It’s a shame that we can’t offer a free set of knives, or a “but wait there’s more” when a prospective employer asks, “Why should we hire you?” It’s obvious that they’re trying to understand the value we could bring to their organization, but what’s the best approach to answering the question? It is, in a sense, our opportunity to “close the deal.”
Here’s how to ace your accounting interview and give the employer the kind of information they need to choose you.
Why Interviewers Ask This Question
The interviewer, in essence, is trying to find out the following 4 things:
- How will you impact the team?
- Can you add value?
- Can you support the leader to execute on team and organizational objectives?
- Do you understand the company’s culture and its mission/vision?
Remember, the question can appear in a variety of forms, not just as “Why should we hire you?” Interviewers may ask, “What would you bring to the position,” or “Why are you the best candidate for this role?”
Step 1: Areas to Cover
Consider your own skill set and jot down notes covering the following areas:
- Industry experience
- Specific technical skills – include systems experience
- Soft skills – communication, adaptability, decisiveness and relationship building are examples of soft skills
- Experience performing specific job-related tasks
- Education or training
- Core values
Step 2: Accomplishments
Combine the requirements outlined in the job posting with your skills and accomplishments. Craft success stories to highlight what you feel are your top selling points (again as they relate to the needs of the role). Keep in mind that strong success stories have 3 key components. Begin by outlining the task to be completed, or challenge to be navigated. Next, speak about the steps you took to be successful. Finish with some specific benefits that were the result of your actions. If you can quantify your points with numbers, even better.
Pro Tip: Consider if you have any combination of qualities that make you unique. For example, while some accountants may have strong systems skills, they may not have leadership experience, or success stories that demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively with non-finance people.
Step 3: The Pitch
You’re looking to create a 1 to 2 minute answer. Take a look at your notes and streamline them. Craft an answer that really highlights your differentiators as a candidate (skills or experience that make you stand out from the competition). You don’t want to memorize an answer, but do practice bullet points and success stories. Remember to include a note about the company’s culture and how you’ll fit in. Project enthusiasm and confidence when you give your answer.
Do you want more interview tips? Read “6 Things Employers Want to Hear in an Accounting Interview.”
What differentiates you from the competition? How do your key experiences and accomplishments align with the employer’s requirements? Take a close look at the job posting. Make notes on both hard and soft skills. Engage in some self-reflection and jot down where your expertise can further the company’s objectives. Distill your notes down to 3 or 4 key points and think of success stories to support them. The more you know about yourself and what you bring to the table, the better you’ll be able to sell your skills and close the deal as the preferred candidate.
Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.
Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.