“I feel so secure now that I have a job offer. It feels great and amazing. I saw a huge difference in my preparation level and improved my tech skills considerably.”
These are the exact words of Nandana KV on the day she cleared her bar-raiser round at KPMG.
Here are the details of my conversation with her. Let’s understand how she achieved her goals and what steps she took. 👉
What was your goal when you first started your interview preparation?
My goal was to get placed in the Big 4.
(FYI, Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young, and PwC make up the Big 4. They are the world’s top four accounting firms that audit more than 80% of US public companies.)
I always had my mind fixated on getting placed in a company where I can work on scaling things up - whether it is my skillset or my personal development. 🚀
What was the problem you were facing when you started?
I was nervous. I lacked confidence. My technical side wasn't strong.
And honestly, in the beginning, I absolutely had no idea about how to get a job in the Big 4. More so because I was a fresher.
I wasn’t sure if I were preparing in the right direction or what was the road map to get into a Big 4.
Why did you decide to seek a mentor’s guidance?
The fact that a highly experienced working professional is going to train me for my interviews at companies like KPMG and Deloitte.
The idea of learning from a mentor made me feel like it is possible after all to get into my dream company.
What was so different about this mentor-led program that made you go for it?
So, I have tried a couple of online courses as well in the past. But that didn’t exactly work out for me because there was no way to get any feedback on my learnings.
I didn’t know where I was making mistakes.
I wanted to try regular 1:1 consultations with someone who knows best.
I wanted to get my planning strategy and resume reviewed by them, needed an evaluation of my technical skills and also needed to practise interview skills.
And this mentor-led program seemed like a complete solution that did it all.
What role did this mentorship play in your interview preparation?
1️⃣ I got to know what kind of questions I should be expecting in an interview. This helped me prepare better.
2️⃣ After every conversation with Ramakrishna Sir, I became a little confident about my skills.
Of course, progress happened over time.
Mentorship isn’t some pill you take which makes your problem go away (chuckles). 🤭
My mentor took a lot of effort to evaluate me and to point out all my strengths and weaknesses after each mock interview and sync-up session.
He rigorously grilled me for almost all the interview rounds, even the bar-raiser (behavioural) round.
As a result, I saw a huge difference in my preparation level in just the first 4 mock interview sessions. I improved my tech skills considerably.
What companies did your interview for? How did your interviews go?
I had applied at Deloitte and KPMG. After about a month, I got shortlisted for an interview at KPMG.
The first interview went very well. I was still in touch with Ramakrishna Sir to let him know about my progress.
I kept discussing my interviews with him. Finally, I got recruited at KPMG.
How do you feel now that you hold a job offer from a great company?
I feel so secure now that I have a job offer, that too, a KPMG one. It feels great and amazing. I’m on cloud 9 after getting into a Big 4. 😇
Do you have a message for your mentor that you’d like to share with us?
Ramakrishna Sir, thanks a ton for guiding me through interview preparation. I can’t believe I could improve my technical skills so much.
I have always got so much clarity after talking to you every time. You gave me the reality checks I needed every now and then, and you also motivated me a lot.
I will remember the tips, experiences and learnings which you shared with me. All that is going to help me big time in my job and also in future interview preparations. Thank you for everything!
Finally, what tips would you like to give the other aspiring candidates or Preplaced mentees (so that they can get the best out of our mentorship programs)?
It's okay to be nervous and not feel confident about your skills.
Through systematic and consistent preparation you can overcome it.
Just be yourself and don't make the interview sound scripted.
Take your mock interviews and sync-up sessions seriously. Pay close attention to the feedback given by the mentors. Because that will really help in real-life interviews.
And lastly, find yourself a mentor who will guide you properly.