How To Prepare For An Interview
18 July 2017
No matter what stage of your career you’re at, going to a job interview can be a daunting thought. It requires thorough preparation and thought in order to make yourself stand out from other candidates, particularly in a competitive market such as Accountancy practice, where competition for lucrative roles is often fierce.
When I am preparing a candidate for interview, this will involve several phone calls (and the occasional tip via email) in order to ensure that they are as ready as they possibly can be. Often, this really helps put a candidate’s mind at ease if they are unsure what to expect from the interview process.
Take a read through the advice I typically give our Accountancy candidates.
Do your research
I always tell candidates to thoroughly research a company before their interview. Whilst I can advise as to the company culture, it’s important that a candidate takes a look at the company website, for example, or read up on any recent press releases. This may give them a good indication as to the type of work they will be involved in, should they secure the role.
Write down a list of questions you would like to answer your interviewer and make a list of bullet points that you would like to include in your answers. It’s easier to remember the clever answers you had planned if you write them down and practice them. I usually go over the questions interviews are most likely to ask with my candidates to further alleviate their nerves. If you are going to ask questions, try to ensure they are interesting and challenging for the interviewer.
Re-read your CV
You’d be amazed at how many candidates don’t really know what’s on their own CV. Read your own through thoroughly, and mark out any specific achievements or responsibilities that you would like to discuss during your interview. You should be able to account for everything that you have written and explain each role in detail.
Relate to the job description
Certainly, not every candidate ticks every box of a job description, but it’s important to relate your skills and experience to the role you are interviewing for. Read the job description alongside your CV and see what responsibilities are transferrable – make a note of these so you can provide relevant examples during the interview.
Answer questions accurately
There is a method of answering competency based interview questions without going off on a tangent. Interviewers need to know that you can give relevant answers that are succinct yet detailed. When answering this type of question, remember the STAR format – Situation or Task, Action you took and Result. This is the best way to get straight to the point and impress your interviewers with the specifics.
If you would like to speak to me about opportunities within Accoutancy practice, I would be happy to discuss your career confidentially. All my candidates enter their interview stage fully prepared. Click here to see my contact details.
Written By Fiona Ashcroft