A Recruiter Speaks: Tips for Winning Interviews


So, you’ve made it through the networking events and have been invited to an interview – congratulations! Wondering how to prepare and what to expect? Jenna Imai, Manager of Talent Attraction at KPMG Vancouver has some insider tips for you.

During your preparations, put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer “Think about what you would want to find out before hiring someone,” Jenna recommends. “Know yourself well – do a personal inventory of your skill set, achievements and experiences. Reflect on these and think about what you have learned, how it has shaped who you are, and how it is transferable to the workplace.”

Says Jenna: “It’s also important to have a clear idea of why you want to be a CPA and why you want to work for that particular firm that you’re interviewing with.”

Next, make sure you arrive early – but not too early. Jenna suggests about 5-10 minutes. “Try to relax while you’re waiting for the interview to start,” she says.

What can you expect? “At KPMG, expect to answer factual questions about your résumé, as well as some situational and behavioural questions.” says Jenna. She also suggests coming to the interview with well thought-out questions. “It is important to do your research before the interview and have questions prepared. Remember, the interview is a two-way street and the interviewer is there to answer any questions you have, so take advantage of this!”

Keep in mind – silence is okay! “If you don’t understand a question, it’s okay to ask the interviewer to clarify or repeat it.  And take your time answering: we’d rather hear a well thought-out answer than something off the cuff. It is okay to ask your interview for a moment to gather your thoughts. A few seconds of silence might feel awkward to you, but it’s totally normal.”

And, you’ve heard it before, but it’s true: be yourself. “Show your personality!” encourages Jenna, “We want to know the real you.”