Finance News & Insights

Cut through the fluff during interviews

Potential new hires are perfect on paper, have the right answers to your questions … and couldn’t find their way through a reporting cycle with a flashlight and a map.

Having a star candidate turn out to be an Accounting dud has happened to most companies, but the economy’s turning on the pressure for employers and employees alike. Businesses can’t afford to retrain and rehire for positions, but job-hungry interviewers are learning all the right answers to the usual questions — and padding their resumes without fear.

Here are two ways to cut through the excellently-prepared fluff and find the right fit for Finance:

  1. Don’t ask for one example of a past action or success. How people have worked in the past is a clear indicator of how they’ll function on your team, but everyone can think of a time they went above and beyond the call of duty. Instead, grill potential hires for three or four examples — they won’t have a cookie-cutter response planned, and you’ll get the real info you need. Plus, having several examples to talk about shows it’s a pattern of their behavior, and not a single moment in the sun.
  2. Don’t consider all motivation equal. After they’ve given a few examples of how they’ve excelled, probe to find out where they got the motivation from. Scoring on a project because it “needed to get done” might’ve gotten results, but the motivation’s completely external. People who are internally motivated might’ve completed hard work because they wanted to expand their skill set.

Candidates who can tell you plenty about their internal motivation and success are likely the right fit — they’ll be the accounting managers who improve procedures on their own, instead of being asked to.

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