10 Minutes to Impress


According to a survey of hiring managers, it takes just minutes to form a positive or negative opinion during the initial interview, despite spending on average 55 minutes and 86 minutes meeting with staff and management-level applicants, respectively.

“The opening minutes of the conversation often set the tone for the rest of the discussion, making it wise to prepare especially well for the first few interview questions,” says Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International.

Here are five questions frequently asked at the start of an interview and tips for responding:

Can you tell me a little about yourself? Summarize your professional interests and goals in a manner that explains why you are the right fit for the specific position and company.

Why do you want to work here? Respond in a way that shows your research and understanding of the firm’s business objectives and priorities.

W hat do you know about our firm? Describe how your skills and experience will contribute to the firm’s success.

Why are you looking to leave your current position? Avoid criticizing other employers and keep your answer focused on the opportunity at hand.

What is your most significant professional accomplishment? Cite a specific achievement that demonstrates your abilities and shows tangible results.

Source: Robert Half Finance & Accounting, www.roberthalffinance.com.

SPONSORED REPORT

Keeping client information safe in an age of scams and security threats

A look at the Dirty Dozen tax scams and ways to protect taxpayer information.

TECHNOLOGY Q&A

How to create maps in Excel 2016

Microsoft Excel 2016 has two new mapping capabilities. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, demonstrates how to make masterful 2D and 3D maps in Excel 2016.

QUIZ

News quiz: IRS enforcement, a hot job, and audit value

The IRS’s 2016 Data Book, a “hot job” of particular interest at this time of year, and insight into how executive and audit committees view the insights from financial statement audits received attention recently. See how much you know with this short quiz.