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Tips on filling in BDO's application questions

Try to display evidence of the five key competencies BDO is looking for

Here we provide some advice and tips on filling in the BDO application form.

Answering the BDO free-text questions

There's nothing too complex about the questions BDO asks on the application form. The recruiters will read each of these, so there is little point trying to work in 'buzzwords' in the hope that they'll be picked up by a computer program. Each question has a limit of 250 words.

The three questions are as follows:

  1. Why do you want to join BDO and what is your understanding of the business area you are applying to?
  2. What is your understanding of the professional qualification you would undertake as part of your training, and why is it something you wish to complete?
  3. Beyond your academic achievements what is your greatest accomplishment to date, or what additional qualities and skills can you bring to the role?

To answer these questions appropriately applicants need to have done their research. As all the forms are screened by the recruitment team you need to make sure your responses are detailed enough and targeted at BDO, not just generic responses you have used for other applications. Throughout, bear in mind and try to display evidence of the five key competencies the firm is looking for: client service, commercial and market focus, accountability for results, communication and teamwork.

For instance, when answering ‘why BDO?’ responses such as ‘good reputation’, ‘one of the biggest in the industry’ and so on can become exceptionally boring after the 300th application. BDO is looking for individuals who can explain in their own words why they are a good fit for the firm. Research such as meeting staff on campus (showing you can communicate), reading the website and reading current news (which will allow you to demonstrate commercial and market focus) will help you identify what makes the firm stand out as somewhere you would like to work.

BDO graduate application form question one: Why do you want to join BDO?

Space given for question: 250 words

Point of question: BDO are aware that many of their applicants will also be applying to other large accountancy firms. However, they won’t be hiring someone simply because they failed to get in elsewhere; graduates need to show that they are motivated to work for BDO and that they understand how it differs from competitors.

How to approach: If you research the firm well, you’ll come across facts such as that BDO generates most of its revenue in Europe, the US and the Caribbean. Think about why this is and where BDO sits in the market in order to answer this question for an audit scheme. If you’re applying to the tax and advisory lines, your answer may not focus so heavily on revenue generation – your answer needs to be relevant to your particular area of interest.

BDO graduate application form question two: What is your understanding of the professional qualification you would undertake as part of your training, and why is it something you wish to complete?

Space given for question: 250 words

Point of question: Remember that BDO is looking for ‘depth and scope’ in your answer. There’s no reason for the firm to hire you if you don’t understand what a professional qualification is and what it will mean to your career.

How to approach: Read the articles on this site about professional qualifications, and discover which ones are on offer at BDO (currently ACA, CTA, CISA and CIMA). Each has a slightly different focus so make sure you can explain what the qualification you would take would involve, and how it would benefit you and BDO.

Some of your answers for this question may overlap with the first; it’s up to you to decide where your responses fit in best.

BDO graduate application form question three: Beyond your academic achievements what is your greatest accomplishment to date, or what additional qualities and skills can you bring to the role?

Space given for question: 250 words

Point of question: BDO want to be sure that there is more to you than just good grades and a degree.

How to approach: Think about the kinds of tasks your job will require you to carry out - for example, dealing with clients.  Can you think of examples from your life which demonstrate your communication/customer service skills? Have you ever, in a part-time job or volunteer role, had to deal with a customer or client who couldn’t decide between two choices? Could you help them to pick the option that was best for them?

 

 

 

Our 'How to get hired' articles are written by TARGETjobs editors and writers with job candidates in mind, helping you research and understand employers. Copyright of all material written by TARGETjobs lies solely with GTI Media.
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