Blogger: Jasmine Hernandez
Public accounting is a people business. Looking good on paper is only the first hurdle. While having a good resume will land you the interview, it is your soft skills that will get you the job. Firms are constantly interviewing tons of applicants, most with impeccable grades. Who stands out? People that are both competent and personable. The recruiting process is tedious for that very reason. They’re testing candidates’ interpersonal skills to see how they act in social settings and whether or not they fit in with their firm culture.
The bowling events, dinners, office visits, etc…are all ways of getting to know you. What are you like in group settings? Are you able to hold a conversation with someone you’ve just met? Make sure you interact with a wide variety of people at recruiting events. The more people that know (and like) you, the better.
Be casual yet professional. Here a few easy things to remember…
- Master small talk.
- Keep up with current events and sports.
- Share any interesting hobbies.
- Find a common ground.
- Be genuine.
- Show your interest in the firm and the profession—ask questions
- Start rambling on about all the cool things you’re doing in school…or other boring nonsense people don’t care about.
- Try to impress people with your accounting knowledge. No one likes a know-it-all.
- Discuss sensitive topics like religion or politics.
- Be awkward or uninviting.
Why do prospective employers care so much? For obvious reasons…so you can collaborate with others, work in teams, and maybe even interact with clients. Effective communication simply makes for a more efficient workplace. Another reason being they want to see your dynamics with other firm employees. It only makes sense to hire people that will easily fit in with the rest of the group.