6 Great Accounting Interview Tips

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Once you have mastered the all-important task of creating a stellar resume and a fantastic cover letter, you will now need to prepare for an awesome face-to-face interview. The initial job interview is arguably the most important part of the entire job application process. The time in your interview is when your prospective employer will test your skills and knowledge, focus on your ability to think critically, learn what your strengths and weaknesses are, and determine how well you will fit into the team.

Your interview will give your potential future boss his or her first real impression of you that’s not words on paper. You need to be as impressive as possible to make the strongest impression. There are some basic steps you can take to prepare for an interview in almost any industry, but it’s important to remember some accounting interview tips for the best interview experience possible.

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Accounting Interview Tips

Show Off Your Math Skills: One of the most important accounting interview tips is to come prepared to do math. Accounting jobs will almost always involve mathematical skills. An initial interview may include a test of your professional abilities, so be sure to study up on math involving ledgers, money or account balances. It would not be a bad idea to also bring a writing utensil, paper and a calculator, although these may be provided for you. Your ability to perform basic equations could be the difference between receiving a phone call for a second interview and being passed over for a better qualified candidate.

Have Examples of Applicable Work Experience: No matter if you have years of experience as an accountant, or if this is your first attempt to land a job in the industry, you will need to come prepared with examples of applicable work experience. Some of this will be covered in your resume, but your future employer will also want specific examples of the work you did or situations in which you performed similar tasks. If this is your first job opportunity upon completion of your education, be prepared to discuss relevant coursework and what you learned about working in the industry. Don’t lie or embellish your skills, which will just get you into trouble in the long run.

Bring Documentation of Certifications: If you have any certification or specific training, it’s a good idea to bring documentation along. Employers will require your driver’s license, social security card or other official forms of identification in order to employ you, but professional documentation is vital too. It is especially important if the first interview goes well and the employer wants to bring you back for a more in-depth interview or wants to check out your credentials. This also helps to show additional training and experience you have beyond your traditional education.

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Organize Your Portfolio: It’s always a good idea to bring a few copies of your resume and cover letter with you to the interview. Organize these along with all of your other paperwork in a portfolio. They look professional, but they also make sure none of your paperwork ends up lost or crumpled. It also shows off your organizational skills and makes you look even more prepared for the interview process.

Ask Relevant Questions: You may think the interview is all about the employer asking you about your experience, strengths and weaknesses, but it is also a good time for you to ask questions about the job you may be doing. Beyond the number of sick days and the compensation, this includes asking about the type of software they use, how many other people work in your department and the number, if any, of people working under you. Asking these types of questions will show you know what it means to work in the accounting field and that you are picturing yourself in the position.

Dress Professionally: This is one of the easiest accounting interview tips to put into action. As an accountant, you will be dressing professionally in the office, to meet with clients and while attending business meetings, which means you should do so for the interview as well. This not only helps to give your potential employer a good first impression of you, it also shows you know what the dress code expectations are for the industry. Be sure your appearance looks well-maintained and that everything from your hair to your shoes looks in place.

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