CPA Interview Tips & Considerations

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There’s no getting around it; interviewing is a pressure-packed situation that has a huge effect on receiving the job offer you want. But with the right preparation, you can rise to the occasion and show them your worthy of the position. We’ve compiled a list of tips to consider before you face your first question.

Practice, Practice, Practice

The best candidates aren’t necessarily the most charming, intelligent, or well-spoken candidates. The best candidates often are the candidates who have put in the time. There’s no substitute for focused practice, including answering common interview questions, rehearsing a couple of anecdotes that showcase your value, and recording your practice sessions. You might even consider getting dressed up to mimic real interview conditions.

Arrive on Time

This tip might seem obvious, but job candidates frequently arrive late to interviews. If possible, a few days prior to the interview, time the route you’ll be taking at the same time of day. This will give you an idea of traffic patterns, parking options, and transfer times if you’re taking public transportation. We recommend arriving 15 minutes before the scheduled meeting time. If any problems arise on the way to the interview, be sure to contact the company, so they’re able to adjust accordingly.

Speak Their Language

Interviews are conversations and reflecting the company language in that conversation is a good way to make a connection. The best strategy for getting a handle on their language is the job description. 

Most job descriptions include the responsibilities of the position, skills that are required for success, and information about the company. Start aligning your skills with the language used in these sections. You might consider yourself a “team player”, but ABC Accounting is looking for a candidate with a “strong level of team orientation”.

While these are essentially the same skills, reflecting their language during the interview shows a greater attention to detail and forms a greater connection with the interviewer and the company itself.

Prepare Questions

An interview is a two-way conversation, and every candidate should be prepared to ask questions of their own. It’s OK to bring a couple of pre-planned questions to the interview but listening to the interviewer and responding appropriately shows that you’re thoughtful and engaged. Asking questions also gives you a clearer picture of the company and your potential coworkers. 

Follow Up

The interview doesn’t end after you’ve left the building. Follow up with the person that interviewed you. A common courtesy is to send an email thanking them for their time and the opportunity to interview for the position. This is a good strategy for advancing the conversation or finding out how you can improve your interview skills. Employers not only want to know that you’re professional, but also that you’re excited about the job. Following up shows that you’re serious about the position.

Final Thoughts

Interviewing for a CPA position can be intimidating, but this is what you’ve prepared for. Passing the CPA exam means you’re an expert, so don’t be afraid to show them what you’ve got. And don’t forget to have fun throughout the experience. Good luck!
 

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