To increase your employment prospect, and “on the day” performance read below for some tips and insights for winning accounts and finance jobs, this guide is part of a our guide that covers.

We highly recommend researching the firm before your interview so that you can demonstrate your knowledge of their company during the interview. This will boost your credibility with the interviewer and will help you to formulate intelligent questions to ask him or her. It is amazing how many candidates do not do simple research of the company that they have applied to work for, many line managers find this important as it gives insight into the type of character you are.

Know where the firm is based. Make sure you have directions and a map of where the company is located. even better is to drive past the evening before so you know where you can park, it will certainly ease any on the day pressures. Make sure you know how long the trip will take and you have the name and phone number of the person you’ll be meeting with just in case there is a problem. You can bet that if you don’t have these details that they will crop up.

Prepare, Prepare and plan. Always come prepared and bring important documents such as extra copies of your CV, a passport, your drivers license, or documents that relate to any education or training that is related to the position that you are applying for.

Role-play your interview. Now we know that many people are seasoned veterans in the interview technique, but regardless of this it is highly advisable to plan and role play answers to questions, many times you will find that after giving your first answer you had wished you could have either re-phrased or said something else in place.

A guide for Accounts and Finance jobs

Killer questions are ; in two or three minutes please introduce your self to me and the panel ; what can you bring to the firm ; Why should we hire you over another candidate ? Its these questions that can come up at interview and pre organised approach will always pay dividends.

Arrive early. Be sure to arrive at least 10-15 minutes before the interview. Visit the bathroom and check your appearance in the mirror. Announce yourself to the receptionist or front desk to let your point of contact know that you have arrived and that you have an appointment.

Turn your cell phone off so it doesn’t ring during your job interview.

Interview Tips Dress for the part. Your clothing should be neat, pressed, and professional looking. It can be difficult to know the culture of the office environment beforehand so it is always better to just plan on dressing professionally. Dont be worried about hiring a suit if this is what it needs to make a great impression, make a note there.. we said great impression, not just good. You want to stand out at your interview.

Make a strong connection. Establishing a relationship quickly with the interviewer is extremely important. Icebreakers, such as commenting on a picture or relating your hobbies or interests to an obvious interest of the interviewer, can work to your advantage. However, don’t walk in ready to recite a rehearsed icebreaker: Every interviewer you encounter will have a different personality, so you should look at each encounter as unique.

Ask pre planned questions. It is important to ask questions at your interview. Thats why they call it an “interview” you are part of this process and will need to find out information to assess that the opportunity is of interest, important factors to consider could be why are you hiring? is this a new role or replacement? why did the last person leave? what skills would the ideal candidate possess? when are you looking to make a decision on this appointment? There is no problem writing any questions down before your interview and asking them when you are there.

Listen very carefully. You should be able to interpret the interviewer’s description of the position, then explain why your background fits the position.

A guide for Accounts and Finance jobs

Pay close attention, and understand the company’s needs. Doing so will give an interviewer reason to trust you’ll do the same when talking to clients and thier customers.

Close your interview. Remember, that the interviewer chose your CV or application likely from many others, ergo to say that if your interview performance has been good you may well be able to provisionally close this interview.

If you like the offer or want to pre-empt an offer do not be afraid to voice your mind and tell the interviewer that you are very keen, or likely to accept if an offer is made. Do not discuss salary until an offer has been made or you may well cut yourself short in salary negotiations( we’ll cover this another day)To finish, when the interview has finished.. there is a classic moment when people tend to remove themselves out of “interview mode” this is a great opportunity to re-ask any question or make a final statement in a friendly manner. If you the opportunity appeals you could say “ well, thank you for your time today, it was very interesting, I enjoyed meeting Tom and I am hoping for a positive answer from you” and so on.

Finally, It is almost impossible to know exactly all the questions and topics that will be covered at interview. But you can expect that there are certain areas that will be likely to be explored. If you work in a accounts role currently you already understand the importance of preparation, it is no different when presenting yourself at an interview trying to win a new job.

Great. You made it this far!

A guide for Accounts and Finance jobs

If you have been invited for a second interview then there are two possible situations; you are the only candidate to advance or have been shortlisted from a larger number of those initially interviewed. A second or final inerview can be generally described as meeting the decision maker or other people that have influence over the desicion making process.

Now is the time to close any objections that come up at this final meeting; you may already know your weaknesses and if this is the case then winning a second interview is definatley going to be an easier process.
Second stage interviews can often revolve around a number of key topics these can include:

  1. How you would integrate into thier existing team
  2. What skills you are going to bring with immediate benefit
  3. What salary requirements you have / what remuneration they can offer
  4. What refferees are available for them

Discovery or re treading of questions given earlier; but are still either weaker than anticipated, or not enough information has been provided.

In our opinion second interviews can be a great pleasure to attend; after all you have already met the hiring manager, you now have in-sight into how and what type of organisation you could potentially be working for and have a unique advantage that you now know that thier is definate interest in you and your abilities.
Now, all you need to do is to maximise this situation; unfortunatley many candidates do not do this and let opportunity slip from away from them.

A guide for Accounts and Finance jobs

The one greatest thing that any person can do is to show interest in another person, and in our case to show interest in thier company. By simply using a reference to your first meeting and making conversation around points that you have either researched or found out about thier company will leave a lasting impression that you are genuine about working for that company, and that you are a diligent person. After all if you have taken time and trouble to find out more about the firm then you are likely to demonstrate the same qualities when dealing with customers and colleagues.

Second interviews are also a chance for the employer to test your skills and to gain insight into how you would potentially work and also what level of potential you have as an individual. Be aware for surprise questions, you are still be interviewed so dont relax yet.

For you; though this is an important time frame where you now need to not only concentrate on this opportunity but to also see what else is available in the marketplace; after all would you buy the first car you see? you should now be working hard trying to arrange other interviews so that you have more than one job offer to consider. To maximise your time it is wise to register with a specialised recruitment agency; they often have access to jobs that are not advertised in the press or through employer directly. (Thier are recruitment agencies that specialise in accounts and finance employment in our main jobboard.)

If you find that at second interview that you are offered a verbal offer of employment; remember this does need to backed up by a letter of offer and employment contract, while it is great to receive an offer it is also easy to get caught up in the moment. We recommend that you take a deep breath and thank them for thier offer, do think carefully how you will react to this as you may want to negotiate a higher salary than what is offered. The moral being more heed, less speed.

After all you do what the best salary? don’t you. Keep reading our blog; we’ll show you a couple of proven methods that maximise salary offers..!

Well done, you got the offer! what now…? How you decide to handle your employment offer can determine some very important factors;

Firstly, if your contact has called you and is making you a verbal offer then you can take a number of actions
You could thank them for their offer and wait for the written offer to land in your doormat…. or… …
You can arrange a time with them now to discuss the offer with them once you have read it! if you think about when you bought your house or your car. Did you ask questions before you bought?

A guide for Accounts and Finance jobs

I bet you also asked lots of questions after you decided to buy as well, and also even when you moved in or got your new car. The same principle applies to your new employment offer. Now is the time to negotiate a salary increase, to negotiate working hours, duties and all the aspects that could effect your durability and enjoyment of this potential new employment.

Topics to consider when reviewing your offer of employment to include:

  • Salary offered
  • Bonuses offered
  • Performance bonuses
  • Career progression path
  • Salary review dates
  • Appraisal dates
  • Vehicle and perks
  • Petrol allowances
  • Work location
  • Working hours
  • Holidays per year
  • Sickness allowance
  • Availability of holiday allowance
  • Personal development training allowance
  • Professional training allowance
  • Future terms for termination of employment
  • Future contractual restrictions

This is a critical time to negotiate these points and most employers are normally happy to talk with you about these areas. Once you have started your new position it is normally too late to re-negotiate so make the most of this time and use it wisely.

Starting your new role

So today is your first day. Great, I bet that you have been looking forward to starting your new job. But wait!! If you could rewind your first day again or even how you handled handing in your notice with your current or previous employer; I am sure many of us would rewind the clock.

A guide for Accounts and Finance jobs

The impotance of relationships – Now you may think, sheesh!! i can’t wait to hand my notice in… i’ve been trying to leave here for months…i’ll really tell them how bad a company they are etc…

Think ahead. You may need references in the future, in 5 years, 10 years or even further down the track. Now we’re not saying that you should not be frank with your employer but remember they might have some reservations about you also, maybe you didn’t meet all thier expectations from when they hired you? So bear in mind that you may need a good reference in the future and try not to burn bridges when terminating your employment.

Before you start employment with your new company, ensure that all your outstanding work, problems, things you didnt get round too are dealt with. I have seen many times that after a person leaves employment little problems begin to emerge. Before you know it what seemed like a good idea of brushing under the carpet now is open office gossip, now that you are gone.

Now that you have your offer letter and contract of employment you also have a choice: do you return by post or hand deliver? if the second option is available to you, always go for this. It’s a great opportunity to visit your new workplace and to iron out any last minute questions.

Keep reading our blog for more interesting tips and articles, we’ll soon be giving tips on cv writing and telling you a secret on how to get an extra 5k to your salary on your next job offfer. This little known secret will blow you away its so simple