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Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Check them out!

When is the best time to look for work?

The accounting industry is changing very quickly and chances are the skills you need for the job you want are going to be changing as well. So, it makes sense to speak regularly with people in the jobs you want, friends in similar positions and recruiters to make sure you are on track and if not identify any issues early, so you can bring them up at performance reviews. Equally important, if have the best job in the world, then speaking with people will confirm that.

What can I be doing to differentiate myself from other candidates?

Candidates with strong soft skills are increasingly in higher demand, a trend we expect to continue. The outlook is that over the next 5-10 years the stereotypical accountant will start looking more and more like a sales person. Understanding of technical issues will be important but it will be the ability to be a business partner that influences and advises clients that will be most valuable. Also joining a group like Toastmasters can be very beneficial.

How should I prepare for interviews?

Firstly, know your CV. Plus, a firm handshake, smile, appropriate attire and eye contact goes a long way. Next prepare several STAR examples for each aspect of your job: Situation, Task, Action, Result. STAR examples are a great way for you to address any potential concerns an interviewer might have about your experience because they usually offer ‘hooks’ to ask further questions. Furthermore, always try to answer the tough questions as it’s always best to avoid the “I don’t know” answer. And finally, research the job you are going for. Employers love it when you know about their business.

What should I say if I’m asked about salary?

Salary is an interesting one and we think that you should be framing any answer in terms of market value. For instance, when asked about salary a good reply would be: “The positions I’m interviewing for are paying between $100-110K and I would be comfortable moving for similar to that.” The most important thing is that you are consistent in what you say throughout the process. If your expectations move you need to communicate the reasons why.

How do I know where I’m working is the best place for me to develop my career?

You should be judging your current role on: size and complexity of clients, how work flows to you, training and development opportunities and how these compare to your peers and other organisations.

What are the most important skills for me to develop?

Communication, communication, communication. The back office accountant is going the way of the dodo and if a career in accounting, or any other field for that matter, is something you want then communication and influencing skills are key to being a success. The best way to improve you communication skills is by getting involved in organisations like Toastmasters.

What can I do to improve my chances of getting the job I want in the future?

The most important step is spending some time thinking about what that job is. If you are still unsure, come up with 3 or 4 options and work towards those. Once you know what the job is, research it independently and form an opinion on what steps you think you need to take. Also don’t be afraid to speak with a mentor or recruiter and ask for an opinion.

What positions should I be targeting?

As a rule, you should always be targeting positions that will utilise your experience to date while providing you with enough challenges to move forward in your career. The positions you target really depend on your medium to long term goals. For example, if you want to be a Group FC then it’s a no brainer. You should be going for group financial accounting positions, ideally within a large ASX listed business.

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