Job interviews can be challenging.
And in my view they should be.
After all an organisation is making a significant financial investment every time is decides to hire someone.
In job interviews you are going to have to answer a lot of different questions.
There might be a few people who are just naturally good in job interviews.
They are the exception.
For the majority of candidates it will be more of a challenge.
When I have interviewed accountants in the past, I’ve been surprised just how many struggle to give good answers to questions.
Even people who are pretty senior.
The thing is job interviews are something that you do infrequently.
As a result it is hard to become really good at handling the questions well.
So is it all gloom and doom?
The good news is that some simple changes can help you be better at answering questions in job interviews. So what are some of those simple changes?
Read the job advert carefully. There are a lot of clues about what they are looking for in the job advert. Read it carefully, highlight key things. There are going to be some potential questions that come to mind.
Read the job description carefully. What are the key results to be delivered? What are the key tasks? What skills, experiences and knowledge will you have to demonstrate? This is going to be a key line of questions.
Read the person specification. This highlights the key non technical skills and attributes that the employer is looking for.
Prepare a list of potential questions. This should be a long list of at least 30 questions.
Write out answers to questions. If you have thought in advance what you are going to say in response to questions, answering them is going to be a whole lot easier.
Speak answers out loud. You want to come across naturally not like you are reciting a memorised list.
Listen carefully to the question you are asked. A good interviewer will ask specific questions and look for a specific answer. Make sure you focus on answering the question asked.
Have a bank of stories and examples so that you can illustrate effectively that you have real life experience not just a theoretical understanding.
In many ways while interviews are tough, doing some thorough work ahead of the interview will really make a difference.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.