How To Ensure You Effectively Prepare For Your Next Accounting Job Interview

Job interviews are strange in some respects. 

From your perspective as a candidate you are making a decision on where you are going to spend a significant part of your awaken hours. 

From an employers’ perspective it’s a major investment decision.   It’s not just your salary cost.  There are other costs that could include:

  • National insurance contributions
  • Pension contributions
  • Bonuses
  • Car allowances
  • Gym memberships
  • The desk you sit at
  • The computer you use
  • The heating and lighting
  • And so much more

In fact the true cost of employing someone is close to double the salary you are paid.

Given this reality isn’t it reasonable to assume that as an accountant or professional you are well prepared for a job interview?

Interestingly few prepare well enough to give themselves a real chance of success.  If they do prepare they don’t do it effectively.

Effective preparation for job interviews has 3 key elements:

  • Research
  • Question identification and answering
  • Practice

Here’s the reality of how many accountants and professionals prepare for job interviews.

Most will do research.  In reality some might well end up spending way too much time on research.  The thing is the research needs to be focused.  It needs to be targeted on things that will help you answer questions in the interview.  Such as tell me what you know about the organisation/sector in which we operate.

Few identify anything like enough questions that they might be asked.  I was running a workshop for a client recently.  I asked how many potential questions they would identify ahead of an interview.  Responses varied from 5 to 20.  Nothing like enough to be well prepared.

If they identify questions they don’t write out answers to those questions.  I’m not talking about a few bullet points but a detailed answer for each question.  If you do this you will stand out in the interview.

The majority don’t do enough practice.  There’s many ways of doing this.  Audio or video recording yourself.  Doing a mock interview and getting feedback.

The reality.  Effective preparation can give you a significant advantage in your next job interview.  The question is are ready to prepare like a pro to increase your chances of success in your next job interview?

About the Author Duncan Brodie

In summary since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them achieve career success and become better leaders and presenters. 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.

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