Nervous about interviewing? I use to interview people, here are some tips.

Student blogger: Chase Parker

Chase is a MS Accounting student at The University of Texas at Dallas and graduating in May 2019. He received his undergraduate in Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University. His interests include traveling, old movies, and his two dogs.

I use to interview a lot of potential new employees in my previous job, and I think I got pretty good at it. Here are some tips that I saw in candidates that were above the rest.

Prepare

Yes, super cliché. However, it’s a lot easier said than done. It’s all about HOW you prepare. Don’t just expect to ad-lib the interview, because I guarantee the interviewer is not going to be impressed. Research the company. Try and find who you’ll be interviewing with on LinkedIn and see if you have anything in common. This may sound a little strange, almost intrusive. However, if you discuss it in the appropriate way the interviewer will be impressed with your research. Look at the company website’s “about us” section and think about how it describes itself. Try and use that wording in your interview or describe how their motto relates to your own goals.

Additionally, practice your answers for the basic questions like “tell me about yourself?” and “what’s your biggest weakness/strength?” Here’s an experiment – ask your friends these questions. You’d be surprised how many people don’t have answers off the top of their head. This will give you an edge-up on the competition.

Have Confidence

Another one easier said than done. But you’d be surprised how confidence can go just as far as experience and skill set. You worked hard to get where you’re at, so show it off a little. Remember though: confidence in an interview is not bragging. It’s more not hesitating when you’re asked a question about yourself. It’s not second guessing your answers either. If you don’t know how to do this, see point one: Prepare.

Know your relevant skills to the position and be able to list them. Ask specific questions about the position. No professional experience yet? Look at the job description you’re interviewing for and connect the dots to the classes you’ve took. Formulate your questions about the position based on that. And trust me, if you hesitate to ask a question because you don’t want to sound foolish, don’t worry about it. If the interviewer needs to correct you, it’s okay! Show your interest in their answer and follow up with another question. At the end of the day, the interviewer is looking for someone who they can rely on. People make mistakes all the time, and it’s how you react that shows if you’ll be a good employee or not.

Show Your Personality

I’ll be honest, this one may be the most important tip here. Inherently, people want relationships with people who they can rely on and have a good time with. This goes for friendships as well as coworkers. There were absolutely hard decisions I had to make when I was interviewing and had to decide between two equally skilled candidates, and guess who got the job? The candidate that I connected with more.

I’ve seen situations where candidates were hired even though they had LESS relevant experience and skills all because they fit with the company culture better. So, don’t be the interviewee that sits there and answers questions in a monotone voice. Laugh a little. It’ll make you and the interviewer more comfortable. In addition, when it’s time for the interviewer to make a decision, who are they going to remember? Monotone voice or the candidate that showed who they are and laughed a little bit too?

I hope you found this helpful and if you have any questions regarding the content or something new please email me at chase.parker@gmail.com

 

About txcpa2b

The Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA) is a nonprofit, voluntary, professional organization representing Texas CPAs. TSCPA has 20 local chapters statewide and has 27,000 members. The Society is committed to serving the public interest with programs that advance the highest standards of ethics and practice within the CPA profession. TXCPA2B is a blog written by Texas students in pursuit of the CPA certificate. The views expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily held by TSCPA or our members.
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