Advice wanted

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:35 am

I am a JD working at a Big 4 firm. From my experience with the recruiting process, if they are in contact with you right now, it's likely that they are trying to fill an open position. I could be wrong, and they could simply be trying to generate more interest in the firm for future years, but my guess is that it is more of a screener, and they're trying to see if you would be a good fit/ are normal (can hold a conversation, don't have teardrop tattoos, etc.) Recruiters don't want to set up interviews and take time out of partners/managers schedules unless they are confident in a candidate. If they weren't considering interviewing you, they probably would have told you that there were no positions open at this time and to check back with them next fall. At the least, you should prepare like it is a screener. If it does end up being purely informational, you'll have lost nothing.

Another thing to keep in mind is off-cycle hiring at the Big 4 can be fluid. Even if they don't have a position open now, some one could quit, back out of an offer, or business needs change and they need to add someone in the future. It doesn't happen all of the time, but positions do open up throughout the year.

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Re: "Interview" with the Big 4 - or not? Advice wanted

Postby Pomeranian » Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am a JD working at a Big 4 firm. From my experience with the recruiting process, if they are in contact with you right now, it's likely that they are trying to fill an open position. I could be wrong, and they could simply be trying to generate more interest in the firm for future years, but my guess is that it is more of a screener, and they're trying to see if you would be a good fit/ are normal (can hold a conversation, don't have teardrop tattoos, etc.) Recruiters don't want to set up interviews and take time out of partners/managers schedules unless they are confident in a candidate. If they weren't considering interviewing you, they probably would have told you that there were no positions open at this time and to check back with them next fall. At the least, you should prepare like it is a screener. If it does end up being purely informational, you'll have lost nothing.

Another thing to keep in mind is off-cycle hiring at the Big 4 can be fluid. Even if they don't have a position open now, some one could quit, back out of an offer, or business needs change and they need to add someone in the future. It doesn't happen all of the time, but positions do open up throughout the year.


Not to go off track, but how would you say working as a JD at a Big 4 compares to a typical big law firm in terms of quality of life and long term career stability?

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Re: "Interview" with the Big 4 - or not? Advice wanted

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:09 pm

OP here. Thank you guys for the response. Definitely going to treat it like a normal interview and prepare ahead of time!

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Re: "Interview" with the Big 4 - or not? Advice wanted

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am a JD working at a Big 4 firm. From my experience with the recruiting process, if they are in contact with you right now, it's likely that they are trying to fill an open position. I could be wrong, and they could simply be trying to generate more interest in the firm for future years, but my guess is that it is more of a screener, and they're trying to see if you would be a good fit/ are normal (can hold a conversation, don't have teardrop tattoos, etc.) Recruiters don't want to set up interviews and take time out of partners/managers schedules unless they are confident in a candidate. If they weren't considering interviewing you, they probably would have told you that there were no positions open at this time and to check back with them next fall. At the least, you should prepare like it is a screener. If it does end up being purely informational, you'll have lost nothing.

Another thing to keep in mind is off-cycle hiring at the Big 4 can be fluid. Even if they don't have a position open now, some one could quit, back out of an offer, or business needs change and they need to add someone in the future. It doesn't happen all of the time, but positions do open up throughout the year.


Interested in this Big 4 path. Is bar passage required or is it optional? I think I read that you're not allowed to "practice law" at a Big 4 although you kind of indirectly do?

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Re: "Interview" with the Big 4 - or not? Advice wanted

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Interested in this Big 4 path. Is bar passage required or is it optional? I think I read that you're not allowed to "practice law" at a Big 4 although you kind of indirectly do?


Different anon from those above. Worked in Big 4 (undergrad accounting/CPA route) for several years prior to law school.

The Big 4 generally require you to have a professional credential, so yes, bar passage is likely required even if you're not practicing law per se.

Assuming a JD candidate had completed the requisite accounting/business coursework, I suppose an alternative would be to prepare and sit for the CPA exam rather than the bar exam. However, no. Just no.

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Re: "Interview" with the Big 4 - or not? Advice wanted

Postby nealric » Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am a JD working at a Big 4 firm. From my experience with the recruiting process, if they are in contact with you right now, it's likely that they are trying to fill an open position. I could be wrong, and they could simply be trying to generate more interest in the firm for future years, but my guess is that it is more of a screener, and they're trying to see if you would be a good fit/ are normal (can hold a conversation, don't have teardrop tattoos, etc.) Recruiters don't want to set up interviews and take time out of partners/managers schedules unless they are confident in a candidate. If they weren't considering interviewing you, they probably would have told you that there were no positions open at this time and to check back with them next fall. At the least, you should prepare like it is a screener. If it does end up being purely informational, you'll have lost nothing.

Another thing to keep in mind is off-cycle hiring at the Big 4 can be fluid. Even if they don't have a position open now, some one could quit, back out of an offer, or business needs change and they need to add someone in the future. It doesn't happen all of the time, but positions do open up throughout the year.


Interested in this Big 4 path. Is bar passage required or is it optional? I think I read that you're not allowed to "practice law" at a Big 4 although you kind of indirectly do?


Even if the firm doesn't directly require it, you'd be foolish not to take it. Yes, it's a hassle, but not being admitted could be career limiting in the future.



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