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Halliday Marx Visions

HM Visions aims to provide you with all the latest accounting recruitment news, jobs and careers advice


The initial interviews are over and the feedback was great. Your confidence is soaring. That dream accounting job is yours.

Except it isn’t.

You still have a final round and until contracts are signed you can’t assume the job is yours. Whether it’s a final round of questions, or lunch with the hiring manager, you still need to show that you are the candidate they need.

‘Don’t assume that an invite to drinks is a job offer. This is a crucial make or break stage in the process, an employer is looking to see if you will be the right fit for their organisation. Halliday Marx can help in supporting candidates with advice on dress code, company culture, and expectations. We cannot emphasise how important this final stage is in securing the position you want’. John Marx, Director, Halliday Marx.

This simple guide will help make sure you get the accounting job you want.

Know your market value and be honest

Don’t ask for too much or too little. It is important you pitch yourself correctly in terms of market worth. You may be highly experienced with some great employers on your CV but if the market is currently flooded with your skills, you will have to think about your market value. Specialist consultants at Halliday Marx will have an up to date view of the accountancy landscape and can advise you on factors that drive salary negotiations.

‘Discussions regarding salary are handled up-front by specialist consultants at Halliday Marx, this removes the pain of negotiations for both our clients and candidates. Openness and honesty from the start will always work in your favour’. John Marx.

Do not lie. Inflating your current salary in the hope of being offered a huge increase will be obvious as consultants know market values. Similarly, if you had a supporting role do not claim you were the project lead. This will only become apparent in the references stage and you will ultimately lose credibility and the job you really want.

Are my references current?

Don’t be complacent when selecting your referees. If they are from ten years ago or are unable to talk about your work you will instantly lose appeal.

Pick someone who has regularly praised your work, this might seem obvious but some candidates try to impress with listing referees because they are in senior positions. Even if these referees talk highly of you, they are often unable to talk about your achievements in detail which will leave both the hiring manager and the referee feeling frustrated. Direct line managers are best because they have worked closely with you. Choose someone who comes across well, that way they are more likely to represent you positively and confidently.

Always inform people you have added them as referees. This is plain good manners and it also gives them a heads up to think about the sort of role you are applying for and how they can help promote you. It can be challenging to obtain references from your current employer. Many company policies do not allow line managers to provide references. Speak to Halliday Marx for more advice.

Deal breakers

Don’t add last minute negotiations into the mix. Ask up front. This can seriously impact an employer’s perception of you. If you need to work from home on a Friday or have booked a holiday right when you are supposed to start – be honest.

This is also not the time to start making demands. If staying with them long-term means early promotion or a foreign assignment, you should have raised it in the initial interviews.

We are not suggesting negotiations are definitely out, it’s demanding last minute deal breakers. If they were so important to you they should have been previously communicated.

In summary

Don’t assume it’s in the bag.  Nothing is definite until the contract is signed. Always be honest about your experience and qualifications but most importantly be yourself. That way you can be confident you have all the qualities necessary to be a success.

For further advice talk to our consultants at Halliday Marx