In the financial and accounting fields, interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience for even the most experienced job hunter. Even when you do everything right, a single mishap can change the course of the interview. How can you make the most of every moment of the interview process? Read on to discover five vital tips on leaving a positive and lasting impression during an interview:
1. Look good on paper and in person
Physical appearances make a difference in an interview. Dress professionally and conservatively—meaning well-fitted, not sloppy business professional attire, closed-toe shoes, and appropriate accessories—to make a lasting impression. Remember that dressing conservatively does not have to be boring. Be confident and express your sharp style. In addition to appropriate clothing, keep your personal hygiene in check, especially in these hot summer months. It is always a good idea to take a peek in the mirror before you step into the building.
2. Be as strong of a candidate in person as you are on paper
Your excellent resume is what got you in the door in the first place. Know your resume and cover letter backward and forward. Be able to explain why you want the job and how you are the perfect candidate for it. This can demonstrate competency, integrity, and passion as well as be an indicative signal of how you will fit into the position. An interview is basically a meeting to confirm your compatibility with a company and to see what you can bring to the table. Preparing professional interview answers and anecdotes based on experience will help you through.
3. Never forget the importance of respect
Respect and manners will take you a long way in the interview process. Remember the basics of professional conversation: don’t swear, lie, or speak negatively. Turn off you phone and all distractions. An interview should be a conversation in which both parties can learn and benefit from one another, so listen well and continue the flow of conversation. It will also signal to your interviewer that you can handle meetings and interactions with clients with respect and trust.
4. End on a high note
Interviewers often end a meeting by asking whether or not you have questions for them. A foolproof way to leave a positive, lasting impression is to ask well-formed questions. A well-formed question can demonstrate that you have done your research on the history and mission of the company, reiterate your determination and desire to work with the company, and can clarify any previous answers.
5. Follow through
The job hunting process doesn’t end with an interview. How you follow up post-interview can set you apart from other candidates. Write a respectful and appreciative thank you note to your interviewer and follow up with a post-interview call reiterating your interest. These not-so-small steps can leave a lasting impression on your interviewer and can help you secure the job.
Interviewing with potential employers can be a nerve-wracking experience. Take every precaution to make the most out of your interview experience. For more ways to leave a lasting impression on an accounting or financial position interview, visit Schlenner Wenner & Company.