How to nail the graduate recruitment process at William Buck

Our successful graduates give their top four tips on how to land a graduate role at William Buck, Chartered Accountants and advisors.
Jaymes Carr
Jaymes Carr
Team GradAustralia
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Founded in 1895, William Buck now has 90 directors and 500 professional staff, with offices across Australia and New Zealand. The firm works across six different service lines: audit and assurance, business advisory, business recovery, corporate advisory, tax services, and wealth advisory. Each year, it accepts a new group of students into its comprehensive graduate training program, which includes an intensive course offered via William Buck College.

William Buck promises a commitment to each graduate’s career development, and entry into a positive, supportive, and challenging professional culture. To learn more about how you can start your career at William Buck, we asked a group of successful applicants for tips on how to ace the recruitment process.

1. Know what you want: the application process is swift!

If you were hoping to apply for a range of firms and then choose the most appealing offer, you might be in for a surprise: the graduates we surveyed all said that the application process at William Buck was unusually fast. Consequently, they made their decision about whether or not to work at William Buck before other firms had even responded. Needless to say, the graduates we spoke to all took the job: and—here’s the good news—they also reported a sense that they had chosen well.

“After applying for multiple jobs I found William Buck by far the most responsive. Once submitting my resume and cover letter, I received a phone call a few weeks later asking for an interview with the general manager and senior accountant. After the interview I was called back within 4 hours asking to come for a partner interview. Within 1 day of my partner interview I was offered a position with a contract given to me in one week.”

Graduate, Adelaide

2. Relax: be professional, but also be yourself

William Buck describes itself as providing a “young, dynamic and fun” environment where “people work hard and enjoy spending time together”. To encourage a strong sense of belonging, it offers various social events, informal events, and other activities. As a graduate from Melbourne put it, “The culture is extremely impressive. Lots of work events and attendance by staff at work events is pleasingly high. Also a large focus on community work.”

To maintain this culture, interviewers at WIlliam Buck look for “motivated, well-rounded individuals who possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills” and who want to “work and learn in a strong team environment”.  So try not to let nervousness prevent you from relaxing: give them a sense of who you are and how you’ll fit within William Buck’s culture.

“I think being relaxed really helped me. I think most people can be trained to do the job, and therefore personality is really important. I had some vacation work which I think did benefit me but they were more interested that I had worked through high school and uni and was able to balance my life.”

Graduate, Adelaide

“William Buck is a great place to work, the ‘family’ type culture, means there is a value of relationships that makes you feel appreciated.  There are opportunities to grow both personally and professionally because your mentors are part of your future.”

Julie O’Reilly

3. Research the company well

William Buck promises graduates the opportunity to work with clients from a wide range of industries, applying their skills to assist clients from day one. But which clients? And what exactly does the work involve? Are you ready to answer such questions?

The insiders we spoke to all agreed that knowing as much as possible about the company before their interviews gave them a definite edge when required to discuss William Buck’s business interests and activities. If you need to study up, the graduate profiles on the GradAustralia website and the information on the William Buck website is particularly helpful.

“Researching the company and the division you're applying for is really important and makes it seem like you genuinely want to be there rather than applying for multiple grad jobs.”

Graduate, Adelaide

“Do your research! Know who is going to interview you and do some background research into their business history and professional focus.”

Experienced, Brisbane

“Do some research on the firm, and come into the interview knowing the services that the firm offers, and the types of clients that it services. If possible, reach out to an existing employee to talk.”

Graduate, Adelaide

4. Be prepared for a range of technical and non-technical questions

Given its emphasis on hiring well-rounded individuals, it’s no surprise that our insiders were asked a range of questions. Recruiters at William Buck will seek to establish whether you have the professional experience, academic pedigree, and personal attributes required to succeed in at their company. To this end, report our insiders, they ask ask a range of questions, from technical enquiries about aspects of accounting to questions about hobbies and personal goals.

Some of the examples our insiders provided are listed below:

“Why accounting? Why did I choose William Buck? What did I enjoy most about uni? Which qualities do I think are important?”

Graduate, Sydney

“I was asked about my work experience, including my part-time job and my vacation work at another firm. There were some general getting-to-know-you questions, and I also received information about the firm and the work I would be doing.”

Midlevel, Brisbane

“What industries are you interested in? What experience/skills do you bring, and how will you apply them at our firm? Why do you want to work for us?”

Graduate, Adelaide

“Why are you looking for a job? How much money do you want? What are the small business CGT concessions?”

Experienced, Brisbane

To hear more from William Buck graduates, read the graduate profiles at GradAustralia.