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Interview and career progression advice from qualified accountants who interview newly qualifieds


3 Mins Read | 25-10-2021
Submitted by Harry Double on Mon, 10/25/2021 - 09:12
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We recently hosted the 8th edition of our Life After Qualification series. This time, we delved into the different avenues your career can take as a Newly Qualified Accountant - either into practice, into industry or specialising within tax. You can watch the webinar recording here.

Below are the thoughts and views of the expert speakers from that event - Charlotte Ellis, Puvishan Rathakrishnan and Michael Dwyer - surrounding how to approach interviews as a Newly Qualified Accountant.

Things to be mindful of when interviewing...

  • Acknowledgement of the organisation you are looking to join is paramount. It sounds obvious, but do some thorough research around the product offering and look up the interviewers on LinkedIn to get an understanding of their backgrounds - be properly prepared!
  • You need to sell yourself - it’s competitive out there. Have your ‘stand out’ point well-polished and ready to deliver. Allow your personal qualities to shine through; people often don’t showcase them enough. An employer values knowing what type of person you are and how that will influence your success in the role - showing the desire to teach others, for example, displays a growth mindset.

“The interview process is not easy…”

  • Virtual interviews are here to stay. They’re very convenient and make it a lot easier for the candidate to juggle actual work with finding a new job. The accessibility is appreciated on both sides. But remember, it’s still a formal interview - think about your clothes, background, your use of the meeting software and noise interference. The flexibility and convenience of virtual interviews (especially at the first stage interview round) can significantly speed up the hiring process.

“Enjoy being Newly Qualified, enjoy the higher salary and enjoy that your exams are over for now…”

Making the most of the opportunities…

  • Lean into any opportunity that presents itself and volunteer to take part in as many projects as you can. The diversity of experience will be beneficial and can act as a springboard into other roles across the entire accounting function - and beyond!

“What can I do to help companies realise what’s out there?”

  • Whatever your situation is, you can excel. Part time or working flexibly does not have to hold you back.
  • There’s lots more out there for qualified accountants than just spreadsheets - think to yourself: “Where can I use my technical and interpersonal skills to actually influence and change the direction of a company?”
  • Being a Chartered Accountant working in Professional Services is a universal skill and presents a golden opportunity to travel and work overseas.
  • There will always be hurdles in your career - those challenges shape the future of your career and will help you appreciate it all the more when you fall into the right role.
  • Word of warning: Redundancy does happen at some point in most careers - it may seem disastrous at the time but it can be fantastic and give you the opportunity to look further afield.
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