By Jim Wong, CPA | November 5, 2014

Are you getting ready to interview for a new accounting, finance or IT position? Impress the hiring company with solid questions.

If you’re in the job hunt for whatever reason — you’re currently employed and you want to make a career change, or you’re out of work and are looking for a new opportunity — once you get to the interview process with a company, you’re one step ahead of many other job seekers. Applying for a job is time consuming, and at times frustrating, so you should really consider getting an interview as your first “win.” Then, being prepared and successfully making it through the interview process should be your next goal to achieve.

While accounting, finance and IT professional are in demand these days, you cannot assume you’ll get the job just because your qualifications match the job description. There are numerous factors that go into getting chosen for the role including culture match, past experience, and most importantly, your performance in the interviews.

Everywhere you look these days you can find tips for perfecting an accounting, finance or IT interview such as recommendations on: What to wear, how to act, and how to respond to canned questions. However, often times, we see candidates fumble most when the tables are turned, and they have to be the ones asking questions to the interviewers.

Don’t let that part of the interview cost you the job.

Here are four questions we think you should ask in your next accounting, finance or IT job interview that will help you stand out among your peers vying for the same role:

1. What are the functions of the role that I would need to be proficient in before I start?

Besides the broad and general aspects of your potential new role, it’s important to know job-specific details. You should know what the expectations are from you — in your respective level of proficiency — from Day One. Whichever technical aspects you think are important to know ahead of time, you should be sure to ask them during the interview process.

2. Research ahead of time the hiring company’s “brag me” section on their website and ask: How did the company come to accomplishing that? What impact does that have on this role?

Showing that you’ve done research about your potential employer ahead of your interview foreshadows dedication and commitment to them and to your career. Besides just relaying what you read on their website, asking about their journey to their successes and how that has impacted their employees is a smart way to gain more information about the company. It also shows that you’re resourceful and motivated to go about getting information in clever ways.

3. Why would a candidate want this role and want to work here?

The perfect person to ask about the experience of working at the company is the person or people interviewing you. They’re obviously in a role to make a decision or at least have an opinion in the process. This means, they’re privy to information about the company culture, values and the overall operations of the company. You’ll most likely get the insight you’ll want and need to make a decision if and when you get a job offer.

4. Your Closing Question: Do you have any questions or concerns about hiring me for this role and company?

This should be your last and final question to the interviewer(s). Sometimes an interviewer may be thinking or assuming something about your background without coming right out and saying it. If you’re straight forward and directly ask them if you’re lacking in any capacity for the role, they may be more inclined to express their concerns (if any) when they’re prompted. Be prepared to respond to their questions or concerns with examples of how you overcame other shortcomings in your previous roles. Also, be sure to clarify any inaccurate impressions they may have about you or your skills.

Remember, one way to really shine during a job interview is by not only answering the questions to the best of your ability, but also asking appropriate questions in return.

What are some other questions that are important to ask during the interview process? Comment below and let us know!

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