FAQ – Should I decline interview opportunities for traditional Accounting & Reporting roles?

In these FAQ posts, we answer the most frequently asked questions we receive from clients and readers making their career moves out of Accounting & Audit, what else you need to be mindful of and hints & tips to ensure you give yourself the best possible chances of securing that next dream role.


In this FAQ, we’re covering how to respond to roles you’ve been forwarded by recruiters that are in traditional Accounting & Reporting and/or not in an area you told them you were interested in.


 Are you wondering:

  • Should I be declining interview opportunities for traditional accounting & reporting roles that I’m not sure I’m interested in?
  • Why do I keep receiving job specs from recruiters that aren’t what I asked them for?


Let’s get to it…



Should I be declining interview opportunities for traditional accounting & reporting roles that I’m not sure I’m interested in?


If you are comfortable with your interviewing and you’re certain the roles would not lead to a commercial role (or have commercial opportunities as part of them) then it makes sense to decline them.


If you secured them you would likely just turn them down. Additionally, rejecting them up front should help inform the recruiters you’re in contact with that you’re not desperate enough to pursue these types of roles.


Alternatively, you could always go to the interview/s to practice and build your confidence, learn more about the role/company/industry and let the employer know that you would like additional commercial responsibilities/exposure.


Whatever role you are offered, you can negotiate additional responsibilities into your contract and/or just get involved in other commercial projects/activities by reaching out to the appropriate people once you get there (the most preferable option would be to have it written into your contract before joining).


The aim of this would then be to move into a full commercial role shortly after joining that company (e.g. within 6-18 months).


Why do I keep receiving job specs from recruiters that aren’t what I asked them for?


You might find that recruiters keep sending you the same job roles for you to review despite you telling they aren’t of interest.


They might do this because they’re trying to convince you this is all that’s available to you with your background and experience in order to help them fill roles nobody wants.


For example you might have heard a recruiter/employer say that you need to spend X number of years in X role before you can move into the role you’re interested in. In some cases what they are saying MIGHT help you achieve your ambitions, but it’s certainly not always necessary and would just be a longer route to get there.


If you have heard them say something of this sort then it could be a hint that they’re trying to convince you to pursue a role they simply want to fill, at your expense.


Recruiters also tend to focus on a certain field within finance so if they are only sending you a certain type of role such as reporting roles then it’s likely that particular recruiter has nothing to offer you but these types of roles. In this scenario it’s worth asking them to pass you on to their relevant colleague or reaching out to a different commercial / strategic finance recruiter.


If this approach doesn’t help change the situation then it’s most probable your CV/Resume isn’t in a strong enough position to convince recruiters (and they are the gatekeepers for many roles unfortunately!) that you are appropriate for a more commercial & strategic role.


Applying directly to companies or through job boards could be a way around this, although many roles advertised will still be vetted by a recruiter and employers will probably have the same opinion as the recruiters when reviewing your CV/Resume.


Ultimately, and it’s easier said than done, the most efficient way to ensure you get yourself in front of the right opportunities, which most of your peers won’t give enough time and thought, is a complete revamp of your CV/Resume


Your CV/Resume should leave no doubt in a recruiter’s/potential employer’s mind that you’re not up to the task of taking on commercial and strategic responsibilities.


With your background in Audit or Traditional Accounting & Reporting you WILL have already gained experiences and skills that are transferable to more commercial & strategic roles and/or you can seek to gain some more substantial evidence whilst still in your current role to prove this.


This FAQ-series intended to give you a quick and dirty overview to some of the most frequently asked questions about making career moves after Accounting & Audit. This particular post covered how to respond to roles you’ve been forwarded by recruiters that are not what you’re interested in, with other articles coming soon!


Exit Options | Mapping the post-accounting & audit landscape

A lot of the clients we coach ask about moving into more strategic & commercial roles after spending time in traditional accounting & audit, but don’t know where to start or even what opportunities exist …so-much-so that we’ve put together a map of the landscape of accounting exit opportunities, which I encourage you to check out!


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Spice up your CV/Resume for the post-accounting & audit world

We’ve created a digital guide specifically to help those of you applying for more commercial & strategic roles. Our straight-talking CV/Resume advice for Accountants/Auditors is the only guide that is highly-specific to the traditional accounting & audit background: we give you real-life good & bad examples for showcasing your experience for strategic roles, the best structure & content to win over recruiters, a strategy for distributing your CV/Resume, interview advice, and more!


Want personalised advice from one of our Co-Founders?

We’ve been where you are and can help you forge your swift exit. Click here to Get Coached.

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