Become A CPA

Become A CPA

Beat Your Nerves and Rock the Big Interview!

by Kelly Neilson | Mar 12, 2014
Racing heart, sweating, stomach butterflies, and shaky hands -- recognize these symptoms? You've probably felt this way before or during an interview. You have worked hard to get this far and do not want to mess it up. This could be your chance to enter the real world and have all your studies pay off -- but no pressure, right? However, you can reduce your anxiety by practicing and preparing for your interviews. 

First, find out everything you can about the company that you are interviewing for. Dig into their website and learn about their specialties, mission statement, work environment and anything else you can find out. Further, look for articles and reports on the company, and know who the key leaders are, like the CEO, partners or CFO. This research will help you decide if you are a good fit at the company, as well as impress the interviewers. 

Prepare for some of the tough questions you might be asked by reviewing the Forbes Top 50 Interview Questions. Even if the questions look easy when you read them, remember that you will be nervous in the interview room, and identifying a few talking points ahead of time could be the difference between an average interview and a great one. 

As far as dress goes, by now you should know that it is essential to dress appropriately and professionally for all business events, especially interviews. There are plenty of online resources that will give you more specifics, but just remember how critical first impressions are -- so dress to impress! 

Once you arrive at the interview, introduce yourself to the receptionist and be friendly, because often the interviewer will ask this person for first impressions. When the interviewer is ready for you, stand up, look the person in the eyes, give him/her a firm handshake, and introduce yourself. 

Now, it's time for the interview to finally start. Usually your interviewer will break the ice by asking questions about your resume and discussing lighter topics such as your hobbies and interests. During this time, the interviewer is trying to get to know you and make you feel more comfortable before he or she dives into the challenging questions. During the questions try to stay positive, alert, friendly, and think through your answers carefully. Listen closely to the question being asked. Don't be afraid to sell yourself and explain why you would be a great fit for this position. 

If your interview turns out to be a phone interview instead of in-person, most of the tips above still apply, but here are a few additional tips. Make sure you are in a quiet, non-distracting location and have a fully-charged phone. Put energy and fluctuation into your voice. This is especially important on the phone, because the interviewer cannot read your body language or other non-verbal clues. 

Interviews are a great opportunity for you to shine and show off all your skills and characteristics. You have worked hard to get to this place, so be confident and ready to tell others why you are the right fit for their company. Just remember, always be honest and be yourself -- this will get you far during interviews and in life! 

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