How to prepare for an interview
You applied for an accounting or finance job, and it’s your time to shine because you’ve been invited to an interview for the job. The key to a successful interview is all in the preparation! Here are some tips on how to make a good impression on your potential employer.
Before the interview
Do your research
Find out about the company, its products, values, hierarchical structure, etc., by scouring its website and social media. Also, find out about the tasks and responsibilities of the job. Jot down all the questions that you’ll want to ask during the interview.
Know your career path
Review your record, the professional challenges you’ve met, your career goals, your strengths and weaknesses. Find real examples of situations that relate to the duties of the job and show your skills, such as leadership and business acumen, so that you can point them out during the interview.
Print your documents
Assemble a few copies of your résumé, your list of references and your list of questions.
Put together your look
Set off your CPA credibility with classic, professional clothing. Subtlety is generally a good idea when it comes to makeup and jewellery.
During the interview
Pay attention to your non-verbal communication
Make sure you arrive around 10 minutes early and be courteous to the person who welcomes you in the reception area. Use this time to turn off the ringer on your cell phone and throw out your gum. Don’t forget your posture and body language: Give a firm, brief handshake and establish eye contact. Finally, be confident and smile!
Hone your answers
Provide concise, well-structured answers and support them with concrete examples of your achievements. Show real interest in the company and the job and your motivation to work in accounting or finance. Be honest about your background and your professional expectations. But be careful; avoid saying something bad about a former employer or being negative!
Ask your questions
Above all else, an interview is an exchange of information. Take this opportunity to find out more about the company, the challenges of the job, teamwork, etc. However, avoid bringing up the topics of salary or vacation: Wait instead for the interviewer to broach them.
After the interview
Finish in style
Thank the interviewer and find out what the next steps are. Ask the interviewer when a decision will be made concerning your application and if you may follow up. Then, send the interviewer an email to thank him or her and reiterate your interest.
Notify your references
Inform your references that they will potentially receive a call from the interviewer.
To help them support your application, provide them with the details of the position and the sought-after accounting or finance skills.