3 Things to Do Before Interviewing Accountants

Interviewing accountants can be hard work. Here are three things to do to improve your odds of securing a top-quality hire.

Let’s face it: you can try to put as positive and upbeat a spin on it as possible, but the bottom line remains – interviewing accountants can be hard work. Among other things, it requires that you commit time and energy out of your already busy schedule. And if you make a bad hire, the end results can be as frustrating as the process itself.

A few tips, however, can smooth and streamline the process for you. Here are three things that you can do before interviewing accountants that will improve your odds of securing a top-quality candidate.

Define what the company needs

To succeed at interviewing accountants, you first need to define the business needs of the position to be filled. Consider not only what the company will require in the immediate future, but also how the role could change two, three, even four or five years from now. After all, businesses are constantly evolving; your hire has to be adaptable enough to succeed in a dynamic environment.

Consider not only what the company will require in the immediate future, but also how the role could change two, three, even four or five years from now.

To figure out the role’s requirements, pick the brains of the key stakeholders, building consensus as much as possible about what the position will involve. An inventory of requirements is not the same thing as a wishlist for the ideal candidate. Distinguish between the qualities it’d be nice to have in a candidate, and those that are absolutely indispensable for success at the position. At some point, after all, you’ll likely have to make a choice among imperfect – but still perfectly acceptable – options.

Prep great questions

In order to interview accountants effectively and successfully, you need to prepare some great questions that will aid you in evaluating them. Start by assigning key milestones to deliverables – results that a hire would be responsible for achieving – in their first twelve months on the job. Clearly communicating your expectations for the position and developing questions based on these expectations, will help you attract qualified personnel.

Focus on open-ended interview questions, including those that invite candidates to share their personal success stories and describe their team fit. You’re looking for someone with a history of achievement, who can mesh with the natural working style of the rest of your team.

Clearly communicating your expectations for the position and developing questions based on these expectations, will help you attract qualified personnel.

Determine budget

Before you start interviewing accountants, it’s imperative that you determine the budget for the hire. Confirm that the proposed salary is in line with market expectations; be prepared to pay for what you want. Expecting to land the $70,000 candidate for $50,000 will only lead to frustration. Understand what qualities or requirements you’re willing to trade off on or relax, so that you can find a candidate who’s within your price range and ideal for the role. Remember – a top performer can drive a disproportionate amount of your bottom line. Make sure that you can pay for your star.

Interviewing accountants can be a challenging process, but there are a number of things you can do to make it easier. Following these three tips will raise your chances of success in finding a hire who will drive value for your organization.        

       

Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) and connect with us on Facebook for more great tips and advice!