How to Ace Your Accounting Interview - Part 2/2

Last week we presented to you the first part of this article:  9 tips on . This week we will present the remaining 9.

If you haven't read it yet, just click this link and go through the text. We have some valuable hints for you there.

10. Be polite to everyone. Smile, it costs nothing.  

That includes the doorman, office aide, the tea lady, the receptionist or the intern who accompanies you to your interview. Bad attitudes, like bad news, travel fast. You don’t want the interviewers to hear about your arrogance or poor attitude even before you enter the interview room.

Therefore be polite, smile – fake it until you make it! Hope you have heard of that expression already If not, have a look at the TED’s talk here:

Here’s a great TED Talk video from Amy Cuddy: Fake it Till You Make it!

11. Take all your important certificates with you.

CGMA certification

Keep them in a professional looking portfolio. Whether your interviewers will actually look at them depends on the country, firm, and general culture. In most cases, you’d have already forwarded copies of your certificates to the company HR anyway. But originals are important.

12. Be prepared to explain briefly what you did in your previous jobs.

Do not ramble.

Saying “I was a trainee accountant” means very little. Depending on the size and scale of the firm, you could have been verifying petty cash for years in a large firm (we have a friend who did nothing but work on fuel consumption in an airline client through her two years in one of the big firms) or you could have been leading assignments as a senior. Your interviewer needs to get a clear idea of what exactly you did.  

13. It is not just what you do, but also what you must avoid.

Check out this list of Dos and Don’ts for preparing for your job interview from CIMA Global My Jobs.

cv14. Work on getting a good resume.

And we don’t mean one that just looks great on paper. Find and make use of opportunities—paid or unpaid—that add substance to your resume.

This naturally depends on the employer. But, if you do your research well, you will know what they value. Is it people with good academics (Classes, honours) or people with a variety of extracurricular activities? What skills do they value? What sort of volunteer or other work can give you the right kind of skills to ace your interview? Develop skills that are valued by your prospective employer, even if it is not part of your CIMA curriculum.

  • Your computing skills and knowledge about popular accounting packages.
  • Mathematical skills
  • Leadership and management know-howw
  • Professionalism, responsibility and accountability.
  • Patience, persistence and grit are qualities any employer values. But integrity is something much valued in accounting circles as is your ability to be precise and pay attention to detail.

15. Bring extra copies of your resume.

This can come in handy and shows that you are prepared and professional.

16. Listen to the questions carefully and answer them.

This seems such an obvious thing, but not everyone waits and listens before speaking. If you are someone who is fond of your own voice, be extra careful. You want to give focused clear answers. Not rambling ones. This is where preparation matters.

silence 220x18017. Learn to be comfortable with silence. 

They ask the question. You give the answer. If they take time before the next question, just keep quiet. While you should not be always giving yes or no answers, remember that it is not your job to fill the silence. Trying to do so can often be disadvantageous to you.  

18. Once the interview is over, thank your interviewers.

Shake hands, if that seems appropriate. An orderly exit is as important as a good entrance.

Thank you hand shake 220x180

We wish you good luck in the interview.
Visit our blog every week for more career and exam related articles.


Get Your
Free Account

  •   get access to roughly 30 free qs/paper
  •   receive emails with tips, resources and discounts
  •   get ready for your exam!

Stop procrastinating...

Start practising today!

Select your paper and sign up for a free package
or click one of the below icons to register using your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account
Sign in with Linkedin