To increase your chances of landing a job, it is important for you to use all of your available resources. The recruiting process has many steps including career exploration, industry & organization research, applications, networking and interviewing. The Villanova Career Center has resources including Handshake, Big Interview, Vault Career Guides and many others (including our staff) to help you along the way.
- Common Entry Level Jobs include Accounting Audit Associate, Accounting Specialist, Tax Associate, and Accounting Staff I. For more examples of titles, duties, salary, education levels and more, visit the “Vault Guide to Accounting Jobs.”
- Applications for internships are typically open a year in advance, so be prepared to apply to next summer’s internship early spring semester. Applications are usually on a rolling basis, so apply ASAP. Check Handshake and firm websites to learn about application close dates.
- Some accounting organizations offer early identification programs for historically excluded and minoritized populations. These programs are typically offered to sophomores (and some first-year) and can serve as a pipeline program for a summer internship. Application timelines vary, but most open early Spring.
- Summer internship programs often serve as feeders to full-time positions. Many organizations have a goal of converting their interns into full-time employees and will make decisions about full-time roles at the end of the summer internship experience.
- Search for jobs and internships on Handshake, CareerShift, company websites, social media, industry and job association sites, professional associations, through university recruiting programs and recruiters. Since Villanova is a target school for many companies, it is recommended that you search first on Handshake.
For more information on the recruiting process, specific internship programs and professional associations, visit the “Know the Field” chapter in the Vault Guide to Accounting. Visit the Vault Guide to the Top 50 Accounting Firms to review organizations.
- Many accounting organizations utilize an electronic assessment called pymetrics, or another online behavioral-based assessment, prior to interviewing candidates. Pymetrics is a series of behavior-based neuroscience games that objectively measure cognitive, social and behavioral attributes. This technology helps employers look beyond an applicant’s resume and understand more about their strengths and which roles might be a fit.
- Most accounting professionals say they participated in several rounds of interviews – although the formats vary somewhat by employer. The most popular interview methods are by telephone and in-person, but video conferencing and asynchronous, pre-recorded interviews are becoming even more common for first-round interviews. Students can practice being recorded for an interview through the Big Interview platform. Big Interview is a free resource offered through the Career Center.
- Many firms may ask you “technical interview questions.” These questions are designed to test your knowledge of basic accounting, audit, and tax practices. Technical questions are typically posed to those with a lot of experience, but can definitely still be asked to undergraduate students. If you’d like to get a sense for accounting-specific questions, including audit and analytical skill questions check out Accounting interview questions in Accounting in Big Interview.
The Career Center offers one-hour mock interview appointments that can be scheduled via Handshake to further develop interview skills and receive feedback. Students can also reserve interview rooms within the Employer Engagement Suite. For more information on interviewing, please visit the Career Center’s Interviewing webpage.
For more information on interviews in accounting, visit the “Interviewing” chapter in the Vault Guide to Accounting.