To effectively present yourself in an interview, you need to focus on preparation. Practicing in advance and doing your research will allow you to be calm and confident during this important meeting. Here are some additional tips that can help set you apart from the rest of the competition and make a stellar first impression.

Arrive Early

Don’t overlook the importance of punctuality on your interview day. An early arrival time is advised; you absolutely don’t want to be late. Yet, you don’t want to arrive too early either. Arriving too early can send the wrong message and become a distraction to the current staff. Don’t arrive any earlier than 15 minutes prior to the interview time, but no later than 5 minutes before the start time. Be sure to allow adequate time for traffic, parking, and a last-minute appearance check. You can always be too early and then wait to go inside.

If you’re concerned about the commute time due to being unfamiliar with the area, traffic, etc., consider making a trial run so that you can track how much time that it should take. Then, prior to entering the building, chew mint, gum, or a breath mint, but do not chew gum during the interview; it’s definitely not appropriate behavior for a professional first impression. Treat everyone you meet as if they are the decision maker, including the receptionist.

What to Bring with You

From traffic jams to car problems, there are a variety of different delays that could potentially arise when you’re on the way to an interview. That’s why it’s important to bring the recruiter’s phone number along with the company’s phone number in case you are running late. Some other essential items include:

  • A pad of paper and pen. A padfolio is recommended. Be prepared to jot down names, company information, or questions that come up during the interview.
  • 3 pristine copies of your resume in a protective sleeve or folder. Make sure the resume is identical to the one supplied to the interviewer.
  • Samples of your work, if relevant and appropriate. Never discuss or show proprietary information.
  • Your prepared questions for the interviewer.

Questions to Ask

Asking smart questions will definitely get you noticed. Here are some potential questions to consider:

  • How do you measure success in your company?
  • What are the biggest challenges I would face in this role?
  • What are the key responsibilities for this position?
  • What results are expected of this position?
  • Tell me about your background and what attracted you to the company.
  • A year into me working in the job, what will you expect me to have accomplished?
  • How will I be evaluated and how often?

One of the most effective ways for high-quality candidates to find accounting jobs in St. Louis area (or anywhere else for that matter) is to partner with an experienced search consultant. A tenured accounting placement firm will have solid strategies to prepare candidates for their interview and will go over those tips with you in advance of your in-person appointment. Preparation will improve your confidence, so you can be your authentic self and make the best possible impression. Stay tuned: in a future blog we will cover the actual interview and best practices to follow during the process.

Are you ready for a new opportunity in finance, audit, tax, or accounting?

At Accounting Career Consultants, we provide direct-hire, consulting, and temporary placement services. Our commitment to developing long-term relationships with both our candidates and clients, gives us a high success rate in placing great talent.

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