Monday 2 December 2013

Preparing to ace your interview

Preparing to ace your interview
So your application has been accepted and you've scored that important first interview. If you’re unsure what to expect, don’t panic. Here are some tried and tested techniques to help you nail the interview process and embark on the first step in your tax career.

Do your research

Put your well-honed research skills into practice and check out the organisation you’re meeting with. Starting with its company website, research the services it offers, the specific practice or areas it operates in and who its clients are. Many firms also post FAQ’s in their career section. You can even get some background info on the person you’ll be meeting with, by looking up their profile on the company website and LinkedIn. This will help to put you at ease and demonstrate your genuine interest in the organisation during your interview.

Understand what they’re looking for

Go back and read the job advertisement you applied for. Make sure you have a good understanding of what the role entails and the key skills the organisation is looking for. This will help you to prepare answers to potential questions – and identify queries of your own.

Brush up on industry news

At your interview, be prepared to show your knowledge about current business and social issues that might impact your work. Again, this will demonstrate your interest in the position and the industry – and set you apart from other candidates.

Know yourself

If you're able to clearly explain what you’re looking for in a role and you’re confident in your strengths, you're bound to make a good impression. Run through your resume and practice describing your long-term career goals and areas of interest. Try to come up with some specific examples, such as work experience you've done or industry events you've attended, to show your passion for the industry. If you can highlight what you've learnt from these experiences, you’ll come across as confident, motivated and keen to learn.

Questions and answers

Preparing and rehearsing your answers to common questions will help you at your interview, in case nerves kick in or you’re not sure what to say. If you've already thought about your answers you’ll always have a good fallback.

By the same token, remember that you are also trying to find a job that’s a good match for you. Develop three to five questions that you can ask the interview panel about the workplace culture, training and career opportunities and the type of person they're looking to hire. And on the day, be open and honest about yourself to ensure the job you land is the right fit, both for your personality and your goals.

Preparing well for your interview and putting your research ability, industry knowledge and people skills to work will help you to make a good impression on the day. Good luck!

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