How to Prepare for a Finance Interview

By Russell Axford

Russell Axford, Senior Client Partner at Clarity Recruitment, shares his insights on accounting and finance career growth and development. 

Whether you are just starting your career in finance and accounting or are looking to transition to a new role, it’s always a good idea to brush up on your interviewing skills. Being prepared for an interview will play a huge part in whether or not you are successful in securing the position you are gunning for.

While hiring can be subjective at times, there are certain things you need to know in order to increase your odds of landing a new finance job. Consider these finance interview tips.

Do Your Research

Before you go into the meeting, you need to do your homework on the company and the individual you are meeting with. Take time to learn what the organization does and what they consider to be their key offerings.

At the very least, you should be able to answer questions like “What do you know about our company?” and “Why do you want to join our team?”

Beyond that, you should also try to learn more about the person interviewing you. Look them up on LinkedIn to find details about their career background.

A word to the wise: there is a fine line between trying to enrich your conversation with personal details or connections, and coming across as desperate. Trust your gut and make sure any attempts to connect with your interviewee beyond the interview conversation are appropriate.

Craft your Story

In a finance interview, you only have a short window to grab the hiring authority’s attention and leave a lasting impression. One of the best ways to stand out is through good story telling.

Knowing your audience, targeting your message and thinking about your personal career story is one way to do this. This means doing your research, being confident in what you have to offer and maintaining your energy level throughout the conversation. Most importantly, don’t just regurgitate what can be found on your resume. Instead, elaborate on experiences you’ve had and what makes your skill set unique.

Get The Lay Of the Land

An interview is your opportunity to gain a better understanding of the scope of the role, the company’s culture and your potential internal career roadmap. Always come to an interview prepared with questions of your own. Here are a few to help get you started:

  • How do you see this role fitting into the broader team?
  • How does this role support you [the hiring authority] and what do you need from the person in this role?
  • What are the current challenges you are facing?
  • What are the key deliverables for the role?

Doing your due diligence to prepare for a finance interview takes time and effort. But if you do it with care and thoughtfulness, you’re sure to be successful.