Congratulations on your results! You must have got interview calls from various employers. For many, this is the starting point of professional life.
From the point of view of an employer, just like you are looking forward for the experience, we also look forward to interacting with you.
Are you looking for a job or a career? Job is a task what you are expected to do in employment, which may or may not help you to progress in your profession. In case of a career, there may or may not be or remuneration at different scales, but you get trained or skilled, and have the kind of experience that one needs to have to carry out a profession.
My thoughts for freshers are as follows:
a. You should know your resume thoroughly
Including your hobbies! Do not misrepresent at any point. Most of the candidates are befuddled when enquired about their hobbies. Never underestimate your interviewer. Don't think nobody reads beyond education, well, in my case I like to have an insight beyond academics.
b. Remuneration is proportion to the work you are expected to do
and not based on what you need. There is a difference. 'Sir, I have taken a car loan for which I need this minimum remuneration', why would the interviewer be interested to meet your liabilities? Think about it. Remuneration is fixed - commensurate to the efforts put in and value addition to the business. What you do with the money is up to you.
c. About Qualification.
My question, 'Why do you take this course? 'Sir, the college offered this as a 'package' along with graduation'. 'Package', we are not buying anything here. We would like to hear a good reason as to why you chose something as a profession, what inspired you?
Do not copy from social media and other sites on your objectives, goals etc., Google can help the interviewer to find whether this 'cut, copy and paste' from elsewhere. Logic is simple, if you cannot write few sentences about yourself, how do we expect you to write and be out of box in reporting.
e. Know about your profession
Know about the developments in your profession like regulation, guidelines, etc., It exhibits how well you are updated.
f. You are unique by yourself
You need to communicate why you are better off than others in terms of soft skills and technical capabilities. Highlight your merits.
g. Be transparent
Nothing wrong in accepting that you don't know rather than spinning yarns of stories and getting caught in your own web.
h. Do your homework on what is the company about, their products and services, etc.,
It is better to know at least the very basic things of the business, rather than being blank about it.
i. Give reasonable time for your employer to respond, you may ask them timeline by when you can expect reply.
You may also be free to ask for a feedback, if you are not selected in the process. This will give you an opportunity to improvise yourself.
And my few thoughts for those are moving between jobs, apart from the above:
a. Relevant experience matters. Read through the expectations of the position you are applying for thoroughly. Somebody having an extensive experience say in taxation, may not get a good response from a firm doing internal audit. So, choose your work, where possible, to suit your domain experience. If you are looking out for a complete change in your career, say a change in specialization, be ready to learn the tricks of the trade and give time to establish yourself.
b. Brand ambassadors. When you move out of an organization, please remember that you are their brand ambassador in a way. The firm where you worked carries some prestige and respect in the market and people know about their practices and value systems. Speaking ill does not work. It's history, the next firm is not interested to know about what happened in the past, they are interested to know what you would do in future picking up from you left. Mark your words carefully when you talk about your earlier organization. Don't burn the bridge you just crossed; you never know you may need it again in future.
c. Ensure you don't leave any loose ends to be taken care by your successor, in your previous organization you are set to leave. Prepare a list of tasks to be done, communications to be sent, etc., and discuss with your senior and ensure there is nothing pending. Use your notice period to facilitate appropriate knowledge transfer.
d. Even after you leave the organization, occasionally saying hello to your ex-colleagues helps in networking. Keep in touch, but don't get nosy, to know what's happening in the project that you had handled. A casual greeting would help you to be in touch. Our profession is all about networking.
All the best to CA freshers and job seekers.
The author is a qualified Chartered accountant with 20+ years of experience in his field. He carries immense knowledge in his areas of expertise and interest, namely statutory audit, internal audit and SOX audit gained through numerous and varied client assignments he has dealt with. He is a partner in South India's well known mid-size firm.