Job Interview Help

husmaz12husmaz12 New MemberRegistered Posts: 5
Hi everyone

i have a interview with a accountancy practice tommorow but am a bit unsure how to answer some of the questions.

In a previous interview i was told i was unsuccessful because of some of the following questions:

Why didn't i take my A Level law course further and change to accountancy?

Why didnt i take A Level maths?

Why did i choose accountancy?

The true answers are because i didnt want to go uni for the first, because i wasn;t interested in accountancy at the time and because its one of the only professions you can get into without a degree but i dont think thats what they want to hear so what should i say if asked again tomorrow?

Also any other hints and tips would be welcome... THANKS!

Comments

  • stevefstevef Well-Known CarmarthenRegistered Posts: 258
    If I was interviewing you and you gave me those answers, you would not get the job. Telling a professional person that the only reason you want to join their club is so that you do not have to go to universty is not recommended. Also, making answers up is not recommended as you may/will get caught out.

    You have to take the positives from the truth. You should be choosing to become an Accountant because you find the work interesting or rewarding or satisfying, gives good career prospects, and allows you to positively assist in meeting the prospective employers goals (your research should tell you what they are).

    You can fend off choice of A level questions by saying you selected what you thought you could pass at the time, but with hindsite and better advise things may have been different.

    Changing from Law to Accountancy, do not say 'cos I did not want to go to University. If its the truth, because you realised the law was not for you and because of the wide base of interesting topics such as economics, financial reporting etc (a list that is in the range of topics covered that would be helpful for the post applied for). Your law studies were not wasted because of the law content of Accountancy.

    Above all you need to be able to honestly convince the interviewer that you choose accountancy because you really want to be an accountant, that you are fascinated by the subject matter and the work.

    You may not have wanted to go to uni, but by choosing AAT you need to acheive foundation degree levels plus practical experiance, if you move on to the chartered bodies, you are looking at masters levels plus experience. You have selected a much tougher route than uni. Your level of commitment and determination need to be high and your interviewer will be looking for evidence of that.
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    While there are some who seemingly have their career pre-determined from a young age and are tenacious enough to follow it, there are many, many more who have no idea what to do upon leaving school or college and only find their callings later. I didn't get into accountancy until I was 34 though I had come across certain parts of it without knowing at the time.

    Give the truth about your changing from law to accountancy and why you didn't take maths. Maybe you didn't like hardcore mathematics or it wasn't relevant to your studies at that time? (Plus you don't have to like maths to like accountancy!) But as Stevef said, don't don't don't say you're only taking this route as an easy, non-university option. Accountancy is a profession, not a doss!
  • JacalinaJacalina New Member Registered Posts: 13
    I totally agree. Definitely don't go in and say you want to work in accountancy as an 'easy way out' of uni!

    I didn't get into accountancy until a few years after I left university and my degree is in a completely different subject. In every interview I've had I've been asked "Why do you want to work in accountancy after gaining a degree in something else?" I've always answered that question by saying that at the time that is what I enjoyed and wanted to have a career in. However upon leaving uni and working in the 'real world' I gained experience in accountancy and discovered I really enjoyed it. After getting more involved I realised I wanted to move my career in that direction. The fact that I was doing/completed my AAT showed my commitment and the interviewer always seem happy with that response.

    For me that was an honest answer, but I think you could use the fact that at the time of your A-Level's you choose subjects you enjoyed/wanted to work in. However now your interest lies in accountancy and see your career moving in that direction. The fact that you are doing AAT shows your commitment.

    Good luck with the interview.
  • RowanBRowanB Well-Known Registered Posts: 158
    I'd suggest that A Level maths isn't even relevant to accountancy. I could be wrong, but personally I don't see how it's very applicable.
  • messedup89messedup89 Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 1,281
    RowanB wrote: »
    I'd suggest that A Level maths isn't even relevant to accountancy. I could be wrong, but personally I don't see how it's very applicable.

    I took A Level Further Maths (aswell as accounting and business) and i dropped it after 1 month! I've never had any problems because of it
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    I got ungraded in my maths O' level when dinosuars still ruled the earth yet have spent most of my working life dealing with numbers in one way or another (albeit not using frigomotery or anything...)
  • stevefstevef Well-Known CarmarthenRegistered Posts: 258
    I can understand that you do not need formal maths qualifications, but you do need to be numerate and enjoy manipulating numbers. At the heart of accountancy is double entry and the balance sheet equation, so you from the start you are into are straight into algerbra.

    For variance analysis, reducing balance depreciation and overhead absorption calculations etc the maths starts ramping up.

    For those of you considering moving on to CCAB bodies you have the delights of finance leases, discounted cash flows and capital asset pricing models to come, all requiring a serious (but very achievale) level of maths. If you pick the right options (or the wrong ones, depending on your viewpoint) you may be entering into the wonderful world of statistics, probability and risk analysis. and if any of the accountancy bodies are still offering up managerial economics (ACCA used to many, many , many moons ago), you will need a basic splattering of calculus.

    Don't be put off by that list, all the maths is very doable and previous maths qualifications are not needed, but maths and numeracy are very relevant to accountancy. Back in the stoneage of 'O' and 'A' levels I studied for an 'A' level in Maths (Pure with Numeriacl Analysis' and 1/2 of one in Statistics. While they were not necessary, they did me no harm.
  • RowanBRowanB Well-Known Registered Posts: 158
    messedup89 wrote: »
    I took A Level Further Maths (aswell as accounting and business) and i dropped it after 1 month! I've never had any problems because of it

    Did you drop the further part and finish normal A Level Maths? I find it interesting that an interviewer for an accounts position would scrutinise someone's choice to not do A Level Maths. I would have thought they'd just look for a decent grade at GCSE if anything, and good A Levels in any subjects from a school leaver, but I don't know because I'm not an employer.

    Unfortunately, I'm not writing this in time for Husmaz's interview, but for what it's worth (probably not much), my answers would be:

    I chose not to do a law degree, as I am committed to an accounting career and decided that finding an accounts position that would allow me to study AAT and work simultaneously would be the most cost-effective and efficient way of progressing this.

    I chose not to do A Level Maths, as having read the syllabus, I decided that the vast majority of the subject would not be directly applicable in accountancy and other subjects were more appealing to me.

    I have chosen to pursue a career in accountancy, as I see great capacity for career progression within the profession and believe that some of my strongest attributes are applicable in the field. I think I am good at paying attention to detail, methodical and have strong interpersonal skills. Having read some of the AAT course material, I was particularly impressed with the way the qualification aims to combine the practical and theoretical elements of accountancy and feel I would thoroughly enjoy and thrive within an AAT Trainee position.



    Obviously it's different when you're sitting there talking and you'll probably word things very differently, but something to that effect would be good I reckon.
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    Ignoring our past battles, that's a nice post Rowan.
  • stevefstevef Well-Known CarmarthenRegistered Posts: 258
    In response to RowanB's post, as an employer I would not normally get to uptight on 'A' level subjects. I would just be interested in grades as it is the ability to learn, not past learning, that I am interested in.

    But

    I do require GCSE's (grade C or above) in a language (English or welsh) and in a numeracy subject. To study accountancy you need to be numerate and be able to communicate. If someone had started a further maths/stats qualification (or economics or accountancy) qualification and then dropped out of it, I would be asking why. The fact of the change in choices would not be a show stopper, but the reason given for the change could cause concern.
  • RowanBRowanB Well-Known Registered Posts: 158
    To be honest Blobby, I was messing around with you before because you're good at arguing and it's entertaining, which is really childish of me, but anyway, I'll stop p*ssing about now. Sorry.
  • messedup89messedup89 Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 1,281
    RowanB wrote: »
    Did you drop the further part and finish normal A Level Maths? I find it interesting that an interviewer for an accounts position would scrutinise someone's choice to not do A Level Maths. I would have thought they'd just look for a decent grade at GCSE if anything, and good A Levels in any subjects from a school leaver, but I don't know because I'm not an employer. .

    No i dropped Maths completely.. I liked the stats side of further maths but the rest of it was too hard. Atleast i could concentrate on my other 3 A levels.
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    RowanB wrote: »
    To be honest Blobby, I was messing around with you before because you're good at arguing and it's entertaining, which is really childish of me, but anyway, I'll stop p*ssing about now. Sorry.

    TBH I agree, the forums are always at their spiciest when you have good combatants, everyone joins in and you can indulge your darker sides!
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