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3 Questions to Ask on a Phone Interview

Phone interviews are often the first step of the interviewing process, as well as your chance to make a memorable first impression. Often time people take phone interviews a bit less seriously, therefore coming to the call unprepared. Tips commonly include printing your resume as if you were in person, sitting at a table to ensure your voice sound clear and projects, and smile even though no one can see you. While this is all great advice, you should also consider bringing questions to the table to, not only to display your interest in the conversation, but also to challenge your interviewer, showing them that you did your research. Here are 3 questions to ask on your next phone interview.

“What are the roles and responsibilities of this position?”
Get straight to the point of this interview, and ask them what your day-to-day tasks look like, as well as your role within the company. Job descriptions only tell so much and generally tend to leave out the nitty gritty details – Ask the interviewer to explain the purpose of this position and how they foresee measuring the success of the person in it. It is also beneficial to hear this in a conversational environment versus on the website job listing.

“What foreseeable or identified challenges will this person face?”
The answer to this question is never something you will find in a job description, and, while it may not be a deal breaker, it is important information to have before stepping into a new role. Not only will it prepare you, but it will also show you how the team goes about solving issues and the way things work internally. In addition, asking this can open an opportunity for you to speak to how you have tackled challenges in past roles, highlighting relatable scenarios and your experience.

“What is your timeline for next steps?”
This is a basic interview question, but a vital one to ensure you have direction on when you can expect to hear back from the hiring manager. It may not always be accurate, but it does give you an excuse to check-in with HR or the recruiter you are working with at SNI Companies regarding the status of the position without feeling annoying or abrasive, but rather reiterating your interest and recapping why you would be a great fit.

Use these questions as a way to connect with your interviewer while also gaining insight into the company and role in which you are applying. Spend time before your interview brainstorming on what you, as the interviewee, want to get out of this phone call – Interviewing is a two-way street, so, while the hiring manager is scoping you out as a potential candidate, you should also view this as a time to learn all you can about the position and vet if it is the right place for you.

3 Questions to Ask on a Phone Interview

3 Tips on Engaging in Company Culture as a Remote Worker

The opportunity to work remotely is, not only growing rapidly among companies, but has now become criteria professionals look for during their job search. This benefit enables individuals to have a more flexible schedule, increasing productivity and promoting work-life balance – Whether it is working from their living room or the local coffee shop, working remotely provides employees the chance to design their own workspace and switch things up on their own time. However, one downside to this luxury is the lack of company culture seen or felt on a daily basis. While it seems impossible, there are a few ways to shift this perception and connect often with your team, providing motivation and engagement!

Team Schedule
Commonly, the biggest “work from home” perk is being able to complete your tasks on your own watch, not necessarily following a broader, distinct schedule. You ultimately know your most productive time of the day, so use this to your advantage to ensure you are producing the best work. However, utilizing a schedule is a way to connect with your team and telework alongside them – Doing this will allot time for quick regroups and brainstorming. Blocking time out on your team’s calendar per week will offer these conveniences, as well as a standing meeting to provide routine.

Communication Tools
With digital workspaces on trend right now, employees working inside and outside of the office are all converting to app and cloud-based programs. Utilize these functionalities and find one that best suits your team for both organization and easy communication purposes. Chat apps like Slack give a team space to talk and share files amongst each other in real time – Additionally, there are others to be considered that offer a place to streamline tasks, so, even though you aren’t desk mates with your peers, you are still able to efficiently collaborate.

Culture Outings
Make an effort to attend events outside of office hours with your team, and, if these are not currently available, take lead in creating them – This exertion will not be overlooked by your co-workers. Casual outings designate time for team bonding and getting to know your colleagues on a level other than work conversations. Feeling a connection to your company will enhance your overall mindset about the organization and job you do, ultimately pushing you forward in your role.

Company culture does not have to appear nonexistent to remote employees. While it may take a bit of extra work to cultivate culture into a remote team, it can be successfully done! Taking these tips into consideration will boost the morale amongst the “work from homers” and identify a new sense of team work.

3 Tips on Engaging in Company Culture as a Remote Worker

Technology and How to Keep up in the World of Accounting

In today’s world of ever-changing technology, many can have the feeling that they aren’t up to speed. We sometimes find ourselves lost in conversation with individuals who are more proficient in software, particularly those right out of college or who may be working at companies that are more driven by or focused on technology. Specific tech-related skills are becoming increasingly important in many different industries, including accounting and finance. While it is frustrating to feel you are not keeping up in this area, there are some avenues you can pursue to keep your head above water without going back to school. Here are a few options.

Web-based Classes
Most employees in the financial world will agree that expertise in Excel is both sought after and critical for your day-to-day work. While this program is not new to the digital world, it has vastly advanced over the years, introducing new features and functionalities that provide better accuracy. Because this is so important to delivering quality work, there are Excel training courses available online to help people understand and improve their skills using this software.

In addition to Excel, there are trainings focused on other programs such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, which integrate various functions of an organization (accounting, human resources, marketing, etc.) into one system in order to streamline efficiencies and processes throughout the company. Because finance touches every business unit, keeping your skills up to par on this will only help you in keeping track of the other departments’ budgets and spending.

Online Resources
Outside of classes, you can subscribe to technology focused blogs to help you stay up to date on the current digital trends around the world. For example, the way cloud-based software has advanced is one topic that is at the forefront of business conversation, and it is relevant in accounting departments based on its impact in helping teams collaborate more effectively on financials.

For those who are 15+ years out of school maintaining a commitment to technology is important because you are likely to be in a leadership role and as a leader you need to be perceived as a leader who understands and stays on top of the trends and advances in business that will impacting your organization. Due to the fact that technology advances are coming at such a rapid pace, your need to learn will likely never stop as there will always be new software or systems to become familiar with – Remember to view this a constant opportunity to advance personally and professionally, remaining as qualified as you can. We, at SNI, hope these suggestions will help you in years to come!

Technology and How to Keep up in the World of Accounting