Help! I Have A Preliminary Interview with A Finance/Accounting Recruiter. What Do I Say?

How to Answer Questions from Your Finance/Accounting Recruiter

In another blog post, we addressed “How to Answer General Questions Posed by a Recruiter.” In this post, we’re going to explore questioned posed by an accounting and finance recruiter specifically.

Once again, although these are sample answers, when faced with these questions or questions that are similar, you should have an answer prepared that best fits your background and set of circumstances.

Below are common answers to questions posed by a finance and accounting recruiter:

Q: Tell me about yourself.

A: I’m a detail-oriented person who strives for high efficiency. I had an accounting internship at a factory to do bookkeeping jobs. I prepared hundreds of invoices with no mistakes. Also during my auditing internship, I was in charge of searching for any suspected data or records and completed all of the audit paperwork by myself. I work attentively to avoid making mistakes when there’s a deadline.

And while I really enjoyed the work that I did, I’d love the chance to dig in much deeper with one specific company, which is why I’m so excited about this opportunity.

Q: Why do you want this job?

A: The first thing that caught my eye when I saw the position was definitely your teamwork environment and the company culture. It seems like it’s a big family.

But the part that really spoke to me about this position was the chance to combine both the programming skills I gained from being a senior software engineer and my knack for quantitative analysis in a position that actively allows me to engage my growing interest in investing and portfolio management.

I’ve been interested in switching to finance for a while now and have been actively managing my own personal portfolio for a few years. Joining a firm like yours makes sense to me because I think it’s one of the few places where I’ll still be able to use my technical skills and spend my day thinking about finance. I’m really excited to learn more and see how I’ll be able to contribute to the firm.

Q: If you need to evaluate a firm, what will you do? (for the finance field)

A: The most common way to evaluate a firm is to use peer companies. If we choose peers carefully, the target company and the peers should have a similar performance. Some ratios, such as P/E or P/EV, are highly valued to make a comparison. This kind of method is widely adopted by Wall Street.

Some other methods might be trickier. For example, I can dive into the news and financial reports to get a relatively precise valuation. I can predict the pattern of future performance through the last five years (or more) of financial reports and adjust the pattern based on news released by the company. Sometimes the macro economy environment should be considered.

Because each analyst might have his or her own assumptions, this kind of method could be tricky. And different companies should be treated differently. For most companies, it is fine to adopt WACC to get the intrinsic value, whereas for energy companies, the APV method might be better than WACC.

Q: Which certificate is more useful, the CPA or the ACCA? (for accounting field)

A: Certificates are always useful to some degree. There are two main certificates, CPA and ACCA, for accounting-related jobs.

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Are you considering a new position?  Or, do you need help with preparing for a job interview?  If so, please contact a Career Counselor with Lexacount Search’s Career Consulting Services. Our Career Counselors are experienced in helping a candidate present his or her best self during an all-important interview.   In addition, please learn more about open finance and accounting industry opportunities with a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Finance Group.  Or, learn more about open legal industry opportunities with a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Legal Group.


By Lexacount Search

This post was written by .

Lexacount Search is a boutique recruiting and staffing company, focusing on permanent placement for legal and accounting professionals. We place attorneys, paralegals, accountants, and contract specialists with law firms and corporations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and nationwide. Equidistant from New York and Washington, D.C., our offices are located in suburban Philadelphia. Our search consultants have a range of experiences as lawyers, paralegals, law clerks, accountants and accounting clerks. These backgrounds make our consultants uniquely qualified to match your skills and career goals with permanent positions with our clients. Whether you are a lawyer, paralegal, law clerk, accountant, accounting clerk or other skilled professional, Lexacount will provide you with a variety of available career opportunities.

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