BDO's application process aims to attract candidates across all socio-demographics. First, in addition to accepting 2.2 degrees in any subject and A-Levels and GCSEs from A* - C, it now looks for strengths rather than competencies in its candidates. The theory behind looking for strengths is that if your strengths are matched to your role, you will enjoy it more and therefore perform better in it.
In addition, when looking for evidence of these strengths in applicants, the firm now includes video interviews in its application process. Its recruiters believe that using video interviews results in ‘greater flexibility, improved efficiency and reduced costs in travel for students in the UK and overseas’.
What to expect in your video interview
As BDO’s video interview is strengths-based, expect questions that will get you to explain how you’d react under certain circumstances, as opposed to questions that ask you about specific experiences. Recruiters are looking to understand more about you: what you can do well and what you enjoy doing. One of the advantages of the BDO videos interview is that there won’t be an interviewer watching you at the same time as you make your responses. You record them, so you can choose to complete the video interview at a time convenient for you, ideally when you are feeling at your best and relaxed. Make sure you follow TARGETjobs’ basic video interview advice, such as finding a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted for up to 30 minutes (important as you will not be able to redo your responses), dressing appropriately and having a glass of water to hand, so that you can project a confident, relaxed version of yourself. You’ll have the opportunity to answer a test questions before you start the interview itself. Then, answer the questions you’re asked rather than trying to respond with pre-prepared answers. Previous BDO graduate candidates have reported being asked questions such as:
- How do you ensure you are an effective communicator?
- Why do you think it is important to make every member of a team feel valued?
- What in your opinion is the secret to overcoming unexpected obstacles?
- How would you approach a a client?
- Tell us something you do everyday that you enjoy.
It might also be helpful to be aware of BDO's core values, and have them in mind when answering questions. BDO prides itself on:
- honesty and integrity
- mutual support and respect
- professional and personal client relationships
- empowerment and personal responsibility
What BDO looks for
Although your video interview will be strengths-based, it helps to bear the following behaviors in mind. BDO believes that if you enjoy (or think you will enjoy) these activities, the odds are in your favour that you will enjoy a graduate role at BDO:
- delivering high quality work
- sharing your knowledge and working well in a team
- developing a good business knowledge and an ability to think commercially
- contributing ideas and listening to the ideas of others
- having a positive attitude and being willing to put in extra effort if necessary
- thinking of creative new ideas to the advantage of the firm and its clients
- aiming high, in learning and development.
If you’re successful at your video interview you’ll then be invited to a BDO assessment centre. This usually involves a group exercise, an individual presentation, a final interview and a written exercise. You’ll also get a chance to speak with some of BDO’s current trainees to find out more about the firm.