The trend in job interviews today is toward longer, deeper interviews, more rounds of them, and many more people involved along the way.
To do so within the limitations of most candidates’ schedules, employers are increasingly bundling these multiple sessions into one super-interview. It’s important to be prepared for tough questions.
These marathon encounters can sometimes last an entire day, during which the candidate can be trotted through as many as six or seven different rounds with various people in the company.
It can be as much a test of endurance as the candidate’s ability to do the job. Here’s how to handle these long sessions and come out on top.
Know what you’re up against
Before you even get to the interview, find out what the agenda for the day is.
You may have in mind a relatively quick hour-long session, and then be surprised to find you have an entire afternoon to endure. And surprises are never good in interviews.
Multiple-round interviews are as much a test of physical endurance as anything. Your body can be beat from hiking office to office, working your brain to the point of overheating, and just simply enduring the stress of high-stakes question sessions.
So do yourself a favor and rest well the night before, eat a great breakfast, and wear comfortable clothes.
Keep yourself fresh by keeping your emotions in good shape. Avoid as much stress as possible during the week of the interview.
Then boost yourself up with affirmations of your strengths, positive music during the drive their, or anything else to keep yourself up – you’ve got a long day ahead and keeping bright is key.
Interviewers with varying degrees of relevance
Through the various stages of a marathon interview, you’ll probably talk to everyone from your potential boss to co-workers that have little or nothing to do with the job.
The key is to treat them all well and give them the same intensity and concentration you would the top manager. For one thing, you can’t always sort out who really matters and who doesn’t. More importantly, the hiring manager is almost certain to later ask all of these people for their opinion of you.
Same story with fresh angles
Over the course of a marathon interview, you’ll probably end up telling the same stories over and over again. But you need to tell them every time with the same pride, enthusiasm, and energy. So practice.
Find different ways of saying your stories. Look for unique angles to adapt them with. Get used to repeating them. Your stories are the gold of your career. Make sure they sparkle appropriately time after time.
Finally, prepare ways to revitalize yourself as the sessions unfold. Keep an energy bar in your suit and chow it down as you take a restroom break. Bring eye drops to keep your eyes bright and sparkly.
Learn quick stretching and self-massage techniques you can use between rounds. Whatever you can do to keep the gleam in your attitude will certainly help your chances to win the day.
In simple terms, it is a contract with the promise of a permanent position at the end of a certain period.
In such an arrangement, a business provides temporary employment to a contractor to complete a certain task and his/her success in said task determines if the business will employ him/her on a long-term basis upon completion of the job at hand.
Advantages of a contract-to-hire
A contract-to-hire arrangement can be extremely beneficial to a business in the following ways:
1) Little training is required
A contract-to-hire tends to be task specific as mentioned above so very little training is required to bring a contractor up to speed with the ins and outs of the job in question.
With a full time employment scenario, however, businesses often offer extensive and thereby expensive training. So the fact that a contractor can hit the ground running at minimal cost is advantageous to not only the company but also the contractor himself/herself.
2) Low Human Resource expenses
Permanent employment comes with a lot of HR requirements e.g. leave management, payroll management, and 401 (K) benefits among other nitty-gritty. Contract-to-hire arrangements meanwhile have few HR requirements which means they consume little resources.
What’s more, in the event that a business decides to terminate the contract for whatever cause, it can do so no questions asked without paying out severances or without risking any legal backlash.
3) Employers get a trial run
Finding the right person to fill a certain role in a business can become an uphill task but contract-to-hires offer an effective trial period to help the employer separate the wheat from the chaff.
The company gets a view of the contractors’ skills and effectiveness and can decide to hire or let them go if they feel they are not a good fit. Whether or not candidates make the cut will depend strictly on what they bring to the table.
4) Contract-to-hire can provide stability
Vital roles in a business can become vast voids that take quite some time to fill in the event that the employee in place leaves.
Finding the right fit can be time and resource consuming but with the convenience of a contract-to-hire employee standing in, other company initiatives can keep up with normal operations even during this searching period when the business is looking for the best pick of the bunch.
Contract-to-hires accelerate initial onboarding and also quells any problems of instability.
As with pretty much everything else, there is another side to the coin of contract-to-hire agreements. Some of its drawbacks include:
1) The process can become frustrating
The business might have to repeat the process over and over again as it is not often the norm that it will land the best candidate at the first go.
As the company kisses more toads than princes, it can start to lose faith in the process and the strategy can become frustrating.
2) Businesses can get two-faced employees
Arguably the most devastating of the drawbacks is that a company is at a risk of hiring employees who end up being unfruitful in the long run.
People will always put their best foot forward during the trial phase but once they get through the door of permanent employment, their entire persona changes drastically and so too does their work input. In a nutshell, it is not the best way to get top-notch personnel.
3) Many good employees are put off by contract-to-hire agreements
Truth be told, not many are interested in working for a company part-time and this is especially true for the talented or skilled employees who often prefer the financial security of a permanent placement.
This is not to say there aren’t any skilled labor with contract-to-hires. That said,how companies have treated contract-to-hire employees in the past will determine the caliber of candidates a business gets. Those with high success rates will attract the better candidates, while those with high turnover rates will not be very appealing.
When is a contract-to-hire agreement ideal for a business?
Whether or not a business should use contract-to-hire agreements depends upon a number of factors. While it might be perfect for some kinds of businesses, in other cases, it can become an ineffective means of procuring labor. At this juncture, we’ll be discussing the former.
1) It is a great strategy for a company with fluctuating labor demands
Those businesses that tend to require varying amounts of labor throughout the year-e.g. agricultural ventures where more hands are required during certain periods- benefit the most from contract-to-hire arrangements.
Instead of employing people on permanent terms only to lay them off when the job is at an end, these companies can hire extra personnel during the most intensive seasons of the year and let them go without having to pay hefty terms that come with permanent contract violations.
2) It is also excellent for small businesses with little resources
As discussed previously, permanent employment often comes with numerous incentives and conditionals. So for a business with a constrained budget that is just finding its feet in the industry, contract-to-hire agreements are the best way to go.
It allows small companies to cut down on human resource efforts among other related costs.
So is a contract-to-hire deal appropriate for your business? Well, that depends on the resources you have at your disposal and the nature of labor requirements in your company.
Simple tasks can be handed out on a temporary basis but more complex jobs require experienced professionals you can hire for the long haul. All in all, weigh the pros and cons of the strategy and you should find the way forward for your company.
If you’re currently in a temp position and want to secure a full-time role, here are the steps you’ll need to take.
How to Impress Your Employer as a Temp
Arrive on time or early at work
Punctuality is a crucial part of getting respect from your boss and will show your managers and co-workers they can trust you. It also helps you to stand out as a great worker. Suddenly hiring you becomes less risky.
Even if your office has a more informal dress code, it is worth taking an extra step to dress well. Even if your boss does not realize it, he/she will consider you more serious if you are dressed well.
Listen to what your boss says
Take notes and give your boss full attention. If you listen well, you can work more independently, and your boss will not think that you need constant direction.
When given a task, do it well the first time. If you have listened well, you will know what is being asked of you and how to do it. If you perform your work efficiently and accurately, you will be ahead of the competition, and your boss will surely notice.
Show a positive attitude
Even when the most tedious tasks are presented to you, accept the work happily. If you keep smiling, your boss will want to work with you, and you will avoid being bored or unhappy happy with your work.
Join office culture
Go out to lunch with your coworkers. Participate in the volunteer efforts of the entire company. Bring new ideas to the table. Become invaluable to the company. Go further.
Learn the trouble spots for the company and improve the way things are done. By presenting your company with new ideas, you will be seen as an asset that your company can not afford to work without.
Help your other workers
By helping with projects, you build relationships with your coworkers, and your boss will want you to stay. You are also likely to learn new things within the company, making you a more valuable and diversified employee.
Be busy most of the time doing something
That can be extraordinarily complicated as a temporary worker because you may always be waiting for a task and may not be on the administrator’s priority list. Take extra time to learn about the company, stay organized, or help a co-worker.
If your company faces an imminent deadline, offer to work overtime. That is an indicator that you are ready to go further to help the company succeed and earn extra money in the meantime.
Always show your interest
Let your boss know that you are willing to devote the additional time to receive training or education to fit the position correctly. If you have shown that you learn quickly, your boss may like this idea, can hire you at a lower price than an experienced professional.
Look for chances
If a job is not open, find a need within your company. If your company likes the work you have been doing, they may be willing to create a job for you. Make sure you do not disturb your boss about it, suggest the idea and then back off. You will already have an advantage over strangers.
Temp to hire salary negotiation
Once you’ve proven yourself as a valuable member of the staff, it’s time to negotiate your full-time role.
Successful negotiation is only possible if you know how to handle unexpected emotions and absurd arguments. It is equally important to understand how to maintain up with the agreement of your company while doing new business.
Effective communication is necessary to manage the relationship with your boss and result in a win-win situation. However, not everyone has the ability or capacity to negotiate effectively, which could be a hindrance to getting ahead.
The salary negotiation must be for the benefit of both the employee and the employer, but it must never be adversarial, and no one must be aggressive.
Salary negotiation tips
When you are considering a job offer, it is essential to know how much your net salary will be. That can easily be verified on the Internet using the free salary calculators.
Learn about your work needs
Before salary negotiation, you must find out the amount of work you will do, and the skills, experience, and qualifications that are important to the employer. Do some research on salaries and be prepared for your negotiations. The negotiation tactics used must be professional, friendly, and data-driven
Let the employer start the talk
For recent graduates, it can sometimes be intimidating, as you lack experience.
Follow the rule of thumb and do not talk about your compensation. Let the employer start the conversation.
In cases your boss asks for salary expectations, the best answer is probably according to industry standards based on position, responsibility, and job challenges.
Never say any number
If the employer insists on the number, cite a salary range based on the research done instead of quoting the exact number. Here your research will help you, as you can mention a range while considering your experience and skills.
Once you have received an offer, do not rush things. If you have doubts about the salary offered, a simple ‘I need to think about it’ can help you work on the numbers.
While it is ambitious, be realistic about what you request and always support your request with information about the company, the position, and the responsibilities of the function.
When evaluating a salary offer, do not just look at the basic salary: be sure to consider the package as a whole. If there is a bonus structure implemented, ask what percentage of bonus has been achieved in the past and negotiate a higher rate based on key work.
With over 8 million occupants, New York City is by far the largest city in America. Serving this massive population is a slew of businesses offering countless employment opportunities for finance professionals. As a result, New York City is one of the best places to find an accounting job, and in this accounting career guide, we’ll show you how to snag that dream job.
A large number of major corporations make the city their home, including major players in the finance, media, and entertainment worlds. There are an abundance of opportunities for professionals at all levels and specialties, including bookkeeping, accounts payable, and staff accountant roles.
Who’s Hiring For Accounting?
It’s a city that never sleeps, and that saying also applies to the numerous businesses that call New York City home. Many of these businesses require large accounting staffs that can work 365 days of the year to keep up with all the commercial activity.
Furthermore, various well-off people who dwell in NYC additionally require master bookkeeping firms to deal with their accounts.
While the real firms are situated in Manhattan, there are also many firms hiring in the nearby boroughs. Brooklyn’s quickly developing fame has prompted an expansion in openings for work in the range, so don’t avoid this district from your pursuit of employment.
What’s the Accounting Salary in the Big Apple?
The typical cost for basic items in NYC is very high, so it really is great that accounting occupations pay handsomely in the city. Expect a normal pay of about $80,000 for someone experienced. This is well over the national average salary for the field, which is around $65,000. Senior accountants and managers can command over $100,000 per year.
Those with aptitude in a specific zone of bookkeeping, for example, reviewing or universal assessment, could get paid more by functioning as an expert to organizations or bookkeeping firms.
How to Apply for Accounting Jobs in NYC?
It is actually very simple to apply for accounting jobs. You just need to find open positions on a job board like Indeed or LinkedIn. Then send the hiring companies your resume letter online, containing all your past work and education experiences as well as an explanation of why you are qualified for the job. Then presto! You are hired.
If only it were that easy! New York is filled with many qualified candidates so expect lots of competition for those accounting jobs. Read up here on how to build up and enhance your credentials. It really does help if you can network via LinkedIn.
Try networking with past colleagues, or reaching out to old college buddies. Your natural market is the best way to get an “in’ into an organization.
Finally, one of the best ways is to use Vested. We match talented finance and accounting professionals with the fastest growing startups. It’s very simple. Just click the button “Sign Up” and link to your LinkedIn profile.
You’ll need to fill out a few small details about yourself, like your goals, needs and expectations. List your accomplishments and past work history and then we do the rest. Using our connection at startups, we’ll match the right role for your skills and career goals.
Immediate Openings in Accounting
According to our database of hiring companies, the top two positions that have openings are Accounts Payable Clerk and Staff Accountant.
The duties related to the job of an Accounts Payable specialist vary from organization to organization. You will be a vital member of the team that has the task of maintaining accounting operations for a particular department in the organization. To achieve success as an Accounts Payable Clerk, it’s key to understand job expectations and what it takes to exceed them.
Here is a basic job description for this accounting role:
Financial analysis and office administration
Checking and Verifying receipts and monies owed to vendors
Create invoices and vouchers
Filing, typing and posting ledgers
Make sure the debits and credits tie out
Variable costs are assigned to right cost centers and applied to the appropriate legal entities
Maintain accurate records of employee pay
Manages the record keeping and maintenance of invoices, receipts and other vendor documents
Balance records with respect to accounts receivables and payables
Manage the reimbursement and tracking process for travel and entertainment expenses
Be the “go-to person” for updating bank records and daily cash positions.
Accounts Payable Clerk Salary
According toGlassdoor, the national average for an AP Clerk is $31,587. In New York City, the salary for accounts payable clerk jobs is closer to $40,000. This is based on various openings from startups that have signed up atVested’s Employer Services.
Moreover, startups are lean on traditional benefits like matching 401K. However, they make it up in year-round casual dress codes, foosball tables, beer in the fridge, and high visibility. Startups are lean in general so it’s easier to rise up the ranks from an Accounts Payable Clerk to a Staff Accountant.
If the startup gets big enough or even goes public in 5-7 years, someone who started out as an Accounts Payable Clerk could easily be a candidate for a Controller job. This is the beauty of working for a startup: achieve success early and you will be recognized.
How to Achieve Success as an AP Specialist
We’ve done a recent survey of our startup clients, and we asked them what it takes for an Accounts Payable Clerk to succeed in this unique world.
Here are the highlights from that survey:
Constantly improve accounting skills and get more exposure in the accounting world
Review own work during month end to free up time for the senior accountant and/or the accounting manager to do more analysis
Make sure all accruals are defect free and hitting the right accounts so that there is no clean-up work to be done after
Make sure the accounting schedules tie out and see if there are ways they can be improved
Ensure the accounting team has an efficient and accurate Cash Process
Maintain constant and open dialogue with banks, and/or third-parties who specialize in cash processes (i.e.Stripe)
Analyze historic daily balances in Stripe to ensure we are forecasting correct
Perform a daily rec for stripe so that we have daily balances moving forward
Implement an AP automation software to drive efficiency and accuracy
Setup and manage the AP automation software that makes obtaining invoice approvals easier
Implement a process where invoice would be uploaded automatically into Netsuite
Improve AP aging process and work with department heads and the C-level executives to get pre-approval on fixed recurring monthly invoices. (Ex. Office supplies, Internet, travel & entertainment, office snacks, rent and utilities)
Constantly Improve finance skills and get more exposure to modeling
Work 1 on 1 with senior accountants and/or accounting manager to improve modeling skills
Take on small ad hoc projects to figure out what skills need to be improved
Ensure which important metrics are needed for forecasting
Partner up to ensure we have a smooth budget process.
Most of these things are typical expectations for an Accounts Payable Clerk. The main difference between working for a large corporation and a startup is the amount of work, and the ability to prioritize and knock out tasks.
According to the startups we’ve surveyed, this ability to multi-task and manage uncertainty is the number one skill to achieve job success as an Accounts Payable Clerk.
Staff Accountant Role
Although the staff accountant is one level higher than the Accounts Payable clerk, the job requirements are very similar. Most startups, or any business looking to hire a staff accountant, often require the following things:
The ability to analyze information from the general ledger
Prepare internal and external financial statement for the organization
Prepare payments for accrued expenses, and manage disbursements
Assist the Accounts Payable Clerk in reconciling accounts
Answer questions related to finance and accounting by analyzing information and conducting research
Solid understanding of math to calculate depreciation and cash flow impact of accruals
Comfortable with Excel modelling to help the Finance team with budgeting and forecasting exercises.
Skill and Educational Requirements for a Staff Accountant
This is where the Staff Accountant is slightly different from an Accounts Payable Clerk. Most businesses prefer their Staff Accountants to have a bachelor’s degree, which usually takes four years to complete. While in university, the Staff Accountant should have taken all the accounting courses, business courses, management courses, information technology courses, and ethics courses.
The curriculum might also include courses regarding macroeconomics, business communications, computer applications, statistics, and accounting information systems (which is one of the most important for the future according).
Furthermore, hiring firms require their Staff Accountants to have 2-3 years of prior accounting experience, preferably with one of the Big Four accounting firms (i.e. KPMG, E&Y). Finally, a Staff Accountant would need a CPA to work full time in a finance team at any business, including a startup.
The experience and educational requirements are different for Clerks because these roles require an Associate’s degree. It is not uncommon for Accounts Payable Clerks to work full-time and study after hours to acquire the necessary credits to sit for the CPA exam. Passing the CPA Exam is necessary if an Accounts Payable Clerk wants to get promoted to a Staff Accountant role.
Finally, Staff Accountants are expected to fulfill theCPE requirements to maintain their CPA license. The requirements are different from state to state. For example in New York, a CPA would need to do the following to maintain their license:
Complete a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education in any of the recognized courses
Complete a minimum of 24 hours in a concentrated subject area. Approved topics include but not limited to accounting, auditing, taxation, advisory services and specialized knowledge regarding accounting in a specific industry (i.e. real estate, patent)
If an organization’s accounting department is big enough, then it could provide courses to help it’s in-house CPAs complete these requirements. However, in the case of most startups, they don’t have sufficient cash to pay for the continuing education of their staff. Hence, Staff Accountants need to fulfill the CPE requirements on their own.
Achieving Success as a Staff Accountant in a Startup
We’ve surveyed our clients about how a Staff Accountant can work effectively in their unique work environment. Here are the highlights of the survey:
Staff Accountants are expected to perform a detailed review of the financial statements and monthly variances; create value through deep analytical knowledge on accounting processes; and identify any errors and adjustments that need to be made
Perform a detailed review of monthly variances to ensure no accruals/reversals/bills are missed during close
Ensure accounting processes comply with GAAP
Analyze expenses by department on a vendor level
Meet with department heads to review monthly expenses to ensure all accruals, reversals and bills have been recorded
Create a monthly variance analysis in each schedule to understand expenses in detail
Set-up, own and drive an efficient process for balance sheet accounts to ensure accuracy in reporting
Analyze and review balance sheet accounts by journal entry since inception to identify any process errors and adjustments
Lead the communication to develop a new process for recording these accounts
Develop a more analytical knowledge about these accounts to provide deep insights on how to create an efficient process for accurate reporting
Determine the amount that is reasonable to write-off based on the analysis that is performed
Improving the Budget Versus Actuals (BVA) process
Identify fail points and opportunities on processes before business owners do
Drive process to ensure business leaders are prepared in the monthly meetings by reviewing and confirming the expenses prior to closing the books
Perform detailed analysis and having explanations on large or inconsistent variances
Create an environment of “no surprises.”
Finally, the HR departments at most startups emphasized that “emotional intelligence” or EQ is more important than technical skills. Startups are a fast paced environment, and the Staff Accountant would need to be comfortable working independently.
Startups don’t have a large finance or accounting department, and the staff do not sit behind walled off cubicles.
It’s usually an open office setting with high visibility. So a Staff Accountant at a startup should be comfortable with all types of people (from an engineer requesting T&E reimbursement to the CEO asking about daily cash positions) to come to his or her desk.
The Staff Accountant role involves handling these ad-hoc requests efficiently and effectively, while still leaving sufficient time to complete his or her other regular tasks.
Some of the roles that firms are looking to fill:
Senior Financial Analyst
Director of Accounting
Vice President of Accounting
Chief Financial Officer (many startups prefer Big 5 credentials)
How to Get that Accounting Role
As we discussed in this article, figures quite often add power and believability to what you highlight on your resume, particularly when you are applying for accounting work.
Lots of employers like to see impressive numbers on your resume. Working on the budget for the lightbulb division in General Electric is not as impressive as managing a $50 million budget at a tire factory.
Yes, GE has the brand name, but stating your role doesn’t provide context. However, if you show on your resume, that you managed a $50 million capital budget for a company that has $75 million of gross revenues – then it’s a powerful story. It shows that you were important enough in the organization to manage a budget that is 2/3 of their entire annual gross revenues.
Be Prepared to Explain Your Credentials
Yes, there’s a limit to this. Something may look incredible on a resume, however consider how it will sound when somebody gets some information about it in the meeting. For instance saying that you “expanded organization benefits by 200%” opens yourself up to questions including “what particularly did you do to build benefits?”
On the off chance that you don’t have a nitty gritty system and operational guide for how you accomplished this, your interviewer will stay extremely suspicious of your prospects.
The Mental Game
Regardless of how great your pursuit of employment methodology, there’s continually going to be disappointment and dismissal. It’s inescapable. In any pursuit of employment, you can’t get to that “Yes, you’re hired” without loads of “No, we’re not interested” reactions.
Thus, it’s urgent that you get practical about the path towards landing a position and have the correct attitude to deal with setbacks. Without the capacity to drive forward, you won’t get very far. They say it’s a dog eat dog world in New York, and it’s especially true when it comes to finding the very best accounting jobs in the mecca of finance.
As we discuss here, it’s important to have a winning and sturdy mindset to deal with the ups and downs of finding that dream accounting role:
#1: Relish the Challenge of Finding the Right Accounting Job
The normal time it takes to find another employment is a month and a half. There’s a great deal to do when attempting to find your next employment opportunity, from researching the role and company to interviewing. Finally, there’s the soul searching part. This is probably the most important. We spend a lot of time at work so we must constantly evaluate why we’re doing this and why we should care.
#2: The Recruiting Game is just Statistics
It’s anything but difficult to romanticize one specific opening for work as “the one.” This happens regularly when you have one process going and all your eggs are in one basket. Perhaps, you’ve had an eye for that dream internal auditor role at a hot startup, and you’re focused only on that one role.
You open yourself up to major disappointment if it doesn’t pan out. It’s much better to spread yourself wide. Apply to various positions. Meet lots of people. It’s not rare that you interview for a Staff Accounting role and they give you a more managerial role because your specialty is needed in the organization.
#3 Power Through Tough Times and Keep Learning
You’ll likely go through various cycles of applying and not getting a response. Then when you finally get a response, the interview doesn’t go well. It’s a frustrating process that you have to compete with so many qualified accounting professionals in NYC, but it’s the recruiting game in the big city. Instead of being frustrated, keep your head up, keep networking and keep working on your resume and interviewing skills.
#4: Stay Positive!
Whenever you advance through the interview process, ensure that you record these wins in a diary that archives your triumphs and lessons learned as you experience this trip. It will come in handy when you feel stale or when you experience the hardships of finding that dream accounting job.
Attempt to recall that enormous victories are just the result of numerous littler triumphs included!
Interviewing for An Accounting Position
Here we have a more extensive review of how to prepare for your interviews:
What are your qualities?
What are your shortcomings?
Why are you intrigued by working for us?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
What would you be able to offer us that another person can’t?
What are three things your previous supervisor might want you to enhance?
Educate me regarding an achievement you are most pleased with.
Enlighten me regarding a period you committed an error.
What is the ideal job for you?
What might you fulfill in the initial 30/60/90 days at work?
So be ready to answer any of these basic inquiries questions. Be honest and succinct but don’t sound monotone. Memorize a general script that answers each and every question, but don’t just regurgitate what you memorized.
Learn to vary your tone and overall emotion so it looks and feels natural. The meeting ought to be a discussion that ideally finishes up with you being offered the occupation you had always wanted.
Finally, when it comes to interviews practice, practice, practice.
If you are 2-3 years out of college or from your MBA school, it could be possible to set up mock interviews with the Career Center at your alma mater. This is often free for alumni so why not take advantage?
In today’s world, interviews can be done via Google Hangouts, via person or by phone. You have to be comfortable to showcase yourself and your skills in all mediums of communication.
If you find yourself stumbling in a video interview, then use the career center of your old university. Ask someone there to interview you via Google hangouts. If it’s in person interview that requires improvement, why not visit your old campus?
Another easy way to practice interviewing is with friends and family. It’s a comfortable way to practice answering questions. One caveat – friends and family are the worst critics. They will highlight the strengths but tend to overlook your weaknesses. Just keep this in mind when using friends and family to interview.
Then there’s scheduling informational interviews through your LinkedIn network. This does two things. First, you get to practice your interview skills with someone in your industry and get honest feedback. Second, you can strengthen your relationships with existing business contacts by reaching out to them.
If you can schedule interviews or meetings with people outside your network, then that’s even better. This helps you build your network, and perhaps, that person can pass on your resume to his or her company’s human resources department.
Courtesy Still Counts
Finally, we get to the often asked question of do I need to follow-up after an interview. It never hurts to thank your interviewers for their time. Usually, this is best done right after the interview. A short email of two to three sentences should suffice and make sure to use their business email.
As for further follow-ups, it’s good to check up a week from your interview, unless they explicitly tell you to wait for a specific time period. Again, a short polite email should suffice, and if it’s two weeks, then I’d pick up the phone and call.
You’ve Got the Accounting Job
First, congratulations once you land that dream accounting role. Anyone that has gone through a job search – any job search – in New York City can tell you how hard the process can be.
Make sure to submit your two weeks’ notice, and share your LinkedIn contacts with close colleagues at your soon-to-be employer. Although you are going to another position, it’s always good to stay in good graces with your old employer. You never know when you might be on the hunt again for another accounting job in New York City.
The Controller plays a key leadership role in the accounting and finance department. To become a controller, you’ll need a strong knowledge of accounting principles and procedures, can whip up and share reports with ease, and have the organizational skills to oversee the operations of the accounting department. In large companies, controllers often report to the CFO and manage a number of key accounting staff. Controllers in smaller companies might report directly to the CEO and have a significantly smaller staff to oversee.
Financial Controller Responsibilities:
Create accurate financial statements, including income statements, Balance Sheets, and Statement of Cash Flows
Own the monthly close process, including journal entries and reconciling various accounts
Assist in external audits of financial statements with third party accounting firms
Drive insights by researching and interpreting trends in financial data
Develop the annual budget process and any interim forecasting changes
Support business leaders in completing special projects, ad-hoc reporting, and strategic analysis as requested
Work closely with in-house engineering teams or external consultants to implement financial systems such as NetSuite, SAP, Concur or Expensify
Financial Controller Qualifications:
BS/BA & MBA in Finance, Accounting, Economics
10+ years of professional experience in accounting
Experience raising venture capital equity and venture debt
Relevant understanding and experience with US GAAP
High degree of organization, initiative, attention to detail, and ability to manage deadlines
Excellent communication skills
Enterprise-level software planning systems
Big 4 accounting experience
Financial Controller Salary
Financial Controller Salary New York Average: $140,000
Interested in Controller jobs? Vested is the first finance and accounting hiring marketplace that brings the jobs to you! Check out our unique platform in the short video below.
Are you ready to become a Financial Controller? Join Vested and let companies apply to you.
What Do Financial Controllers Do?
You know the basic responsibilities that being a Controller entails, but what will you really be doing on a day-to-day basis in this role? While specific Controller duties depend on the size and needs of each company, this position will likely involve the following tasks.
Financial Reporting & Auditing
Controllers are not only responsible for monitoring a company’s overall finances, but they are also relied on to establish and enforce internal reporting controls. Often, Controllers work with external auditors to ensure the use of proper reporting standards.
Controllers prepare budgets through collecting, analyzing and consolidating financial data. In this role, a Controller’s main priority is to summarize trends, keep an eye on variances and look into budget deficiencies.
Monitoring Tax Legislation
Businesses rely on Controllers to monitor upcoming legislation that could affect operations and how the company is taxed. The Controller needs to ensure that all necessary licenses, permits and operating procedures are obtained and followed.
Hiring & Managing Staff
Controllers are usually department leaders, meaning they are likely part of the recruiting, hiring, and training process for new accounting team members. The Controller is responsible for everything that goes into managing a team, including motivating, developing and disciplining staff.
Implementation of Financial Systems
Controllers are often the company lead as systems are being implemented at a company. It takes more than just the technological know-how to implement effective financial systems. It also requires a deep understanding of all aspects of finance function and the business itself. This is where the Controller is expected to play a large role. They are generally expected to develop policies and procedures and define roles and responsibilities for an effective implementation.
Career Training & Education
Controllers are expected to continue enhancing their finance, leadership, and industry knowledge throughout their careers. Maintaining certificates and attending trainings should be considered job priorities.
Common Finance Controller Interview Questions
Controllers are looked to for their budgeting expertise, ability to interpret financial data, attention to detail, and leadership skills. Prepare to showcase your knowledge and experience in these areas during an interview. Use these common Controller interview questions to help you land your next job.
What do you consider the most important factors to take into account when developing a financial strategy?
Tell me about a time you identified a financial opportunity in your company.
What types of reports and presentations have you developed for executive managers in the past?
Tell me about a time when your opinion was challenged in a team setting.
What kind of reporting software are you familiar with?
How have you helped junior-level staff grow their careers?
What is your approach to hiring financial staff?
Tell me about a time you had to persuade an executive team to make an important financial decision.
How do you monitor and evaluate your team’s performance?
How do you resolve conflicts that arise from stakeholder pushback?
Tell me about a time you had to motivate your team to complete a complex project under a tight deadline.
What are some financial strengths and weaknesses of our industry?
How have you increased revenues for previous companies you’ve worked for?
What is the most challenging financial project you’ve worked on and how did you go about completing it?
Tell me about a time when you improved the efficiency of reporting financial information or the quality of financial reports.
How do you introduce new technology to your team?
Are you experienced in setting up internal reporting controls? If so, give an example of an accounting or financial reporting control you implemented.
How do you relay complex financial information to team members outside of the finance department?
How have you reduced expenses for previous companies you’ve worked for?
What educational steps have you taken toward advancing your career?
How to become a Controller
Maybe you have the necessary education, certificates, and accounting experience to take on a Controller role, but do you have what it takes to succeed in this position? While accounting roles are typically well-suited for organized, factual, detail-oriented individuals, Controller positions require the ability to dive deeper into the numbers and act as both a financial interpreter and guide for executive teams.
If you’re considering a Controller job, work on obtaining the soft skills needed to be effective in the role. Here are five qualities employers desire in a Controller:
As financial team managers, Controllers need to be able to lead effectively. Not only does this mean directing team tasks and goals, but it also requires the ability to motivate and develop the finance professionals they manage. Successful teams are led by those who understand how to manage both projects and people.
A Financial Controller needs to be both a reactive and proactive problem solver. They need to be able to detect budget discrepancies and deficiencies and work to fix them. Controllers should also be focused on making improvements in reporting and the general financial direction of the business.
Controllers need to have a strong work ethic and the drive to help the business succeed, even if it means going above and beyond what is asked of them. A Controller should be innovative and eager to make changes that will lead to financial success.
The Financial Controller is responsible for interpreting dense information and communicating it in a way team members across departments can understand. This means possessing the ability to give reports and forecasts in non-technical terms. A Controller should also be able to build a strong relationship and communicate effectively with the CFO and other department leaders.
Controllers should be innately curious and excited to advance their education. This includes maintaining industry certificates as well as improving leadership and management skills. Financial Controllers should become excited at the idea of enhancing any skillset that will make them better at what they do.
There are many paths to become a controller. At Vested, we’re here to help you choose the right one.
This guide to Financial Controller was created by the Vested team. If you are interested in a Controller role, please join us to get matched with opportunities at one of our partner companies.
The Accounting Manager plays an important role not only in managing the accounting team, but also in owning the month-end close process. Accounting Managers oversee and maintain financial records, prepare and publish a number of documents, including profit and loss statements, balance sheets and sales reports, and prepare schedules for year end taxes. Often, Accounting Managers report directly to the company’s CFO or Financial Controller and manage a number of Staff Accountants.
Accounting Manager Responsibilities
Manage the month-end close process, including the review of journal entries, account reconciliations, and supporting schedules
Perform financial statement analyses and work closely with business partners to explain fluctuations to support business decisions
Lead accounting projects, including the design and implementation of key finance systems, internal controls, global close efficiency, audit readiness, and management reporting
Manage outsourced vendors and find opportunities to outsource activities or processes
Support business leaders in completing special projects, ad-hoc reporting, and strategic analysis as requested
Mentor, teach, and review the work of other members of the accounting team
Accounting Manager Qualifications
BS/BA in Finance, Accounting, Economics, or similar (MBA is a plus)
5+ years of experience professional experience in accounting
Advanced Excel (V-Lookup and Pivot Tables)
High degree of organization, initiative, attention to detail, and flexibility to accommodate deadlines
Excellent communication skills
Enterprise-level software planning systems
Accounting Manager Salary
Accounting Manager Salary New York Average: $100,000
Interested in Accounting Manager jobs? Vested is the first finance and accounting hiring marketplace that brings the jobs to you! Check out our unique platform in the short video below.
Are you ready to become a world-class Accounting Manager? Join Vested and let companies apply to you.
Accounting Manager Job Description: What Does an Accounting Manager Do?
The Accounting Manager is responsible for a number of tasks related to tracking a company’s money. An Accounting Manager should be detail-oriented, familiar with tax regulations and able to effectively communicate with employees and upper-level management. Take a look at some of the tasks Accounting Managers are responsible for.
Managing Accounting Functions
Accounting Managers oversee the accounting functions of a company; this is no surprise. These functions can include ledger maintenance, revenue and asset accounting, accounts payable and accounts receivable. The Accounting Manager is also responsible for managing reporting, such as sales and inventory reports, balance sheets and profit and loss statements.
Preparing Tax Documents
In addition to accounting functions, Accounting Managers are looked to for overseeing the preparation of tax documents, especially for year-end taxes. They often prepare schedules and file for state and federal taxes.
Managing Accounting Staff
Accounting Managers are the leaders of the Accounting Department. This means they are responsible for ensuring department goals are met and projects are completed while adhering to approved budgets. Managing the department goes hand-in-hand with managing individual accounting employees, such as Staff Accountants. Accounting Managers act as mentors and managers, ensuring that their employees are completing tasks and performing well.
Analyzing Finances and Improving Systems
Accounting Managers aren’t only expected to make sure accounting functions are completed, they also need to make sure processes in the department are efficient and beneficial to the company. Having the ability to analyze finances and make improvements to processes is key. Since Account Managers often work with the CFO and other company leaders, they should be able to communicate complex ideas in a clear, efficient manner.
Managing Company Audits
Planning and completing company audits is another process Accounting Managers are expected to take on. This includes identifying internal process risks, evaluating operating controls and practices, and documenting audit results. Once the audit is complete, Accounting Managers create reports and present recommendations for improvement to top-level managers.
5 Accounting Manager Interview Questions & Answers to Prep You for the Interview
Interviews have a tendency to be nerve-wracking and uncomfortable. But being well-prepared builds confidence and makes the whole interviewing process a little less stressful. Take a look at these five Accounting Manager interview questions and how to go about answering them.
Describe an accounting process you’ve developed or improved.
Why it’s asked: As an Accounting Manager, you’re expected to continue developing and improving processes rather than just working within them. Hiring Managers need to see that you’re forward-thinking and innovative.
How to answer: Practice describing a specific process you’ve developed or improved in a clear, succinct way. Highlight key takeaways without diving too far into unnecessary details or company-specific jargon. If you don’t have experience in this area, talk about what you like about the processes you’ve used or how you would change them if given the opportunity.
How do you minimize the risk for errors?
Why it’s asked: Accounting mistakes can be detrimental to a company. It’s important to know what steps you take to ensure accuracy.
How to answer: Talk through the steps you take before submitting reports and other accounting documents. This likely will include checking your work or having a checks and balances system with your team. You can also describe a time when you caught an error before submitting work.
Tell me about a time when you had to explain a complex accounting situation to someone without an accounting background.
Why it’s asked: Accounting Managers need to be able to explain department issues or goals to company leaders and managers from different departments. You’ll need to be able to make your point in a way that people across departments can understand.
How to answer: Within your answer, be sure to emphasize your communication skills along with your ability to be a team player. You could explain a situation in which there was an accounting issue involving a different department and how you went about contacting that department manager to resolve it. You could also talk about a time when you had to convince an executive, emphasizing any reports or graphs used to state your case.
What do you consider the biggest challenge facing the accounting profession?
Why it’s asked: Hiring Managers want to know if you are able to see the big picture rather than just the small details of your job. This role requires someone who can take initiative to make changes and have the foresight to overcome obstacles.
How to answer: There is no right answer, here. The point is to make sure you are engaged in your profession. As long as you are up-to-date on current industry events, you should be able to give a well-thought-out answer.
How do you monitor the performance of your team?
Why it’s asked: Accounting Managers need to be able to manage employees just as well as they can manage processes. You need to be able to demonstrate your value as a leader.
How to answer: Talk through management methods you use to ensure that department goals are met. Describe how you motivate your team and how you manage difficult conversations with individuals who give low performances.
How to be an Effective Accounting Manager
Positioning yourself in higher-level accounting roles will result in you managing more responsibilities and more people. If you’re new to a management position, understanding how to get the most out of those working under you can take time. Even veteran managers need to step back and evaluate their managing styles on occasion.
Wondering how to best manage your team? Take a look at these tips on how to be an effective manager.
Make Objectives Clear
Creating specific goals for your employees and making these goals clear will help guide the focus of your team. Objectives should be measurable and tailored to each employee, giving them direction without the need to micro-manage. Defining goals at the beginning of the year gives both you and your employees business objectives to work toward and talking points during team meetings and check-ins.
Set High Expectations
Demand excellence of your employees by setting high, yet attainable, standards. This doesn’t mean you need to be overly harsh or strict; simply treat your employees with respect and encourage them to only turn in their best work. Setting high expectations shows your team that you think highly of them and the work they are capable of producing. Refusing to accept less than an employee’s best fosters a work environment that takes pride in good work and pushes toward self-improvement.
Communicating regularly with your team can (and should) be done without checking work or micromanaging tasks. Simply making it known that you’re available to talk about objectives, roadblocks or new ideas is enough to create a positive, open work environment. Being upfront about things that might be difficult to discuss, such as compensation, layoffs, interpersonal issues, and other internal conflicts can also build trust and ease any discomfort that comes with manager-employee relationships. Giving both positive and negative constructive feedback is another way to keep communication lines open with your team.
Make Time for Your Objectives
While managing a team can take a lot of time and effort, it isn’t the only responsibility managers have. Be sure to take the necessary time to complete your own work and meet goals set for yourself. It’s easy to adopt a reactive work style as a manager and take care of issues or asks as they arise. Prevent this by blocking off time each week during which you can focus on work without being disturbed. Prioritizing and delegating work can also help you make time for your own projects.
Be Open to New Ideas
Encourage your team to come to you with new ideas, and when they do, listen. Don’t get stuck in the “we’ve always done it this way” mindset; the most effective managers are flexible and on the lookout for new opportunities.
Act as a Mentor
Some of the best managers are those who can see their employees beyond current roles. As a manager, you should be mindful of the fact that your Staff Accountant might not want to stay in that position forever. Take an interest in your employees’ career aspirations and direct them on how to get there. If possible, assign tasks and objectives that align with their career goals. Encourage them to attend trainings or attain certificates that can benefit their futures. Taking an interest in the development of team members builds trust and motivates them to do quality work.
This guide to Accounting Manager was created by the Vested team. If you are interested in an Accounting Management role, please join us to get matched with opportunities at one of our partner companies.
As serial entrepreneurs, we understand the challenge of finding reliable recruiting solutions to find accounting talent or recruit top finance professionals. We commend Hired.com for pioneering the intelligent matching HR technology to assist with recruiting engineers, and we feel that this approach can work in other fields. This is why we developed the next big thing in HR tech:
Recruiting the best finance professionals is of the utmost importance for the growth of any organization or institute in today’s shifting business landscape. The recruiting process begins with reaching out to those people in the world who have the requisite skills for the position.
Most of the corporate institutions, business houses, industries, organizations and government agencies know what they are looking for in their future financial workforce, but they may lack the means of reaching them.
Moreover, recruitment can be a time consuming process if you are a small team of professionals or a startup. This is where Vested comes in. All you need to do is tell us your requirements and we will find you the right person to manage your finances.
Corporate finance and FP&A (Financial Planning & Analysis) are the backbones of understanding and managing a business. All businesses require a finance team (whether it is a team of 1 or 100) that are responsible, intelligent and possess sharp business and management acumen.
Our team is dedicated to helping companies of all types and sizes meet their finance and accounting staffing needs. We promise to use our state of the art technology to provide you with high-caliber finance, investment, and banking professionals. Whether you need entry or senior level staff, short-term consultants or permanent employees, Vested offers solutions to aid your business.
We are well-connected and knowledgeable of the insurance, banking, and finance sector. While we specialize in startups, we also cater to a number of investment banks, corporate enterprises, commercial banks, and local businesses.
Vested’s HR Tech Solution Simplifies the Recruiting Process
Unlike others in the HR field, we are not mere headhunters or recruiters. We are dedicated professionals who use our proprietary intelligent matching technology to curate and match you with the best and brightest finance and accounting professionals.
One approach we use to attract talented candidates is to target early career professionals who wish to prove their mettle.
We are connected to the brightest young minds in the field and keep tabs on their career development. We have a huge database of carefully curated talent that grows by the day. Armed with this knowledge, we have the right candidate that will fit perfectly in your business. More and more young professionals have landed up in dream jobs with a gentle but professional push from our end.
How do we attract the top talent in the finance and accounting field?
We pre-screen candidates to make sure they have the qualifications most employers find desirable (i.e. top schools, diverse skill set, gradual career progression, certifications)
We work for your firm as though we are hiring people for ourselves.
Recruitment and Candidate Assessment with Vested’s Intelligent Matching
We start work as soon as you contact us with your need! And we ensure you get the results within a week’s time.
Our recruitment process begins by working with you to identify your business needs. We will initially try to find your match among the candidates already in our database, but will conduct additional outreach if you have specific qualifications or needs.
Once we get a list of candidates matching your qualifications criterion, we pre-screen them to see if their skills and temperate match your company’s needs and culture. We are determined to get the most skillful, sensible, and intelligent match for your job.
Every candidate we provide has been screened and if hired, will be ready to start working from the first hour of day one. This is the recruitment process that we follow.
We will work with you to identify the position, qualifications, experience and additional requirements needed for the job.
Querying the Vested Database for candidates with matching credentials- Since we have a big database of applicants, we first query it to get a list of the people who have applied earlier for similar jobs.
Preliminary Interviews by skill experts to shortlist- Before the client-side experts step in for final selections, our experts make the job of recruitment easier and shorter. The applicants selected after screening are interviewed by the Vested experts in the specific field and select the candidates who have potential to excel in the said job.
In such cases, we prepare the written exam or practical test to be taken by the candidates qualifying the preliminary interview phase. The test is conducted and the selected candidates are selected to appear for a final interview.
Final interview by client organization Official and Experts at Vested – This is the final stage of selections. The client organization will put the selected candidate(s) through their interview process.
Job and organization Orientation- In the last stage of recruitment, we conduct an orientation program for people who have been selected for the job. During the orientation program, they are given details about the job and the employer organization so that they can gel in at the new workplace from day one.
Our specialization in finance sector recruitment is the best service for employees as well employers. With the right connections at the right place in finance industry, we ensure that is presented with the perfect opportunity for growth.
We help our clients in the following departments and activities
Our success and our clients’ trust lies in the way we focus on providing staffing solutions mainly in the fields of corporate finance and FP&A for startups. In fact, our stringent measure to recruit our own recruiting consultants is one of our greatest strengths. All of Vested’s consultants and professionals have been selected as a result of their expertise in the finance and recruiting industries.
We put countless hours building our team, and use even more rigorous standards when we recruit candidates on behalf of our clients.
Why are our recruiting services the best HR solution?
The right resources, aptitude, and attitude make all the difference. As far as recruiting services are concerned we are counted among the best for the following reasons:
Over the years we have communicated with countless candidates and own a large repository of candidate resumes. This collection includes financial professionals who can be employed for jobs at every rung of the organizational ladder. You name it and we have it! And more and more qualified and experienced candidates are joining us each day.
We believe in the fact that quality attracts quality. As such our entire team of experienced and intelligent recruiting consultants is well versed in every aspect of the financial industry. From hedge funds to investment banks to corporate finance in a S&P 500 company, we understand what it takes to build a winning finance team.
Why us and no one else?
We consider the recruitment needs of our clients as our own. That’s why we work hard to find the right candidate.
We call, discuss and screen the candidates ourselves. No one else is involved in this process except our own experts and professionals and of course the clients. The level of professional dedication has resulted in earning the faith of our clients. We can proudly admit that we have been able to retain our clients, build relationships while earning and growing business with the help of unbelievable customer service.
It’s a mark of pride that some of our own employees who have been working here for years have left to join the best companies in the industry. We are still in contact with these achievers who help us in many crucial and important recruiting assignments. They are still a part of the Vested family and spare their time for training and guiding our new recruiting professionals. Our clientele range from big business houses to small teams and startups.
They vouch for our outstanding services that have given them their best and most experienced workforce. In nutshell, we have grown with our clients and have created the very best HR tech recruiting solution to hire top talent in the finance and accounting field.
According to a recent survey of our clients, we found that body language in an interview is of utmost importance.
It’s equally important for the HR interviewer to watch his or her body language and to assess the body language of the candidate. Understanding body language is an effective recruiting technique to conduct successful interviews.
How Important is Body Language as a Communication Tool?
There are some fascinating studies around body language. In a study of athletes in the Paralympics, researchers analyzed body language of people from around the world, and from all different cultures. They found that athletes used similar gestures to convey a thought or meaning. For example, the expanded posture and outstretched arms were associated with pride.
In another study, researchers observed the body language of the blind. These individuals have never observed the body gestures of other people. However, they also exhibited similar body gestures like everyone else. They would open up to show pride, or they would clam up whenever they felt fear or shame.
Finally, we see body language as an inherent part of nature. Male peacocks spread their feathers to show off they physical traits to female peacocks. Dogs wag their tails as a sign of excitement.
Body language is a universal tool used by all species to convey a thought or meaning. Hence, it’s very important to be mindful of body language whenever, we’re meeting someone, especially when we’re trying to assess a candidate in a 30 minute interview.
Create a Friendly Atmosphere
People make snap decisions about us in the first few moments:
Are we trustworthy?
Do we convey confidence?
Are we friendly?
If you as the interviewer clam up in an interview, there’s a good chance that the candidate will clam up as well. This doesn’t help anybody. It’s important to talk in a controlled and friendly tone, and to give non-verbal cues that this interview is a friendly meeting.
One quick tip we’ve discovered from an HR veteran was his use of the eyebrow flash.
It’s seems so simple, yet it’s been quite effective. During the introductory phase of the interview, an eyebrow flash and a smile can go a long way to set the tone early. It will help calm everyone’s nerves and loosen up the candidate. This is key if you wish to delve deeper into the candidate’s experience and attitude towards various work scenarios.
The second tip is using a slight head tilt. The head tilt is something that we naturally do when we’re trying to listen more closely. It’s something we do to show that we trust the other person. We’re exposing some vulnerable sections of our neck here when we’re doing this. So, when we do this people will feel that trust and feel that we trust them more in return.
You’ll even see animals employing the head tilt technique. Your cat or your dog may tilt their head to show that they trust you:
Finally, smile! A genuine smile works wonders. It’s simple. It’s timeless. It works.
During the introductory phase of the interview, try these 3 tricks to loosen the nerves of the candidate and set the tone early for the interview.
Pay Attention to the Candidate’s Body Language
There’s a saying: “Say one thing and do another.”
This happens a lot in an interview. The candidate could be talking in a monotone voice about his or her experience in a particular situation. It might seem calm and confident.
But what if during this time, he was fiddling with his thumbs nervously?
He could be talking confidently but his body language exhibits a different tone. In this scenario, he could just be spouting off an answer he or she practiced in the bathroom mirror and hoping you won’t notice his fear.
What exactly is he or she hiding?
As an HR interviewer, it’s your job to pick up on these cues and then use them to dig deeper. If you asked him or her about a particular situation and you saw this dichotomy of behavior, ask follow up questions.
Like all humans, candidates tend to fall back to our caveman days or evolutionary instincts. Back in our caveman days, if a tiger was trying to hunt us down, we would find a secure spot and freeze up. We would try to hide and hope the danger passes by. Or, the cavemen would distance themselves from the situation by running away or some other avoidance behavior. The cavemen could also pick up a stick, make a spear and fight the predator. Finally, another form of defense is blocking. Cavemen would move a rock or build a wall to protect themselves from anyone hunting them.
These behaviors can still be found today. As an interviewer, watch for these non-verbal cues:
Freezing up or clamming up
Avoidance or distancing
Veteran HR recruiters constantly look for these three things as it’s a clear sign that “something is there.” Here’s a quick list to look for in candidates:
Leaning back in their chair (distancing)
Folding of arms (blocking)
Scowl on face (aggression)
Fiddling with fingers or pen (clamming up/stuttering/freezing)
Once HR recruiters see any of these behaviors, then it’s a big sign to delve deeper into a particular topic. If the candidate exhibits confidence and answers with a smile and even a nice story, it’s time to move into a different topic.
Understanding Body Language Results in Efficient Interviews
HR recruiters could be interviewing eight or ten candidates in-person a day for a particular job leaving only about 30 minutes to assess the candidate.
The most skilled recruiters can use both verbal and non-verbal cues to dictate the flow of the conversion.
When you use these vanilla questions, expect vanilla answers:
Tell me about yourself
Walk me through your resume.
Can you provide an example of a difficult situation that didn’t work out?
These questions can be found in every interviewing guide on the Internet. Every candidate rehearses this in front of a mirror and have very canned answers. Don’t expect to learn anything new.
The trick is to use these questions as an opening. Then it’s up to the interviewer to pick up on non-verbal cues so then he or she can follow up with more questions.
Understanding Body Language is a Key Recruiting Technique
If the candidate exhibits confidence in technical questions but exhibits distancing behavior when it comes to workplace scenarios, then dig deeper into that. If a candidate folds his or her arms during technical questions, then focus more on the technical side of the job.
You only have 30 minutes to assess a candidate. Pay attention to their body language and you’ll discover a lot about the candidate.
Conducting efficient interviews is an important recruiting technique for any professional HR recruiter.
FP&A jobs, finance manager jobs and careers in the business sector offer big paychecks, but most of these high profile financial positions carry a big responsibility. Finance professionals help steer the company with the right plans and forecasts. They serve as the captains of the corporate ship that drive the American economy. Because of their importance, employers will pay top dollar for the best and brightest minds in finance.
If you’re in the hunt for entry level finance jobs or you’re interested in making a career switch to finance, you need to know what you’re getting yourself into. Although a career in accounting and a career in finance can be similar, the functions and expectations are still different.
This article covers an overview of the qualifications, requirements and the various roles you can look for in finance. Once you are equipped with necessary knowledge about the various types of careers in finance, you can then confidently submit your resume and credentials to:
To excel in the finance career path, it helps to have the many professional certifications and to pass the finance-centric exams. You can secure an entry-level job in the finance sector with an undergraduate for the post of an advisor or consultant.
But the basic qualification for advancement is a graduate degree or a Master in Business Administration (MBA).
It helps to pursue a bachelor’s degree or an MBA concentration in finance that will let you learn financial theory, and participate in projects or case studies.
The main components of any finance related course includes the basics:
Marketing ROI Analysis
Budgeting & Forecasting Variance Analysis
The most in-demand professionals have Master’s degree in finance or an MBA. The course contents can consist of:
International Financial Markets
Advanced Financial Management
Applied Portfolio Theory
Small Business Finance
Macroeconomics & the Global Economy
Financial Buyouts & Acquisitions
Private Equity & Venture Capital
Typically, a master’s course builds upon your undergraduate studies. Hence, schools often label them as “advanced.” For further info on finance courses at a graduate level, take a look at Wharton‘s course catalog.
Furthermore, many financial organizations prefer candidates with professional certifications in finance. To add value to your resume you can pursue a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst), CPA (Certified Public Accountant), CFP (Certified Financial Planner). The certification will enhance your financial skills needed at various levels of employment.
Many financial services like selling stocks or bonds require you to obtain the license from authorized agencies like Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The most common of the financial licenses are series 7 and series 63. You can go for these licenses while doing the job since these are not pre-requisites to get a job but rather these licenses are legally required to provide certain client services.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the financial sector is bound to increase by 8% by 2024. In the last year, the mean salary of the financial specialist was $66,530 whereas the median annual wage of other occupations was only $37,040.
The major hubs for financial jobs in the world are the cities which are regarded as financial cities. Some of the global financial hubs are New York, Dubai, Shanghai, Mumbai, London and much more. There has been a trend of better job opportunities in developing countries and this trend will not move down in the future too. You can find jobs in the financial sector in a branch office or corporate offices in any city of the world.
Best Job Sources
If you are still in your college pursuing your studies, campus placement is the best option to enter into finance sector since many companies prefer to pick their candidates from the college whom they can train to fit their organizational structure. If you have passed out of school or college, you can post your resume on one of the best job search sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, Monster, and much more. You can also find job openings on financial institution sites like CFA, Bloomberg or EFinancial.
Other trending job-finding resources are the social media platforms. LinkedIn is the best platform for professionals to find the jobs of their interest and stature. You have to create your profile just like a resume and post your qualification and experience. Once you finish that, you can expand your network by sending requests to other LinkedIn users in financial fields. Many companies post their job openings on their LinkedIn business pages, such as the Vested Linkedin page. So creating a LinkedIn profile is one of the best steps to take for a good job offer.
Finally, Recruiting 2.0 has arrived! In the “old” days, you would go online and submit your resumes to the job boards. Then you wait. But in today’s world, recruiting platforms, like Vested, allow you to post your resume and credentials in a private database. Using a proprietary algorithm, Vested’s platform will then match you to accounting and finance jobs from a slew of companies in the United States. Vested does all the work for you!
All you have to do is polish up on your interviewing skills by reading up on our career and interview guides.
Finance Firms that Offer Job Opportunities
The types of careers in finance are not limited if you meet the qualifications and skills required. The job aspirants looking for careers in finance can find jobs in various types of financial institutions:
Commercial banks provide one of the largest opportunities for banking aspirants. These banks provide banking services like loans to individuals, small and large scale corporates and enterprises. If you are interested in a career as a teller, credit card banking, leasing or international finance, then the commercial banking sector can offer you exciting roles. You can work as credit Analyst, loan officer, branch manager, trust officer or as a mortgage banker.
This is a specialized division of many commercial banks. The Investment banks deal with corporates and government bodies and help them in the sale of securities, raising money, mergers and acquisitions and all the assistance for any kind of large financial transaction.
Some of the leading names of investment banks are JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley.
These are the typical finance roles in investment banking:
Some money management firms operate with little limitations and higher risks. Hedge funds are open to only accredited investors who are ready to invest huge amounts for a minimum lockup-period. Clients can withdraw the funds after fixed period at certain intervals.
To amplify the ROI, hedge funds are invested in stocks, real estate, derivatives, mutual funds or land on the long term. As a Hedge funds manager, you can earn a minimum of 2% on assets value and twenty percent of the profit each year. Other financial roles in hedge funds can be as a security analyst or a trader.
Private Equity Firms
Unlike Hedge funds which deal in public securities, the private equity firms invest the funds of investors in private companies. In the case of a buyout of a public company, it de-lists the public equity and make it private.
The private equity firms then improve the operations and profitability of the newly private company. After a few years, the private equity firm then does an IPO of the private company to sell their shares to the public at a higher price.
Private equity also includes venture capital. In venture capital, firms invest money in early stage companies who have the potential to make it big. Venture Capital firms, like Accel, Greylock Partners and Meritech, invested in a then obscure company called Facebook back 2006. They cashed out with a huge return when Facebook went public in 2012.
Jobs at private equity firms are highly competitive. Often, former investment bankers with advanced degrees in finance and business can secure a job at these firms. Without these pre-requisite qualifications, one would have a difficult time breaking into the private equity industry.
S&P 500 Companies
All the S&P 500 companies, whether they are in the telecom business, consumer electronics or any other business type, require an army of FP&A Analysts to join their FP&A teams at corporate levels.
Because of their size and the breadth and nature of their business, S&P 500 firms need finance analysts at all levels in every part of the world. These companies need FP&A analysts to prepare annual budgets, periodic budget forecasts, financial modelling and internal reporting of vital business metrics.
Finance job titles at these firms can include:
Directors of Finance
Chief Financial Officer
Lists of Careers in Finance
If you feel excited about sale and purchase of shares, commodities, bonds or currencies, and help the investors to earn money due to market surge, go for a career in financial trading. The trading jobs are at the same time challenging considering the regular government regulatory changes. You can apply for the trading job in financial institutions like hedge funds and commercial banks.
You can apply as an assistant trader after doing graduation but the best way to enter trading is to clear the series 7 and 63 exams. MBA’s are also preferred in trading line. Any certification or degree in mathematics or statistics is also seen as a plus in trading sector. As a fresh graduate you may land a junior post but with experience, you will get an allocation of higher capital as you gain the confidence of your seniors.
Trading jobs at hedge funds are the top choice in the financial sector. You can work under a portfolio manager to buy or sell the securities. If you have the discretion to deal with the securities, then you have a good chance of making a good money. If you think you are one of the best hedge funds traders, you can start your own hedge fund as well.
In trading finance careers, salary is on higher side but at the same time, the jobs are stressful. You need to on your toes and sense rightly the future market movements. Before you apply for a trading job you must be aware that you will manage the huge sum of money on daily basis and should be ready to face the wrath of employers in case of failure.
For a successful career path in trading, you should have mathematics background since you need to do calculations based upon the market conditions. You have to make quick decisions since the trading market is a volatile industry. It is not just a 9 to 5 job since you will need to follow the market trends even during off hours.
If you see yourself serving a big company, institution or government then option for Investment banking and enrolling in a suitable graduation and post-graduation course is the best decision. Well, to begin with, Investment banking is all about helping your hiring company in managing their capital with the suitable strategies and plans. Depending on the size of your company you may be serving for the whole company as an expert or specialize in one area to provide expert advice.
Investment banking professionals are offered jobs in multinational commercial or investment banks. The job scenario is quite bright if you have studied this professional degree as you have the option to apply in big global banks as well as national, regional or local banks. Other avenues are asset management corporate, equity firms or business enterprise dealing with capital management. Some big organizations with the in-house department for evaluation of strategic opportunities like corporate mergers and expansion.
Being an Investment Banker you will be responsible for providing strategic opinion and guidance to your employer company for a merger or taking over another company. The strong financial modeling acumen will come in handy along with the extreme confidence of communication with senior level management professionals and business owners.
The second primary role you will play in your company will be to guide and strategize to raise the capital for your company or your client. For this, you need to hone skills like underwrite debt and equity by analyzing the industry you are working for. This responsibility will also be an important aspect if you are providing consultation to a government organization.
Another area of expertise for an investment banker is in private equity which more or less is a specialization of medium to small firms. These people identify and strategize to invest in large and reputed firms with an aim of huge profits. This is the most stressful but most well-paying job in the field of investment banking. As you grow in this profession you will be wealthier than ever. If your profession is your life, then you may end up in owning a private equity firm of your own.
Another area is Venture capital wherein the responsibility on you lies to look for some small, new but promising companies. If you have an inkling to follow the latest and innovative technologies and know how to take calculated risks, then this is the job for you. It can be a very challenging profession but like private equity, if your homework is perfect no one can stop you from getting listed in the wealthiest of people.
Here you can be master of your own job since this is the job where you and only you can be communicating the financial analysis as per your perspective. The analysis can be on national financial prospects, business opportunity for companies and other similar areas where your expertise and experience is the driving factor.
A financial analyst usually is an individual who may work as a consultant, writer, academician, educator or reviewer who has acumen to study, analyze and comment on the economical or financial aspects of a company, institute, government or country. A financial analyst enjoys studying financial data, understanding the trends and presenting his views while observing the financial markets closely.
If you dream to be a financial analyst then you have to play the roles of an economist, a strategist or a predictor. As an economist, your employer, readers or students may look forward to your shrewdness in analyzing the financial market data and the underlying trends in predicting the future financial conditions. You can land up in a lucrative job in government’s planning department, commercial banks, investment banks, asset managing companies and academic organization.
An economist employed at banks or corporate earn very well whereas those in educational institutes or government sector may not get good compensation for their efforts. Those in academia definitely get huge satisfaction with the respect and reputation they earn with their knowledge and experience. Freedom of working as freelancers and consultants gives you much better prospects.
The strategists study the economy and financial markets to offer strategic consultation and guidance to the companies and institutes. Banks and finance management companies are the most probable employers for strategists. Chief Investment Strategist is one of the highest paying titles for successful strategists becoming the public persona of a corporate. The strategists do get better pay-packs than the economist.
The predictors are the best pals for government organizations and large corporations. They are meant to predict the future financial status with the help of mathematical models that means that the focus is in research and development rather than purely financial analysis of the stock market. Finance management companies, equity firms or banks look for predictors with mathematical or statistical experience in the field of economics and finance. You have to be a person who loves to work with number crunching with the help of models using computing software.
Everyone in today’s world wishes to earn more by investing least. It is all about what you have included in your investment portfolio. As a portfolio managing professional you will look into the need of your clients and guide them to invest into different shares and schemes. All this is possible if you have a keen knowledge of stock market and understanding of the trends. Along with that, your clients will entrust you with the responsibility of achieving their desired investment targets in the specified duration.
The trick of the trade is to know your client well and convince him about the certainty with which you have researched. The best part or you can also say that the worst part is that for you as a consultant, each client is different. One portfolio will not suit multiple clients. You have to focus on each one’s needs and limitations.
To get a job as portfolio manager you will be looking ahead for finance management companies and hedge fund institutions. Other options could be such as sovereign wealth planners, pension funds consultant firms or insurance business. For this lucrative job, you must own a four-year college degree and then an experience of working as an investment analyst. With sufficient years of employment as a portfolio manager, you can have a firm of your own to get a well-paying clientele.
Responsibilities of a portfolio manager include creation and management of client portfolios. Depending upon the firm you will be employed with, you have to either manage separate accounts for client’s account type and investments or pooled accounts catering to the investment needs of multiple clients in aggregation. The second type of arrangement is easier to manage but it may not be suitable for some clients who need special treatment of their money.
One of the desirable characteristics of a portfolio manager in addition to expert market analysis is the ability to strike a good relationship with the clients through different kind of contact options. You can opt for growing as a portfolio manager specializing in a single asset category or multi-asset category. In both cases, you have to be a good researcher. This job like many other finance careers can be very stressful with a need to spend long hours with clients. Competition is extremely high in this career, but once you establish yourself, it can bring you satisfying returns.
Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Jobs
Unlike other jobs discussed till now, the Financial Planning & Analysis is strictly in-house job. By hiring you as a Financial Planning and Analysis manager or professional, a company will be relying on you to help their senior management to get analytical information of company’s finance. With this information, operational, financial, and strategic decisions are taken with an eye on maximizing profits and minimizing the expenses.
Your responsibilities will primarily include budgeting, defining and monitoring cash flow and implementing other analytical tools to measure the financial performance of the company. A qualified financial professional must display traits like analytical, focused, inquiring, thorough understanding of internal financial status of the company and comprehensive knowledge of his job.
To reach up to the stage of an FP&A manager or director, usually a beginner has to spend a good amount of years on some organizational accounting position at medium ranks. It will help him in understanding the nuances of financial planning, budgeting and cash flow. A basic graduate degree in commerce or finance is required but a master’s degree can help in starting off at a higher grade. The experience and learning while on job is the most important aspect to grow as a FP&A professional. This job is considered to be good in terms of salary considering the manageable work pressure and a relatively secure job than others discussed earlier.
Final Words on Careers in Finance
No doubt, FP&A jobs, finance manager jobs and careers in finance offer lucrative perks but there is stiff competition to get a job. Besides the required qualifications, you should also have a passion to keep pace with volatile financial markets and financial regulations.
Whether you’re a seasoned finance professional or a recent graduate looking for entry level finance jobs, make sure to read career and interview guides to stay up-to-date with the financial industry, as well as getting your daily dose of the Financial Times and Economist.
Finally sign up HERE to be considered for the very best career opportunities in finance.
Work is an important part of our lives. It’s where we spend most of our time during the week to earn a decent salary to pay for a house, the car, and food to feed the family. In fact, it’s estimated a worker will spend 14% of their life at work. So it’s truly a big deal when we’re considering a career change at any point in our livers.
Because we spend so much time at work, it’s ideal we care about what we’re doing. If not, we’ll spend a lot of time in an unhappy situation, and that’s untenable in the long run. So if you notice your enthusiasm for your job is dropping and you spend most of your time at the office daydreaming of escape, it is time to think about a lateral move or switching into a totally different industry.
Ask yourself if this job is really right for you. Because the wrong job will make you feel depressed and negatively affect your career and personal life.
If you’ve reached this moment in your working career, it’s time to assess the situation and polish up your interviewing skills.
We compiled a list of signs that it is time to quit your job and consider a new path:
Poor workplace environment
In the most extreme scenario, you could be in a situation where you have a terrible boss or your co-workers wouldn’t hesitate to steal your ideas. Perhaps, you’re in a frat like environment where the people openly talk about “banging” their secretaries in their office. If any of these extreme conditions exist, hopefully you haven’t spent a lot of time at the company.
On the flip side, perhaps you work in a perfect cubicle environment in a perfectly hierarchical organization. Everyone knows their roles. Everyone buries their head in their cubicles. Everyone submits theirTPS reports every 10 AM on a Monday.
A perfect bureaucracy is the perfect breeding ground for someone’s “shadow.” According toJungian psychology, people develop personas to function in this world. We all wear different faces which suit the current social scenario. Hence, people act differently at work or at home or at a concert. We all adapt to the social setting. In a bureaucratic organization, a lot of people wear their corporate “masks” and bury who they really are.
When suppressed enough for a long time, the “shadow” or the opposite persona begins to develop and fester. If left buried for a long time, a shadow can be destructive. Hence, it’s important to eliminate cognitive dissonance. In other words, it’s best to find work that is consistent with who you really are.
Not using your skills
If you find yourself stuck in a job that does not allow you to utilize the advantages of your own skills, it is time to consider other options. When you find all of those years of training, experience, and skill building are untapped in your business, you find yourself feeling frustrated.
Your skill set is extremely important as it provides you with confidence and the ability to succeed in your career. So, if you do not use any of your skills or you are not capable of improving your business, this is the moment of truth to think about moving to another job that would maximize your ability to use your core skills.
The salary is too low
When you constantly worry about money, this is a sign you need to rethink your job situation. It is true that most of us often worry about money, but if that worry dominates your mind, it’s probably because you do not earn a high enough salary. It’s expensive raising a family in this day and age.
Also, it’s a matter of getting paid fairly. At a minimum, your salary should be close tothe national average by geographical location and job function. With the Internet, it’s easy enough to check the salaries of other people working in your profession. It’s also free to research. Go to LinkedIn or sign up atVested to see what companies are offering finance and accounting professionals.
So if you feel you’re being underpaid, it’s time to have a review with your manager to discuss fair compensation. If the answer is a “no” then it’s time to consider a career change.
Undervaluation of the human effort drops its determination. You’ll find yourself moping in your cubicle. Perhaps, you’ll even be vocal with your cubicle mates about poor pay. You’ll find it hard to be productive if you feel you’re being underpaid.
You expect that your skills and efforts to be rewarded with the right and suitable value. You may have to reassess yourself and your value if you see that you do not have the right means to fund your dreams.
You can’t climb the corporate ladder
If you are one of the people who do not mind being monotonous and routine, continue with your current job. But if the idea of moving without progress frightens you, the time may come when you must consider a change. We all want the fancy title.
We all want a new challenge. We all want a bigger role in the company and the compensation and prestige that comes along with it. We expect natural progression through the ranks after many long hours spent at the workplace. If you feel, there is a “glass ceiling” in place or you’re being passed over by the company vice president’s younger nephew, then it’s time to assess your place in that company and seek a career change.
Your manager at work is the devil
Your boss not only affects your work, but also affects your life completely. Working under the direction of someone who doesn’t cheer you on and reduces your importance will frustrate you. You are more valuable than allowing yourself to stay in a job that offends you.
If you find that your life is no longer unbearable and your dealings with others wane because your boss is so bad, you need to get yourself out of this place and look for other options.
If you can’t trust the leaders around you, it will result in a loss of your confidence in work. If you no longer trust your boss or company for any reason, it is best to resign and go another way.
If work starts to affect your personal life
If your work life begins to affect your emotional and social life, it could lead to a chronic state of stress, insomnia, and exhaustion. This is definitely not a tenable situation.
This could be due to a poor work environment. It could be too much stress from competing with your co-workers. Or perhaps you’re working only to get that promotion and forgot why you joined this company in the first place.
If you find yourself under constant work-related stress including at times when you are off the clock like weekends and evenings, then you might not be in the right situation and should consider a job change.
Loss of motivation in your work
Although boredom at work is typical, if you constantly feel this way at the office it is a warning signs that you are not enjoying what you do. Signs of this mindset include spending all your time on social media, online shopping, playing games, etc. instead of doing your assigned work tasks.
If your conversations with friends, family, and co-workers about work become non-stop complaint sessions, it’s time to polish up that resume.
Always feeling lost
You should not ignore the feeling that you no longer win at work. Your job should be a source of inspiration, delight, and challenge, not a constant losing battle where you accomplish nothing.
If your job does not give you opportunities to advance and develop your skills, or requires you to travel more than you are comfortable with, don’t spend another moment in thinking about staying or resigning.
If your company no longer values your opinions or contributions, or your role in the company is redundant and no longer necessary, you should seize the opportunity to look for another company that values you. If you are returning from your vacation just to countdown the days to your next trip, it may be time to change.
Your company is not doing well
All businesses want to be the next Google or General Electric, but there’s a reason why there’s only one Google and one General Electric. Business is cutthroat and not every company can succeed in the long run. If you find that your company or your widget division is not profitable, then that will limit your opportunities within the company. There will be fewer promotion opportunities and at worst, the company could start a round of layoffs.
This is why it’s good to check the financial health of your company every now and then. It’s also useful to call into investor calls, when the company announces its quarterly earnings and gets grilled by Wall Street analysts. This is a perfect time to assess the company’s health and your future in it.
If your company is not doing well, then it’s time to polish up that LinkedIn profile and resume in preparation of a new job search. There’s no point in dwelling in a company with no future, when there are dozens of companies (with brighter prospects) willing to offer more for your experience and expertise.
You’ve had a Jungian Break
We’ve already discussed what happens when you’ve worn a fake mask to work. You develop a fake persona to fit into a work culture that is not consistent with whom you are or who you want to be. This leads to a “subconscious revolution” and your suppressed side overwhelms your forced conscious mask. This is a Jungian Break.
The character of Lester Burnham in the film American Beauty experiences such a break. Burnham gets fed up with his suburban life and his cubicle world. He quits his job, and starts working at a fast food restaurant. He buys a 20 year old car that he’s always wanted as a teenager. He fantasizes about having a relationship with a teenager. It’s a classic mid-life crisis at the most extreme.
This Jungian break at work can also be seen in the movies Office Space and Fight Club. In Office Space, the main character gets fed up with his TPS reports and stops caring about work. It leads to a lot of comical scenes like the one with the printer.
In Fight Club, the main character gets fed up with corporate life and American consumerism. The psychological revolution manifests itself in the physical world literally. Without giving away the plot twist, the main character starts a fight club in response to living a fake life for so long.
These are extreme situations and most people won’t get to that point. However, there will be a time when you’ve “had it.” You might find yourself taking more vacations, or buying a Harley Davidson. You’re playing a guitar again in your forties when you’ve given it up as a teenager. These are signs that your shadow is starting to emerge from years of conscious suppression. If left untreated or ignored, the shadow will gain strength and could lead to harmful behavior – the most extreme scenarios can be seen in Fight Club or American Beauty.
If you’ve had a Jungian break, then it’s definitely time to assess your career. Perhaps, you’ve worked too long crunching Excel at a boring corporate job for the past ten years. You want to explore a place where it’s less “stuffy” and less “formal”. Then take a look at working at a startup.
Whatever it is you’re yearning, it’s important to identify the root of this “shadow.” Explore what’s causing it – what you’re yearning. Then take action.
Summary – Career Change is normal
Gone are the days when workers are expected to work forty years at one particular place. Back in the day, a worker could work at IBM and expect a forty year career and a pension at the end of it.