Preparing for your interview

Most accounting professionals spend at least three years at University and years progressing their career. A typical interview goes for 60 minutes. In that 60 minutes you will influence your future career direction. In this context, a job interview is one of the most important 60 minutes of your career.

An interview is also an artificial situation that most people find unusual and somewhat daunting. Rarely in business do you have to clearly explain your technical skill set, personality and behavioural characteristics, while concurrently finding out details about the organisation and job.





The organisation:

  • Understand the organisation in detail 
  • Size; revenues, headcount, locations
  • Key products and services
  • Customer segments
  • Geographic locations
  • Ownership structure: private company, public company, not for profit organisation, statutory authority or government organisation
  • Review available company information from the organisation’s website, linkedin, annual reports and google
  • Be aware of key competitors 
  • Write down a list of questions about the organisation

The position:

  • Understand the key responsibilities and expected achievements of the position
  • Obtain a copy of the position description in advance
  • Be familiar with how your technical skill set and experiences correlate with the position description
  • Think about and prepare examples of what you have achieved that may be relevant to the position
  • Write down a list of questions about the position

The Interview:

  • 60 minutes for you to give and receive information – make it count
  • Be organised and arrive 10 minutes early
  • Present yourself in a manner that best reflects the organisation
  • First impressions are critical, have pre-prepared initial questions for the interviewer on the organisation or their background
  • Ensure you have an opportunity to explain the background and context to any organisations that you have worked for so that the interviewer can use this knowledge when assessing you
  • Provide concise and simple answers to questions, the interviewer will ask follow up questions if they want more detail 
  • Behavioural Based Interview questions are an opportunity for you to highlight your achievements. Follow the STAR approach – Situation, Task, Action, Result
  • Ask questions of the interviewer when appropriate to demonstrate your interest, understanding and preparation