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DO’s and DON’T’s

Interview Dos

1) Arrive on time or a few minutes early

2) If presented with an application, fill it out neatly and completely. Don't attach your resume
unless you're told to do so

3) Greet the interviewer by last name if you are sure of the pronunciation. If not, ask the
employer to repeat it.

4) Project energy and enthusiasm. Smile and shake hands firmly.

5) Wait until you're offered a chair before sitting. Sit upright, look alert and interested at all
times. Listen carefully and respond succinctly and articulately.

6) Look the hiring manager in the eye while speaking.

7) Early in the meeting, try to get the interviewer to describe the job and the duties to you so
you can focus your responses on your background, skills and accomplishments that
relate to the position.

8) Be sincere and truthful while focusing on communicating your specific professional
achievements that relate to the accounting or finance job opening.

9) Keep your answers brief and concise.
Unless asked to give more detail, limit your answers to two to three minutes per
question. Tape yourself and see how long it takes you to fully answer a question.

10) Include concrete, quantifiable data.
Interviewees tend to talk in generalities. Unfortunately, generalities often fail to convince
interviewers that the applicant has assets. Include measurable information and provide
details about specific accomplishments when discussing your strengths.

11) Repeat your key strengths three times.
It’s essential that you comfortably and confidently articulate your strengths. Explain how
the strengths relate to the company’s or department’s goals and how they might benefit
the potential employer. If you repeat your strengths then they will be remembered and—if
supported with quantifiable accomplishments—they will more likely be believed.

12) Prepare five or more success stories.
In preparing for interviews, make a list of your skills and key assets. Then reflect on past
jobs and pick out one or two instances when you used those skills successfully.

13) Put yourself on their team.
Ally yourself with the prospective employer by using the employer’s name and products
or services. For example, “As a member of __________, I would carefully analyze the
__________ and __________.” Show that you are thinking like a member of the team
and will fit in with the existing environment. Be careful though not to say anything that
would offend or be taken negatively. Your research will help you in this area.

14) Image is often as important as content.
What you look like and how you say something are just as important as what you say.
Studies have shown that 65 percent of the conveyed message is nonverbal; gestures,
physical appearance, and attire are highly influential during job interviews.

15) Ask questions.
The types of questions you ask and the way you ask them can make a tremendous
impression on the interviewer. Good questions require advance preparation. Just as you
plan how you would answer an interviewer’s questions, write out specific questions you
want to ask. Then look for opportunities to ask them during the interview. Don’t ask about
benefits or salary. The interview process is a two-way street whereby you and the
interviewer assess each other to determine if there is an appropriate match.

16) Maintain a conversational flow.
By consciously maintaining a conversational flow—a dialogue instead of a
monologue—you will be perceived more positively. Use feedback questions at the end of
your answers and use body language and voice intonation to create a conversational
interchange between you and the interviewer.

17) Research the company, product lines and competitors.
Research will provide information to help you decide whether you’re interested in the
company and important data to refer to during the interview.

18) Keep an interview journal.
As soon as possible, write a brief summary of what happened. Note any follow-up action
you should take and put it in your calendar. Review your presentation. Keep a journal of
your attitude and the way you answered the questions. Did you ask questions to get the
information you needed? What might you do differently next time? Prepare and send a
brief, concise thank you letter. Restate your skills and stress what you can do for the
company.

Interview Don’ts

1) Don't answer with a simple "yes" or "no." Explain whenever possible.

2) If you don't understand a question – or need a moment to think about it - say so. Never
pretend to know something or someone when you don't.

3) Don't rely on your application or resume to do the selling for you. Interviewers will want
you to be convincing.

4) Don't make negative remarks about present or former employers. When explaining your
reasons for leaving, communicate your rationale professionally.

5) Don't over-answer questions. If the interviewer steers the conversation into controversial
– or even illegal – topics, try to do more listening than speaking. Keep your responses
non-committal.
6) Don't inquire about salary, vacations, benefits, bonuses or retirement on the initial interview