In the Interview

CPA Ireland Skillnet
‘Enhance your Interview Skills’
10th May, 2012
Objective of Today
Introduction to Morgan McKinley
The Interview & what Employers are seeking in potential employees
 Interview Preparation
 Interview Tips
 Common questions asked in Interviews
 Tough job interview questions
 Questions you can ask
 Open Floor Mock Interview – Interactive Session
Current Market Overview
Questions & Answers
Morgan McKinley - Overview
 What do Morgan McKinley do?
 What are our relevant specialist verticals and what do they mean?
Commerce & Industry
Banking & Financial Services
Professional Services
Public Sector & Not-For-Profit
Our global presence
Thinking globally, Act locally
 25 offices in 10 countries
 Strategically placed at the heart of business centres
 1 new location planned for H4 2011 in New York
 A single global candidate database
 International candidate management programme
 Global Client Account Management initiative
Current global presence includes
Hong Kong
The Netherlands
United Kingdom
Our local presence
 5 offices in 5 counties – Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Kilkenny, Limerick
 Over 50 consultants in Ireland working in the accounting and finance space –
30 of which are based in Dublin alone
 Qualified consultants in CIPD, CPA, ACA, AITI, IATI and ACCA
 Teams divided down by qualification so you only deal with specialists in your
 A single Irish Client and Candidate database
 International candidate management programme out of Ireland with close
ties to all international offices – London/Sydney
The Interview
Sweaty hands? New suit? Nerves? ….. It's got to be the
job interview!
The Interview – Preparation
Before you begin the interview process
•Self-assessment: Know your skills, talents, strengths, weaknesses, achievements,
motivations and work values – keep an on-going file for all of these – they can be easily
•Research, Research, Research: The Company you are applying to, who are it’s
competitors, what is their market position?
•Be prepared to discuss anything on your cv: Importantly be prepared to answer
questions you don’t want to answer. For Example: Weaknesses, lack of related
experience, low academic results, job hopping
•Practice with a friend and scrutinize how you present and sound: look for
enthusiasm, energy, alertness, facial expressions and body language
The Interview – Preparation
What employers look for:
•Results Driven People
•Team Players – Relationships
•Self managers
•Positive personal Qualities
•Technical Skills
•Business Skills/IT Skills
The Interview – Preparation
Before The Interview
•Put together a brief 2- minute elevator speech – practice this speech
•Remember to always talk in terms of the Employers Needs
•Write down what you want the interviewer(s) perception of you to be after the
interview is over
•Prepare to elaborate on why you would consider leaving your current employer
•Never discuss personal information irrelevant to the job or speak negatively of
a current/former employer
The Interview – Preparation
Preparation is Key
•Read the job spec and research the company
•Read and know your CV and highlight the areas which most relate to the role
you are applying for
•Know where you are going, who you are meeting and arrive on time!
•Be prepared to meet more than one interviewer
•Present yourself in a Professional Manner with good hygiene
The Interview – During the Interview
In the Interview
•Firm Handshake / Keep eye contact
•Be clear on your reasons for wanting the role & working for the company
•Sell yourself into the job
•Answer the questions you are asked, do not digress
•Have examples to back up your answers
•Be positive, enthusiastic and energetic. Don’t fidget
•Talk about your sports and hobbies
•Ask questions
The Interview – During the Interview
•Turn off your mobile phone – better still leave it in the car
•Ask the hiring manager to describe the opportunity in detail
- This is a great way to ensure that you identify what exactly the employer is
looking for and perhaps say something like….” what performance
objective will be used to evaluate exceptional performance within this
•Be enthusiastic
- Speak clearly, distinctly and with confidence
•Smile when speaking but don’t over do it either as it can make you appear
The Interview – During the Interview
•If you are interested in the opportunity tell your interviewer so!
- State that you are interested and qualify your reasons as to why. It is very
important that you communicate your passion for the opportunity and company.
•Be open to compensation questions
- Be straight forward in your answer and precise about the base, bonus etc
•Ask questions about the client and LISTEN CAREFULLY
- People love to talk about themselves, give them a chance to share with you why
they are great and why you should want to work for them…
•Last but not least, HAVE FUN!!!
The Interview – Frequently asked Questions
1) Competency Based
What are your Strengths/ Weaknesses?
–This is the most dreaded question. List 4/5 strengths and 1/2 weaknesses.
Stay away from personal qualities and concentrate on professional traits.
Tell me about a time you when you helped to resolve a dispute?
–Pick a specific incident, Concentrate on you problems solving technique
and not the dispute you settled.
What have you done that significantly contributed to a project?
(Team Work)
–Focus on the actions you took to complete the project. Actions verbs are
Tell me about your ability to work under pressure?
–You may say that you thrive under pressure, but give an example that
relates to the position you are applying for.
The Interview – Frequently asked Questions
2) Behavioural
•Scenario question to establish behaviour patterns, e.g case study & role plays
3) Technical
•Demonstrate level of technical ability through out work experience
•Detailed, specific, to the point and relevant to the role at hand
The Interview - What is the best way to close an
Always Ask Questions
•It shows that you are considering their company as much as they are
considering you
•It shows you have paid attention to information in the interview.
Reinforce Your Attributes
•Offer a respectful closing comment reiterating your strengths and how they
link into the critical skills the company is seeking
Alleviate Concerns
•Give the interviewer an opportunity to alleviate any concerns they may
have…” “I believe I’m the right candidate for this position. Do you see any
issues that might make you think other wise?”
The Interview – What is the best way to close an
Express Enthusiasm
•This should shine throughout the interview but be sure to include a few
positive remarks about the company and the position
Determine the Next Step
•Be sure to ask for the next step in the hiring process. This will show that you
are an organised and professional candidate
Thank the Interviewer
•Graciously thank the interviewer and stand to shake their hand, remember
to keep confident
Current Market Update
Highlights – April 2012 Employment Monitor
 The Morgan McKinley Irish Employment Monitor recorded a decrease (4%) in the
number of new professional jobs in the market in April 2012 compared to March 2012
 However, the number of new professional job vacancies was up 5% year-on-year from
April 2011
 April 2012 saw a 15% decrease since March in the number of professionals seeking
jobs in the Irish employment market
 Compared to the same time last year there was a significant increase of (63%) in the
number of new professional job seekers in April 2012.
 The number of new professional job opportunities in the market decreased slightly from
March 2012 to April 2012. There was a 4% decrease from 9,246 in March 2012 to 8,919
in April 2012. This was however, a marginal increase (5%) from the April 2011 figure of
 There was also a decline in the number of professionals beginning their job searches in
April 2012, decreasing 15% from 12,200 to 10,390 month-on-month. Compared to April
2011, there was a 63% increase when 6,375 professionals entered the jobs market.
So what does that mean for accountants?
Sectors that are hiring in Ireland:
•Shared Service Centers / Centers of Excellence
•Manufacturing (Food, Pharma, Medical Device)
•FMCG (Producers, Wholesalers, Multiples)
•Oil & Gas
•Occasional Start up businesses
•Large Irish PLC’s (CRH, Kerry Group, Glanbia etc..)
•Medium sized Irish business with leverage outside Ireland
•European trading centres for MNC
•Top 10/Big 4 practices
•Banking in specific verticals (Middle Office/Back Office)
So what does that mean for accountants?
Sectors that are not consistently hiring in Ireland:
•Construction (Trade and Services)
•High street retail
•Small/Medium Practice
•Indigenous SME
•Public Sector
….Companies relying on cash flow from Irish Customers.
For more information
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