In interviews, a company must determine in a relatively short amount of time whether an individual is a good long-term candidate for a position. Therefore, the initial impression you make on your interviewers will be a huge determining factor on how they feel about you and, ultimately, whether you get the job. To uncover the factors that make a good impression in an interview, we reached out to members of IMA®’s (Institute of Management Accountants) young professional network and asked for their advice on making the best first impression in an interview. Here’s what they said:

Derek Fuzzell

Derek A. Fuzzell, CMA, CPA
Vice President – Finance
Northwest Federal Credit Union

I recommend being honest in every aspect of the process and doing your research on the company, the position for which you are applying, and the person who will be interviewing you. I often see candidates who exaggerate their experience and skill sets in order to get an interview and it shows. Don’t do it.


Tiffany Larson

Tiffany Larsen
Senior Accountant

Be prepared for the interview. Also, keep in mind that the person(s) interviewing you want you to be the right candidate for the job. This advice has helped me feel more confident in job interviews. After serving on interviewing teams, I know this is definitely true.


Cameron Meyer

Cameron Meyer, CMA, CPA
Financial Specialist / Controller
Bayer U.S., Crop Science Division

Do your homework. Look up the leadership team on LinkedIn and study their profiles. Be familiar with the information found on the company’s website and search for news articles and publications that provide insight into past and recent events at the company. Be prepared with an understanding of the current strategic direction of the organization and team you are applying to work for, and try to anticipate the pain points that your interviewers often will not be willing to tell you outright. Ask probing questions but tread lightly! And then position yourself as a solution to the problems they face.