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Interview for Audit Position: Do People Care about Ethics?

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Interview for Audit PositionLynnel is our new CIA exam blogger from the Philippines. She writes every Friday.

Hello everyone, I just want to share my experience on my interview last week for an audit position. I registered for Part 2 of the CIA exam and will post my study techniques in the next post.

I am planning to get a job after passing part 1 and part 2 on January (being optimistic). The company I applied for is a multinational company with a lot of branches around the world. In addition to that, I applied through job search site for internal audit specialist and got an interview request after 2 days. The salary package is good and I am attracted of their benefits.

For this interview, I took 6 sets of exam on a day with minimum questions of 15 and maximum of 50 questions. I honestly did not prepare for it, but glad to have passed these exams. I am used to routine interviews and ready for it.

At the same time, I always prepare three things in order to ace any interview:

1. My strengths and weaknesses
2. My edge among the candidates
3. How I can contribute/add value to the organization.

If you know about yourself very well, you can answer anything the interviewer might ask you. My interview went well with the HR manager and got a good impression from her.

My final interview lasted for an hour because of some issues. The interviewer admitted that the job post was different from the vacancy, which was compliance specialist. The compliance specialist task is a management function which is a bit different from that of internal audit, in the traditional sense. I have raised my concern regarding my ongoing certification since I want a solid experience in internal audit and I need a year of experience in internal audit to qualify for the certification after I pass.

The position offered requires a lot of traveling, conducting seminars with demanding working hours. He convinced me to accept the job offer and offer to put “audit specialist” on my experience verification on my IIA form and perform as “compliance specialist”. I did not accept the offer and I immediately said that as auditors we need to apply and uphold the code of ethics. In addition, if I accept the offer my membership and certification may be forfeited.

Is code of ethics only a theory based on your experience? I felt I was fooled and wasted my time in the interview. But, what makes me feel bad is that a lot of auditors do not apply the code of ethics which destroys the reputation of internal audit profession.

Note from Stephanie

Very interesting post Lynnel, and thanks for sharing this “unique” interview experience. You didn’t waste your time there, as it was a very good practice and it’s comforting to know that you did well — so well that they thought about bending the rules…

I agree that you shouldn’t consider an offer from a company that doesn’t uphold the ethical standard. It’s nice to have a good salary package, but ethics is the front and center of the audit profession and we shouldn’t compromise this principle. Thanks for pointing out this important point.

There are plenty of opportunities I am sure 🙂

About the Author Lynnel

Lynnel is a recent graduate, with a BSBA Major in Internal Auditing in the Philippines. Lynnel passed Part 1 and 2 on the same day, and Part 3 on her first attempt.

  • Yung Jun says:

    Hi,Lynnel.

    Glad that you have able to uphold the Code of Ethics when come to this kind of situation.

    I used to work as an outsourced services provider focusing the area of Compliance, Risk Management and Internal Audit. You are right as the compliance job scope can be different comparing the Internal Audit job role as compliance will be focus more on compliance against the regulations, quality standards and other applicable industry standards with less emphasis on company’s internal control.

    If you starts your foothold in Internal Audit, you will eventually realize that Compliance actually plays a part in Internal Audit if the audit area cover the compliance against some regulations.

    Looking forward for your further updates.

  • Lynnel says:

    Hello Yung Jun,

    That’s very true that compliance actually plays a part in internal audit, it’s just that I want a broader scope of responsibility as an auditor. Thank you for your post! 😊

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