You are mid-career and you are ready to take the next step, you have landed an interview and now it is time to prepare yourself for this senior level interview.
To ace an interview at senior level, you need to cover all the basics and more. You are in the position where you have experience under your belt, and you are now wanting to move on up the ladder and validate your experience with further success.
So why not take a look at our tips in securing a senior role in the accounting and finance industry
Candidates at any professional position are expected to know a level of knowledge on the field they work under as well as the company they are looking to be working for. When it comes down to preparing for senior roles the best thing you can start doing is to make sure you are the strongest candidate and much of that consists of developing your skills in management and providing evidence of what you can do.
Being selected for an interview in the first place means they already have considered you as a potential candidate. You might imagine that years of practice would eliminate any nervous feelings however at senior level it does require an enhancement on any basic skills you have attained through the years.
Brush up on your skills because at any position an interview requires a set level of skills, read what they are asking you on the job description and provide evidence on each point. At this stage, the interviews are intended to test you, they know you are successful and finding a flaw can be harder.
Ensure you have familiarised yourself with your own CV and can list off any accomplishments you deem relatable to the role you have applied for.
Having knowledge on the organisation is a must, throughout the interview, the hiring manager will want you to answer questions on the industry and what interests you to the position and how you could benefit the company. Having a real understanding of the organisation and how you adapt your skills to further the business will place you in the best light.
If you are working with a recruiter, use them, their facilities and ask for direction, after all, they have the insight scoop on the industry. Do not shy away from help if it can lead you to your dream role. They will have already gained a relationship with your potential employer, so work with them.
You have spoken about yourself professional life, but don’t forget to use your personality and show how you can contribute to the company’s culture. Do you have 3 cats? Do you love playing board games?
It is important to bring a little personality into the process, what are your interests/values? This is just as important as it is exercising your work ethic and how you would be with others. To be the best candidate having an established personality outside and inside of work will allow a further degree of success due to you showing it off through the interview process.
Yes, a company will want a level of knowledge and need to know your willingness towards the company. However, do not forget that you are human, and they may want to know what you are like and how you fit into the company culture. This is so important for employees to enjoy work and have their needs and values met. Bringing together employee’s attitudes, ideas and their attributes will identify their culture, allowing you to make the decision whether you will suit the job and the company.
Expect tough interview questions, be ready to demonstrate your strengths and weaknesses. Remember questions are there to gain more insight on what you are like, even at this level do not overlook who you are, be honest with every question you answer.
You want to give focussed clear answers so being prepared is a must. Listen carefully before answering the questions, you do not want to ramble and start going on and on. This why preparation is so important.
If the hiring manager were to ask you about any challenges or mistakes you have made, do not ignore the mistakes you have made; it is the way you answer that is important. What did you gain from that? What would you have done differently?
Prepare questions to ask them, demonstrate your knowledge of the industry and be enthusiastic about what you know and incorporate them in a question.
Leadership is a strong element of a senior level position. Different times and different circumstances call for different leadership skills, especially the challenges you may face in the financial industry.
Establishing who you are as a leader will allow the hiring manager to gain a look into what you could bring to the business. Do you have the vision to manage change? In this new way of working from home having the ability to work on your feet and adapt to things out of your control is a must. This is the difference in going into a senior level role.
It is almost a journey in the sense that you are narrating your life and you want people to walk alongside you, which is a powerful skill to have. There is this misconception where work is work and you only discuss work. You spend most of your daylight hours working with your colleagues and they get to know you more than your friends and family may do. Therefore, allow yourself to have that balance and most importantly show it in this process.
Finally, these tips can be useful to professionals at any level of their career, particularly those that are willing to go above and beyond to further in their career.
Preparing for a senior level interview can take some time, so it is never too early to start working on yourself and how you want to appear to others. Starting early will only allow you to grow and the right opportunity will appear, having invested in your chosen career the ultimate focus is you, know who you are besides your CV and it will fall into place.
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