Newly Qualified Accountants - What you need to know for your first interview

So...you have done it. After all your hard work, late nights and weekends spent studying, you have finally got those elusive letters after your name that elevate you to an exclusive club. You are now a Newly Qualified Accountant.

Are you looking to move into industry?

What now? Is it time to make your first move into industry? If this is your plan, then please read the following so you are well versed in the art of interviewing. 

  • Write out three to four of your biggest clients, describe exactly what you did with each client and what your role was on the assignment
  • Be able to discuss - the size of the team on each assignment, your role in the team, duration of each assignment and the guidance you needed to provide to the junior staff
  • Know your tests for each of the balance sheet items and give examples for this. I recommend giving two examples, one where the test provided a positive result and one where you needed to investigate further.
  • Know the difference in your reporting standards - differences between IFRS, US GAAP & Local GAAP.
  • Research the company, this is very important - don't just review their website, go that extra mile, for example download the financial statements for the past 3 years and perform an analytical review, have a look at any acquisitions the company has made.
  • Research the hiring manager - see what their career path was and try to link your experience to their own as to develop a connection.
  • From your research develop 2-3 relevant questions to show genuine interest in the company.
  • Thank the interviewers for their time and leave with a firm handshake.
  • For video interviews, test your laptop and internet connection in advance, also ensure that your surroundings are appropriate for a professional environment (bright room with a clutter free backdrop is ideal).
  • For every interview, go in with the mindset that it will be competency based so you will need to have real life examples ready.

Not every interview will go your way but with the above information in your arsenal, you will be able to sway the odds in your favour.

Fergal McPhillips's picture
Consultant | Accounting & Finance - Financial Services
fmcphillips@morganmckinley.com

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