Accounting Technician interview questions
It might be a cliche but being able to 'sell yourself' at an interview is vital to getting a job; It is perhaps even more relevant during a recession when competition for jobs is strong. However many candidates find it difficult to articulate their skills and experience and as a result might miss out on a job they are perfectly capable of doing.
So how do you make someone want to hire you? How do you differentiate yourself from the other candidates and gain that edge over the competition? Below are some key principles for interviewing that will help you:
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
It might seem obvious but make sure you prepare in advance for an interview. The better prepared you are the more confident you will feel, the more confident you feel the better you will perform! Below are some simple tips to follow
- Confirm the date/time and location for your interview, if possible do a dry run to the venue
Make sure you know who your meeting and their job title.
- Have the job specification in advance of interview, make sure you know it inside out
Know your CV - be able to talk fluidly through the content, know your dates and be able to talk in detail about the duties of each role
- Research the company- Visit the company website but don't stop there, find out about their background, when they were established etc. Research the industry; find out what products and services the company offers and who their main competitors are. Have a look for any recent developments or news articles featuring the organisation
Making a good first impression at interview is very important, an employer will be assessing you from the minute you enter the room so make sure you dress smart and carry yourself with confidence.
- Dress professionally - always wear a business suit and keep any jewellery to a minimum.
- Body language - Employers will notice how you handle yourself, sit upright and alert, maintain eye contact, give a firm handshake and remember to smile!
- Be confident - speak clearly and use a firm voice to exude energy and enthusiasm
Be the Solution
Remember, the employer needs to hire someone because they have a problem that needs to be solved - for instance, the Financial Controller needs assistance with workload, a new accounts system needs to be implemented etc.
- Prepare for an interview by identifying the problems hinted at in the job spec
- Prepare examples of how you'll solve those problems-and how you've solved similar problems in the past - match up your skills and experience to those outlined in the job spec
Try to avoid using empty phrases at interview, outline your past achievements and key strengths/skills but prepared to back up your claims with relevant and specific examples.
- Don't just say you "work well with others" or you are a "hard working team player"- talk about the types of teams you've worked with, and what you've learned from them. Give examples of when you've gone the extra mile to get a project finished.
- If describing yourself as 'accurate with good attention to detail' then prepare an example of being accurate and when your attention to detail saved a previous employer time/money
This is easier said than done! Everyone gets nervous before an interview but you need to be able to handle those nerves and exude confidence.
- Talk confidently about your achievements and relevant skill sets that you have acquired
- Most importantly, focus on your added 'value' to the job being discussed - you have many qualities to offer the employer so reflect your qualities back to the job you're applying for.
- You having the potential to be a star performer based on your overall qualities - experience, skills and behaviour/attitude. That is how you sell yourself
Avoid complaining about a former employer or laying blame at a former manager's feet-doing so will likely make you seem difficult to work with (or just disloyal). Even if you quit your last job because your manager was incompetent stay away from this during the interview. Avoid being negative by using the following:
- You felt you were ready for a more challenging position-like this one seems to be
- Alternatively say how you feel you have achieved everything you can in this role and it is time to move on
- This turns a potentially interview-killing situation into something that makes you look very attractive to a hiring manager
Closing the Interview
As the interview draws to a close this is a great opportunity to ask some questions and to re-iterate how much you want this job.
- Make sure your questions are pertinent to the job and show the employer you have given this thought.
- If you have any queries about the role or company this is your opportunity to find out, this will help you make an informed decision about the job.
- If you're interested in the position make sure and tell them at the end of interview, remember to show your enthusiasm for the job and the company - if you want the job you have to show it!