How to Impress in a Second Accounting Interview

A checklist for acing the second accounting interview.

Congratulations on making it to the next round in a highly competitive job market. It means that your potential employers were pleased with what they saw in your first interview. To continue that positive trend, here are some tips for nailing your second finance or accounting interview.

Stay Consistent
Keep your messaging consistent. If you presented yourself a certain way, continue to do so. This reinforces to employers that you know who you are, and are making a purposeful career choice.

Professional Brand
Connect your professional brand to the goals of the organization. If the company needs an innovative problem solver who can take the lead on a system wide implementation, make sure to reinforce how your values, personality and past expertise can be an asset.

Elaborate
It may be that your potential employer focuses on a key area during the finance or accounting interview. This is typically because they are interested in how your skill set and experience can help them with something specific. In a case where it seems like the employer is zeroing in, make sure to answer their questions thoroughly. Prepare success stories in advance that illustrate different strengths so that you can draw upon them if needed.

Remember, success stories that have impact use the STAR approach. First offer a summary of the situation you were faced with, then dive into the specific task you needed to resolve. Detail your approach to that challenge and the benefits that resulted. The STAR approach is successful because it uses a story, with measurable data, (use numbers to support your results section), to illustrate a behavioral or skill set competency.

Pro Tip: Want to know when to use the STAR technique? Look for interview questions that start with, “Tell me about a time…”

ReadUsing the STAR technique to Shine at Job Interviews” for more tips on using STAR to ace an interview.

Be Prepared to Talk with Co-workers
It’s likely that during a second interview you’ll be introduced to your future co-workers. Be prepared to ask relevant questions that help you understand the position and that will impress your coworkers. 

Culture Questions
Your prospective employer may have asked you a culture question during the first interview. At the second interview, don’t be surprised if they dive into company culture more thoroughly. Before the interview, review the company’s core values, mission and vision statement. Connect your own values to how the organization believes in doing business and prepare a story or two that illustrate this.

In addition, don’t be afraid to ask questions about culture. It shows the employer that you’re thinking seriously about the role. Remember, culture is primarily about how you connect to the organization, your boss and team. It’s also about how the team, in general, relates to the organization.

Schedule Your Interview Wisely
In a blog called “5 Surprising Interview Tips” we discussed the importance of securing the first interview slot if possible. This is because, according to Science Daily, when time is of the essence and decisions have to be made quickly, “preferences are unconsciously and immediately guided to those options presented first.”  And this study shows that candidates who interview on a different day than their competition are more likely to be hired. So if you can, try to schedule your interview wisely.

Present a Solution
During your first interview, your potential employer may have discussed some of the upcoming projects or challenges that the company will be facing. In your follow-up interview, present a detailed solution or proposal that shows you’ve thought carefully about the previous discussion and how the company might move forward (with your skill set and expertise presented as an asset). This shows the organization that your skills have a direct and immediate value.

Key Takeaways
There are several ways to impress during a second finance or accounting interview. Prepare more detailed answers that offer different STAR success stories. Show your potential value by presenting a solution to a problem or challenge that the interviewer discussed in the initial round. Dig deeply into the company’s culture and show how you align with it. Keep your messaging consistent, especially as it relates to your professional brand. And if it all possible, choose your interview slot wisely. Following these tips, gives you the best possible chance of becoming the candidate who signs on the dotted line. 

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.