On Tuesday April 23rd, the Zicklin Graduate Accounting Society (ZGAS) hosted a Mock Interviews event. Students got a chance to meet with partners, recruiters, and other professionals from a host of firms including Alvarez & Marsal, Anchin, CohnReznick, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Friedman, Grant Thornton, KPMG, ParenteBeard, Raich Ende Malter, and WTAS. More than 100 students met with professionals to practice interviewing skills and learn more about the recruiting process. Students met with their assigned professionals after lunch for 15 minutes. The mock interviews took place during the first 10 minutes of each session, and were followed by 5 minutes of evaluative feedback from professionals.
Zhen Lin, a MS in Accountancy student, met with David Horton from Anchin. According to Zhen, Mr. Horton asked common interview questions such as, “Where do you want to be five years from now?” The Anchin professional recommended that Zhen try to engage in a more conversational-style interview, avoid discussing excessive details during his prepared 30-second introduction, and highlight more of his strengths when the recruiter asks resume-related questions. Zhen believed that the event was a great opportunity to meet professionals, but would have liked time slots with professionals to be longer than 15 minutes. Overall, he thought that his interview with Mr. Horton and the event itself went very well. Nanzhu Chen, also a Masters in Accountancy student, met with David R. Perez from WTAS. During her evaluation, Mr. Perez helped to edit her resume for conciseness, recommended certain answers to particular interview questions, and pointed out the potential advantages of Nanzhu's fluency in both English and Mandarin. Nanzhu felt the mock interview was helpful and gave her much needed practice. She is now more relaxed and confident during interviews, and recently accepted a summer internship position from Sony Corporation.
Julie Abramson, Campus Recruiter for Deloitte, believed the students performed well, came prepared, and took the interviews very seriously. She thought that the students had excellent questions, and really took advantage of all of the time allotted during the meetings. Nomsa Mlambo, Human Resources Manager from Anchin, also believed that the students performed well and welcomed her advice. One of the recommendations she provided to students was to engage the interviewer on a personal level. She suggested that students should learn to express with enthusiasm whatever they put on their resumes. Ms. Mlambo emphasized that students should smile more during their interviews, and remember that the interviewer is a person too: “They [the students] have already won part of the battle [at the beginning of interviews]. There’s already been a selection process before they even get to the interviews, so they should be confident that the interviewers are already interested in them.” Overall, the recruiters felt the event was engaging and enjoyable. The seating arrangements also placed representatives of different firms at the same tables. By the end of the event, many professionals commented that it was nice to meet peers from other firms during the day as well.
If you couldn’t attend the event Mock Interviews this semester, be sure to keep an eye out for professional networking events and information sessions sponsored by ZGAS in the fall. I personally enjoyed the conversations I had with the professionals I met, and appreciated their advice. I will be looking forward to next year’s Mock Interviews event. Thanks again to all of the students and professionals that participated!