Latest News

Tips for Securing your Ideal Job: Preparing for Interviews

Candidate Tips Accounting & Finance
Preparing for Virtual and In-Person Interviews
By Adam Ryan

Welcome to the third and final part of our Accounting & Finance series 'Tips for Securing your Ideal Job'. In part one Conor Martin shared insights on how to move roles, in part two Lauren Kelly walked us through crafting an outstanding CV, and we will now dive into interviews. 

So, you’ve come across a job that really excites you, spruced up your CV to showcase your relevant experience, and now the company wants to meet with you – a mix of excitement and nerves, right? Interviews can be a bit daunting for most of us, whether it's your first or fiftieth. To ease those jitters, it's crucial to give your interview some serious thought and plan your approach. Here are some valuable tips to prepare for your next interview:

Virtual Interviews

These days, many companies incorporate virtual interviews into their hiring processes, especially in the initial stages. Unlike the early days of remote work in 2020, we've all become quite accustomed to virtual meetings. However, it's still essential to keep some key etiquette in mind:

  1. Location, Location, Location: Ensure your webcam is set up to capture you clearly and audibly. Position the camera at eye level or slightly higher; it's more flattering than looking down into it.

  2. Appearance Matters: Dress as if you were attending an in-person interview, but consider how your attire appears on a webcam. Avoid colors or patterns that blend into your background. Make sure your backdrop is tidy and not too distracting. Consider using a background blur feature if needed.

  3. Minimize Interruptions: Silence or disable apps and websites with audible alerts. Let your household members know about your interview to keep noise levels down. If an unexpected interruption occurs (like your cat deciding to join the interview), apologize to the interviewers, address the issue, and continue.

  4. Effective Communication: Speak clearly and pause briefly before answering questions, as it's easier to talk over each other on a web call. Maintain virtual eye contact by looking at the webcam, not the screen. Nod to show you're engaged when the interviewer speaks.

  5. Take Notes: One advantage of virtual interviews is that you can have notes or cue cards out of the camera's view to help remember facts or figures. Avoid reading large chunks of text or your CV off-camera.

Apart from these virtual-specific tips, you can prepare for virtual interviews much like you would for in-person ones, as described below:

Face-to-Face Interviews

As the pandemic recedes into the past, both companies and candidates are increasingly opting for in-person interviews to better assess cultural fit. For those who entered the workforce after 2020, this could be your very first face-to-face interview. Here are some best practices to ensure you make a great impression:

Before the Interview:

  1. Know the Location: Familiarize yourself with the interview location, travel time, and parking options if you're driving.

  2. Research the Interviewers: Look up the people you'll be meeting with on LinkedIn. Shared connections or hobbies can help break the ice.

  3. Dress Appropriately: When in doubt, it's better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed. Dress one notch above the company's dress code, if possible.

During the Interview:

  1. Impressive Introduction: Make eye contact, offer a handshake, and express your gratitude for their time. 

  2. Clear CV Walkthrough: Clearly and concisely talk through your CV, highlighting growth, extra responsibilities, and improvements made in previous roles. The STAR method can be helpful.

  3. Know the Role and Company: Research the role, the business, competitors, and relevant market challenges. Show that you've done your homework.

  4. Ask Smart Questions: Prepare thoughtful questions to ask the interviewers, such as, "What would be my biggest challenge in this role?" This allows you to address any potential objections they might have.

  5. Close Gracefully: Thank the interviewers again for their time and clarify the feedback timeline. Send a follow-up email after the interview if applicable.

Remember, interviews are a two-way street. You're there not only to showcase yourself but also to learn more about the company and the role. In some highly competitive fields, the candidate also interviews the employer, so gather as much information as possible to make an informed decision.

Ready to take on the next step? Check out our latest Accounting & Finance role here, and sign up for our complimentary CV Clinic here

© Fortis Recruitment 2021 website design by dmac media