Deloitte interviews are pretty challenging compared to regular interviews at large companies. The questions are difficult and the interview format is specific to Deloitte.
But the good news is that with the right preparation it can actually become relatively straightforward to succeed at a Deloitte interview. We've put together this ultimate guide to maximise your chances of success.
Here's an overview of what we'll cover.
- Introduction to Deloitte
- Interview process
- Regular case interviews
- Group case interviews
- Fit and PEI questions
- Preparation plan
Deloitte is a force to reckon with in consulting. In 2022, it generated ~$26bn in revenue from its consulting business line. This makes it about as big as McKinsey, Bain and BCG combined.
Deloitte Consulting grew through a series of acquisitions. As a result, it's a collection of relatively independent firms operating under the Deloitte Consulting umbrella. Each member firm is managed by local partners who are responsible for their P&L. This is why you get more variation across different offices and regions than you do at a firm such as McKinsey.
Deloitte Consulting has three main practice groups you need to be aware of when applying:
1. Strategy and Operations (S&O) focuses on topics such as corporate strategy, supply-chain improvement, business model transformation, process improvements, etc.
2. Technology consulting focuses on digital strategy, delivery of IT programmes, cyber risks management, designing and building tech-based solutions for clients, etc.
3. Human capital focuses on topics such as organisation transformation, change management, corporate learning and development, diversity and inclusion, etc.
In 2013, Deloitte acquired Monitor which was initially founded by Michael Porter, the father of Porter's five forces. Monitor is now part of Deloitte S&O and that brand is particularly strong in North America.
The type of work Deloitte S&O does is very similar to what you would do at McKinsey, BCG or Bain. If you'd like to learn more about how Deloitte (and the other Big 4 firms) compares to the MBB firms, check out our MBB vs. Big 4 guide.
Your interview process with Deloitte will depend on whether you're applying as an experienced or early career candidate. There is also some variation by country, so we recommend that you ask your local HR contact at Deloitte for more details.
Below is an outline of the most common interview process and will be correct for the majority of candidates.
2.1 Early career candidates
As an early career candidate you can apply online. You'll need your educational qualifications to hand, and you'll need to meet the minimum requirements.
The next step is an "immersive online assessment". Here you'll be asked to look at work scenarios and answer how you would respond.
Once you've completed it, you'll receive a "bespoke feedback report about your strengths and abilities".
If you fail the assessment, you'll hear back within a couple of days, but if you pass it may take a week or two before Deloitte contacts you - so in this case, no news is good news!
If you pass, you'll go onto the next assessment step: the "job simulation". You’ll answer questions across formats that include writing, video, multiple choice and ranking. Make sure you're dressed correctly and are in a quiet place before starting the simulation.
After you’ve completed the simulation, you'll get an email letting you know how you did within four weeks.
If successful you would then have a "Final stage assessment", which is a video interview with a senior consultant or an online group exercise. This would be the last step in your interview process.
2.2 Non-early career candidates
If you're an experienced candidate, or at least not an undergraduate or recent graduate, the interview process will probably consist of three steps:
- Resume and cover letter screening
- First round interviews
- Second round interviews
2.2.1 Resume and cover letter screening
First, recruiters will look at your resume and assess if your experience matches the open position. This is the most competitive step in the process—we’ve found that 90% of candidates don’t make it past this stage.
And if you’re looking for expert feedback, you can also get input from our team of ex-MBB recruiters, who will cover what achievements to focus on (or ignore), how to fine tune your bullet points, and more.
2.2.2 First round interviews
Your interviewers at Deloitte will consist of a mix of senior consultants, managers and partners. First round interviews may be done in person or via video or phone call. They usually consist of:
- one behavioural interview (30 to 45mins)
- one or two case interviews (30 to 45mins each).
This is quite similar to what you could expect at other consulting firms.
2.2.3 Second round interviews
Second round interviews are similar to first round interviews, though the line of questioning can be a bit tougher. Your final interview is usually with a hiring partner, and before that you may face a group case interview.
- One behavioral interview (30 to 45mins)
- One case interview (30 to 45mins)
- One group case interview (45mins - 1hr)
Now you've seen an overview of the interview process, let's take a detailed look at regular case interviews and group case interviews at Deloitte, and how you should prepare for them.
Case interviews at Deloitte are candidate-led. The style is therefore similar to what you will experience in a BCG case interview or a Bain case interview. Our research and experience tells us that there 7 types of questions you need to prepare for in candidate-led case interviews:
- Framework development
- Framework exploration
- Quant question – Data provided
- Quant question – No data provided
- Creativity question
You can learn more about case interviews and how to prepare in our free case interview guide. One unique thing about Deloitte case interviews is that they will occasionally (but not always) give candidates written materials and a few minutes to review before they start the interview. This type of scenario requires the kind of skills you could learn in our free written case interview guide.
Deloitte has produced some very useful material to help candidates prepare. Take a good look through this practice case.
Deloitte has also shared some example case studies that you can work through interactively:
- Deloitte case study 1: Federal health agency needs to respond to Ebola epidemic (Advanced)
- Deloitte case study 2: Talent management for the Civil Cargo Protection Bureau (Advanced)
- Deloitte case study 3: Engagement strategy for a huge federal agency (Undergraduate)
- Deloitte case study 4: Recreation Unlimited, a global apparel and sportswear company, must reverse declining market share (Undergraduate)
- Deloitte case study 5: Federal benefits provider needs to formulate its 10-year vision (Undergraduate)
All these strategy cases can all be found on Deloitte's case interview prep tool, along with some Application Program Analyst cases and Business Technology Solution cases.
As mentioned above, Deloitte also uses group case interviews in its final round. Here is the key information you need to be aware of for this interview format:
- Candidates get divided into groups of 4 to 6
- Each group is given information about a case (i.e. a client facing a problem)
- You are given 10mins to review the materials by yourself or with another person in your group
- You are then asked to discuss a few questions about the case for 20mins with the rest of your group in front of your interviewers
- The interviewers will ask a few questions to the group for 15 to 20mins
This type of case mainly tests your ability to work with others. Interviewers won't intervene during the group discussion. They will just observe the group dynamics and mark each participant based on how they are contributing to the discussion.
Here are the top 3 things you should aim to do in your Deloitte group interview:
- Speak with a purpose. At the beginning of a group discussion, a lot of candidates will want to speak their mind as they know participating is important. But participating is not enough. The QUALITY of your input is crucial. Sometimes, it's better to let two or three people get the discussion started. And to then make a very thoughtful point based on how they started the discussion. Focus on the quality of your input, not the quantity.
- Involve everyone. Another tip that's easy to apply is to keep an eye on who's participating in the conversation and who's not. If you identify a member of the group who's struggling to make themselves heard, you should not hesitate to help them be heard by saying something like: "We haven't heard everyone's opinion on this yet. John, Rebecca what do you think?"
- Summarise. Finally, at the end of the 20 minutes group discussion it's a good idea to summarise the different points people have made. This will position you as the person bringing everyone together and making sure all candidates are on the same page. It is something some partners in consulting like doing with clients in real life and will therefore reflect positively on you.
And the top 3 things you should really avoid doing:
- Looking nervous. Group interviews is the time to put your poker face on. Everyone is stressed in a group interview. But you need to try your best to come across as confident. A good way to do this is to focus on basic body language: look at people in the eye, sit confidently, don't cross your arms, etc.
- Interrupting others. Consultants need to be client-friendly, and interrupting someone in a discussion is not client-friendly at all. You should listen carefully to what others are saying. Try to have a genuine interest in what they think. Before making your point, summarise their point to show that you understand what they mean.
- Dominating the conversation. Finally, some candidates are so eager to participate in the conversation that they end up completely dominating the rest of the group without realising it. A good tip to avoid this is to keep an eye on how much time you talk. If you are in a 5-person group you should aim to speak 20% (1/5th) of the time and really no more than 25%.
Your performance in regular and group case interviews will play a big role in Deloitte's decision to give you an offer. If you'd like to learn more how to approach group interviews, check-out our separate detailed guide to group case interviews.
Behavioural interview questions asked at Deloitte fall into two categories:
- Fit questions. These are generic questions such as “Why consulting?” or “Why Deloitte?”.
- Personal Experience Interview (PEI) questions. These are questions such as “Tell me about a time when you led a team through a difficult situation.” Or “Tell me about a time where you had to manage a team conflict”
Here are the top 5 fit and PEI questions you should prepare for at Deloitte and other consulting firms.
Top 5 fit questions:
- Why Deloitte?
- Why consulting?
- Walk me through your resume
- Tell me about something not on your resume
- Tell me about your greatest accomplishment
Top 5 PEI questions. Tell me about a time when ...
- You led a team through a difficult situation
- You worked in a team and had to manage a conflict
- You had a disagreement with a colleague / boss
- You had to change someone's / a group's mind
- You overcame a really difficult challenge
Don't fall into the trap of under-preparing for these types of questions. While they may seem easier than the case interviews, they are extremely important to get right.
You’ll need to prepare several ”stories” or “examples” from your personal and professional experience to demonstrate that you have the traits that Deloitte is looking for.
To learn more, check out our guide to consulting fit / PEI questions.
Now that you know what to expect in Deloitte interviews, let's discuss the steps you should take to prepare.
6.1 Learn the case interview essentials
The best starting point for your case interview prep is our case interview prep guide. It'll take you through all the different types of questions you may be asked in your case interview, show you how to draw from different frameworks to structure your answer, and give you example cases to practise with.
6.2 Become really confident at maths
You don't have to have a perfect GPA or GMAT score to succeed at case interview maths. However, during your Deloitte interviews, you will be expected to quickly perform accurate mental maths.
In order to do this, it’s essential to know the formulas for common metrics, like return on investment or breakeven point. And it’s also helpful to know a few maths shortcuts to help you solve problems more quickly. To learn more about these topics, check out our free guide to case interview maths.
In our experience, the most successful applicants start their interview preparation by practising maths skills, so make sure you prioritise this step.
6.3 Research the company
Deloitte interviewers want to hire candidates who are deeply motivated to work for their firm. Make sure you're up to date in the latest developments in the area of the company you're applying to join. Here are some useful links to get you started:
- Deloitte's insights page
- Deloitte's selection of business podcasts
- Financial Times' news articles on Deloitte
In addition, do some networking so that you can show you've made the effort to reach out to current staff.
6.4 Do mock interviews
How you solve each case is important, but your interviewers will also be evaluating how you COMMUNICATE your answers. It's important to speak in a structured way that makes it easy to clearly understand your points.
The best way to hone your communication skills is to practise interviewing out loud, and you can do that in three main ways:
- Interview yourself (out loud)
- Practise interviewing with friends or family
- Practise interviewing with ex-interviewers
To help you with this process, here is a broad list of consulting interview questions you can practice with. Practising by yourself is a great way to get started, and can help you get more comfortable with the flow of a case interview. However, this type of practice won’t prepare you for realistic interview conditions.
After getting some practice on your own, you should find someone who can do a mock interview with you, like a friend or family member.
We’d also recommend that you practise 1-1 with ex-interviewers from Deloitte. This is the best way to replicate the conditions of a real case interview, and to get feedback from someone who understands the process extremely well. Meet our Deloitte ex-interviewers who’d love to work with you.
The IGotAnOffer team