Job interviews are a strange mix. You have to sell yourself, what you have to offer and at the same time come across as likeable and self aware.
For accountants and professionals who are sometimes reluctant to talk positively and even toot their horn a bit this can be a real challenge.
They know that they need to sell themselves but worry at coming across as phony.
One of the things that I have noticed is that in any stressful or challenging situation (which job interviews can be) the better prepared you are the easier it is going to be to come across authentically.
So what do I suggest?
Have An Achievements Bank
This is a folder on your computer (or on paper) where you keep a detailed record of achievements and what you did to get those results.
When it comes to the job interview and you get asked to demonstrate your competency and even sell yourself a bit, you can tell a story from your achievement bank.
Keep A Record Of Positive Feedback
You probably have had a lot of feedback both formally and informally. Problem is you probably forget it. If you keep a record of feedback you can go through it as part of your interview preparation.
For example if you get asked about your strengths you can answer along the following lines.
I think my top 3 strengths are 1, 3 and 3. Others tell me I’ good at A and B or really do well in situations where X or Y is required.
Don’t Pretend You Are Perfect
None of us are. Talk openly about areas you are working to improve.
Take care to frame it in the right way too. You might say that based on some recent feedback you are actively working on improving A, B and C.
Understand There Is A Game To Be Played
You don’t want to find out that the reason you did not get the job was because you did not sell yourself or demonstrate why you would be an asset.
Remember that even if you are reluctant to sell you and the benefits you will bring, there is likely to be another candidate who is ready and willing to sell themselves.
Duncan Brodie helps accountants build great careers. Sign up for his free e-book 50 Ways to Achieve More Career Success.
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.