Partners are senior members of staff at a firm. Unlike normal members of staff, they own a share of the firm, receive a profit share (rather than a salary), and will undertake legal responsibility for the firm's affairs. The Big 4 accounting firms all have more than 500 partners in the UK.
The purpose of the partner interview is to see if your personality is suitable for the firm you are joining. There are no set questions, this is merely a conversation about why you want to join and what it is you hope to achieve. Partners may also be looking for evidence of commercial awareness and commitment to career.
Questions Likely to Be Asked
- Why do you want to join this firm? Why not a competitor?
- Why the line of service you have joined?
- What do you think you can bring to this firm?
- How do you think you will benefit from working here?
- Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
- What do you do in your spare time?
Partners are trying to determine whether you are a trustworthy, genuine person, who can be trusted to deal with the firm's clients and give them the right impression. They are also trying to determine if you are likely to fit in amongst other employees.
Try not to show off. A partner has had many years of experience and if you talk about something bear in mind that the partner is likely to know much more about it than you do.
This interview is predominantly a matter of assessing social chemistry, so make sure you are personable, friendly, open and relaxed. Shake hands confidently, smile and be courteous. Make sure you hold strong eye contact throughout your interview. You should ask questions, such as the partner's role in the firm, and what sort of clients he/she deals with.