Accounting and finance jobs are competitive, doing your homework by looking up the business is crucial during the job search. Particularly when you get selected for an interview and your knowledge of the company will be quizzed.
Doing your research will also be important when accountants decide what type of company, they want to work for and when they are ready to apply for that Accounting and finance job.
With information so readily available in today’s world, employers, hiring managers and the companies they work for have come to expect candidates to have a good deal of understanding for their business.
Understanding the company’s business, goals and current projects will give an advantage over your competitors for the accounting and finance job up for grabs. Showcasing your proactive, sociable, and knowledgeable about their company will help you stay in the minds of the interviewers.
For your own sake, being familiar about the day-to-day operations of the company will also give you a better idea of whether or not you would enjoy being employed there and also if the company’s values match what you value.
Below is a list of how to do company research and get to know your future potential employer. A quick Google Search will verify that there is a wealth of information out there about the business however It can be difficult to know where to start.
The research process can be broken down into the following:
- Their website
- Their social media
- Their reputation
- Their culture
- Their financial health
This is a place where accountants can get a feel for the business. The about section will provide you with a great introduction to the company. Where they started, their growth over time, where they want to be in the future and what their goals are. It can also show how many locations they have and where their headquarters are located.
Using LinkedIn and other social media accounts can provide a great wealth of information about the business and the accounting and finance jobs they are hiring for. Their social media will also provide a great deal of insight into their history, events branding, company tone and voice. Social media can also provide you with information on their reputation, and how they handle negative press.
When preparing interview answers this can be useful. However, take these reviews with a pinch of salt and not as gospel as people can be disgruntled about conditions and personal scenarios can lead people to vent frustration on these sites.
When people are unhappy about a product or service they purchased, we tend to tell more people about a negative experience compared to a positive experience with a product or service. The same principle applies to Glassdoor or Indeed Reviews.
People who weren’t a good fit for the company and didn’t get a position with the company they interviewed for won’t be singing that companies praises. We need to be careful about what we read on these sites.
After conduction a quick search on Google check out the news section of the search provided by Google. This will provide you with recent company news and developments, which can arm you with a set of talking points for the interview and give you an idea on their reputation.
Bringing a company’s reputation into an interview is something you may not want to do, however having this knowledge can be of a huge benefit to you during the whole process. Questions like do senior managers take hours, days, or weeks to respond to queries or to approve actions?
Do current staff have a positive outlook for the future of the company or are they worried about closures and redundancies, if they are hiring chances are the business is thriving but it’s always good to know about the company’s situation before applying for a role.
Knowing what a company’s culture is like before applying may help you save some time. If the company culture doesn’t match your needs, you won’t apply. Finding out about a company’s culture can be more difficult to obtain.
Using your network can help you gain a valuable insight into their culture. Knowing information about the business values and unique characteristics goes a long way to determining whether or not you will find it be a good fit for you.
Having information on a company’s culture can help you ask your interview questions when it comes to that part of the interview.
Knowing the financial health of a company will allow you to make a clear decision to either apply for the accounting and finance position or not apply. If the company is solvent, shows adequate operating efficiency and is profitable then you should apply for the open accounting and finace job.
There is no one perfect method to determining a company’s financial health or sustainability. Being an accounting and finance professional, you probably already know this. However, taking a look at a company’s liquidity, solvency, profitability, and operating efficiency can indicate if a company is thriving or not.
This is the amount of cash and easily-convertible-to-cash assets a company owns to manage its short-term debt obligations. Quick ratio is a metric used to measure liquidity. A quick ratio lower than 1.0 is often a warning sign, as it indicates current liabilities exceed current assets.
Relates to a company’s ability to meet its debt obligations on an ongoing basis, not just over the short term. The metric used to measure solvency is debt to equity ratio. A downward trend overtime in debt-to-equity ratio is a good indicator that a company is financially strong.
This is that measures the profit earned as a function of operating costs. The greater the operational efficiency the more profitable the firm is. The metric used to measure this is operating margin. It indicates how well the company is being managed.
To survive and be successful a company must be profitable and maintain being profitable. Net margin is the ratio used to measure profitability. A large net margin indicates a company is in a position to commit to capital growth and expansion.
Doing this type of financial research isn’t something to bring up in an interview however its good have knowledge of where the company stands before applying for the accounting and finance job.
The more organised and prepared you are about the company the more you’ll know what to expect when it comes to the interview. Doing the research before you apply for a position is the best protocol.
This will be of huge benefit to you if the hiring manager wants to get someone in place quickly. You could find yourself in an interview the same week as you applied which can leave you with little time to prepare for the interview.
Your recruitment agency of choice should have a strong inside track to their client employers and should always provide you with relevant employer information to give you that competitive edge in interview.
Reach out to the team in Martina Quinn Finance Recruitment for the best advice and support in your career move contact us today.