Networking plays an important role in building a personal brand, though it’s not something that comes naturally to us all. Here are our three top rated posts, crammed full of lots of useful nuggets and insights for making the most of your networking opportunities and building your professional brand.

Our first pick offers some valuable advice to help finance professionals leverage their time at industry events. Whether you’re attending new or the same events year on year, it’s important that you treat each one as a new opportunity to grow your network and build your reputation. Here are some useful pointers for you to consider when attending your next event:

How to network: Top tips for chartered accountants | News | CA Today

By Andrew Harbison, CA Today Contacts book: Although you will have a digital version of this in your phone, a physical book won’t run out of memory or power. Business cards: Make sure they look as professional as you do. Take as much care choosing the design as you would picking out your outfit for the event.

Are you using social media to showcase your expertise and build your personal brand? If you’re new to social media this post shares some great insights on how to get started:

Social media for accountants

Social media channels like Facebook and Twitter are not just great drivers of news, engines of change and creativity, and sharers of pictures of dogs that look like Samuel L. Jackson (Google it, you won’t be disappointed); they can also be powerful tools for modern accountants to leverage themselves within the wider industry and society at large.

Our third and final post looks at some of the common mistakes people make with their LinkedIn profile and offers some practical tips on how to use it to its full potential:

Mistakes That Are Killing Your LinkedIn Profile | CAREEREALISM

Did you know that 89% of recruiters report having hired someone through LinkedIn? Or that over ten million people found their current job through LinkedIn? Related: 4 Rookie Mistakes You Need To Avoid On LinkedIn If you’ve been satisfied with a “placeholder” LinkedIn profile up to this point, or feel like landing a job through the site isn’t a viable option, STOP.

If you’re looking for your next career move in Finance or Accountancy, get in touch with us today!

The most daunting part of the interview process is being quizzed about your employment history, your credentials and why you’re a good fit for the role and company you’ve applied to. The type of questions you’re likely to be asked are not necessarily the things you think about every day, so you need to dedicate some time to reflect on your professional experiences, personal attributes and the reasons that make you the strongest candidate! Organising your thoughts and preparing examples of where you’ve truly excelled will help boost your confidence so that you leave your interviewer with a lasting impression.

To help you avoid those awkward silences and woolly answers, we’ve compiled our top 4 picks that address some of the challenges jobseekers face when answering (or asking!) questions in an interview. Our first pick offers some advice for helping you break the mould and ask questions early on in the interview:

3 impressive questions you should ask at the very beginning of a job interview

Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/flickr The job interview is a two-way street. You should be assessing the employer just as much as they’re assessing you because you both need to walk away convinced that the job would be a great fit … and that should start from the moment you take the hot seat.


Have you really thought about why the company should hire you? Is your answer strong enough to help you stand out from the other candidates? In our second pick Liz Ryan shares her advice on how to answer this common question:

How To Answer ‘Why Should We Hire You?’

Shake up your answer to the tired interview question, “With all the talented candidates, why should we hire you?”


Most interviews will include some of these common questions, so preparing a top-notch answer is key to helping you differentiate yourself and stand out from the other applicants:

Resume Tip Tuesday: How to Ace Common Interview Questions

Welcome back to Resume Tip Tuesday! Come to CareerBliss every Tuesday for a brand new resume tip to help you in your job search. Check out the archive for resume tips galore! How to Ace Common Interview Questions There are few things which cause such conflicting emotions as finally landing a job interview.


Last but not least, this article is packed full of useful advice to help you prepare for some of the more challenging questions you might face:

10 of The Hardest Interview Questions & How to Answer Them

A job interview is always a daunting prospect, and in today’s economic downturn, companies are being more selective about who they hire. One of the ways they can filter out the unwanted applicants is to ask difficult questions. Very often how these questions are answered makes the difference between success and failure.


We hope you find these tips useful for planning for your next interview. If you’re looking for a Finance or Accounting role in London feel free to get in touch, we’d love to help!

Part 2- The Changing Role of the CFO

In the 1st post of this 2-part series we examined how the role of the CFO has changed in recent years to become more digital. We also explored some of the barriers that CFOs face in driving digital transformation, whilst highlighting the many benefits of embracing digital. By doing so we touched on the ‘digital ready’ skills and qualities needed by modern CFOs.

In today’s post we want to drill down further into the skills needed to become a digital CFO. Digital isn’t the preserve of the future, it’s the past and the present. Those that are slow to adopt put their companies at risk. End to end digital enterprises are more agile, less wasteful, more innovative, and less prone to disruption. Without the tools necessary to conduct business in a digitised world, it is near impossible to compete. To ignore digitisation is to accept a decline into obscurity. Are you ready for the digital era?


What are the necessary skills for becoming a digital CFO?

With the rapid change of the role of the CFO comes a subtle development of the skills that a CFO will need to be successful. It’s important to note that these skills are not a far cry from the traditional skills of a CFO. In our view they are a natural progression, and for the majority of forward thinking CFOs, this progression shouldn’t cause too much difficulty.

Have you got all of the skills listed below?


Analytical skills

 One of the key changes is that CFOs in the digital age will need to be great at analytics. CFOs have traditionally been good at numbers, but those numbers have always been transactional. CFOs of the future will need the analytical skills to be able to look at the bigger picture. Transactional numbers will be one part of the equation. The larger part of that picture will be made up of data from a variety of points, both inside and outside the enterprise. CFOs will need the vision to ask the right questions, and will be instrumental in assessing a business’ needs and establishing the data points that can solve problems as they arise.


Risk management

 In a recent interview with Business Insider, Ash Noah made a very salient point in regards to risk. “In the 1950s, most companies featured on the S&P 500 would remain there for 60 years. Clayton Christensen of Harvard University says today’s average S&P 500 company will drop off the list in 18 years. Based on those numbers, 75% of the current S&P 500 will not be featured in 2027.” Such stark numbers highlight the important role that CFOs have to play in safeguarding the future of their company.

The precarious nature of business in the modern age demands highly skilled risk management processes. As tax, legal, and regulatory landscapes develop with the digital world, CFOs will need to monitor any changes and react accordingly. It is only by working closely with the CEO, that CFOs will be able to build a resilient business model that has the agility to move with the times.


Adaptability to new technology

CFOs will need to constantly assess their company’s business model with the view of adapting it. Innovation is key to remaining relevant, and new technology will be the vehicle that drives change and facilitates success. CFOs will need to align with the CIO, and work together closely to meet their shared needs. Financing digital transformation will be a primary concern and departments will need to work together to get the entire company on-board.

By adopting new technology, CFOs will be privy to new performance metrics. On the one hand these metrics will help to shape the success of the company by solving problems and driving change. On the other hand, new performance metrics will improve the bread and butter role of CFOs by helping them to quantify the value of intangible assets, such as intellectual property, customer data, and brand reputation. CFOs will need the vision to use new technology, performance metrics, and data points to guide companies through the choppy waters ahead, not only in managing risk, but in identifying and grasping new opportunities for growth and improved efficiencies.


Talent acquisition and retention

 A relatively new skill for CFOs will be the strategic management of talent acquisition. Whilst the nuts and bolts of acquisition and retention will remain with HR, CFOs will need the strategic vision to analyse the company’s present and future skill needs. For some CFOs, talent acquisition will involve acquiring digital start-ups or high-tech companies to quickly fill the gaps in an organisation’s capabilities. Alongside the HR director, the CFO will need to develop structured competency frameworks that meet the skill gaps that they encounter. Digital transformation will undoubtedly breed new types of staff, skills and job titles and CFOs will need the people management skills to infuse a digital mindset across their finance teams and company as a whole.

As we move forward, it’s clear that this is a brave new world for CFOs. The challenges they face are only equalled by the opportunities, and whether you’re an aspiring CFO or an experienced veteran, this is surely an exciting time.


If you’re not seeing these opportunities in your current role, get in touch with our specialist recruitment team today.

Part 1- The Changing Role of the CFO

There is a revolution happening right now. From multi-nationals to SMEs and everything in between, a new digital economy is taking hold and it demands your attention. Digital technology is running rampant through the business world, ending dynasties, breaking down sector boundaries, and forcing traditional businesses to diversify or fail.

Nearly overnight, ‘digital first’ start-ups can be transformed into market leaders. The speed of change that’s occurring is unheard of. In remedy, CFOs must strive to pre-empt what lies ahead, or at worst, react to market changes. CFOs must be unafraid to upend their own organisation’s operating models, and be willing to invest in the emerging technology required to build an end-to-end digital enterprise.

To highlight the risk that companies are facing by being slow to act, here are some stark numbers. McKinsey and Company recently calculated the impact of digitisation on competitiveness. They said that “industry leaders that had embraced digitisation across the entire enterprise have increased revenues; stock prices 20-30% higher than digital laggards; [and] not to mention the potential 50% bottom-line impact.”

Undoubtedly, there’s a lot of evidence for the need for digitisation, yet according to an EY study, only 50% of CFOs surveyed consider it a high or very high priority in the next three years, and only 49% responded that they will make a high or very high contribution to the shift to digital. If CFOs want to continue to act as a strategic business partner as they have in recent years, they’ll need to take a strong lead in the race for digitisation, equipping businesses with the range of digital tools and technology needed to forge ahead.

CFOs will however face a number of challenges in driving digital transformation. The complexity in moving from legacy systems is one of the biggest obstacles, and often draws resistance from across the board. To get the buy in from all departments, you’ll need a thorough understanding of the benefits, and be able to show that whilst the move may be costly and time consuming, the ability to bring together data from every area of the business under one roof will be worth its weight in gold.


How the CFO role is changing

 The role of finance and the CFO has changed beyond comprehension in the last decade. The recent global financial crash brought CFOs into the limelight, earning them both respect and recognition. As digitisation continues to disrupt everything from financial models, to business models, regulations to valuations, CFOs are without a doubt, under immense pressure to react, forecast and drive business change.

In the past, the role of a CFO was of a fiduciary duty, mainly concerned with looking back, driving efficiencies and managing budgets. Today’s CFO is expected to carry that forward whilst adding strategic insight that can shape business and operating models. CFOs of the future will need to be curious about every area of the business, as consumer experience, customer relations and branding become inextricably linked with company value. With this change in focus, future CFOs will need the technical know-how to guide business decisions and build the much-needed digital infrastructure. In a recent CFO Research survey, 93% of the senior finance executives surveyed believe that the CFO of the future will need a much stronger technology skill set than is currently required for the job.


The benefits of embracing digital

 For digitally savvy CFOs and forward thinking companies, the benefits of embracing digital are boundless. Principally, the proliferation of Cloud computing will allow companies to consume software innovation as and when it happens. In the past there would be lengthy waits for IT departments to upgrade in-house applications. Now companies can access the latest software as soon as it is available through SaaS providers. A large majority of this tech is focused on facilitating access to big data, and herein lies the importance for finance departments and CFOs.

Cloud based technologies have opened up access to real time data, not only in the financial realm but also in more intangible assets such as customer satisfaction, quality of business processes and customer relationship data. The growth of cloud based ERP and performance management systems are helping CFOs to see the bigger picture, providing one truth, where all the data points are connected rather than being viewed in isolation. In doing so CFOs will be able to strive towards a more customer-centric future, focusing not only on the financial numbers, but on strategic growth through a greater understanding of consumers and their needs.


If you’re looking for your next career move, or need to hire a finance professional, get in touch with us today.

As a finance professional you probably use Excel on a daily basis, but are you using it to its full potential? In this week’s round-up post we’ve featured our top four picks offering lots of useful Excel tips and insights to finance and accounting professionals.

Our first pick shares four Excel tricks that will help you work through your spreadsheets quickly and efficiently:

4 Excel Tricks for Accountants

Whether you work for a public accounting firm or are an accountant at a company, Microsoft Excel is likely an essential part of the work you perform. While I worked in public accounting, I used excel on a daily basis for numerous work assignments.

Do you use INDEX MATCH to find a single value? Perhaps you’re familiar with the formula VLOOKUP instead and you’re wondering how INDEX MATCH compares? This article guides you through each formula and highlights the pros and cons of both:


VLOOKUP is one of the most popular formulas in Excel and for good reason. The ability to lookup a single value from a large set of data based on a single value is incredibly powerful. It might surprise you to find out then that VLOOKUP isn’t the only player in town when it comes to looking up data in this way.

Working with large spreadsheets containing many calculations can leave readers guessing which sets of data relate and how final figures have been reached. This article provides some great suggestions for making your Excel documents more visual, indicating which cells are connected and how data sets relate:

Excel Tip: Illustrate the Flow –

Draw an arrow to visually illustrate that two cells are connected. USER: I have a large spreadsheet with many calculations. Results from section 1 are carried forward to cells in section 2. It would help to graphically illustrate that one cell flows to the calculation of another.

If you’re looking for accuracy in your data (let’s face it, who isn’t?), our final post highlights several methods and built-in tools that can be used to audit and debug Excel spreadsheets:

How to debug Excel spreadsheets

CPAs are often tasked with vetting or working with numbers in a spreadsheet. And while accountants are well-trained to identify and correct accounting errors, spreadsheets bring the danger of many other types of errors. Field audit results compiled by University of Hawaii professor and spreadsheet expert Ray Panko showed errors in 88% of 113 spreadsheets audited between 1995 and 2007.

We hope you find these tips useful! If you’re thinking of making your next career move, feel free to call us – we’d be delighted to help.

Your resume is likely to be the first chance you get to impress a prospective employer. So it’s no surprise that many jobseekers feel like their resume is never quite up to scratch. Getting it right takes time, patience and research. To help get you started, we’ve picked three articles that will help you avoid the most common mistakes and allow you to focus your time on producing a standout resume!

Even a fabulous resume isn’t guaranteed to land you a job; but a poorly done resume will cost you opportunities” – this quote says it all. When writing your resume, it’s important not to make any assumptions about the hiring or screening process as this will invariable impact upon how you write your resume and could therefore cost you opportunities. Check out this post for the three most common assumptions jobseekers make when writing their resume.

3 Assumptions You Should Never Make About Your Resume – The Savvy Intern by YouTern

Job seekers make assumptions about many aspects of their job search. In the long run, many of those assumptions are wrong… and can mean a much longer job search. True: even a fabulous resume isn’t guaranteed to land you a job; but a poorly done resume will cost you opportunities.


It isn’t you. It’s your resume” – it’s easy to have your confidence knocked when you don’t hear back from applications, but have you thought that rather than it being because of you, it could be your resume? You know what you can bring to the table, but that doesn’t mean others will if you’re not communicating this effectively. Don’t let these resume mistakes hinder your chances of making a great first impression:

7 Resume Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes | CAREEREALISM

Have you been sending your resume but not getting interviews? Chances are-it isn’t you. It’s your resume. See if you’re making any of these resume mistakes: Related: The Top 3 Resume Improvements Everyone Needs Now Unless you are a C-Level executive or have lots of publications, your resume should be no longer than two pages.


It’s quite normal for jobseekers to want to include every last detail about themselves in their resume. If you include all your best achievements and skills and ram your resume full of relevant experience, then surely there’s no reason that you won’t make it through to interview stage, right? Wrong. Most employers only spend 1-2 minutes scanning a resume (some even less than that!), so if yours is full of dense paragraphs, employers are going to find it hard to pick out your most relevant attributes. This third and final pick offers some top tips for keeping your resume succinct, whilst including all the essential information:

Top 3 Tips to Super Charge your CV

Whether you’re fresh out of university or planning a career change, writing a CV can be challenging. How long should it be? What information should you include or omit? Here are three tips to help you create a super-charged CV.

If you’re looking for a new role in Finance or Accountancy and would like some resume advice, get in touch with us today!

Do you ever feel like you’re slowly drowning in an ever increasing workload? If so, you’re not alone. Finance and accounting professionals are frequently expected to deliver strategic results with fewer resources. To help you regain control of your time, here are some tips to help you identify where you’re spending your time, how you can become more efficient, and most importantly how you can increase your value within your organisation.

1. Improve your email practices

Love it or hate it, many organisations rely heavily on email. Undeniably it’s had a huge and beneficial impact on business, but it can also be a massive time suck. One strategy that can help you avoid wasting time by reading, reviewing, deleting or writing e-mails that offer no value is maintaining ‘Inbox Zero’. This is the practice of emptying your email inbox every day to avoid getting bogged down in mountains of emails. To become an ‘Inbox Zero’ master you have to be a little brutal: If the email is something actionable, do the task straight away, if it’s for someone else to do, delegate it immediately, if you do decide to do it later – flag it with a reminder, and here’s the important bit …. if you don’t need the email for later, delete it! Deleting emails is one of the most productive email habits you can adopt today. The other side of the coin is to avoid sending emails that are of little or no value. Ask yourself honestly, do you really need to send that email?

2. Manage your time effectively

Sometimes a little organisation can go a long way. Taking the time to organise your workload with to-do lists and project timeframes can help you save oodles of time in the long run. By breaking your projects down, you’ll be able to identify what needs to be prioritised and the deadlines that you need to work to.

3. Only schedule productive meetings

Meetings need to deliver a return on investment for your time. By fostering a culture of only scheduling meetings with an objective, you’ll be able to avoid those pointless meetings that’s only purpose is to schedule another meeting. With a goal in mind, you’ll be able to identify the necessary people for each meeting and avoid wasting valuable resources.

4. Manage the number of projects you work on

It’s all too common for managers to dole out an untenable workload, which in turn actually slows down progress across the board. To help you avoid this problem you’ll need to manage upwards and push back where necessary, working with your team to identify the key priorities.

5. Focus on quality and providing valuable insight

Whilst you might think that taking on loads of projects will impress your employer, your value to the company will be defined by the quality of your work and the insights you provide to help steer the direction of the company. Rather than spreading yourself thinly, take on fewer projects that will create a direct impact every time.

6. Organise your workspace

Organising your workspace is time well spent. By maintaining a tidy workspace, you’ll become more efficient and productive as you’ll be able to locate important items quicker, avoid working around endless clutter, remember important tasks, and focus on your workplace goals easier. It will also have the bonus of giving your workspace and you a more professional demeanour. Work out what is essential for your workspace and what clutter needs to be binned or filed away. Over time this practice should become second nature, and you’ll be able to work clutter free.

7. Learn new Excel tips that will increase efficiency

Excel is one of the most amazing pieces of software and it’s constantly improving. With it come a million and one time saving shortcuts and tricks to learn, so it’s totally worth devoting a small amount of time a week to trying out new tips. For some handy timesavers check out the ExcelTips site.

8. Be open to digital change

Technology is revolutionising the way we all work, but it is those early adopters who are open to digital change that will reap the biggest rewards. Try and keep up to date with the technology and software that’s available. If you’re not already filing to the cloud or using apps in your day to day life, you’re already one step behind. The right technology will undoubtedly increase your productivity and make your life easier, so what are you waiting for?

Written by Financial Staffing Solutions, specialist financial recruiters covering all accountancy and financial roles. If you’re looking for a new position within this sector, or need to hire a finance professional, then get in touch:

020 8532 2644

Today’s recruiting and interview process comes in all shapes and sizes. Preparation is absolutely essential if you want to make a lasting impression and stand out to an employer. Here are some of our favourite articles from around the web to help you prepare for the unexpected and ace your next interview!

This first post outlines some of the most common types of interview. Make sure you know the type of interview that you’re heading into! If these details aren’t provided by the company, don’t be afraid to ask – this will only show your enthusiasm for the role

What Types of Job Interviews Are There?

Depending on the job you are applying for, there are several types of job interviews that your potential employer may conduct. Before you go for your interview, it’s important that you make sure that you are informed about what type of interview that will be conducted, so that you can prepare for it appropriately.

Once you’ve confirmed the interview details, you need to turn your attention to researching the company and preparing for questions they might ask you. Here are some of the fundamentals to preparing for your interview. Make sure you put aside a good amount of time to each of these steps so you know the company, the role your applying for and yourself, inside out!

10 Crucial Steps To Prepare For The Interview –

You’ve secured an interview, congratulations, all your hard work has paid off. But you are not out of the woods yet! It is time to prepare for the interview! I’ve worked with numerous job seekers who have made assumptions about the interview process which ended up biting them.

As part of your interview preparation you’ll no doubt prepare answers to some of the most common interview questions typically asked, which is great! But what happens when you get caught off guard and you’re asked questions that you’re not prepared for? This post offers some all-important advice to help you manage this scenario

4 Ways to Handle Interview Questions You Don’t Know How to Answer

Preparing for interviews is serious business. But even if you practice, and practice, and practice, you could still get a question you just don’t know how to answer. Whether it’s a technical question on something you’ve never heard of before or just something completely unexpected, a question that stumps you can really throw off the pacing of the conversation and leave you a bit shaken up.

If you’re like the many others out and let your nerves get the better of you during an interview, our final pick offers some valuable tips to keep you cool-headed and calm

5 Strategies For Overcoming Interview Nerves | CAREEREALISM

Your stomach begins to churn, your palms sweat profusely, your mouth goes dry, and your voice begin to shake… and that’s when you’re just thinking about your forthcoming job interview. We all get nervous for job interviews, as nobody likes being in the hot seat, being assessed on what they say, and how they react to different questions.

We hope you find these insights useful and they help you ace your next interview. If you’re looking for a role in Finance or Accountancy, get in touch with our team – we’d love to help!

It’s that time of year again when businesses are gearing up for the end of the financial year. As an Accountant or Finance professional, this will probably mean that you’re having to manage your time more effectively in order to take on a heavier workload and meet tighter deadlines. To help you survive this busy season, we’ve compiled 5 top picks to help you save time and stay motivated!

7 Tips and 3 Jokes to Help Accountants Survive Busy Season

Busy Season. Mention of the words raises the blood pressure level of every public accountant and tax professional. The long hours, tight deadlines, and constant pressure can be grueling. You well know, it starts around mid-January and lasts through April 15 th. Thank goodness it’s already March!

If it’s efficiencies that you require, the next two posts provide some useful Excel tips to help you speed through your worksheets and fix hidden errors:

4 Excel Tricks for Accountants

Whether you work for a public accounting firm or are an accountant at a company, Microsoft Excel is likely an essential part of the work you perform. While I worked in public accounting, I used excel on a daily basis for numerous work assignments.

How to debug Excel spreadsheets

CPAs are often tasked with vetting or working with numbers in a spreadsheet. And while accountants are well-trained to identify and correct accounting errors, spreadsheets bring the danger of many other types of errors. Field audit results compiled by University of Hawaii professor and spreadsheet expert Ray Panko showed errors in 88% of 113 spreadsheets audited between 1995 and 2007.

Or perhaps you’re looking to achieve better time-management? This post shares some tried and tested techniques from seasoned Accountants:

What Tax Accountants Know About Surviving Life’s Busy Seasons

Accounting can be a great profession for work/life balance overall. However, as any accountant knows, that is not the case during “busy season” (often from January to March for auditors, or into April for those dealing with taxes). Long hours are the norm.

Last but not least, whilst productivity is key during this time, this shouldn’t be to the detriment of your own health. Here are some all-important tips for staying healthy and achieving a better work-life balance during tax season:


Tax season is synonymous for most accounting professionals with long hours and stressful days. But stress can lead to burnout, relationship trouble at home and even increased risk of getting sick. With some planning, you can take care of yourself, spend time with your family and provide exceptional service to your clients.

We hope you find these posts useful – and of course if you’re thinking of making a career move, feel free to call us, we’d be delighted to help.

With the growth of webcams and ‘video chat’ software, employers are increasingly using video interviews as part of their candidate screening process. If you haven’t already had a video interview, it won’t be long. Video interviewing offers so many benefits for employers that hiring managers across the world are getting on board. They allow employers to shorten the hiring process, saving both time and money. Employers are even using pre-recorded interviews to quickly and efficiently screen lots of candidates. Video interviews also help employers to combat skills shortages by widening their talent pool by including global candidates and remote workers.

Whether this is your first video interview or you’re reading this in readiness for what the future may hold, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Surely it’s just the same as a face to face interview!

Well, in our experience you’ll need to do all the usual interview prep, plus a little extra to take into account the differences of a video interview.

Below we’ve included our top tips to give you the best possible chance at acing your video interview.

Choose your location carefully!

The best location for a video interview is one that offers quiet surroundings where you won’t be disturbed. Ideally this will be a setting that presents a professional environment.  Avoid anywhere noisy or potentially distracting such as a café or pub. Choose a quiet room at home and remember, if there are family members or friends in the house, make sure they know you’re not to be disturbed. If that’s not possible try contacting your local library or look for conference spaces to rent at local hotels or offices. Many organisations offer conference rooms to rent on an hourly rate.

If you do hire a conference space, make sure that you hire it for longer than the interview is scheduled for. You don’t want someone walking in asking for you to vacate the room because your time is up; it won’t leave a good lasting impression on your potential employer.

Check your backdrop and lighting

It’s often surprising the sorts of things interviewers see in the background of a video interview. A messy room or an inappropriate picture can be off-putting to an interviewer. A plain wall or bookcase is an ideal backdrop, whereas the view of your kitchen or bedroom can be less appealing.The other thing to take into account is the lighting within your chosen space. You don’t want your lighting to be too dark or too light. You want your interviewer to be able to see you as clearly as possible.

Test your tech

Whilst your wifi or connection is probably out of your control, it’s at least worth checking your connection to make sure that it’s reliable. A good way of doing this is to test the connection on Skype. As a connectivity back-up it’s a good idea to set up your phone as a personal hotspot incase you need to connect it to your computer.

If you’re not already a regular video chat user try some test calls with friends. Test your sound quality and camera to ensure everything is crystal clear. The other thing to remember is that your interviewers may ask you to share your screen if you have a portfolio or presentation. Practice doing this and ensure that you have a clean desktop, you don’t want your interviewer to see anything inappropriate.

Dress to impress

What you wear can be just as important as what you say. We always suggest that you wear exactly what you would for a face-to-face interview. Just because the interviewer can only see your head and shoulders doesn’t mean that you should neglect your bottom half. You might need to stand up to get something and a pair of tracksuit bottoms (or less) won’t reflect you in the best light. Dressing professionally can also help to put you in the right mindset for an interview whilst boosting your confidence.

Use positive body language

Positioning your camera is going to be an important step in ensuring that your video interview goes well. Make sure you’re able to look directly into the camera as this will mean that you’re also making eye contact with your interviewer. This will help to build a personal connection with your interviewer whilst also showing that you’re a confident communicator.

Practice makes perfect

As with any interview, practice is essential. Ask a family member or friend to give you a Skype call. If possible they should be armed with some practice interview questions to put you under the spotlight. As well as practicing your answers this will give you the chance to practice speaking into a camera. Speak slowly and clearly, enunciating your words to ensure that you come across in the best light.

Final thoughts

When it comes to the interview itself you’ll still need to do all the usual preparation to ensure that you can illustrate that you have the right skills and experience for the role. To help you prepare check out some of the tips in our previous post.

Written by Financial Staffing Solutions, specialist financial recruiters covering all accountancy and financial roles. If you’re looking for a new position within this sector, or need to hire a finance professional, then get in touch:

020 8532 2644

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