tell me about yourself

Overcoming the Tell Me About Yourself Interview Question

Job interviews have a set time-frame and format. Hiring managers block out time to interview the best finance candidates. Between each they make notes about each interviewee’s favorable qualities. And they highlight any red flags. This structure requires you to use interview time to your advantage, beginning with the “tell me about yourself” portion. Take time now to craft a genuine, informative response.

Avoid Red Flag Topics

When a hiring manager asks the Tell Me About Yourself question, the expected response is work-focused. Unfortunately, a nervous applicant can mistake the open-ended inquiry as something personal. Avoid that interview error by not:

  • Discussing your personal history of family, interests, and education. This information does not let the interviewer know your qualifications for the position.
  • Reciting the details of your resume. The hiring manager already knows these and is interested in you because of them. No need for repetition.
  • Complaining about your present or past positions. Doing so gives the impression you are going through the motions to get a new job. It does not convey sincere interest in the position.

Make the Most of Precious Job Interview Minutes

Talk about yourself succinctly with quality statements. To prepare, review the job posting and description. Do so to link your responses with your ability to fulfill the position’s qualifications and responsibilities.

  • Begin with a broad statement about your career to date. This can be done by highlighting skills and values, creating a cohesive view of past work.
  • If you are new to the professional job market, summarize your work values, relating these to your interest in the position.
  • Write your response, reading it over several times. Be sure to sound natural, not rehearsed.

Here’s  a Tell Me About Yourself Sample Response

“My work for the last several years has been in the finance department of a regional non-profit organization. My responsibilities include payroll and funding management. This requires diligent oversight to assure accurate reporting to government and private agencies, including staff training about regulations and compliance. I value working in a setting that contributes to others’ lives.” Use this as a guide to craft your statement, ending with what attracts you to the position you seek.

Are you job hunting for a new accounting and finance position?  You’re in the right place!  Click here to view Beacon Resources’ list of open accounting and finance positions.



Job Interview Self-Confidence or Arrogance?

You’ve decided to explore what’s new on the finance and accounting job front. Low unemployment in the sector and healthy salaries are beckoning you to move up the ladder. You are a super candidate with a solid education, experience that shines, and energy that will last for decades. You know you’re among the best and will land the perfect position in no time flat. Wait a minute! Time to take a quick step back. Is that your self-confidence talking or is it arrogance? Best not to let enthusiasm come across the wrong way.

Was That Really in a Resume?

Boost your chances at getting called for an interview without completely bombing because of ignorance of arrogant writing. Check out how these samples must appear to a hiring manager:

“Outstanding financial analyst able to do the work of two.”

“Experienced financial analyst interested in advancing system efficiencies for positive business outcomes.”

Sample 1 passes the arrogant writing test as sample 2 conveys confidence backed by signs of commitment.

Show Self-Confidence in a Cover Letter

Highlight your experience and interest in a position along with self-confidence. Bear in mind that innocent word choice errors can appear as arrogance rather than self-assurance.

A: “I am a bookkeeper who will soon complete an accounting degree. Your entry level accountant position in a growing local business is something I have aspired to as I’ve continued my education.”

B: “I am a bookkeeper who will soon complete an accounting degree. Your entry level accountant position is just what I’ve dreamed of as I’ve continued my education.”

Cover letter A wins out. Even though B is not overly arrogant it lacks the integrity of A. Work aspiration and commitment to the local business economy makes this a positive standout.

Who’s Doing the Talking Here?

You’ve been called to interview. Consider how to express confidence rather than arrogance.

  1. “I am applying at other places, even though I’m sure to be your best applicant.”
  2. “Yes, I am applying for other positions, even though your organization’s philosophy and values are inspiring.”


Are you looking for a new finance and accounting position?  If so,  you should submit a resume to Beacon Resources today!


big data

Big Data is a Boon for Business Analysts

Whether you are presently a business analyst or considering it as a career path, big data is affecting your work. Its influence is broadening required skills, overall responsibilities, and your position within organizations. Develop big data aptitude to boost your career.

With average base pay at just over $69K, and an upper range of $90K+, pursuing this role offers current and promising future potential. Manager salaries range 20% higher with annual increases being above average.

Grow with Big Data Capability

As data capacity and analytics evolve, so is the business analyst role, also referred to as a systems analyst. This role has typically meant working on team projects, using data to shape and improve the efficiency of business operations. Big data analytics capacity is stimulating the need for the broadening of business analyst skills to include:

  • Working knowledge of programming platforms and language.
  • Merging business operations acumen with technical capacity. Simply put, the business/systems analyst translates data language for business operations understanding and application.
  • Using data analysis across departments to identify points of efficiency and discrepancy.
  • Designing queries to collect data that:
    • Relates marketing methods with supply and demand ratios;
    • Associates geographical distribution with competitors’ measures; and
    • Aids in projecting trends in relation to internal capacity.
  • Sophisticated critical thinking abilities.

Prepare Yourself for Required and Preferred Qualifications

Just as business analyst roles and responsibilities are expanding the job description, so too are employee qualifications. To increase your future opportunities, such as moving into a senior business analyst role:

  • Acquire at least three to five years of progressive business analyst experience.
  • Continually grow your technology, analytical, and soft skills to demonstrate a diverse set of abilities.
  • Track emerging trends for business analysts across sectors to assure your experience and learning is keeping pace with the field.
  • Advance your education, moving toward acquiring a Master of Information Management, Business Analytics, or Applied Analytics.
  • Pursue a business analyst credential such as:
    • The IIBA Entry Certificate in Business Analysis;
    • The PMI-Professional in Business Analysis Certification; or
    • One of the other certifications available for business analysts.

If you are a Business Analyst interested in new job opportunities, click here to explore Beacon Resources’ open positions.





Adding Keywords to Your Resume

Hiring managers scan resumes for keywords that they included in their job descriptions. Many companies are even using applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan for those keywords and eliminate resumes that are missing them. By embedding keywords in your resume, you will demonstrate that you fit the requirements of the position and help you pass the initial scanning phase.

The following keyword tips will help your resume stay at the top of the pile.

Pick Terms Used in the Job Description

Turn to the job description as your guide. You’ll find keywords included among the qualifications and responsibilities. Select those that align with your knowledge and skills. Reinforce as appropriate in your summary of current and past positions.

Keep Keywords Specific

Job descriptions present only the surface of all you have accomplished thus far in your career. Even job responsibility terms fall short of stating the depth of skill you have acquired. Be specific and succinct so that hiring managers have a clear picture of your capabilities.

  • Example: Rather than “human resource specialist” state “managed employee engagement and retention.”

Make It Active!

Avoid the pitfall of passive language. Write in active voice by making the subject in the sentence perform the action.

  • Example: Managed a team that increased new portfolio accounts by 20% within six months of promotion.

Write Data-Driven Descriptions

Make skill and accomplishment descriptions shine by using data or success outcomes. This adds to the active language you are infusing into your resume. Recruitment and hiring managers will quickly get the sense that you are a dynamic, action-oriented employee.

  • The example above combines active voice with a data description.

Keep It Real

Turn to the thesaurus to search for fresh keywords. At the same time, keep your selection real. Choose terms that are in your resume, or that you use regularly during conversations. At the same time, be sure that your resume does not appear to be intentionally stuffed with key words.

Write with Applicant Tracking Systems in Mind

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and applicant tracking systems (ATS) are now central to many organizations’ recruitment and hiring processes. Sharpen your AI and ATS knowledge to hone in on optimum keywords. Select those that best describe your experience and use a few times in your resume. That, and an error-free resume assures you won’t be BOT-bypassed!

For more resume tips, check out Why and How to Write a Cover Letter

Beacon Resources is seeking premier talent for interim, interim-to-hire or direct hire accounting and finance positions. click here to find out about our available positions.

job interview questions

Job Interview Questions

Interviews are a two-way street. You get to ask questions, just as those have been asked of you. The answers you receive give vital information about how good of a fit the company is for you. Below are some pointers to help you select the best job interview questions for your next interview.

Ask Job Interview Questions About the Company

Learn more about the company. Doing so assures that you are making a well-informed decision. Prepare a few questions. Decide which one(s) to ask based on how the interview unfolds.

  • Inquire about the on-boarding and new employee phase. These responses reveal the organization’s attention to detail and investment in new employees.
  • How do you celebrate success? Answers here let you know if honoring success is embedded in company culture. You will also learn if celebration is a formal or informal process.
  • What opportunities are offered for professional development? This is a crucial question about the commitment an organization makes in employees and overall corporate quality.
  • What do you like best about working here? Listen for a sincere response that indicates engagement and enthusiasm.

Ask Job-focused Questions

Ask pointed job interview questions. Doing so fills in details not covered in job postings.

  • What are the standout qualifications for the position? Answers to this question go beyond the details of skills and qualifications. One is learning the style of the most suitable candidate.
  • Determine if there are factors that limit your getting the job. Inquiring about your perceived limitations offers you the opportunity to address these. It also lets you know if your chance of getting the position is good or otherwise.

Inquire About the Department

Let’s face it, the quality of departments varies, even within a solid organization. Answers to these questions offer you insights to help you decide if this is a position you want.

  • Ask how the department does its work. This information lets you know about work processes and the department’s culture.
  • How is success measured? This response gives you an idea if the department uses outcome measures that you find suitable for individual employees as well as the group.

For more job interview tips, check out Talking About Your Weakness in a Job Interview.

Beacon Resources is currently seeking premier talent for interim, interim-to-hire or direct hire accounting and finance positions. Click here for a listing of our current job openings.