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What accounting employers want

Stock up on awesomeness in advance

It’s impossible to check all the boxes on a potential employer’s wish list if you don’t know what those boxes are. Aside from passing the CPA Exam beforehand, which is great, but not absolutely necessary, here’s how you can make sure that when you walk into your next recruiting session or interview, your dazzling intellect and oak-like strength of character are more impressive than the next guy’s.

Be good
As in integrity. Accounting is serious business, and when it comes to making decisions about other people’s money, nobody can afford to have a shady character on their team. When the time comes to discuss your past efforts and your approach to solving problems, make sure a potential employer understands that you know right from wrong – and that you act accordingly.

Be better
Top companies want top achievers. Not just academically (though a double major helps – particularly in finance or Master of Information Science), but leaders who get things done in the classroom and the community at large. Volunteering, entrepreneurism, even personal art projects – what on this Earth exists or is better because of something you’ve done? Think about what your grandma would say when she brags about you to her Bridge friends. Then say that stuff.

Be nice
Confidence is great, but show you have respect for your interviewer – and everyone else, for that matter. Be polite. Listen. Some folks walk into a room and say, “Here I am!” while others enter and say, “Ah, there you are!” People like the second kind better.

Be tough
The best positions aren’t cakewalks. They’re challenging, and require resilience, flexibility and prioritization skills. And the best candidate wouldn’t have it any other way.

Be awake
This job could change your life – no question. If that gets you excited, and you’re passionate about the opportunity to join a great company, by all means, show it.

Now that you know what employers are looking for, practice talking to them with an interview simulation.

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