Top tips for the BDO video interview

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BDO’s application process aims to attract candidates across all socio-economic backgrounds. It accepts 2.2 degrees in any subject, A levels at grades A*-C and GCSEs at grades 9-4 (or equivalent). Technical competencies are just one of four elements you will be assessed against: your core competencies (transferable skills), attitude and values each play an equally important role.

The firm includes a video interview in its graduate recruitment process as part of its interactive assessment and before the virtual assessment centre. Video interviews really came into their own during Covid-19 but BDO has been using them since before the pandemic. 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

BDO’s video interview is strengths-based, so 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. And it’s not just about whether you’d be a good fit for BDO: it’s your opportunity to reflect on whether the firm can meet your ambitions. BDO wants to find the right candidates but it also wants you to find the right employer.

Questions are timed and you will see a countdown timer on your screen to help you pace your answers. You’ll have the opportunity to answer a test question before you start the interview itself.

Top tips from BDO include:

  • be yourself and answer the questions as honestly and openly as you can
  • speak clearly and concisely
  • listen to the question carefully before answering (there are also subtitles to read).

Preparing for the BDO video interview

One of the advantages of the BDO video 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’ 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
  • having a glass of water to hand.

These will help you to project a confident, relaxed version of yourself.

You should answer the questions you’re asked rather than trying to respond with pre-prepared answers to sample questions. However, to help you practise how you structure your responses in limited time and get feedback on how you come across, you could ask a friend to test you. 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 client?
  • Tell us something you do every day 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:

  • being responsible and acting with integrity
  • being genuine
  • being collaborative
  • being bold.

What BDO looks for

The core competencies that BDO is looking for in graduates are:

  • a collaborative approach
  • decision-making capabilities
  • a commitment to innovation and change
  • strong communication skills
  • development of both ourselves and others.

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 virtual assessment centre. This usually involves a group exercise, an individual presentation, a final interview and a written exercise. It’s also a chance to find out more about the graduate roles at BDO and work out whether they are right for you.

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