During the interview
11) Be prepared with quality questions to ask that are specific to the firm and show that you've done the research.
One of the best ways to show that you are interested in the job and the company is to ask questions about it. However, be mindful of what questions you ask because what you should avoid doing is asking questions you should already know.
For example, you should already know what business the company is in. You can preface your questions with something like this. "As you know your company is in the business of designing, manufacturing, and selling robots to both consumers and businesses
, do you foresee demand for the products to continue or peel off in the near future?"
The reason you ask questions is to learn more about the company that you otherwise would not have known reading it elsewhere. In the case of a Big 4 Accounting firm
, ask them if they can give you a sense of their corporate culture. That's usually harder to understand from reading a piece of literature available to the public.
12) Don't say "like", "umm", or "you know."
While it is nearly impossible to avoid the above words completely, you should make an effort to avoid them. Not only does using these words make you sound unprofessional, it also makes you sound unintelligent.
For example, it is better to pause or even tell your interviewer, "give me a couple minutes to think" than to drag out your long "umms".
13) Make sure to show your enthusiasm
There is a fine line between being overly enthusiastic and being excited about the job opportunity. You want to give off a positive vibe and be genuinely interested in the job position, but you want to avoid appearing as if you are going overboard.
For example, being overboard could mean you start to use "extremes" and over exaggerate scenarios. The rule of thumb I try to use is to try and remember that I am speaking to professionals and not my casual closest friends. This will help you keep things in perspective.
14) Avoid asking about salary in the first few interviews
Asking about the salary at the first interview can come off as cocky and is a huge no-no. Remember this is the first time the firm hiring you is meeting you and you want to give them the impression that you are interested in the job and not the money. Typically, the money part comes when and if they make you an offer.
Besides, if you really wanted to find out what the salary is for a particular position, ask those who work at the company. Alternatively, you can do your research and probably find what the ballpark range for that type of position is. For Big 4 Accountants, I recommend reading Essential Knowledge For a First Year Audit Staff/Intern At a Big 4 Accounting Firm
, where salaries are discussed.
15) Be prepared to about any experiences that you have written down on your resume and elaborate
While most of the time you may be asked behavioral questions, your resume is definitely fair game. Just a sidebar, behavioral questions are when the interviewer presents you with a scenario and ask how you would act.
Make sure you come up with a couple stories about your experiences on your resume. Perhaps a time when you've worked on a project or with a team. For more information read up on Big 4 Interview & Tips
16) Make sure that your important characteristics and qualities come across to the interviewer.
If it is your first interview, on average, you will most likely only have about an hour with the interviewer, sometimes even less. It is important that they see your important qualities. Be positive and upbeat. Be engaged and confident. In addition, to practicing interview questions. Make sure you mentally prepare yourself for the interview.
17) Remember that the interview is a chance to sell yourself.
There will be a lot of other candidates interviewing for that same position you are interviewing for. Make yourself stand out. If you are someone who is always modest, just remember that this is your time to shine. It is okay to talk about your accomplishments and your goals. If you are someone who can come off as overly confident or boastful, remember that humility comes a long way.
After the Interview
18) Don't forget to get the interviewer's business card before you leave.
Just because you just finished an interview does not mean that you are out of the woods. The interview is only part of the battle. Most people are surprised that the follow-up can be just as important. Ask for the interviewer's business card. There are two sides to this coin. First, even if you don't get the job, you will have made another business contact. Secondly, you will need the business card for the tip below.
19) Send them a thank you note
In this day and age, most people don't mail out handwritten letters. In fact, I would advise against it. Decisions for second round interviews or final decisions are made relatively quickly. More often than not, they will have already made a decision on you within hours after the interview. But, just in case they are teetering between whether or not to bring you into a second round interview, that thank you e-mail might just be the extra push to get you into the right bucket. As always, it doesn't hurt to send a thank you e-mail. Also, don't expect to get a response especially if you aren't asking any questions in the e-mail. They are extremely business professionals.
20) Follow up if you have not heard from the company within 2 weeks.
This is a two way street. It is just as important for them to make sure you are a good fit for the company as it is that you fit in their company. If you have other offers coming your way and have not heard from a company yet, it is okay to reach out and ask what the status is. They may be waiting on their number one choice to get back to them and you might be a default. Or they might be busy and just didn't get around to calling you back. Whatever the case maybe, you will drive yourself crazy if you don't find out. So it is okay to reach out. Just do it respectively.
Be sure to review the first set of tips
. Also check out the Big 4 Interview Tricks and Tips Book for more interview tips.