Considering Taking a New Finance Job? Ask These Questions First


Successful finance and accounting interviews are a two-way street.  As much as the company is determining if you are a fit, you’re also deciding if the organization makes sense for your career objectives.  If you’re considering taking a new finance job, it’s important that you ask some key questions first.  Some of them will be questions that create self-reflection, while others will be questions that you ask of the hiring agent.


Question #1:  Does this organization offer an opportunity for advancement?
Consider where you see yourself in 5 years.  If the company’s trajectory doesn’t mesh with your career goals, then it’s time to look in a different direction.  One way to determine if the company is in a growth mode, or likes to promote from within, is to ask the question, “What does my internal career roadmap look like?”  Let the interviewer know that you are interested in growing with your next organization.

Resource:  Need some help with career planning? Read “Developing a Plan for Your Accounting Career.

Question #2 (Self-Reflection):  How do I like to be managed?
Organizations are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of their company’s culture in recruiting top talent.  And since we typically quit our managers, not our jobs, it’s important to have a manager that will inspire you to produce your best work.  Be honest with yourself.  Do you need consistent feedback?  Do you value autonomy?  Do you need a manager who is open to innovation and change?  Does ambiguity frustrate you?  If one of the interviewers is your future manager, don’t be afraid to ask him or her to describe their management style.

Resource:  Are you interviewing for a management role and wondering how to answer the question, “What’s your management style?” Then read this article.

Question #3:  How long has the current team been working together?
Part of being successful in a new finance job is how well the current team operates.  A high rate of turnover is a red flag, while a tenured team speaks to the company’s awareness of the importance of a strong team culture.  You need a team whose natural working style meshes well with your own, so ask questions that help you determine if you’d fit in.

Question #4:  What does success look like at the 12 month mark?
Before taking a new finance job you need to understand how you’ll be evaluated.  Asking what success looks like at the one year mark helps you to understand the baseline for achievement and whether it’s reasonable.

Question #5:  Is this a newly created role?
When you ask if you’re entering a newly created role, what you’re really trying to find out is why the role is open in the first place.  You want to know what you’re walking into.  Consider fact checking the answer with close connections in your social network to get insight into the company and to verify the response.

Key Takeaways
Before you accept a new finance job it’s important to do your due diligence.  Determine if the company’s trajectory matches your career objectives.  Understand what success looks like in the role and what the natural working style of the team is.  Be honest with yourself about how you like to be managed and evaluate whether or not your prospective leader’s management style will work for you.  It can be tempting to simply sign on the dotted line, but you don’t want to be in job search mode again 3 or 6 months down the road.  Instead, ask the questions to get the answers you need to make an informed decision.

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.

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