Job interviews are challenging. Yet they are still the most common way of deciding who gets an offer and who doesn’t. While more and more employers are introducing tests and role plays, how you do in job interviews is a big factor.
The trouble is job interviews are stressful. Faced with stress it is all too easy to blow it – even if you are a really good fit for the role. I am sure we can all recall times when we didn’t perform to our potential.
Yet in reality there are many small things you can do to increase your chances of success. The first thing that can really make a difference is just being really well prepared. Now you might be reading this and I saying I know that already. No doubt you know this and have heard it hundreds of times. On the other hand do you do it?
When it comes to preparing there are 5 key areas that matter.
Every organisation expects you to know about them. Now in the days before the internet it was difficult to get your hands on information. Now there really is no excuse. The challenge is not finding information its in deciding what’s important and what’s not.
You have to understand the sector. Now we all probably know that 80% of organisations are pretty similar with 20% being specific. Yet most recruiters see it the other way round- 20% is generic and 80% is specific. For that reason you have to get a really good understanding of the sector. Explore what the main performance drivers are. Determine who the main players are. Think about emerging trends.
Question identification really helps yet most candidates will do this at a surface level. I work extensively with accountants in industry, commerce and the public sector. For this group questions tend to fall into a few categories. Organisation/sector related; About you type questions; Business and commercial skills; Technical Skills; Management/Leadership Skills.
Writing out answers to potential questions will make an even bigger difference. While thinking answers through in your head is better than nothing, writing them out will help massively. It will take a bit of time to do this but believe me it is time well spent.
Speak answers to potential questions out loud with a voice recorder, buddy or coach. This is really the icing on the cake and if you do this you will stand out. It can be tough to do and on the other hand will set you apart from the majority of candidates.
Duncan Brodie helps accountants to achieve more career success. He invites you to sign up for his free report, The 7 Biggest Barriers To A Successful Career In Accountancy.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 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.