Interview tips for Accounting and Finance Industry - HireIQ

Interview tips for Accounting and Finance Industry

All interviews are daunting, no matter how many you do. You are meeting new people, selling yourself and your skills, and getting the third degree about what you know or don’t know. With all these factors to contend with you still have to maintain an upbeat, confident manner. The accountancy and finance industry is highly competitive so your interview needs to be of the highest standard. 

Thankfully, here at Hire IQ we have come up with all the top tips you need to succeed in your interview. 

-Know your ‘why’ 

Why do you want to be in the accounting and finance industry? This is usually one of the most important questions in your interview. If you don’t have an accomplished answer then the employer isn’t going to be convinced you want the job. Prepare your answer beforehand. Be ready to expand on the hobbies, interests and goals that led you to pursue accounting as a career. Employers are looking for someone who is passionate about what they do.


It’s important to thoroughly research the firm/company you are applying to. The more you know about the company, the more specific you can be about what skills you can bring to the job. Referring to specific departments, events, problems and people also demonstrates the attention to detail that characterises a great candidate for the job. For the accounting and financial industry, it is extremely important to know about the current financial climate. Being aware of recent company mergers or acquisitions, interest rates and changes in economic conditions can be very appealing to employers. Keep up with the Financial Accounting Standards Board and International Accounting Standards Board, and other regulatory changes. If they try to throw ‘curveball’ questions about recent news in the industry, you will be covered. Research and preparation is key. 

-Be on time (meaning early) 

There is nothing worse than keeping your employer waiting when you are due for an interview. You will have already given the impression that you are unorganised and a poor time-keeper before you have even answered a question. Always give yourself 10-15 minutes before an interview to find the correct location and meeting room. It is also important to give yourself time to calm your nerves and do some last-minute preparation. In the finance industry, you’re expected to be meticulous with attention to detail as ultimately the accuracy of your work can significantly impact the company’s bottom line. By showing up late you are demonstrating the exact opposite of what the employer would want. 

-Demonstrate your value. Be confident. 

One of the most important aspects of any interview is showing what sets you apart from other candidates. Be prepared to sell yourself with confidence and conviction. Know all your unique selling points and explain why you would be perfect for the role. You might have experience of a specific software or a certain industry that is relevant to the business. Always remain honest and clear with your interviewer about what exactly you are going to bring to the position. Your CV has already covered all your education and basic experience you have gathered. An interview is your chance to give even more detail into what extra you have to offer. 

-Ask the right questions 

Specific questions show that you’re engaged, thoughtful and detail-oriented enough to pick out points of interest from the discussion. An interview is also an opportunity to get to know your potential employer- you are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you. It is important to not ask too many generic questions about the business, instead focus more on what exactly the job role is and what is required. Asking about future career paths is also a clear way of showing the employer that you are ambitious and focused. 

With over 20 years’ experience in Accountancy and Finance Recruitment across Northern Ireland, we will pass on all our knowledge and help enhance your career. A client working with HireIQ Recruitment will be in total control of their career or the growth of their business. We give suggestions; provide choice and ensure you are best positioned to succeed. Contact us today to see what we can do for you! 

If you’re seeking more specific advice on navigating finance interviews after the pandemic, check out this insightful guide on How to Prepare for Finance Interviews Post-COVID-19. This resource provides additional strategies tailored to the current economic environment, helping you stand out as a well-informed candidate.


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