With Accountancy & Financial Services candidates moving to a new role every 2-3 years either internally or to a new company, it really pays to hone your interview skills to land your dream job. Here are five tips that will give you a definite edge and should lead to a stronger level of confidence.
- Show a genuine interest!
It sounds very basic but it is very often why a candidate is interested in a particular role that the interviewer wants to learn about. Time spent identifying the long term impact this role will have on your career and being able to articulate is essential. Show excitement and passion at the interview – there is nothing worse than finishing an interview wondering if the candidate wanted the job or not.
- Be ready to answer the question ‘What do you know about our company/team?’
An opportunity to excite the interview and prove that you have an interesting view on their business. Don’t read out the ‘about us’ section on the website but rather what is that team doing differently or what could they be doing differently? Is there is a new technology or regulatory ruling that will have an impact on the future? Explain how you hope to contribute.
- Know your Strengths
If nothing else, don’t leave the interview, meeting, cup of coffee (or whatever it is called) without articulating where you feel your key 3-5 strengths are. There are often ‘wasted opportunities’ that exist where the time passes by without the candidate putting their case forward. Go for it! When it comes to weaknesses or ‘areas of improvement’ then clarify how you have overcome challenges in the past in a convincing fashion.
- Practice Competency/Behavioural based interviews
In simple terms read through the job spec and think of as many examples as you can from your background. Special tip – be honest! It will come out if you have exaggerated your experience and you’ll find that the questions will come thick and fast. This is where reading through the job spec with a highlighter and practicing is key. If you aren’t successful it may mean you are not ready for this particular role just yet but should not make you less determined to get there.
- Ask Great Questions
Again practice and have a think what you really want to know about the company, role, interviewer, team, management style, etc. Try and leave the interview with a really clear sense of what will be expected of you in the first 6 months; what is the hardest part of the role; how have others been promoted in the past. Ultimately the goal is for you to walk out of the interview knowing if this is the role for you and therefore working through your career goals and understanding where this fits in is key.
Finally, say thanks! If you are interested, tell the interviewer! And then walk out knowing you have given it your very best shot (and go and cross your fingers).
For a detailed discussion about your Financial career, speak to Paul McClatchie, Director, Engage People.