If you are interested in becoming an accountant, read on. While a firm grasp of maths and economics is crucial, employers like to recruit accountants who can also show them a wider range of experiences and skills and who can show impressive self-motivation and transferrable skills. Competition is fierce, so here are some ways to get ahead of the crowd.
Find out as much as you can about accountancy before you start applying for jobs. The same goes for the individual companies you are applying to. Appearing informed at interview will make you seem a far more credible candidate, plus you can use your research to make sure you really do want a career in accountancy.
Approach your job search with an open mind. The financial sector is full of accountancy firms and in-house opportunities of all shapes and sizes. What may suit one accountant may not be appropriate for another. You may want to join a large company and take advantage of the many internal opportunities for development. Or join a small company for a more personal touch and closer senior management involvement in your training. If you are keen to specialise, find a firm that covers your areas of accountancy interest, and offers interesting training and development opportunities.
Apply early; don’t leave it until the deadline day to act. Popular firms close their interview lists before their publicised deadline, plus it can make you look more organised and keen to join the firm.There’s nothing like the feeling of having submitted your application and sitting back to await your interview. Procrastination can cause a lot of stress if taken too far.
Once you have secured an interview, make sure you show the accountancy firm that you are a well-rounded person. Not just a ‘whizz’ with figures, but a good team player and an interesting colleague as well. So, demonstrate your firm grasp of economics, tax law, IT and so on, but also your innovative thinking, leadership potential, communication skills, time management capabilities and client liaison.
Finally, make sure you are aware of issues in the news, especially the financial sector. Gen up on matters related to tax planning, company law and accountancy methods. You may be asked about them in the interview. Avoid contentious debates with your interviewer and don’t get into an argument with them. Thank them for seeing you, and reiterate your keenness to join their company. Best of luck!