Interviewing for a role as a staff accountant can be exciting but also a bit stressful, especially if you are new to the field. Thorough pre-interview preparation is critical to making the right impression and positioning yourself as the best candidate for the job. Take this expert advice before you interview for a staff accountant role.
“One of the steps in my career was being a staff accountant. It is critical you learn everything you can in this role. Take it seriously, learn from those around you and in roles above you and opportunities for promotions will present themselves as you prove how valuable you are to the team ” says Angel Knighten, Accounting Supervisor at Contemporary Staffing Solutions.
Study The Company…And Then Study Some More
You certainly know that you should do as much research as possible about the company you are interviewing with. However, when you think you’ve done enough, spend time digging a little deeper, including looking into their biggest competitors. You want to have a firm grasp of the company’s mission and vision, you want to understand how they build relationships with clients, and if the job is with a corporation and not an accounting firm, be sure to understand their products and services.
Think About Your Transferable Skills
Typically, if you are interviewing for a staff accounting position, you’re in the early stages of your career. This means you likely don’t have a long list of experiences to draw from. Therefore, you must be able to connect transferable skills from school, internships, volunteer experiences, summer jobs, and certification programs to the position you’re applying to. Some transferable skills that are relevant include: teamwork, interpersonal skills, verbal and written communication, attention to detail, mathematic skills, ethics, and accounting conceptual knowledge. Make sure to have solid anecdotes that demonstrate your mastery of these skills.
Know Your Weaknesses
You will almost always be asked to talk about your weaknesses in a staff accounting interview. Do not fall into the trap of saying you do not have any or that you are a perfectionist. Hiring managers see right through those answers. Instead, address an actual weakness honestly, then talk about the ways in which you are working to improve.
For example, you might say, “I would classify myself a beginner in ABC Software program, but I have used the software and am familiar with how it works. However, I catch on to new concepts quickly and I am confident that by using ABC on the job, I will grow my skills in a short time frame.” Here, you’ve honestly acknowledged a weakness but are also reinforcing a strength and your commitment to learn and improve.
Brush Up On Your Core Accounting Skills And Knowledge
A staff accounting interview will include questions designed to ascertain your level of skills and knowledge within the accounting field. Prepare by brushing up on your core skills, and perhaps even go back through any certification training books or manuals you have and run through some practical problems. You may also be asked about current trends, legislation or regulations that would impact you in your new position, so make sure you’re up-to-date on what’s happening in the field.
If you are starting a career in accounting and you want to jumpstart your job search, contact the expert recruiters at Contemporary Staffing Solutions today. We can help you find your ideal position and help you start your journey toward success.