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Just had an interviewee shoot some follow-up questions to me. A decent email, which I helped answer.
You know how interviewees ask follow-up questions after taking your business cards. I would think it'd be questions like "do you like what you do", "how many hours do you work"..stuff like that.
Reminded me of a forward (legit email) from a couple years ago that I thought I'd share with those who haven't seen it yet (I've X'ed out all names and emails)...

Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 11:49 AM
Subject: KPMG Questions
Thank you for letting me e-mail you. XXX has been very helpful with my questions about KPMG, but I was wanting an opinion from someone currently working for the firm. I am having a hard time deciding on who to go to work for in Dallas. I am getting a lot of fluff answers from recruiters. Is it okay if you give me the true scoop on how it is working for unnessary? The following are very important questions to me:
1. What is KPMG's policy on flex-time/part-time? When would I qualify?
2. Does KPMG have a Woman's Initiative Program/Working Mothers Program? Deloitte has a program in place that allows women to leave the workforce for as long as they want (1-5 years) and still be able to hold their position within the firm. When they come back, they can decide if they want to work part-time or flex-time and progress within the firm that way. Deloitte would sometimes even let you work at home. Does KPMG have the same fort of program?
3. When is KPMG going to go entirely paper-less?
4. Do you feel like KPMG's lack of technology is slowing down your development and progress in your career?
5. I have heard that KPMG is at the bottom of the Big 4 and might be fading away after the controversy a couple of years back. I have also heard that KPMG is losing their clients like mad due to excessive and unnecessary fees from lack of technology among other things. What are your thoughts on these comment?
6. What did you like most about working in the KPMG Dallas office? The people? The hours?
7. Could you tell me again about how many hours a week you worked during busy season?
8. How many hours a week you worked the rest of the year at KPMG?
9. What is KPMG's employee turnover rate?

Here a few of the really funny replies in the email chain...

From: xxx
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 2:16 PM
To: xxx
Subject: RE: Help
I want to help find out who told her all of that bullsh*t…

From: xxx
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 2:24 PM
To: xxx
Subject: RE: Help

Recruiting has put formal response together and sent them to her
I just think if she is high maintenance, then we don’t want her anyways

From: xxx
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 2:36 PM
To: xxx
Subject: RE: Help
Obviously, I didn't respond, but seriously - does she think we use abacuses and take The Flintstone's car to work? Going paper-less...she's an idiot - she should work for DT.

From: xxx
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 3:01 PM
To: xxx
Subject: RE: Help
Recruiting should reply in 3 days, saying that they are sorry for the delayed response - the electricity in the building only works every third business day,otherwise, we work by candle using a quill.

rom: xxx
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 3:51 PM
To: xxx
Subject: RE: Help
That is pretty hilarious. Every 3rd business day. Tell her we also run a plow from the back of a mule and shit in an outhouse when nature calls. See if she has 40 questions about that.
I feel sorry for the company she works for because she sounds like she would be making up excuses for needing to leave early from Day 1 of her career and also what kind of bullcrap is Deloitte telling people?
Maybe I could go through recruiting again and go through D&T to see what all is being said over there. Tape record it or something.
rom: xxx
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 4:11 PM
To: xxx
Subject: RE: Help
I volunteer xxx to infiltrate D&T for recruiting because he looks 12. Also, once he finds out who is trash-talking us, he could easily 'eliminate' the problem.
p.s. The best question is: 4. Do you feel like KPMG's lack of technology is slowing down your development and progress in your career? My response: Absolutely. The use of morse-code telephones, word processors and telegraphs is a hinderance to my auditing ability. My developement has suffered too - I cannot speak in full sentences, have forgotten my colors, and can no longer put shapes into their apporpriate slots. My career has suffered as well. After looking around for another job, I am only eligible for jobs at Taco Bell and McDonald's because they have an automated beeper when to take the fries out. I don't know how to use this thing called a telephone, and is there a little man living inside, what people refer to as, a "computer"?


Anonymous said…
I think many of her questions are very relevant to choosing a place to work at, especially the questions relating to flexible working arrangements. It's an extremely important issue for women. Maybe, KPMG's reluctance to address such issues and create a more innovative environment can explain why it lags so far behind Deloitte and PwC :P
Anonymous said…
I'm puzzled by the ridicule and abuse heaped upon the interviewee, some of her questiosn like part-time work for mothers and work hours are relevant.

Or are auditors used to being told by the management to work until they bleed for the "good" of the firm? Tsk tsk. :-)
Dudley said…
I think more of the abuse should be placed on the actual interviewers than the interviewee.

The whole process of interviewing for jobs is laughable at best.

Which led me to this article:

By the way - I linked you in that accounting article for people interested in talking about all things audit. Nerd alert! just kiddin.
Anonymous said…
In a profession where overtime is almost an absolute, it is probably not best to come right out and ask "So when can I go part-time?" and "How soon can I take vacation?", which seem to be the primary concerns of the interviewee. As an interviewer, you would typically want to hire someone who has a positive attitude and a hardworker, not someone looking for days off right away and who obviously has a preference toward another firm, especially in this economy.
Anonymous said…
Sorry buddy, that email is old news. I saw that chainmail atleast 1.5 yrs ago
notfordisplay said…
Well I guess you didn't read it well, because I did add that caveat in there at the beginning of the entry ("two years ago")
Anonymous said…
is there a huge rivalry among the big 4 firms?
Lynn M said…
Even if the interviewee did have some legitimate questions she did herself a disservice by sending this lengthy e-mail. Someone either gave her bad advice on how to interview and follow-up for a job interview or she has not sought out any good, professional advice at all. The commenters who feel that the interviewing company is wrong are allowed to feel that way, but it doesn't change the reality of what goes on behind closed doors and the impression that this interviewee/e-mailer left.
Anonymous said…
This well spoken lady had some very legitimate questions that were important to her. It was probably naive to ask those questions because it showed she had other priorities in her life than working herself to death for a corporation. The overwhelming number of negative responses generated by KPMG workers shows the true spirit of the place and the lack of respect they receive from their employer. Very sad.
Lynn M said…
Well spoken? Part of the problem with her email is that she had very poor written communication skills. If this wasn't noted prior to her email she brought attention to it here.
just me said…
Those responses aren't all by KPMG employees - this email circulated around all the Big 4 firms.

I'm pretty shocked that some people are supporting this woman's questions....yes, some are legitimate. But her choice of language is jarring and rude, starting at #4. "Do you feel like KMPG's lack of technology..." starts with an assumption that KPMG has a lack of technology - a pretty rude question to ask of someone who already works there.

And it just gets worse with #5...slagging a potential employer will never get you the job, in any industry.
Anonymous said…
Wrong. I am an employer and I appreciate that people have a life outside of work and I am not priority one if their lives (thank god I am not). I have been through the corporate mill and I was not too fond of the indentured servant treatment. They always tell you to think outside of the box but that is just a myth: don't you dare to challenge the system or even ask the 'wrong' question.
Anonymous said…
What "just me" mentioned reminded me of seeing this... someone added a KPMG Horse and Buggy to the chain as well in response to that.
Michaelk said…
That girl has pure chutzpah asking questions in such a manner. To ask people whether their firm has hindered them, while an honest question, is absolutely insane (Sidenote: Besides, it's common knowledge that KPMG is still in the stone age technologically, with shitty software and huge paper files). Anyway, the point is that this woman should have learned a little tact in asking questions.
Anonymous said…
Either way, did she deserve those comments? Auditing is a joke anyway. It's not like you guys do worthwhile work that adds value. This just shows how many low class individuals work in that profession. You guys really need to get over yourselves.

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