The Power of Purpose in Your Work

The Power of Purpose in Your Work


November 18, 2021

“What am I even doing here?”

“Am I just on auto-pilot?”

“Why do I feel so…stuck?”

If one or more of these questions have bounced around your brain at work recently, you’re not alone.  More and more, employees are expressing a sense of malaise.  A recent New York Times article refers to this feeling of aimlessness as “languishing”, a limbo state that keeps us hovering in the discomforting ether, somewhere between thriving and depression.

Chalk it up to pandemic exhaustion, threats to our individual and collective mental well-being, or just good old-fashioned dissatisfaction, more and more people are feeling stagnant, both in their personal and professional lives.

What’s missing?  In our recent interviews with accounting and finance professionals – at every level – we are hearing the same thing: a sense of purpose.

We work, and we may do exceptional work, but when we log out for the day, many of us are not feeling like we’ve contributed to the greater good.  What that looks like varies from person to person. We needn’t be personally responsible for some grand, global initiative to feel like we’re making a difference. Most of us simply want to know what we do matters, more than a paycheck, more than a glowing midyear review, even more than “customer satisfaction”.  We want to leave the world a slightly better place for having been here, and we want to let what that feels like resonate inside us.

This quest for purpose is showing up in how employees evaluate their career choices, workplace, and strategic employment moves.  Accountants One recently polled over 100 Accounting and Finance individuals on LinkedIn and found that 45%, the majority of our respondents, agreed that culture and mission are what make an organization stand out, versus 31% who said compensation and benefits were the defining.

Additionally, many employees have traversed the pandemic only to discover that they were missing a quality of life that is more valuable to them than other benefits.   Work from home options and flexibility around hours have become a perk that has grown into an expectation for job seekers and existing employees alike.  For so many, the pandemic served as an existential reckoning, a time to evaluate what matters most.  We woke up to the notion that we wanted more from life than our work, and we wanted our work to feed our lives.  We were – and are – hungry for purpose.

While some may go to great lengths, such as a complete career change, to connect with that sense of purpose, it may be as simple as recalibrating your work in your existing field.   One way many of us quantify our work is by defining the value we bring to an organization.  But what about qualifying the values you bring instead?  When we explore the principles that define us and the ones we aspire to, we create more space for what matters in our work.  It stops being a job and becomes the calling we (hopefully) once felt it was.

  • How are you helping others?
  • How are you enriching your tiny corner of the world?
  • How is the company you work for showing up for its employees, customers, and communities?

Questions like these will help you forge a path toward greater purpose with your work.

Of course, sometimes perspective isn’t enough.  Sometimes we must change the way we work.  This might mean delegating certain tasks to make room for more meaningful aspects of your job.  It might mean taking a different approach with clients to explore how you can create mutual fulfillment.   You may also find that taking the lead on a company initiative – a fundraiser for a charity, the sponsoring of an event – might help you better align with your values at work.

At times, a more substantial change is needed.  Perhaps your work environment isn’t inspiring you to embrace your truest values and you are ready for a new opportunity.  Or maybe you’re already looking for that next job and want to be certain you align your profession with your purpose.  We get it.  Accountants One recognizes that, for many people, job satisfaction doesn’t come from a bump in pay.  We’re here to help you with that search, and more.  Accountants One exists to help career counsel and collaborate as a trusted career partner.  We want to help you feel good about the work you do each day, and we’ll help you explore the market to find the career that aligns with your highest priorities.  That’s our purpose.  We’re excited to learn more about yours.

Ready to meet with a trusted career partner?

If you’d like to speak with a team member about finding purpose in your work, please get in touch.


Email to get started with Accountants One today.

Going for That Awesome Job in Finance? Here’s How to Nail the Interview

Going for That Awesome Job in Finance? Here’s How to Nail the Interview

August 10, 2021

Landing the finance job of your dreams can be tough — it’s a competitive career field. While job experience, professional and academic accomplishments, and your additional skills will get you in the door, it’s the interview that will help you stand apart from other qualified candidates. Accountants One offers the following guidance on how to impress in this crucial phase of the hiring process.

Make sure you look great on paper first

While this technically isn’t an interview tip, you don’t want to put yourself behind the eight ball before you even sit down in front of a hiring manager. You must do everything you can to put yourself in a situation where a good interview seals the deal for you.

One tip is to start work on your chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation or to achieve your bachelor’s in accounting to become a CPA. This is important for a career in finance, and a CFA or BSACC will help you stand out.

Equally as important is putting time and energy into constructing a great resume and cover letter. Those two elements show not just your work or internship experience, but also serve to highlight your accomplishments and goals.

How you dress and present yourself matters

Presentation, image, and dress (especially in the field of accounting and finance) are very important to employers. Often, financial professionals have to speak with stakeholders and make presentations to upper-level management. Dress sharp and be confident during your interview. lists some very helpful tips on planning your wardrobe for the interview. Your choice of outfit also helps you stand out from other candidates. To help with this, Forbes suggests adding a subtle flair to your interview outfit. This could be something that represents your culture, or who you are as a person, including a piece of jewelry, a lapel pin, or a unique necktie. It’s also a good conversation starter.

Don’t go in empty-handed

Want to be more prepared than other applicants interviewing for the same position? Don’t come empty-handed (if you have an in-person interview). Bring at least five copies of your resume and cover letter, as you never know how many people will be sitting in on your interview. You should also have a detailed list of references ready to hand out. You’ll get extra points for anticipating the interviewers’ needs — even if they haven’t asked yet!

Prepare and then prepare some more

Lack of preparation is evident in a lot of interviews. To avoid this costly mistake and make sure your interview goes smoothly, we recommend preparing and practicing. Do a good bit of research on the company to show your interest, prepare questions for your interviewer, and recite your answers out loud. 

With that in mind, your first step is to study common interview questions and prepare succinct answers in advance. Be sure to ask questions regarding company culture, values, how you’ll fit in, your day-to-day responsibilities, and if there are opportunities for advancement. These questions will show that you have thought about a career, and not just a job, with the company you are interviewing for.

The interview is perhaps the most important part of the hiring process. It allows the hiring manager to get a feel for who you are and how you articulate work stories. Show your ability to creatively problem-solve. Tell the interviewer about a time you overcame a challenge with your team. Explain your motivators, your work style.

Nail the interview and you have a good chance of landing that dream job in finance.

Are you looking for your dream job in accounting or finance? Then get started with Accountants One today. You’ll get up-to-date information on all the latest job listings, helping to narrow your search for the perfect role.

Accountants One CEO Featured on Decision Vision Podcast presented by Brady Ware & Company

Accountants One CEO Featured on Decision Vision Podcast presented by Brady Ware & Company

Decision Vision Episode 125:  Should I Take Over the Family Business? – An Interview with Dan Erling, Accountants One, Inc.

Dan Erling sits down with Mike Blake, host of the Decision Vision podcast, to chart the course of Accountants One.  Dan shares his insights on what it takes to inherit a business, lucky breaks, things he would have done differently, how the business eventually flourished, and much more. Decision Vision is presented by Brady Ware & Company.

Decision Vision Episode 125: Should I Take Over the Family Business?

About the Host


Mike Blake, Brady Ware & Company

Michael Blake is the host of the Decision Vision podcast series and a Director of Brady Ware & Company. Mike specializes in the valuation of intellectual property-driven firms, such as software firms, aerospace firms, and professional services firms, most frequently in the capacity as a transaction advisor, helping clients obtain great outcomes from complex transaction opportunities. He is also a specialist in the appraisal of intellectual properties as stand-alone assets, such as software, trade secrets, and patents.

Mike has been a full-time business appraiser for 13 years with public accounting firms, boutique business appraisal firms, and an owner of his own firm. Prior to that, he spent 8 years in venture capital and investment banking, including transactions in the U.S., Israel, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.

Decision Vision Podcast Series

Decision Vision is a podcast covering topics and issues facing small business owners and connecting them with solutions from leading experts. This series is presented by Brady Ware & Company.

Decision Vision is produced and broadcast by the North Fulton studio of Business RadioX®.

Accountants One is one of Atlanta’s 25 Largest Temporary Employment Agencies

Accountants One is one of Atlanta’s 25 Largest Temporary Employment Agencies

ATLANTA – July 6, 2021 – The Atlanta Business Chronicle has recognized Accountants One as one of Atlanta’s 25 Largest Temporary Employment Agencies. This is the first time Accountants One has made the Top 25 in the Temporary Employment Agency category.

Accountants One secured its place on the ranking by employing, on average, over 200 people on a weekly basis in 2020. This recognition is based solely on Temporary Staffing and not based upon Recruiting/Direct Hire services, which Accountants One also provides.

See the full list of the Top 25 Temporary Employment Agencies.

Accountants One offers long-term staffing solutions, short-term staffing solutions, temp-to-hire placement, direct hire placement, and exclusive retained search. Read more about the services Accountants One provides.

About Accountants One

Accountants One provides contract, temp-to-hire, and direct hire placements to clients across the Southeast. Clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurial startups rely on Accountants One for high-quality accounting and finance talent. Their ability to attract an outstanding community of Atlanta-based candidates dates to 1973. To learn more visit,

For More Information, Contact

Tori Wheeler

Accountants One CEO Featured on Decision Vision Podcast presented by Brady Ware & Company

Atlanta Business Chronicle names Dan Erling 2021 Most Admired CEO

ATLANTA – Jun. 25, 2021 – In recognition of CEOs who define leadership in Atlanta, Dan Erling, Accountants One CEO and President, was named as a Most Admired CEO by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Erling is being recognized in the accounting category during the 2021 event that takes place on August 19th.

This award honors individuals who have demonstrated a strong record of innovation, outstanding financial performance, a commitment to diversity in the workplace, and have made significant contributions to the metro community.

With a combination of belt-tightening initiatives, streamlining processes, upgrading technology, strategic hiring, and an overall vision of growth, Accountants One is poised for a great future. With the exception of the pandemic year, Accountants One has grown 21% annually over the past five years. 

“For business leaders, the pandemic year demanded strategic adjustments and real humanity and Dan shows it,” said Tom Kapish, Accountants One COO. “Dan demonstrates empathy and compassion while being 100% transparent, which our team really values, especially in this unconventional time.”

The virtual world created challenges around hiring and retaining culture. Understanding that skilled and ethical knowledge workers are the greatest asset to any organization, Dan prioritized maintaining and enhancing culture at Accountants One. From virtual contests and team building to diversity training for our team, Dan ensured that the team thrived and remained deeply connected.

Dan was also recognized as a Leader in Corporate Citizenship by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2021 for the inspiring work he is doing within the Atlanta community.  Even as the pandemic took a stronghold, Dan continued supporting Junior Achievement of Georgia by pivoting to a Virtual South’s Funniest Accountant. This long-standing Atlanta event is popular in the Atlanta Accounting and Finance community and continues to raise money for JA of Georgia.

“I am incredibly humbled to be considered one of the most admired CEOs,” says Erling. “I have a huge amount of gratitude to my Accountants One family. So incredibly proud that we, as a team, continue to navigate the market with the utmost integrity. Serious gratitude to the team for helping to carry us through 2020 and the first half of the year. Gratitude!”

To read Dan’s Q&A with the Atlanta Business Chronicle, please click here.

About Accountants One

Accountants One provides contract, temp-to-hire, and direct hire placements to clients across the Southeast. Clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurial startups rely on Accountants One for high-quality accounting and finance talent. Their ability to attract an outstanding community of Atlanta-based candidates dates to 1973. To learn more visit,


For More Information, Contact

Tori Wheeler

The Hybrid Office is Upon Us: Are You Ready?

The Hybrid Office is Upon Us: Are You Ready?

Three things you can do now to plan for a hybrid work model 

People have grown fond of working from home. A recent study offers some telling statistics: 

  • 95% of people feel their productivity has been the same or higher working from home 
  • 73% say they have a better work-life balance working from home 
  • (And 79% of those people cite lack of commuting as the main reason their lives are better) 
  • 65% want to become full-time remote employees post-pandemic; 31% would like some sort of hybrid arrangement 
  • 27% of workers are willing to take a 10% – 20% pay cut to continue their remote arrangement 
  • 81% of respondents say they would be more loyal to their employer if they had more flexible work options. 

These statistics represent a major cultural shift in the workplace. The shift has critical implications for not only how you retain people, but how you hire them. 

Against this backdrop, let’s look at three things you can do to plan for the inevitable: the hybrid work model. 

1. Familiarize yourself with the variations of the hybrid model available 

Knowing more about the options available to you and your team is the first step in the process. We’ve broken them down for you here:  

  • Remote-first: Business operations will function like a remote organization. Downsizing offices, using office space differently, and relying on mostly virtual communication characterize this variation. In this approach, colleagues may see each other in person only once or twice a year.  
  • Office-occasional: Like it sounds, employees may come in occasionally each week. This may be a popular choice for a lot of businesses, especially SMBs that have relaxed policies around where their employees work. Leaders can be as loose or prescribed with this model. Office space is used for working autonomously and for collaboration. 
  • Office-first, remote-allowed: The last variation that was widely used even before COVID-19. In this approach, the office is the main designated work area. The remote work policy may be implemented but not highly favored by management, especially if they are working in the office themselves. 
2. Conduct a pulse survey with your team to gain valuable employee feedback 

    Gathering employee feedback is critical.  Pulse surveys capture real-time feedback on your policies. For success, it is important to capture feedback frequently (especially if feelings and viewpoints can change), share results with the team, and take action according to employee feedback.  

    If your organization is planning to re-open offices or is beginning to gather feedback on workplace preferences, here are some questions that can help shape the structure your hybrid model takes: 

    • Based on what you know now, and given your position/role/responsibilities, if provided flexibility, how many days would you expect to work in the office per week? 
    • When we can safely return to the office, which arrangement do you prefer? 
    • I am confident my manager will support a flexible / hybrid work policy. 
    • Are there any accommodations that we could make so that you feel more at ease being in the office? 

    Once you’ve collected employee feedback, decide which variation works best for teams and individuals.  

    3. Strategize on how you are going to offer consistent employee experience accordingly

    As much as possible, organizations should try to give remote and in-office employees the same experience, offering equal and individual benefits for all employees.  

    There are a few things to be aware of when considering the unique experiences of your employees:  

    • Remote employees can feel disconnected, miss out on perks like lunches, company happy hours, etc. Plan to help them feel included in the workplace by offering virtual options as well as in-office events. 
    • On-site employees can receive preferential treatment, faster promotions, and lots of facetime with management and leadership, creating deeper relationships. Make sure that you are considering your remote talent and fostering your relationships with them as well. 

    Adjusting your benefit offerings for employees on-site and remote is important to show the team that no matter where they work, they’re appreciated.  

    Consider giving your remote team a similar experience to the in-office team by: 

    • Adding a lunch budget  
    • Sending out birthday cards 
    • Hosting virtual mixers  
    • Having weekly 1-on-1 time with managers   

    Strong, consistent, multi-channel communications have never been more important. Even in the best times, employee survey results often show low marks on questions about the frequency and effectiveness of ‘Leadership Communications.’ The challenge is only magnified when some people are in the office, having hallway/breakroom discussions, while others are at home, missing these chance encounters. Your job is to ensure that the most important ideas and policies are communicated to everyone. 

    Regardless of the office model you choose – even if it’s the same model you used before the pandemic – the culture of your company has been altered. You will have new and unique challenges. We understand this. Our recruiting approach is the best at marrying employees to the culture of your company. Accountants One is here to serve you. 

    “We Don’t Work With Recruiters”

    “We Don’t Work With Recruiters”

    The top 5 reasons why companies don’t want to work with outside recruiters

    A good recruiting firm knows you and your company and serves as your extension into the market. A good firm has access to people you don’t, and they will proactively look on your behalf. They know their candidates. They evaluate more candidates in a week than most hiring managers evaluate in their career. They’re objective. They’re tough. They find the right person for you and for your company. They save you time and effort and confusion. They more than justify their fee.

    And then, there are … the other recruiters. The ones who give the profession a bad name. You may have dealt with a few of them in your career. They can be a nightmare and leave you feeling burned by the whole experience. Those recruiters have different beliefs about the profession than we do.

    We at Accountants One think recruiting is a noble profession. Let’s say that again: noble.

    Consider the ripple effects of making a great hire, finding someone who has not only the skills but also fits perfectly into the unique culture of your company. That person will add to your bottom line, increase productivity, and improve team and company morale.

    Now think about the individual who is working at their ideal job. What does that fit mean for them as an individual? To their future? To their family? Their community? To the country?

    Truly, the ripple effect of a happy and properly employed person reaches deep into society. We know that. It’s the win-win all of us at Accountants One strive for each day.

    But we understand that not every recruiting firm has our approach. That’s why companies have mixed feelings about dealing with recruiters. Which of these reasons resonates with you?

    • ‘The cost …’ We will be the first to say that you probably don’t want to use a recruiting firm for every hire. However, for some hires, especially in finance and accounting, you definitely need to get right the first time. That’s because studies show the cost of a mishire is between 4 and 27 times a person’s salary. And that cost doesn’t include the ripple effect a bad hire can have on morale and productivity. Accountants One has the highest success rate in our industry: over 95% (the industry average is 65%).  Read more about The Cost of a Mishire here.
    • I’ve had terrible experiences with recruiting firms before.’ We understand. Recruiters, or “headhunters”. have a bad reputation. We know why. Some recruiting firms will take your job description, do a text search in the database, and then send YOU resumes to sift through. They throw candidates at you hoping that one sticks. Our approach is different. We are long-term relationship-oriented. Of course, we want to help you when you need it, but our goal is to be a true partner. Having a dedicated recruiting agency that knows your business will ultimately help to save time, money, and make sure that you are getting the talent you need.
    • ‘We have internal resources who take care of hiring.’ Of course, every company does – even the ones that use recruiters. One advantage of using a recruiting firm is the sheer reach and scale of our candidate pool.  These are candidates we’re in contact with regularly. We’re not limited to the candidates who just happen to see the job posting. We know the market and can proactively promote your open role to our network. Additionally, Accountants One operates on a team project model. Our team reviews resumes, interviews candidates, rates them, tests them, runs background checks, etc. – hundreds of candidates a month. We’re objective. We’re tough. We know how to parse genuinely good candidates from those who are just slick interviewees.
    • ‘I know my business better than a recruiter does.’ Without a doubt! Absolutely. Business leaders and hiring managers know the ins and outs of their business better than any outsider. You know your department and team. You know the hiring and recruiting strategies that you want to carry out. Our approach is to actually learn about you and your company’s unique culture so that we act as an extension of you. We are your multiplier – one with a much greater reach into the market than you have. We understand that a great hire is 75% culture and 25% technical skills. So when we send you candidates, we’ll be sending you just 1 – 3 thoroughly vetted candidates whom we feel fit the qualifications of the role and culture of your company.
    • ‘An agency isn’t prioritizing my search.’ With many recruiting firms, the person assigned to your job is the same person filling it. The priority of your search comes down to that person’s individual schedule and preferences. Accountants One runs on a team model, which allows us to be more agile in addressing your needs. A good recruiter will set clear expectations upfront around time frame, feasibility, and market demands. If you have an urgent contract position, we have contractors sitting on our virtual bench who are ready to go to work. If you have a direct hire search that needs careful time and attention, do realize that there will be more of a time investment, but you can rest assured that a whole team is at your disposal and working on your behalf.

    As you can see, we understand the objections to using outside recruiters. Addressing those objections has allowed us to be the most successful recruiting firm in Atlanta.

    Still not convinced? Check out our client’s testimonials if you’d like to read more about what makes us different. Then give us a call! We’d love to get to know you!

    More than a Paycheck: The Surprising Cost of a Mishire

    More than a Paycheck: The Surprising Cost of a Mishire

    The secret to your business’ success is also your greatest challenge: hiring the right people. A great team is a beautiful thing. The energy, synergy, and creativity of a great team can propel your business to the next level.

    However, drop one wrong person into the mix – a mishire – and you’ve poisoned the well. As you’ll see, the cost of a mishire is staggering: up to 15 times their salary!

    Let’s first look at the hidden costs of a mishire.

    Damaged Morale

    Fans of any team sport understand the importance of team dynamics. The right mix of players produces something greater than the sum of their individual parts. And yet, how many times have you seen talented teams wrecked by the new acquisition, that one player who just doesn’t? It happens all the time. And it’s no different in the workplace.

    Morale suffers. If you’re the one who helped hire them, YOUR reputation suffers. A negative cycle of poor performance and apathy kicks in. And it’s contagious. People begin checking out mentally and, if nothing is done to fix the problem, your star players start looking for other teams.

    Declining Productivity

    Most new employees are eager to make a good impression, doubling down on their efforts to ensure they deliver a focused, effective work performance. Mishires either can’t or don’t care to. Either way, it’s bad news for you.

    Maybe they lack the soft skills to communicate well with colleagues or clients. Maybe they have a poor work ethic. Maybe their only real skill is interviewing well! And even if the mishire has a decent attitude, their poor productivity soon becomes the team’s problem, as others are forced to step up and pull more weight. All productivity suffers.

    User Dissatisfaction

    “I will never do business with this company again!!!”

    That’s the online comment people will see about your company. Every customer is now armed with the power to publicly rip into your reputation. Studies show that customers who have had a bad experience with a brand are 50% more likely to share their experience with others than those who’ve had a positive experience. That means a mishire’s mistakes can reverberate long after you think the issue is resolved, costing your business revenue and priceless credibility.

    Compromised Bottom Line

    While you may not feel it right away, the ultimate outcome of a mishire will be felt by your books. The challenges created by mishires will directly impact your bottom line.

    In fact, our case study shows that hiring the wrong person can cost a company up to 15 times that person’s annual salary.

    If that sounds like an inflated number, consider all of the areas that are potentially affected by a mishire.

    With all of these financial touchpoints at risk, a mishire can feel less like an innocent misjudgment and more like a ticking time bomb.

    What Can You Do To Avoid A Mishire?

    MATCH: A Systematic, Sane Process for Hiring the Right Person Every Time 

    MATCH is a system of best practices that virtually guarantees you hiring success. It’s based on more than 20 years of data collection accumulated over thousands of hires at Accountants One.

    The MATCH process starts with the mission of your organization and builds a job overview based on carefully prioritized business objectives. Further, the process codifies your culture and the competencies necessary for a successful hire, and then uses interviewing and reference techniques to move through a candidate pool in a systematic way.

    Your approach becomes consistent and coordinated. Everyone involved is on the same page. Interviews complement and build on one another. Guesswork is eliminated. Decision-making is sharp, methodical, and clear. With this strategic process, MATCH virtually guarantees the “right” hire every time.

    If you’re looking for a true match, we are here to help you avoid the costly consequences of mishiring.

    Contact Accountants One today to connect with top accounting and finance talent in your area!

    4 Steps to Take Control of your Entry-Level Accounting Career

    4 Steps to Take Control of your Entry-Level Accounting Career

    Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to join the accounting profession.


    Now what?

    Whether you are just getting started or have a few years of experience under your belt, here are four points to consider so that you can take control of your career now and ensure you lay the foundation for a successful future.


    1. Know your options

    Accounting offers many engaging career paths. Recruiters see them all. A few broad areas you will need to consider:

    • The various accounting career fields. Public, Tax, Financial, Forensic, Managerial, Government, Corporate – each have their own unique skill set and benefits.
    • Your educational path. What level of education do you have (or are you prepared to pursue)? 
    • Sitting for the CPA. Getting your CPA requires a lot of investment and is not necessary for many accounting jobs. Still, having your CPA opens up a lot of opportunities. 
    • Type of company you want to work for. Recruiters can be particularly helpful to you here. Do you want to serve a number of clients? Do you want to be on a team in a private organization? Large company? Small company (where you can wear many hats)? 
    • Type of environment you will thrive in. Consider whether you like a more steady pace, like managerial accounting, or something with intense busy periods, like tax accounting. Also – consider what types of co-workers you want to be around all day! 

    2. Network, network, network

    People hire people. 

    Few people are natural networkers. That said, next to education, nothing has a greater ROI than networking. Your network will provide you career opportunities, more knowledge, and access to bigger and bigger networks. Plus, learning to network is a great character-building skill. Consider these areas, with the goal of making two connections each week: 

    • Your LinkedIn profile. Connect with people on LinkedIn after you have met them – or reach out to new people and second-level connections. Bonus: learn how to send quick video messages for that personal touch.
    • Your alumni network.  This group is the most receptive to connections from fellow alums. Connect away! 
    • Professional organizations. When you are just starting out, the key to making connections is to ask good, genuine questions of more senior people. People love to give advice. Get good at asking questions – and then connect!

    Keep in mind too that a recruiter is a super networker, with connections to hundreds (if not thousands) of key industry professionals. 

    3. Manage your mindset

    Studies have shown that our minds have a plasticity that allows them to adapt and grow throughout our lives. Which of these mindsets do you fit into? 

    • Fixed mindset: You believe your abilities and intelligence are static, so you need to prove yourself over and over. You tend to avoid challenges, give up easily, and ignore useful, constructive feedback. 
    • Growth mindset: You believe you have the ability to learn and grow through effort and practice because you embrace challenges, stay persistent in the face of setbacks, and welcome constructive feedback. 

    The Growth Mindset is not only a more accurate model; it also leads to the most success in one’s career. Additionally, when you are just starting out, remember: 

    • Pay your dues. Do the tough work. Be hungry. What you lack in experience you must make up for with enthusiasm and energy. Be that spark of positivity and energy in the workplace.  
    • Be a pro. Produce the best quality work you are capable of. Welcome criticism. Find a mentor who will give you honest feedback and help you develop the soft skills necessary to grow your career. 

    4. Prepare for Change

    If the pandemic taught us anything, it is that the only constant is change. Whether you are more deliberate or opportunistic in your approach to your career, understanding that your path may end up looking different than you expected is important. Our tips:

    • Learn how to learn. Maybe you are done with school – great. But your learning is just beginning. You must create your own personal structure for continuous learning. Set up newsfeeds. Allot 20-40 minutes for reading each day. Learn about your company and industry; deepen your technical skills. Learn, learn, learn – constantly and proactively. 
    • Reflect on what you’ve learned. A journal is a powerful tool. Create an online career journal. Feed it with things you learned, mistakes you’ve made (and see others make) and how to correct them. Add “what-if” ideas. Let your brain roam free. In just a few years, you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come. 
    • Keep going. Life will challenge you no matter how well you prepare. Be humble. Show your gratitude. Adjust. Be a good model. Keep going. 

    We’re here to help! 

    If you would like to have a conversation about any of the areas listed above, an experienced recruiter can help. Really, call us. It’s to your advantage to have a relationship with a recruiter. 

    The team at Accountants One focuses on creating long-term relationships. We personally enjoy getting to know you, your preferences, and your career goals. After a thorough interview, we strive to match you to an organization that fits what you are looking for, both technical and cultural fit. You can count on us to assist you in finding a role where you can grow and flourish!

    Five Tips for a Successful Candidate Interview

    Five Tips for a Successful Candidate Interview

    Tip #1: Script out your questions

    If you’ve done any interviewing at all, you know that feeling of suddenly realizing you’re almost out of time, and you haven’t gotten through a quarter of the areas you had planned on covering. You may have had a delightful conversation, but you haven’t gotten the information needed to determine the candidate’s fit. Scripting helps keep you on track. It also helps keep you from getting too drawn in by a candidate’s charisma.

    Some hiring managers avoid scripting their interview questions. They figure they’ll just go with the flow and ask whatever questions come to them. You can take that approach, of course. You can make hiring decisions based on feeding your hunches with a spontaneous conversation, with little genuine information to support your decision.  And you will get spotty results. What’s really dangerous about this approach, however, is that it gets your ego wrapped up in the hire.  The person you hire ends up becoming more than a hire – they become the evidence of your ability to judge people.  If they don’t work out, it reflects poorly on you. We have seen managers hang on to employees way longer than they should, costing the company both morale and money because they were essentially too embarrassed to own up to their bad decision.

    Remember, this process is about excellence in hiring. If you want to hire at the 100% success rate, then you must do the things that are required of that level of excellence. And that means subsuming your ego to the process of objectively gathering information. Scripting is a great aid to keep your focus on the process.

    Print out your question and leave lots of room for notes. We recommend attaching them to a clipboard so that you can sit with the clipboard angled on the edge of the table or desk and take notes without the candidate reading them.

    Tip # 2: Use the candidate’s name

    As Dale Carnegie said, “Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in the English language.”

    In order to build rapport with the candidate, use their name regularly, but naturally. You can do this with the tone of your voice by emphasizing the point of your question, while including their name, almost casually. As a test, say this sentence aloud, stressing the part in bold: “So Mark, what would you say has been your greatest accounting challenge over the past two years?”  Can you hear how unforced Mark’s name flows within the question? You’re using his name without drawing attention to the fact that you’re doing so as a conscious interviewing technique.

    Tip # 3: Maintain eye contact

    In the interviewing process, maintaining eye contact is made challenging by the need to take quick hand notes. In addition, virtual interviews make maintaining eye contact even harder if you have disruptions on your screen like an open email inbox.

    Let’s first talk about eye contact. Networking experts tell us that one good way to maintain natural eye contact is to focus on just one of the other person’s eyes. It doesn’t matter which one, just pick one and stick with it. Unless you’re sitting just an inch or two from the other person, they can’t really tell you’re looking at just one eye. If you’re uncomfortable with eye contact, focus your thoughts on finding out and noting the color of the other person’s eyes. That thought will make the exercise more analytical and less intimidating.

    You want to be careful, of course, to avoid turning attentive eye contact into a psychotic staring contest.  You can do this in a number of ways: looking at the person’s other eye for a little while, nodding, blinking, leaning forward or backward – all help keep the eye contact looking natural. Also, it’s perfectly acceptable for you to glance away for a few seconds when you’re talking.

    Maintaining eye contact is especially important at points of the interview where crucial areas are being covered. Keeping eye contact when you ask, “So where did you go to college?” is not nearly as important as when you ask, “When was the last time your integrity was challenged and what did you do in that situation?”

    For virtual face-to-face interviews, you will need to get accustomed to looking into the camera to maintain genuine eye contact throughout the interview. Using eye contact and other body language like smiling, nodding, and leaning forward during the interview will let the job seeker know that you are interested in what they have to say, especially when you ask them well thought out questions.

    Tip # 4: Take notes

    Good, detailed notes are critical to evaluating candidates. Your notes should contain factual information (e.g., has the skill/does not have the skill) as well as your impressions (e.g., good storyteller/didn’t take the cue to wrap it up, etc.).  Don’t leave recollection to your memory.  For the sake of your team (and your own sanity), write it all down.

    Taking notes during a virtual interview is a real challenge when you’re trying to also listen carefully and maintain eye contact. If needed, you may have an admin or another team member take notes. You may also record the interview (in plain view of the candidate, of course), though keep in mind that recording tends to formalize the atmosphere and can stifle honest, open interaction.

    The key to taking good notes is to leave 15 minutes open at the end of the interview session for you to reflect privately on the session and record your observations and impressions. If you allow this time in your planning, then you can write short, keyword notes during the interview that will trigger your full thoughts afterwards. For example, you may ask your candidate about his project management experience, and he may tell you a story about managing a team through an SAP module implementation where he was responsible for five people and the project was delivered a month behind schedule. You may jot down: “story – SAP imp. – managed 5  ppl – delayed/gathering requirements from Cleveland office – GOOD – noted what he could have done differently (involved sr. mgmt sooner) – has req. experience. “ From these notes, you should be able to reconstruct the conversation and write it in a way that’s clear to the rest of your team.

    On your script, list only three or four questions per page. This format should leave you lots of white space to write in.  Remember, you want to build rapport and maintain as much eye contact as possible, so try to take notes without focusing on the page (ideally, without looking at it, depending on your penmanship).

    One more tip – try to take notes fairly constantly throughout the interview, or at least at regular intervals. You want to avoid having the candidate think that any one thing he or she has said is particularly critical. If you’re writing frequently, you won’t tip your hand.

    Tip # 5: Use cues

    Encourage the candidate to elaborate on answers and issues by using verbal and non-verbal cues. Using cues is important for a couple of reasons.  First, using cues allows you to more easily manage the 90/10 candidate-to-interviewer talking ratio. Second, how a candidate reacts or doesn’t react to a cue can tell you a lot about their interpersonal skills.

    Consciously integrating these cues into the interviewing process will help you to gauge their interpersonal skills and how they might fit best within your team. 

    For a virtual interview, there may be more verbal than nonverbal cues used; however, for an in-person interview, you can really lean into the nonverbal cues of using body language to see their response. 

    Here are some nonverbal cues to try out during your next in-person interview. 

    We hope these tips help!