Resources for Job Seekers

Below are links to where you can find helpful information for researching companies and their hiring managers.

Good reading can also be found for the career-minded and macro-economic professional seeking more information on the accounting & financial professions

Interview Guidance for Candidates

Even the most highly qualified financial professionals can find the hiring process a bit tedious and intimidating. Since corporate relationship building, networking, and helping companies in the hiring process is what we’ve been doing for over thirty-five years, PETERSON-BICS has developed methods and strategies we like to share with our client-applicants to help them through the journey.

Greatest Advice for Candidates: Remember that Interviews are Where You Need to Bring Your STAND-OUT PERFORMANCE. Those who prepare the best and know the material going-in are more likely to Ace the Test

Interviews are where employers get the up-close look at what you bring to their organization and how you may or may not fit into their opportunity and workplace culture.

Use these 12 tips to prepare – and be thinking ahead with good answers to the common interview questions:

More Techniques:
Video Interviews

Interview Tip#1

Plan a Fitting Frame for Your Skill-Set Adjust the Emphasis of Your Profile's Description for Your Interview Audience
- You should go into every interview with a general theme and CUSTOMIZED framework of who you are professionally and why your profile with its 3-5 vital and matching skill-sets could fit their specific needs. This frame can be a good portion of your answer to the common question tell me about yourself (More...)
You can find these needs from the job description or from your recruiter

You’ll also want to keep a mental checklist of the 5-8 critical matching points about your background during the meeting

And you’ll want to be certain you’ve checked them all off by communicating all of them to each person you meet.

Interviews can be tightly timed and you need to be certain that they know why you’re a wide-ranging fit

This is more important than tangents and irrelevant stories which can eat up your allotted time.

Interview Tip #2

Have 10-15 Questions You've Prepared

- Insightful questions showcase your knowledge. They can display a smart thought process and give the interviewer examples on the depth of your knowhow.

You won’t be able to get them all answered but writing them down beforehand will help you remember, when the best moments to ask do appear.
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Having them in a folder to glance at is also okay but you don’t want to unfold a piece of paper or draw attention to any long list.

You want them to ideally flow into the conversation.

When they ask you if you have any questions – you’ll want to have substantive ones ready to ask.

Interview Tip #3

Your questions about money, benefits, and work hours

- These are best left for the very last meeting or stage of the entire interview process.

When you’re in a competition phase of the interview process, it’s too early to be asking about these topics.

You ideally want to wait until you're certain you’re their number one choice.
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If they bring up the topics of benefits and work hours, or flex hours, or remote days…then it becomes a safer time to carefully question, without giving them the sense that their policy could be a deal-breaker.

35+ years have shown us that when the company and candidate truly like each other both can find some compromise to make that good chemistry work!

Interview Tip #4

Specific ideas for Your Questions

- You want to have one that shows you did your research on the company or their product or service markets. Stick to operational questions:

How are the different typical functions being handled on the team? i.e., how many people in the department are there, and who’s doing what? What are the strengths of the team?
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Ask questions about the key relationships around the role, the relationship between this department, and other locations of the company.

Ask about any current high urgency projects and future projects in the next 3, 6, 12 months.

Inquire with a macro-level question about the market the company is in, new markets they’re thinking about, and inquire about key competitors.

Interview Tip #5

Recognize the Interviewer’s Objective

Often questions “tell me about yourself” are not just casual. (Remember Tip #1 can help with that Q).

Every question your interviewer asks has a purpose. Those purposes can include:

Seeing you respond to unstructured questions. Examining how well you think on your feet.

Identifying what you think is important.
(More...)

Testing how effective you are at communicating articulately.

Simply getting a feel for the impression you give to others.

Too much information?

More and more commonly we see the stumble on sharing too much information.

Be careful on topics or stories about your political beliefs, religion, sometimes even about family and friends because they can create the optics of risks with a negatively work impact.

Interview Tip #6

Sell Yourself - Remain Honest & Humble. Stay focused on the experiences which showcase your fit
You need to keep the balance with selling yourself effectively without embellishing and without sounding too boastful.
If necessary explain with a preface I don't typically brag in conversations but this is an interview so I'm here to sell myself (More...)
Your resume should relay all accuracies. It should be customized to target your match, and be defendable on any point. Think of the interview as any other professional conversation but be careful not to let your guard down too much, which is common when things are going well.

You need to come across confident and give appropriate, concise, and clear answers.

Your answers should continue to demonstrate and drive home how well equipped you are for the role.

Interview Tip #7

Study beforehand - Be Well Prepared. It will help to keep the Interview on task and have you highlighting what matters most

- Sometimes, interviews can go on forever. Many of the questions could prompt a long tangent about your whole work history and all of your skills.

In your pre-study, learn their job description and make notes; have talking points ready for the duties. This can help you focus the talks.

Your talking points should specifically refer to the past employer, the precise role, and the actual duty where you’ve seen that function before.
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Or refer to a similar topic example. If you write notes out, you’ll have better recall.

Think about what makes you align so well to the job and call attention to that pairing,
whether it’s a specific experience or an accomplishment of yours.

When you highlight what makes you most qualified for the position, be conversational.
Share a story. Always give examples to support claims about your talents.

Come up with examples where you stood out from the rest of your peers

Interview Tip #8

Respond Genuinely to the “Whys” But Maintain Your Diplomacy

- If an interviewer asks you why you want to work in their specific industry, at their company, or at the position you’ve applied, you want to give your genuine feelings.

Realistically there may be many reasons and you still might need to do some filtering.

Share why you originally chose the field and why you’re pursuing this particular career path but be mindful about referring to what’s going to be realistic in their organization.
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It’s best to talk in terms like: “expanded responsibilities, more challenging content, new organizational roles” versus wanting a specific title, why you like the company, or why you.

Generally, companies don’t want to hire people who’re talking about a search for an easier time or life. This is simply not the stage to say that. Keep personal reasons like those to yourself.

Keep your reasons positive and simple. Your passion will shine through naturally and will help the interviewer feel comfortable with your aims.

Interview Tip #9

Be Prepared to Give Answers about Your Current or Former Employers and your reasons for leaving

- Whether you are currently employed or not, you need to be prepared to explain why you are visiting for the interview and where your career thinking currently sits.

If you are unemployed, the interviewer needs to be assured there is a good reason (otherwise they may question your career choices or presume incorrectly as to why you’re not still at your last position).
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Likewise, if you’re currently employed, the interviewer needs to understand why you could be happier in their opportunity.

Be ready with short but concise answers about why you made the job changes in your career.

Give a balanced answer about why you’ve left previous position explained with the common acceptable motives (ask your recruiter about this if you have doubts on how to phrase it) and make certain you share minimal negativity.

Interview Tip #10

Alternative Answers to: “I don’t have that experience” or “What are your weaknesses?”

Acknowledge when you don’t have direct experience within certain areas but then finish your answer with what you do know.

It might be your familiarity with those issues, the strengths you possess on similar topics, and your quick learning curve.

Another tough question: “What is your greatest weakness? ”Interviewers love the question because of all it accomplishes.
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No candidate is perfect. Interviewers need to know their employees recognize their own weaknesses and imperfections.

Managers also need to know who they hire can overcome, work hard to learn more, and succeed despite a weakness.

When you respond to this question, give an example about a past weakness. Then, demonstrate how you accepted constructive criticism well and grew from it.

Interview Tip #11

Tackling the Situational Scenarios Presented

- It’s common for interviewers to ask questions about situations where you had to deal with a difficult personality of a superior or of a co-worker.

Many also ask situational questions, giving you that hypothetical scenario, then asking you to explain what you would do in response.

Sometimes you are even asked about failed projects.
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These types of questions can be unsettling but can relate to very common work problems.

Ask a couple of clarifying questions if the scenario is hypothetical to demonstrate your critical thinking skills. Frame your answer with a few prefaces: “If this was a part of what is at play, I’d find out about this…”

Failed Projects – Dig through your memories for good examples with positive outcomes from your past work experience. Note them down in your preparation.

Point to the positive – how you recovered or what good you made out of that failed project

Interview Tip #12

When Discussing Strengths and Successes use specific examples and show a contrast

- Imagine how many of the same strengths interviewers hear over and over again. If you want to stand out, stick to quantifying examples when highlighting what makes you unique and qualified.

Good stories pointing to a relevant problem you tackled in the past will make you more memorable and improve your chances. In your prep-session select 2 or 3 strengths you have and briefly note why they are very relevant to the position.
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Then, have an example from your work history of how those strengths helped you succeed in previous roles.

Offer numbers, statistics, observations from your references, and indisputable examples when describing your successes.

THE COMMUNITY BOARD

Interviews are not only about the Verbal Mechanics and Technical Stories

They are also about finding the courage
Freeing-up that compassion & spirit
Breaking from your comfort zone
Taking that first step towards a more satisfying workplace

We encourage people to share with us all some of their favorite quotes and the source to post here

Help others & yourself find more courage & spirit, gain a little wisdom,
and bring proper focus from a resonating verse.
They can often bring a greater strength to your performance on interviews.

Thoughts found from Music, Sports, Literature, Art, & Business leaders
often convey our strong human spirits.
They can help to unbridle that tentativeness sometimes felt in each of us
and drive a person forward in our approach to life and in our career aims.

Career Inspiring Quotes Submitted by Our Readers

Shania Twain

When everything goes without a hitch, where’s the challenge, the opportunity to find out what you’re made of.

Eminem

If you ever had one shot Or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment would you capture it or just let it slip.

Oprah Winfrey

Wherever you are in your journey, I hope you, too, will keep encountering challenges. It is a blessing to be able to survive them, to be able to keep putting one foot in front of the other—to be in a position to make the climb up life’s mountain, knowing that the summit still lies ahead. And every experience is a valuable teacher.

Bill Russell (Boston Celtics Team Captain with 11 NBA Championships)

Commitment separates those who live their dreams from those who live their lives regretting the opportunities they have squandered.

Taylor Swift Quoted in Inc. Magazine

Being fearless isn’t being 100 percent not fearful it’s being terrified but you jump anyway.

U2 / Bono (Paul Hewson)

I’m not afraid of anything in this world. There’s nothing you can throw at me That I haven’t already heard I’m just trying to find a decent melody A song that I can sing, In my own company

Carrie Underwood

Every day is a new day,  and you’ll never be able to find happiness if you don’t move on.

Bill Bradley U.S. Senator, and Author. Basketball Hall of Famer

Ambition is the path to success persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.

Salvador Dali (1904-1989) famous Spanish Artist

Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings

Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist, widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest & most influential physicists of all time.

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.

Sheryl Sandberg rose to COO at Meta (a 14 yr. employee), a VP at Google, & Chief of Staff for a US Secretary of Treasury

If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.

Frank Ocean is American singer, songwriter, rapper, and two time Grammy winner

Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise.

Chuck Norris – A veteran, martial arts champion, movie & TV star, a 2-time NY Times bestselling writer

I’ve always found that anything worth achieving will always have obstacles in the way, and you’ve got to have that drive and determination to overcome those obstacles on route to whatever it is that you want to accomplish.