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Training for an Interview

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When I interview candidates, they often don't realise that they can improve their chances of getting the job they want by training for the interview. An athlete wouldn't just throw themselves into a race and expect to win and it's the same with interviews. So just what kind of things can you do to improve your chances? Firstly, take a long hard look at your CV. Does it list all the things you do day to day. If so, what kind of questions are you likely to be asked about those duties. There are six question words. Five begin with W and one begins with H. They are:

Why, what, where, when, which, who and how.

Any question you will be asked will start with one of these so why not take each of your duties and see how many questions you can make out of them. For example if on your CV you have the bullet point:

  • Preparing management accounts 
you could ask the following questions:
Why do I prepare management accounts?
How do I prepare management accounts?
Who do I prepare management accounts for?
Which management accounts do I prepare?
When do I prepare the management accounts?
What do the management accounts consist of?
Where do I prepare the management accounts?
Obviously, some of the questions may not be needed but this will give you a lot of the likely questions you will be asked in an interview if you do it for each item on your CV. Once you have your list of questions, sit down with someone you know well and ask them to interview you using the questions you have prepared. See if they understand what you are explaining. If they don't, you need to work on how clearly you explain things as not all interviewers will be accountants. If their eyes glaze over, maybe you are going on a little too long. I would recommend doing this exercise two or three times before you go to an interview. You don't want to sound like a parrot with your answers but this exercise will help you to remember what you have been doing and give clear concise answers to questions. This in turn will increase your chances of getting that dream job you want. Go for it!!
Jeanette Robinson FREC (Hon)