The role of accountants is changing. There’s no doubt it’s a very different landscape to when I started out in accounting almost 40 years ago.
Back then technology was housed in a central computer centre. You had to complete data input sheets which you sent off to the computer centre for processing.
You eventually got your ledger back for review a couple of weeks later.
Nowadays there’s a huge amount of technology. Tasks can be completed at speed.
Stewardship and score keeping still matters.
Increasingly accountants are moving to being Finance Business Partners.
In this role they are working alongside the business, influencing decisions shaping strategy and producing insightful information.
Some refer to them as navigators or co-pilots.
The changing role, requires a new way of thinking, stronger interpersonal skills and all round commercial and business savvy.
The opportunity is exciting but at the same time you are going to have to stand out in the job interview.
So what are 7 questions that you need to be ready for in a finance business partner job interview?
#1 What do you see as the role of the finance business partner?
Simple question, right? Well maybe.
The reason I say this is it varies a lot.
The purpose of this question is to see how much you understand about the role.
#2 What do you see as the key skills for success as finance business partner?
Businesses need to understand the key drivers of performance.
As a finance business partner you need to know what the key skills are that are to be successful in the role.
#3 What qualities or attributes do successful business partners have?
Those who struggle with this show that they have done little or no research.
Who would want someone in a role who takes a minimalist approach?
#4 Tell me about a time when you positively influenced
No one is going to be influenced by you based on a job title.
You have to demonstrate that you have done it for real so have an example at your fingertips.
#5 Tell me about your most successful client relationship
You will be working as part of a wider team. Relationship skills are going to be vital.
Have a really strong example or story you can use.
#6 Give me an example of when you were under pressure to present a more favourable position than was reality
This is a tricky one and sadly a more familiar situation than you might think.
This is a test of your courage, integrity and professionalism.
You might want to duck or side step this question. If you do you are likely to blow any chances of success in the job interview.
Maintain confidentiality but answer the question.
#7 Why are you the ideal candidate?
A question I’ve seen so many struggle with over the years.
The way to avoid the struggle is to have between 5 and 7 key reasons why you are the perfect person for the job.
It’s your chance to blow your trumpet or toot your horn.Don’t be shy about doing this. What’s certain is if you don’t there will be someone else who is sequite happy to take advantage of your reluctance to sell yourself.