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As with any job interview, conveying enthusiasm for the position you are applying for is important when applying for a finance position. Showing a keen interest in the company and the job itself can help separate you from candidates who exhibit a lower energy level. When preparing for the interview, think about what excites you about your career in finance and how your skills and knowledge will contribute to the company's success.
Opportunity to Interface with Top Management
A member of the finance team often presents financial information such as the company's monthly profit and loss statement to senior executives all the way up to the CEO. In the interview, convey how much you look forward to making these presentations. Also, explain how you will make them in a clear and effective way so that senior executives have the information they need to make decisions.
Being a Financial Detective
Financial professionals work with large amounts of data, including industry and economic forecasts in addition to the company's own accounting information. One of your responsibilities will be to analyze the data to find potential weak spots. For example, you might need to uncover the reasons actual financial results fell short of goals or varied from budget. During the interview, demonstrate your enthusiasm for this financial detective work and how your skills will enable you to draw conclusions from large amounts of information.
Assisting with Long-Range Planning
Finance staff members are heavily involved in the company's planning process, from annual budgeting to long-range strategic planning. Analysts find this to be among the most exciting aspects of the job – you are right there as the future of the company is mapped out. Demonstrate your problem solving skills during the interview as well as your interest in identifying challenges the company faces and making recommendations for how to deal with them.
Improving the Company's Financial Management
In a finance role you add value to the business by helping managers in all areas determine how to meet revenue and profit goals. In the interview, express your interest in helping the company become more efficient and profitable. Also explain that you will have the courage to speak up when you think company funds are not being spent wisely.
Teaching Non-Financial Managers
The finance department helps managers in non-financial areas prepare their annual budgets. Some of these managers might not understand the importance of planning, such as how it can help the company build its competitive advantage and enable management to make better decisions about how to allocate human and financial resources. Express to the interviewer how you welcome this role and look forward to helping managers embrace the planning process rather than resist it.
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Brian Hill is the author of four popular business and finance books: "The Making of a Bestseller," "Inside Secrets to Venture Capital," "Attracting Capital from Angels" and his latest book, published in 2013, "The Pocket Small Business Owner's Guide to Business Plans."