“Name as many uses as you can for a lemon”………………………….
We’ve all heard (and often experienced) the weird and wonderful interview questions that seem to crop up from time to time – my personal favourite probably being ‘if you were a sea creature what would you be?’… In truth if I was asked something along these lines again I would politely respond ‘obviously a vampire squid, now where is the door, thanks but no thanks’.
As some quiet time reading some links can be found below taking you to some of the most daft questions that are out there. But below this is my steer on a quick checklist that will stand Accountancy professionals in solid stead in terms of absolute basic preparation required before any meeting / interview.
For me – you’re not doing enough prep before an interview as an Accountant if…
You haven’t reviewed the last few years of their annual accounts and made brief notes regarding your summary and any kneejerk questions they pose.
You can’t summarise what their business does in a succinct sentence.
You can’t summarise what you bring to the job based on the job spec.
You can’t tell them which parts of the remit you haven’t done before if asked.
You haven’t visited the news section of the businesses website or searched for news in their sector.
You don’t know a competitor to their business.
You haven’t viewed the interviewers profile on LinkedIn / company director pages.
You can’t handle the question “tell me something interesting about yourself that isn’t on your CV” – no matter what level the role.
You don’t feel comfortable discussing why you are looking to leave/ have left your most recent employer.
You can’t concisely describe where you have added most value to your current business.
Part of the reason for a 1st interview / meeting is for you to be able to get a true first-hand insight into the business, the role and ultimately the opportunity.
In fact more than ever businesses (and their key stakeholders) must accept that interviews need to be a shop window for the business as much as the candidate. However if you turn up with slapdash prep please accept that the interviewers are within their rights to give you short shrift.
Years in this sector have taught me that MDs and FDs will take the amount of research and due diligence you have done prior to an interview as a direct pointer to your general attention to detail and conscientiousness.
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