Jake Linwood, the assistant director at MIT’s Global Education and Career Development Center, uses improv comedy sessions with students to help them speak off-the-cuff and communicate comfortably under pressure. This all according to an article put out by NACE, The National Association of Colleges and Employers.
The group does yearly studies and surveys on issues surrounding career services. If you aren’t familiar with improvisational comedy, it is a form of theatre where a group of actors or comedians work together to create and unscripted performance. They take verbal cues and run with them, keeping the session alive by extemporizing the funniest thought that comes to mind. The exercise done at MIT is meant to help future interviewees remain loose and relaxed during an interview by giving them experience digging themselves out of a tough situation in front of others.
We’re not telling you to strap on over-sized shoes and a big red nose and head off to your next interview. But, the study does illustrate a valuable point about the importance of oral communication in the work environment. This idea coincides with results of other studies put out by NACE.
A 2016 study by NACE found that when employers were asked to rate the most important skill/qualities that a candidate should possess, the “ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization” came in at the top of the list. Followed closely behind is the “ability to work in a team structure.” Both of the top two skills/qualities that employers seek can be found in improv comedy. Working that extemporaneous “muscle” will better train your mind not to panic if faced with a tough interview question. An improviser is able to stay cool and calm in this situation. So, maybe it’s time for you to purposefully put yourself in a few more uncomfortable situations to dig yourself out of. It might just land you your next big job.
We’re all familiar with the success of tech start-ups over the past decade. They start humbly as a simple idea, clean and purposeful, and have the potential to turn into multi-million dollar companies virtually overnight. These tech entrepreneurs and app developers are now starting to toil in financial services, creating a new and exciting industry known as fintech. PayPal, the first hyper-successful internet payment servicer, might ring a bell.
However, since PayPal, there have not been many successful companies like it. That, however, is changing according to anarticleon Inc.com.Businesses are going to need personnel with skills in finance. They are specifically looking for people who can adapt and learn the fast-paced technological elements of fintech. The world of technology has opened up a whole new set of opportunities for lending and managing finance. With that comes a whole new set of obstacles and dangers. This is where companies like Feedzai come in. They specialize in making e-commerce safe and secure.
Companies like this are popping up everywhere trying to occupy the space between finance and tech, and they need to be staffed. Insightful Staffing Solutions in here to support and connect you with employers across the financial and accounting world, including the fintech community.
Below are five tips from the Pros at Insightful Staffing Solutions on how to nail that interview in the financial industry:
Be presentable and arrive early
You’ve heard it before, “Dress for the job you want.” And it’s true. Employers really do take into account your personal presentation. Smile big and relax. You’ll want to dress in a professional business outfit, sit with posture, shake hands firmly and make direct eye contact. Remember, you’re making an impression. Along with these, you want to bring the necessary paperwork to prove your credentials. A copy of your most up to date resume (with no grammar or spelling errors, of course), and any other relevant documents, i.e. professional references, or contacts that you wish to leave behind with the employer.
Take your time and answer all questions or hypotheticals thoughtfully
Remember, you are there to learn and participate in a discussion, not get grilled with trick questions. You will succeed if you approach your interview as a professional meeting between two colleagues. Your attitude is all part of your presentation. There is no harm in taking a second to consider a question before you make your point. How many times in a conversation have you rushed to make a point without thinking it through, then in hindsight, regret what you’ve said? Plenty. Don’t make the same mistake in one of the most important conversations of your life, a conversation that could land you that dream job.
Research interview questions
This seems like cheating but wouldn’t an employer want to hire someone who knows how to use all of the tools at her/his exposal. Just like your days in school, filling yourself with as much relevant knowledge before an interview is the best way to ace the results. Even if the questions you review aren’t the same questions that are asked, you will still have an intimate familiarity with the larger topics and will be able to showcase a broad knowledge base. https://www.roberthalf.com/finance/blog/10-effective-interview-questions-for-accounting-and-finance-professionals
Be familiar with standard terms, jargon, and abbreviations.
Hopefully, your education or past work experience will have already familiarized you with the vocabulary of your field, however, sometimes firms and organizations use different terms to describe common operations. If your interviewer uses a term that you are unfamiliar with, jot it down and look it up later. Your ability to communicate and “speak the language” is an essential part of finding a job in the accounting and finance industry.
Always follow an interview with a “Thank You” email in the following days. If it is a multi-step interviewing process you do not have to follow up after every interview, but you should be making some proactive effort to stay in contact with the people who may be hiring you.
Below you'll find some videos that may be helpful to you. Enjoy!