There are few things more daunting than the search for a new job. Whether you have a fall-back position – your current job – or if you’re flying solo at the moment, the idea of being interviewed and tested on your abilities in comparison to dozens of other people vying for the same job can be terrifying and incredibly stressful. This is compounded when you’re not sure how to tackle the interview process.
But there are tips you can use to ace your interview, particularly if you’re looking for a new accounting role where you can flex your noggin a bit. It’s not a quick fix that will solve everything for you, but this article will provide you with general principles and practices you can use to help you snag that job of your dreams!
One key thing is to be consistent in your messaging and in your application. If you’ve presented yourself in a certain way in your application, or even in your early interviews, you definitely don’t want to backpedal.
Stick to your guns here and make it clear to the interviewer that you are who you say you are and that you have a cohesive, dedicated vision for your future and your place in the prospective company. This will reassure them and make them more comfortable about taking a calculated risk on you.
Research, Research, Research
As you’ve probably heard before, research and knowledge of the company is critical. As a finance professional it’s essential that you make sure you know all you need to know about the company you’re interviewing for.
No matter how busy you may be or how little you may want to research, you can’t forgo this step. Even taking just 30 minutes to research, looking at things like financial performance, history, clients, culture, mission statement, competitors and values can make a huge difference and help you stand out from the pack.
You’ll almost certainly be asked what you know about the company and that is your chance to show off your knowledge. Even better, you might be able to offer some analysis or insight into what they can do better or how you will tackle your new role that will make them immediately wowed by your confidence and skill.
Set yourself apart. Take the time to learn.
First Impressions First
Another key aspect of the interview is the first impression you make on potential employers. You don’t want to immediately disqualify yourself by bumbling an introduction or showing up seriously underdressed.
Many employers will assess you within the first five minutes to see if you’re a good fit, making this early period a priority.
So dress appropriately, and think about the workplace in question. If it’s a traditional, more conservative firm, you want to make sure you come across in the right way. If it’s more progressive or something like a start-up, then you may want to adjust your approach.
And of course, don’t forget the basics. Have a firm handshake, look the interviewer in the eyes and use their name in natural ways. Build that rapport early and maximize your chances of getting that job.
Eyes on Resume
You want to make sure your resume is good even before getting to the interview stage.
While it’s easy to pull up an old (slightly updated) resume and say it’s okay, it’s critical that you still proofread and closely examine your CV.
You want to look at it both on screen and on paper, to catch any obvious errors and clean them up.
When you’ve done that, find someone else to proofread it to check everything makes sense and nothing is misspelled. Plus, another pair of eyes may catch things you’ve missed.
The resume makes an important first impression – so make sure it’s good.
Tying into the idea of consistency, you want to make sure that you have a solid professional brand.
Sell yourself as the best fit. Talk about how your professional insights and expertise and goals line up with the goals of the organization in question. For instance, if they’re looking for an innovative problem solver, emphasize how your values, personality and past experience would be an invaluable resource in this pursuit.
Talk Up A Storm
Elaborate on everything. When you’re answering questions you want to go in-depth and offer as much fresh, juicy information as possible. In an interview, they’re curious to see whether your answers demonstrate a solid understanding and example of why you would be suited for the position.
Prepare past success stories that you can refer to, and try the STAR approach. Basically summarize the situation you were faced with, the task you needed to complete and then the action that you took in response, and finally the (hopefully) positive results that ensued.
There’s a whole lot you can do to make sure an interview goes well. There are things you can do that relate to the impression you’re making from your resume to your clothing, but there are also practical steps to take like talking in-depth and sharing examples. Even broader ideas of consistency and personal branding can make a difference in ways you might not expect initially.
Now that we’ve run through all you need to know about acing the interview, you may be feeling confident that you’ll do well. On the other hand, it may have been a bit daunting and left you feeling less ready than you were in the first place.
Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, it can be worthwhile to talk to a recruiting expert. If you want to learn more about interviews for accounting recruitment, call AHK Accounting Recruiters at 833-399-1663 or contact us here.