If you’ve recently lost your job, or are looking for a new role, and you have finally been able to get an interview at a great company, in the accounts payable department, and now it is time to prepare yourself. Preparation really is the key to success, especially when it comes to interviews. If you have some pre-thought out answers up your sleeve, you won’t feel put on-the-spot when a difficult question comes up.
“What is your biggest weakness?”
“Tell me about a difficult situation you recently experienced at work and how you handled it.”
And what about the dreaded……..
“Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?”
You probably know where you want to be but it’s also likely that it’s not suitable to say at an interview!
Here is a list of some top tips to do before your interview to ensure it is as successful as possible…
This is an absolute must. Research the company before you arrive for the interview. Go to their website, get a feel for the style, culture and tone of voice. Look out for any current news articles that may be online about them, as well how they engage with people on social media. Both are good indicators of their company culture. If you know someone that works at the company or has done so in the past, then pick their brain to ensure you have a good amount of knowledge before stepping through those boardroom doors. It shows you have an interest in the company, as well as the role, and hopefully it will impress your potential future employer. If you are not already working in the industry in which the company operates, research that too.
2. Know yourself
Have a browse through your own CV, make sure that you know it well so that any interview questions about it can be answered in a clear and concise manner. This would be particularly useful with questions like, “Which accounting software do you have experience with?” If you know you may get flustered, do some practice questions and answers on your own. It is also a good idea to know what you want from your career in accounts payable and in life in general. Google your own name too, as the potential employer may do this and you should be aware of what they may find. All of this will prepare you well for the “Tell me about yourself” question, especially if you have some notes prepared.
Ensure that you know where the interview is being held, how to get there and be sure to leave sufficient time so you aren’t late. Print out a couple copies of your CV, just in case – it shows that you are organised and think ahead. Find out the format of the interview if you can, whether it will be a one-on-one, group or a panel interview. If you have been asked to bring certain things, such as certificates or references, have these ready to go in advance to avoid any possible last minute rush. Also, think about the questions you would like to ask your potential employer because you will usually be given the floor at the end of the interview to ask what’s on your mind.
4. Get up-to-speed
Be updated with the latest e-invoicing systems and accounts payable processes so that you can show your potential employer that you keep up to date with the industry and may know of new ways to improving company efficiency. Discuss these readily if the opportunity comes up at the interview. It can be an excellent way to show off some of your knowledge and impress your interviewers.
Make sure that the clothes and shoes you plan on wearing for the interview are smart, clean and neat. This is obvious for some, but other interviewees aren’t aware of actually how important this piece of advice is. Dress appropriately too. There is no place for trainers or t-shirts at interviews in the AP industry. If you’re in doubt on what to wear, remember this: Dress like a lawyer. If you do this, you can’t go far wrong to make a good impression. It is a well-known fact that a first impression is made within the first five seconds of meeting someone – make sure you make a positive one!
6. Be conscious
Once you are within the interview, pay attention to your body language, arrive in good time, so you can relax before you start the interview, and just do your best. Here is a handy guide to body language in interviews. There are a lot of other resources online, just do a Google search and you will have all the tips for the right body language at your fingertips.