Tips on cover letter, resume and interviews for accountants and finance professionals

Tell me about yourself.

Walk me through your resume.

These are two most common questions we get from any job interviews. In fact, they are asking for the same thing your story in a nutshell.

The Best Interview Question You Can Ever Ask For

I’d be thrilled to get this question. Why?

  • It offers a great opportunity to create the greatest and most memorable first impression. This is your #1 priority in any job interviews.
  • The question is open-ended which means you can guide the interviewer to ask a follow-up question that works to your advantage.

General Rules

  1. Short Answer Please

Provide an interesting and informative answer in 2-3 minutes.

Anything more than 3 minutes is too much for the interviewer (remember, he/she barely knows you). Anything shorter than 30 seconds does not get to the details.

  1. Develop Your Unique Story

The answer is best presented in your story using this framework:

  1. The beginning
  2. The spark
  3. The development
  4. Why you are here today
  5. Aspiration

We will go through each step below.

Your Story

  1. The Beginning

This is the introduction where you give a general idea of who you are. Everyone knows how to do this, but few do it well enough to give a good first impression.

The Wrong Way:

Keep talking forever about your life and get interrupted by the interviewer because it either gets too long or too boring. You end up not talking about the important points, and you lose control over what the interviewer is going to ask you in the next question.

The Right Way:

Make a short and factual  introduction of the essentials, in 2-3 sentences only:

  • Where you are from, where you went to school, and your major/concentration at school
  • Major and relevant experience before current job (optional, only if you don’t have enough to say)
  • Current job or situation

You will talk about the whys in the next step of the framework.

  1. The Spark

This is the place to state why you are interested in accounting. Most people get into the industry because it is somewhat prestigious and make decent money, parents thought it’s a stable job, they are good at numbers (or not ¬†good with people)

Whatever the reason might be, it is likely not to be that interesting and hundreds of candidates before you said exactly the same thing.

  1. The Development

This section talks about how your spark is developed into a career choice in accounting. If you are an accounting student, talk about why you chose the specific school/accounting program and what you have learned.

If you have some experience (internships, volunteer work, jobs in accounting, jobs outside of accounting), then go through them in chronological order, highlighting what you have learned in each stage of your career.