How to get a job at ‘Big Four’ accounting firm PwC, according to a recruiter who’s interviewed 5,000 people

Rod Adams PwC
PwC is looking for certain traits, says Rod Adams (pictured). Rod Adams

One of the most popular places to work among business students, ‘Big Four’ accounting firm PwC employed about 223,000 people in 2016.

It’s clear that hiring is a massive undertaking at the professional services network, which is of the largest privately owned companies in the US, according to Forbes.

PwC’s US talent acquisition lead Rod Adams estimates that the company hires anywhere from 15,000 to 16,000 new workers every year, including about 4,000 interns.

Adams estimates he’s interviewed more than 5,000 people since joining the company in 1995.

He shared with Business Insider some tips on how to land a role at PwC, whether you’re a prospective intern, an entry-level applicant, an experienced candidate, or a potential exec.

Regardless of experience level, the company always vets for what it calls the “PwC Professional” — an ideal employee who reflects PwC’s core values.

“They’re demonstrated in different ways, depending on someone’s level of experience, but they’re important regardless of whether we’re talking to a potential intern or partner,” Adams tells Business Insider.

Adams adds that any candidate must have a baseline level of technical capabilities, based on their level of experience. GPA is also taken into account, in the case of interns and entry-level applicants.

Beyond technical abilities, Adams says that PwC hires for several specific traits:

1. Leadership: The candidate provides a resilient, authentic example of leadership, whether or not they are actually leading a team.

2. Business acumen: The candidate can demonstrate an innovative approach to business and stays informed about industry trends.

3. Global acumen: The candidate is able to contemplate numerous perspectives, values diversity, and has a deep interest in world affairs.

4. Relationship skills: The candidate is adept at constructing valuable, trusting relationships.

Adams doesn’t have specific go-to interview questions. Instead, he prefers to steer the conversation toward each of those important spheres, especially global acumen.

“We work in a global environment,” he says. “How much are they a student of the world?”

An ideal candidate will use the interview as an opportunity to touch upon each trait, providing specific examples to demonstrate how they adhere to the company’s values.