Once you’ve committed yourself to a career in the audit sector, applied to the firms or roles that appeal to you and have made it to the individual interview stage, it’s time to do some serious planning. Your interview technique can make or break your entry into the industry, so to increase your chances of getting the job you want, keep the following preparation tips in mind:
We cannot highlight how important research is. We don’t mean simply researching the job on offer, but also the firm, their history and the industry itself in depth. Do you know the difference between an internal auditor and an external auditor role? Are you up to date on all the latest developments and trends in the audit industry? What about the firm itself? The more you know the more you’ll have to talk about. You won’t be able to predict the exact questions the interviewer will ask, but if you have a wealth of knowledge about the company and the industry you can feel confident that you’ll have an answer to anything that comes up.
We’ve just stated that you can’t know what questions will come up in your interview, however you can still draw up some general questions to practice with that are likely to be asked. If the exact questions you've practiced with don’t come up, something similar may be asked and you can simply adapt your answer slightly. We recommend preparing and practicing answers to the following questions:
- Why do you want to work in audit?
- What do you know about our firm?
- What do you think you’ll be doing on a day to day basis in this role?
- (For students) How do you structure your time at university?
- Can you tell us about any recent developments or news stories in the audit industry that would affect the firm?
Having stock answers prepared and researched thoroughly will help you come across as professional, although it’s equally important to sound natural when sharing your answers and not appear as if you’re reading from a script.
Look the Part
You may feel that appearances shouldn’t really matter, but it’s important you shake off your student image and prepare yourself for the corporate world. Looking smart, groomed and presentable simply makes you seem like a better bet. If you appear professional and can talk the part too, you’ll be in with as much chance as getting the job as the other candidates. Chances are if you’re applying for an entry level job that you might not need to wear your expensive tailored suit again for a while, but dressing above the position you’re applying for makes you appear a better investment than those who don’t.
The final point to keep in mind is to make sure you ask some relevant questions in the allotted interview time. We’ve discussed the questions you should ask in your audit interview before, and keeping these recommendations in mind will give the interviewers something to talk about and remember you by when the interview is over. Asking well thought out questions is another way of showing your knowledge and interest in the industry and the firm.
Following through with these preparation tips will ensure at the very least that you’re ready as you can be for your audit job interviews and have a good shot at being the successful candidate.