Finance role interview advice

Preparation is crucial before any interview, from being able to give a concise overview of your employment history to date to knowing exactly what you’d bring to the role that you’re applying for.

And, while you might be able to anticipate in advance some of the questions you will be asked, what are the key traits that those interviewing for a Finance role now need to convey to ensure they are seen to be the standout candidate?  

Match your skills to the job specification

Finance roles are wide ranging so it’s vital to make sure that you tick all the boxes before applying for a position. In particular, the more technical the role you are applying for, the more specific the experience you need to display.

So, for example, if you’re applying for a reporting role, you’ll have to show that you’re up to speed with reporting standards for the business, the country in which it is based, or operating in, and that particular type of company structure.

Meanwhile, a commercial role will require you to demonstrate experience in that particular sector and an awareness of the specific challenges it faces as well as showing you are also up to speed on the opportunities that it presents.

Show how you have added value in previous roles

Adding value is a crucial element to any finance role. No longer viewed as simply a ‘number cruncher’, finance is now seen as being central to all aspects of a company’s growth and it’s important to show an awareness of how finance can contribute to business success and how you, as an individual, have capitalised on the opportunity to add value in previous roles.

Highlight the most technically challenging aspects of previous roles

By doing so, you will not only highlight your technical ability, but it will also give you the opportunity to demonstrate your problem-solving and critical thinking abilities, alongside your aptitude for working well under pressure.

Showcase your management style

As well as demonstrating your financial ability you also need to display an aptitude for management and that you can lead and motivate your team while also identifying and providing development opportunities to ensure career progression and the retention of key members of staff.

Share how you have managed successful teams in the past and the role that you have personally played in that success.

Influencing skills outside of finance

Finance is no longer viewed as a separate entity and it’s important to show how you have worked successfully with other departments in the past to the benefit of a previous employer.  

You should demonstrate an ability to facilitate collaboration between departments and be ready to give examples of how you have overcome resistance to initiatives in the past.  Show how you’ve influenced processes and procedures, highlight your communication skills, and convey the fact that you’ve always had an excellent working relationship with your previous colleagues across the company.

Conclusion

Remember, employers want more than a candidate with the right skills and experience – they want someone who has a genuine desire to work for, and to help develop, their organisation and who will work well with existing team members. If you can convey all of that over the course of your interview then you’ve put yourself in the best possible position to hear the words ‘you’re hired’.

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