How to land a full-time job with a Big Four firm without any formal interviews

two women interviewing at a table

When I look back on my career path, one of the aspects that I’m most proud of is how I somehow managed to obtain a full-time job offer from a Big Four public accounting firm without ever having one formal interview.

There aren’t many accountants who can say that they earned their full-time jobs without an interview. While there are no guarantees, it did happen to me. Interested in learning how to get a job without an interview? Here are the steps I followed that made this dream a reality.

How to get a job without experience

1. Focused on my resume early on

As soon as I started my freshman year at Clemson University I had one goal in mind: get a full-time job offer with a Big Four accounting firm. Achieving that goal was the fuel that motivated me to focus on my grades, get involved in clubs, and land leadership roles in those clubs. The first and earliest step to getting a job offer without an interview is to focus on your resume as early as you can. I focused on whatever it took to ensure that my resume would stand out when the time came for applying to internships.

2. Applied to hundreds of internships that seemed out of reach as a sophomore

I knew any type of internship would make me stand out when applying for a Big Four internship later on. I started researching local accounting firms and sent many emails asking if they needed any free help over the summer. I attended Clemson’s career fairs and applied to several industry accounting internships. I even applied to the Big Four internships, even though I knew that they required applicants to be juniors or above and I was too young. After hundreds of applications and emails, and rarely hearing back from many of them, this tedious process worked out in my favor and I heard back from both GE and Deloitte.

3. Networked with Big Four recruiters and partners before being eligible for internships

One of the most important steps in how to get a job without interviews is networking. My application to Deloitte for an internship stood out, even though I was too junior for the role. A partner reached out to me and said that they were only looking for juniors for internships and I was a sophomore, but he would love to keep me in mind for future positions. I took a shot in the dark and asked if he would be available to meet me for coffee so that I could learn more about his career path and any advice he had for the recruitment process going forward.

The partner and a senior accountant at the same firm met me for coffee and it was a wonderful, informal conversation where they gave me candid advice, including what Ishould focus on over the next year to ensure my resume stands out when I am eligible to apply for an internship.

After this informal meeting, the partner called me and said he was impressed with my ambition and offered me the opportunity to attend the prestigious Deloitte National Leadership Conference. I had no idea this even existed! I ended up being the only student at Clemson that was sent to this exclusive leadership conference. If I hadn’t applied for an internship that I was underqualified for and took a shot at networking with a partner at the firm, I don’t think I ever would have been invited to that conference!

4. Continued internship with industry

After applying to hundreds of internships, I ended up getting an offer with GE as a financial management program intern after my sophomore year. Big Four was still my top priority, so prior to accepting that offer I informed them I wouldn’t be able to work the week of the Deloitte National Leadership Conference. I gained valuable skills and life lessons during my GE internship, and at the end, I decided that Deloitte was the right fit for me.

5. Attended the Deloitte National Leadership Conference

Attending the Deloitte National Leadership Conference was one of the highlights of my recruiting experience. It was exciting to visit Deloitte University in Texas, which was brand new that year, and getting to know all of the other top candidates from all over the country. I was even more excited to learn that at the end of the conference, almost all of us were going to receive internship offers with Deloitte for the next spring or summer – no interviews needed! This was the first time that I realized full-time jobs without interviews were a possibility.

6. Interned with Deloitte

After interning over the summer with Deloitte I was sure it was the right firm for me. I received a full-time offer after my internship and couldn’t believe I was going to start full-time with Deloitte without ever having one formal interview!

While my experience is rare, it shows the power of networking! Grabbing coffee with a partner who thought I was a strong candidate turned into a leadership conference invite, which turned into an internship, which turned into a full-time offer! Jobs without interviews are possible, so long as you take the necessary time to get to know senior accountants and partners at the firm and put your best foot forward.

I would love this series to be a dialogue, so if you have any additional advice to add or questions send me a message on Instagram.

This piece is Chapter 7 in “The Life of an Accountant Series” by Kristin Lofgren of @Lets_Get_Fiscal. Read her prologue here.

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