Before interview


Deciding you are ready for a new job can be obvious or unclear.  Typical signs you are ready for a new job can be:

  •  Limited career progression
  • Poor office culture e.g. divisions across teams, within teams etc.
  • Concerns around job security e.g. poor company performance, office-wide redundancies, office relocation, offshoring etc.
  • Salary concerns
  • Lack of learning and development opportunities
  • Location or commute
  • Lack of motivation
  • Ethical reasons
  • Simply, the time just feels right

During this stage, it is important to identify the most important things with your next role - a "wish list".  Whilst it may be unrealistic to obtain everything on your list, it is a useful reference point and should include at least 2-3 non-negotiable items.

CV tips:

A clean, well-structured CV with the appropriate level of detail is critical to any job search.  The level of detail will vary based on experience.  It is important to have your standard CV, which can then be tailored to better match specific applications.  Generally speaking, avoid photographs, different fonts, colours etc.  A typical CV structure for a candidate seeking a permanent position could be:

Attribute the appropriate level of detail to the most recent and most relevant positions.  Responsibilities should be relatively consistent across industries whereas Achievements is where you can add the most value.  As finance professionals, be sure to include clear examples such as cost savings, revenue gains, process improvements and efficiencies, systems implementations, major project work and awards.  Include substantive information where possible e.g. if you improved the month-end process, how many days did you improve it by, how did you do it - don't just say, "improved the month-end process". 

We are happy to provide registered Pattison & Walker candidates with CV template examples.

Interview preparation:

Once you have decided you are keen to apply for a position and you are lucky enough to secure an interview, the next critical stage is interview preparation:

  • Research the company - understand what they do, the services/products they offer, their size, their culture and values, their performance, org structure etc - grill your recruiter, view their website, download financial statements if available, read news articles, speak with friends. 
  • Understand the interview format - length, question style, will it be technical or behavioural-based, who will be interviewing you and their backgrounds, how many interviews are there.
  • Review the job description in detail - understand the key roles, responsibilities and major projects.  It is important to understand what skill sets in particular they are prioritising, allowing you to articulate your experiences and achievements accordingly.  Being able to explain your achievements is vital as a key point of differentiation.
  • Prepare responses to a range of behavioural-style questions (refer Sample Interview Questions).  This is often an area where candidates get caught out as it's a different way of thinking opposed to talking through your own experiences.
  • Know your CV in depth
  • Understand what else is important e.g. culture fit is generally critical, the desired level of ambition etc.