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Quality Presentation

You have secured the interview, now make a good impression.

Are you wondering why you need good presentation skills as an accountant? Isn’t accountancy all about finances and accounts? Wrong! Accountancy is a business. You need to be able to communicate well with your clients and colleagues. Most important of all, in an interview situation you will have to present your skills and experience in the best possible way to convince your interviewer that you are the right person for the job.

Your interviewer already knows what the job involves. You should have a pretty good idea! It may be a subconscious thought but fundamentally what your interviewer will do during the interview process is visualise you actually doing the job you are being interviewed for. If they can’t visualise you doing the job, you won’t get the job. It’s as simple as that!

First impressions Count

Research has shown that people form a first impression very quickly, usually within the first few minutes. Make your first impression a good one by with the following tips:

· It’s obvious but true that you must dress smartly and be well groomed for an interview. Accountancy is still a sector where formal work attire is the standard, so that means a suit!

· Arrive in good time, ideally ten minutes before the interview. You will then have some time to collect yourself while you wait instead of bursting into the interview late and flustered.

· Be calm and confident. You might really want the job, but the interview process is also about making sure that the job is right for you. Don’t be over confident but also don’t come across as desperate and nervous.

· Speak clearly and confidently. Try to relax – easier said than done, but try your best. Some nerves are to be expected, particularly if you are attending an interview for your first job. By the time you are an experienced and senior accountant however you would not be expected to show significant signs of nerves in an interview.

Can you speak with confidence?

If you have done your homework, you should be able to talk about the job and the firm you would like to work for with confidence. It really does make a difference. Imagine if you were asked to talk about, say, nuclear physics. Would you be able to do so confidently? Probably not! It is always much easier to appear confident when you have the answers at your fingertips.

Do you know your CV inside out? This is another area where you might trip up. If you don’t know the details of your CV, you will give a poor impression. You might even make the interviewer think that you have been less than honest on your CV.

Practice makes perfect

If your nerves really get the better of you, ask a friend or family member to do a “mock” interview. You might even want to consider paying for professional help and attend interview coaching sessions. If you are an undergraduate or recent graduate, your careers office may be able to help with this.