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How to Sail Through Controller Interviews

Your big interview with a firm is scheduled for next week, and for the most part, you know what you’re getting into and how to handle the challenges that lie ahead. Your suit is pressed, your portfolio of past accomplishments is ready and waiting and you’ve perfected your elevator pitch until you can recite it in your sleep. But there are still a few details that may catch you by surprise, including some of the traits your employers may be looking for. In a modern hiring landscape, attitude and cultural match are often more important than skills and experience. If you’re surprised by this, don’t be. Here are a few other things you’ll want to keep in mind.

Attitude isn’t just important—it’s everything.

And by “attitude”, we don’t just mean a firm handshake and positive energy. Attitude is a code word for cultural alignment. If you’ll fit in here, then you have it. If you won’t, then you don’t. In order to get ahead of the curve, research the company and talk to contacts who have worked here in the past. Is this an environment of competitive loners? Friendly collaborators?  Aggressive team players? Fragile egos? Feel the vibe before you step in the door.

Technical skills are also important.

If you can manage your financial reporting, but you don’t know how to attach a Word file to an email and click send, know that this may raise concerns. This is usually more of a problem for older workers than younger digital natives, but in either case, be ready to emphasize your technical strengths and downplay your weaknesses.

Technology has become a major factor in financial hiring. The modern era of big data allows financial professionals to make educated decisions. Sell your tech experience and you will be successful.

Demonstrate humility.

You don’t know everything. No matter how long you’ve been in this business, you still have a lot to learn, and there are people all around you (perhaps even in this very interview room) who know much more than you do. These people may be able to share their knowledge and help you grow. And they may be enthusiastic about hiring you—but you’ll need to demonstrate a little humility and self- awareness in order to earn their respect.

Be confident.

It’s possible to be humble and confident at the same time. And in fact, it’s necessary if you hope to take your career where it needs to go.

For more on how to control the outcome of your controller interview and set yourself apart from the competition, reach out to the DC financial staffing experts at Cordia. If you are looking for executive financial recruiters in DC, contact us today.