The Questions You Must Be Ready To Answer Well In A Job Interview

You get the call or email to tell you that you have been invited for interview.

Now you are a step closer to getting the job offer.

Of course we have to be realistic.  There may be 4 or 5 other candidates in the same position.

If there is only one job then there are going to be some disappointed people.

What I’ve noticed from working with clients

Once you reach a certain level your technical ability is almost taken for granted.  I’m not saying that you won’t get any technical questions in the interview.  Just that the technical questions are not the make or break questions.

So what questions must you be ready to answer well in job interview?

What do you know about our organisation?

In the pre-internet days accessing information about an organisation might have been difficult.

These days it’s a whole lot easier.

The way you answer this question tells the interviewer a whole lot about you.

Are you type of person who does their homework?  Can you take a lot of data and information and succinctly summarise it?  Can you distinguish between what’s important and what’s not?

Tell us about your experience and its relevance to the job

You might have 5, 25 or even 35 years’ experience.  On the other hand can you highlight what’s relevant to the particular role you are interviewing for?

If you have really studied the job description, person specification and role requirements this should be a gift of a question.

Describe our financial performance

Critical question for any accounting role.  It might surprise you that many candidates fail to even look at the accounts.  For me this a potential show stopper when it comes to appointing you.

Tell us about a time when you dealt with a difficult colleague

This might be colleague in Finance or an internal or external customer.  You need to be able to briefly describe the situation, the action you took and the result you achieved.

Having a few stories and examples ready will make this a whole lot easier.

Why are you interested in this role?

It may be about the salary and benefits but this is not what you want to be focusing on.

Think about how it fits with your longer term career aspirations and you will be much better placed to answer well.

Why are you the ideal candidate?

It’s a great opportunity to sell yourself.  At the same time a question a lot of accountants and professionals really struggle.

The easiest way to answer this is to match what you say to what the employing organisation views as critical to success in the role.  Often the job advert gives most clues.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

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.

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