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Keeping fingers crossed

August 12th, 2010 at 07:58 am

My top firm pick called last night to schedule an interview but I was busy making dinner at the time. So I'm going to call them back today.

I'm nervous as ever. My interviewing skills aren't as fine-tuned as I'd like. Although I've always received a job offer from any company I've interviewed with since I graduated college... I've been with my current job for 6 years, so I haven't really had a need to regularly interview. When I did interview for an internal position with the company (which is my position now), I was given the book "TopGrading" so I could become familiar with the interview process of my company.

I stayed up till midnight last night re-reading interview books that I had purchased awhile ago. Some feel outdated because they were created in the wake of the Worldcom & Enron scandal so occasionally I read statements like "The overall outlook for the economy is strong..."

Ahem, yeah - if we only knew then what we knew now.

So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the interviewer will like me. This is my top pick, and I'd hate to mess up on an interview with the firm I really like.

Yet I really do think they'll give me the best exposure to accounting that I need in my career to become a leader in the CPA profession. Reviewing the backgrounds of the partners, looking at the different types of industries they serve... and knowing they have a solid infrastructure to support their staff through effective leadership, mentorship, and guidance - I can't think of any reason why I wouldn't want to work there aside from the hours.

But I'm going into this knowing that the hours are going to be something I NEED to put in if I'm ever going to get where I want to be in my career. Not to mention, accounting/auditing is my passion - it doesn't feel like work if I'm doing what I love. Hence, the staying up to midnight researching the firm and other things to help me put my best foot forward when I meet with them.

I also plan to print out a list of my references, but my biggest struggle is - I have professional references, I can EASILY get 5 or 6, but they are at my current company and I don't want to alert my job to my potential departure until I actually have an offer in hand. So I wonder if I explain that, if they'll understand & having academic references would be okay for now.

My current job does know that at some point I'll likely leave. The CFO and I have had this discussion a couple of times... he has even told me that because of growth limitations here, and to get the experience I want for where I want to be, I'll need to find that at a firm BUT until I'm ready to do that, they are happy to have me where I am.

Still yet, I don't want to let them know the time is potentially here until I actually have an offer in hand because that may affect whether or not I'm handed certain upcoming projects... and if I don't get an offer from this firm, I don't want to have lost an opportunity in my current job.

So here's hoping. I really want this.

8 Responses to “Keeping fingers crossed”

  1. skydivingchic Says:

    Of the potential references at your current job, do you have anyone you trust to keep quiet? For me, one of my strongest references would be a guy who was my supervisor for ~8 years. He is one of those guys who just wants whatever is best for his employees - whether that be at this company or another. Over the years I've told him about when I've gotten headhunter calls and when I have considered leaving or was talking to other companies. The only time he ever said anything was when another company was offering me significantly more money but I had told him I wanted to stay. However, I couldn't just ignore companies calling me out of the blue and offering significant pay raises. It told me I was obviously being underpaid. He went to bat for me with the higher ups and I got the raise I was asking for. I'm not sure how the "I have references but you can't talk to them until you give me an offer" would play out. It may be fine or it may raise a flag for them. If possible I would try to find at least one person you trust to serve as a professional reference up front.

  2. AmbitiousSaver Says:

    I could probably talk to a couple of my old supervisors (they are still with the company, just different positions) and see if they could provide a reference. I also have a call with the CFO this morning so I can probably send out a couple of feelers. He's been a mentor for me & we touch base on a regular basis. He knows my career goals and we've talked a few times about what I need to do to get to where I want to be... each time he recommends finding an accounting firm to work with but he's happy to keep me around till then. He knows that one of my latest hurdles was to pass the CPA exam & that we'd reconnect after I did so.

  3. monkeymama Says:

    I think employers have to understand the situation. I have been here 10 years and the only references I would have is current employees and clients. I could scrounge up others, but they wouldn't be as good. Not the appropriate kind of references, like people I have worked for recently.

    Of course, I was really in the same boat with my last job. I think I had a couple of co-workers who knew I Was leaving, and used them. But my new boss wanted to talk to my old boss, pretty much. What happened was, he asked if he could talk to him, after offering me the job. He decided to pay me 10% more after talking to him. Big Grin
    I share because if they are willing to hire you without references (I think showing you stayed at one place many years may suffice), then you may want to ask if you could give them more references when negotiating salary. They must come across that all the time. For me, that was just a nice surprise. I hadn't thought about my references affecting my starting salary so much.

  4. monkeymama Says:

    P.S. Good Luck.

    If you were looking a couple of years back, I'd tell you, you have the job, hands down. Get ready for crappy pay and long hours! Big Grin BUT, with the economy, things have changed. I am not quite sure how. Maybe crappier pay. I don't think more hours, is possible? Big Grin I assume you are looking at a bigger firm.

    I used to work at Grant Thornton. AA was my second choice. I got offers from some of the other Big 5, but knew I Wasn't going the CFO/big business route, so more seriously considered GT and AA (AA selling themseleves as the small big firm - not sure I was ever convinced). Needless to say, glad I didn't go with AA. Like I need scandal all over my resume. Big Grin

  5. AmbitiousSaver Says:

    Whew! Well, that's a relief. Just got off with my CFO and he said he'd be happy to serve as a professional reference, not necessarily a supervisory reference (because he's not my supervisor) but I think he'll be valuable to explaining my work ethic and also why I'd be leaving the company since the whole virtual business thing may be difficult for me to fully explain. So he knows I'm sending out my resume to local firms and was nice to hear that he'd be glad to be a reference.

  6. AmbitiousSaver Says:

    MonkeyMama, thanks. Its with a large local accounting firm. I'm sure the hours are still long though. I'd really like that perfect blend between the experience & expertise (and resources) available with a larger firm while still maintaining an adequate work/life balance. But I'm hoping with going for a large local firm I'll be able to accomplish that.

  7. monkeymama Says:

    I think that sounds like a reasonable plan. For some reason I thought you were going BIG firm.

    Around here, they are laying off though, so the market is pretty tough. I just don't have a strong feel for the pulse of the market, since I haven't been job hunting recently, or know anyone who has. But lay offs have been pretty unheard of the last decade - until this year. A friend of mine was just laid off from a bigger regional firm. Ouch!

    That is great to have the personal reference from the CFO. I am sure it can only help!

  8. veronak Says:

    I too used a coworker I could trust as a reference when I was looking then that way no one was notified about my search. I have my fingers crossed as well but I am sure you will nail it Smile

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