Practice Makes Perfect: Your Next Accounting Interview

Practice Makes Perfect: Tips for Your Next Accounting Interview

May 24, 2023 | Job Seekers, Interview Tips

Finding the right accounting job lets you elevate your career faster, giving you opportunities to grow your skills and acquire additional experience. Whether you’re new to the field or have ample experience, nailing your accounting interview is essential for success.

Fortunately, when it comes to interviews, practice makes perfect. By using a sound strategy, you can prepare yourself in advance, making it far easier to impress when you meet with the hiring manager. If you want to set yourself up for success, here are some tips for your next accounting interview.

Tips for Your Next Accounting Interview

Review the Job Description

As you start preparing for your next accounting interview, begin by reviewing the job description. Hiring managers are typically straightforward when it comes to their priorities when creating vacancy announcements. As a result, you can usually find ample information about critical skills you need to demonstrate and similar points you’ll want to address.

In most cases, the best place to start is any list of must-have or nice-to-have skills and experience. However, review the rest of the content for additional clues. Any capabilities or traits that are repeatedly mentioned are typically crucial in the eyes of hiring managers. Plus, some of the information provides insights into how a hiring manager will assess culture fit, such as the company values or tidbits about the mission they mention.

The goal is to determine what the hiring manager needs to find. Once you do, you can speak to those points when you prepare and practice answers to interview questions, making you come across as a stronger match.

Research the Company

Even if the job description provides insights into the company culture and its mission and values, researching the company further is essential. You can learn more about the type of customers the organization serves, as well as gain a deeper understanding of its mission, values, and culture.

Begin by reviewing details on the company’s website. Along with reviewing details about its offerings, check the careers page for additional insights. It’s also wise to read the about us page for information on the organization’s history, as well as any entries about achievements or similar newsworthy events.

Social media profiles are another excellent resource. You can find out about recent accomplishments, the company culture, and how it supports the broader community. These all give you points you can potentially incorporate into your interview answers, allowing you to position yourself as a stronger fit.

Read Up on New Legislation

Many companies need to follow specific accounting rules to remain compliant with various types of legislation. Often, what’s challenging here is that laws can change with surprising frequency. In some cases, hiring managers will ask questions relating to current and upcoming legislation, often as a means to assess when a candidate’s knowledge is current.

While reviewing current legislation is helpful, don’t overlook new laws that are scheduled to come into effect. By doing so, you can reference how you may change your strategies to accommodate new rules that are on the horizon when you’re answering interview questions, making your responses far more compelling.

Refresh Your Memory

Before you start preparing answers for accounting interview questions, take a moment to refresh your memory about your own career. Read over the resume you submitted, allowing you to recall the achievements you highlighted that the hiring manager might want you to expand on during the interview. Additionally, consider what other accomplishments are potentially relevant in the context of questions you’ll likely encounter, allowing you to showcase additional value during the meeting.

As you refresh your memory, look for opportunities to quantify the details. Metrics are powerful when you’re speaking with the hiring manager, as they can demonstrate your value to a far greater degree. If necessary, do some research to find relevant figures, allowing you to incorporate them into the answers you prepare.

Reflect on Your Why

Some interview questions focus on the reason you pursued an accounting career. Since you want to clearly demonstrate your passion for the field, take a moment to reflect on your why. Consider what led you down this professional road initially. Additionally, factor in how your passion evolved over time and what triggered those changes in your perspective.

The goal here is to outwardly demonstrate enthusiasm for accounting. Often, having a personal story that outlines why you started your journey is the best approach, as that can help show a deeper connection to the field.

Ready Yourself for the Interview Day

A day or two before your interview day arrives, it’s wise to ready yourself for the meeting. Gather up items you need to bring along in advance, ensuring you aren’t left scrambling to find them the day of the interview.

Additionally, try on the outfit you plan to wear to the meeting with the hiring manager. Check to make sure it fits properly and is in good repair. Presenting a professional image is critical, so choose different attire if any of the clothing isn’t in excellent shape or is ill-fitting.

It’s also wise to take the time to plan your route to the interview. Identify roadways that get you to the location in a timely manner, as well as secondary paths you can use if there’s an unexpected issue that slows traffic on the primary route. Gather information about parking and build entry procedures, too, allowing you to estimate how long they take to get through.

Finally, plan to arrive at the check-in spot at least 15 minutes early. If you arrive before that, you can always wait in your vehicle before entering, ensuring you don’t arrive too early. Then, you can use that time for a quick pep talk or to rehearse your answers, allowing you to begin the meeting confidently.

Are You Ready for a New Accounting Job? Burnett Specialists Can Help!

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