BDO Interview Questions

BDO Interview Questions

Updated November 17, 2021

Written by the WikiJob Team

BDO is a global network of firms offering a range of services in key areas including tax, advisory, audit and assurance, as well as business outsourcing.

BDO Graduate Programmes

BDO offers a variety of graduate opportunities across its Audit & Assurance, Advisory, Tax and Business Services & Outsourcing departments.

During the three-year programme, you will receive paid leave to study and obtain a professional qualification. Throughout the programme you will receive continued support, including coaching, mentoring, as well as a buddy (an experienced colleague) to help guide you from day one.

Graduate Programme Requirements

To apply for BDO's graduate programme you need the following:

  • At least a 2:2 degree in any subject area (obtained or expected)
  • Three A levels or the equivalent at A*– C, not including General Studies or Extended Projects (obtained or expected)
  • A 9 – 4 in GCSE Maths and English or the equivalent

BDO Internships

BDO offers a six-week summer internship programme across all key areas of the business.

Open to undergraduates in the penultimate year of their studies, the internship programme offers hands-on insights into working life at BDO. You will have the opportunity to network, receive technical training in your chosen field, may participate in client meetings and will complete a group project with fellow students.

At the end of the internship you will also be able to interview with one of BDO's partners to potentially obtain a graduate role.

Internship Requirements

To apply to the BDO internship programme you should have the following:

  • A predicted minimum 2:2 degree in any subject
  • Three A-levels or the equivalent at A* to C (not including General Studies or Extended Projects)
  • 9 to 4 in GCSE Maths and English or the equivalent
  • Be within commuting distance of the office you apply for and be available to attend on the programme dates

BDO Application Process

The application process for BDO consists of:

  • Online application
  • Online ability tests
  • Video interview
  • Assessment Centre

Online Application

BDO will ask you about your academic background, work experience and extra-curricular activities. This is an important opportunity for BDO to learn more about you and whether you are the right person to join the company. When applying, take the time to reflect upon your strengths and whether BDO is the right place for you.

When responding to the questions, you should share all relevant information that you would like BDO to know, without exaggerating - don’t sell yourself short.

It should take you about an hour to complete the online application form. As with BDO's full assessment process, it’s the same for all applicants so that everyone can be assessed in a fair, consistent and objective way. It is key that all candidates can demonstrate an understanding of the role applied for and are able to articulate this, including the professional qualification studied for, whether for a full-time role or for a summer opportunity to demonstrate depth of understanding of a career in that area.

Remember to ‘Save as draft’ your form as you go through. Once you’ve submitted your application, you'll receive an email receipt, but you won’t be able to amend it any further. You can then track your application by logging back into the system.

Ask others to check your work. It is worth putting a lot of effort into your application. Even a small mistake at this stage could result in a rejection.

Online Ability Tests

If you meet the criteria in your application form, BDO will invite you to complete two online reasoning tests, numerical and critical reasoning. These tests will assess your numerical reasoning and critical reasoning ability.

To practice ahead of your ability testing, and learn more about your own strengths and how to prepare for a strengths-based assessment, we recommend that you visit JobTestPrep, where you will be able to complete practice ability tests.

Video Interview

The video interview is your chance to show us that you have what BDO is looking for. You'll be asked a number of questions to determine whether you have what it takes to be successful at BDO, who will be looking to understand more about you, what you can do and what you enjoy to do.

Don’t worry if you haven’t completed a video interview before. The system will take you through each stage of the process. You will also have the opportunity to answer a test question before you begin the interview itself.

Questions you might want to consider in case you are asked:

  • Why BDO?
  • Why the service line to which you have applied?
  • What can you bring to this role?

TIP: Research the firm extensively, and particularly your area/division. Being able to quote exact figures, facts or case studies will most likely impress.

TIP: Be honest. This interview is for BDO to get to know your personality and decide whether you'd be a good fit for the team. It is better to admit to a slight fault or lack of experience than to try to make something up that you think they want to hear. If you are able to talk honestly and confidently about your examples, you will leave a positive impression.

Assessment Centre

The BDO graduate and school leaver assessment lasts all day and is attended by up to ten people applying to various graduate, internship and school leaver programmes.

You will be told exact timings and location well in advance, so you will be able to make travel arrangements. Find out more about the day here:

Typically the day will consist of:

Group Exercise

The same type of case study is used regardless of area you applying for, and will be a real client situation. A company is facing a problem (budget cuts, losing clients, etc); you will be given information about the company and a list of possible approaches to solving the problem. After discussing the advantages and disadvantages of all the options, you must decide on the best strategy as a team, as well as discuss how BDO could help the client in doing all of this. Make sure you find out about the services BDO offers, so you can talk effectively about this.

You will get 15 minutes at the start of the group exercise to read through the information pack yourself and make notes. You then have 45 minutes to discuss things as a group. Make sure you contribute to the discussion and be prepared to back up your opinions and defend your suggestions, if others at first disagree with them. Try to be confident and try to be the candidate in charge of your group's discussion without overpowering others.

Be courteous and encourage quieter candidates to have their opinions heard, as well as keeping an eye on the time and making sure the discussion is moving forward. They are more interested in how you work in a team than how you solve the problem.

Individual Presentation

When you are invited to the assessment centre, you will also receive information about the presentation and your given topic. After lunch, you will be asked to give the 20-minute presentation one-on-one to an assessor from the group exercise.

You will then be asked some general questions about your presentation by the assessor (so be prepared to back up any of your points), then finally for your assessment of how the group exercise went in the morning and what you would do differently if you were to do it again. Remember to be constructive; don't criticise anyone directly.


Following the group exercise and individual presentation, you will be given an hour for lunch. You will be given the opportunity to meet with and talk to several current trainees. Be sure to ask them any questions you may have. They will not be assessing you and will be able to provide a much more realistic account of working life at BDO than your assessors and HR. Be sure to ask them about what they do on a day-to-day basis. You will be able to use this information during your interview later on in the afternoon.

Final Interview

The partner interview lasts for around 50 minutes. The style of your interview will depend on your specific interviewer, and can vary from relaxed and laid back, to high pressured and interrogational.

You will be asked about eight competency questions and questions about why you want to work for BDO and why you want to be an accountant.

Your interviewer may ask you to justify yourself and your life choices. If this happens, stay calm and remain confident. Be prepared to defend yourself and your opinions, even if your interviewer appears dismissive. It may be that you are being tested on your strength of character, determination and ability to argue your opinions convincingly.

Examples of BDO interview questions may include:

* Why BDO? (or Why BDO over the big four?)
* Why are you choosing this role?
* Provide an example of a challenge you encountered in a previous job.
* How do you make sure you are communicating efficiently and effectively?
* How would you deal with a difficult team member?
* What technical strengths and skills do you have?

Once again, come prepared with examples of achievements, teamwork, and challenges from a wide range of experience, and think about how you can highlight their key qualities: sharp, resourceful, attentive, and energetic.

Towards the end of the interview, you will be given the chance to ask your own questions about BDO. You should aim to ask two to three interesting questions, if possible relating to subject matter discussed during your interview.

BDO Graduate Salary

If you receive an offer, you can expect a BDO graduate scheme salary in the range of £28,000 to £29,000.

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