I would like to share some of my 30-minute telephone interview experience i had last Friday.
I applied for an entry level Transfer Pricing position.
Started with tell me about yourself. I said I wanted to explain why switch career from audit (I was an auditor in China before.) to tax especially TP, then talked about I like working for big four. I mentioned my English is weak. So I participated in Chicago tax club, Ascend and Beta Alpha Psi’s activities to communicate to improve English and network. I mentioned a master program alumnae and said she helped me a lot. He admitted he knows her. I also mentioned I like the tax master I am currently taking. I also said TP give chances to do tax planning whereas audit is mostly compliance and procedure based. Then he interrupted me, asked me to talk about sth about myself. Then I quickly went through where I attended uni and worked for big 4 China before as an auditor. I said I developed some soft skills in a big four environment. I mentioned communication skills. I only talked about what should I do to communicate with clients.
He interrupted me and said I kind of dominated (said lot). Followed by two technical questions. One is to explain what transfer pricing is to your mom, provided that your mom is not a TP specialist. I gave the definition and said 100 dollars good if transferred from parent in the US to subsidiary in HK without a price. There will be TP issue as corporate income tax rate are different. It seems that it does not match what I should have responsed. He said I was talking about arbitrage and asked what if there are no tax rate different issue. I don’t know how to answer this at all. It seems that he paraphrased the question and then asked me how to choose comparable companies. I responded to this one perfectly. I also mentioned I would study TP in November, I will know more about TP.
Then let me ask questions. I asked I was researching jobs I wonder that how big 4’s TP practice compares with law firms such as Becker McKenzie and investment bank such as Duff & Phelps. He talked like 10 min (told me the second one is actually a valuation firm). Time’s up. He said I could ask another question. I asked I saw an article on Deloitte website: “paradigm shift: using business model optimization.” What does “paradigm shift” mean with relation to transfer pricing? He said he did not know what the article is. He guessed this related to BEPS. Mentioned TP has growth potential in the next couple of years. Well, that’s it. We said goodbye to each other.
Afterward, I wrote a thank-you letter to him. He replied he appreciated the note and said good luck. Do you guys think I get a chance to the next round?