5 easy ways to get a trainee accountant interview

Once you are ready to get going with applications it is key to make sure you plan your “route to market” – make sure you get access the the best companies out there.

You can play this in one of two ways – 1) Wait for a role to fall in your lap or 2) Get proactive, get out there and make sure you get discovered!   You can probably guess, but at Cruncher we are a fan of option 2.

If you are going to do this properly we strong suggest you take a blended approach, using the following 5 routes to market:

  1. Milkrounds (obviously!) – the single biggest hiring event for trainee accountants each and every year.  Each practice/company run a slightly different process at slightly different times.  Some you might hear of through college, others through friends and others you will need to seek out.  Keep a list of key firms and milestone dates and make sure you are available for interviews when they come up – expect to have a busy few weeks.
  2. Recruitment Fairs – most colleges will run accounting specific recruitment fairs in Sept/Oct each year.  That or they will run slightly more generic ones for business or professional services which includes accounting (even though they might not make that obvious!). Check out the calendar for your college but also the calender’s for other colleges.  Companies can’t make all the recruitment fairs and they do pick and choose where to go.  Don’t miss out just because they don’t come to your college.
  3. Careers Office – be sure to schedule a meeting with someone in your careers office.  They can give you some helpful tips and also make sure you are signed up to receive alerts on relevant events/jobs.  If companies have one off trainee roles they are likely to contact the career office first!
  4. Recruitment Companies – some businesses will outsource their graduate recruitment to a 3rd party recruitment company, especially if they have a low volume of roles and do not have the time to attend fairs, run milkrounds or contact all the careers offices out there.  Be sure to scan the job sites for recruitment companies advertising trainee accountant roles – you might just discover a gem out there! Tip – (Specialist accounting recruitment firms will more often than not be the ones running with trainee accountant jobs)
  5. Direct Applications – if there is a company out there you would love to work with, don’t be shy about making a direct approach.  Use LinkedIn or similar to find out who the key HR person (sometimes called Talent Acquisition) or the Head of Finance in Ireland is and drop them a connection or email with a gentle enquiry. Smart direct applications can be a little hit and miss but worth the effort if it gets into your dream company!

At Cruncher we believe that a blended approach is always best.  But this advice comes with a few health warnings:

  • You will need to keep a detailed record of where you have applied and the status of the application – companies really don’t like duplicate applications.
  • You will need to manage your diary really tightly around key times of the year to make sure you get the most out of the 5 routes above.
  • Don’t apply for a job if you are not in a position to interview for the job – companies really don’t like it if you cancel interviews or are awkward about attending interview.  The market is too small and your professional reputation too important to tarnish it so early in your career.

A good plan, a clear diary and being available to interview will make sure you get access to the best trainee accountant roles out there – give you the best opportunity to be discovered!

Ed Heffernan

Ed's experience spans over 15 years with local and global names. A subject matter expert in, and advocate of, accounting careers.

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