How to prepare yourself for an entry level finance job

With NatWest RapidCash

It’s easy to form misconceptions of what office working is like, with finance spaces often being depicted as very formal and serious by popular culture. This can sometimes scare students who are looking to get into the industry after completing their education. 

However, the reality is that the world of finance is actually quite an exciting and diverse space. As a discipline, finance is constantly being driven forward by technological innovations, especially within fintech, and so while there will always be a demand for mathematicians and accountants, there’s also a huge demand for creative skills, marketing skills, and communication skills needed to help bring these innovative technologies to a business. 

What’s more, because of this eclectic blend of disciplines, it could be advantageous to be a people-person; naturally able to connect with others with different backgrounds and areas of expertise.

So, how do you prepare yourself now? Here’s our top tips.

1. Make a habit of reading about finance

If you’re familiar with the key concepts in the industry, and the latest updates being discussed in the news, then it may help you play a more active role in conversations that take place at work.

Even if you aren’t completely clued in on how exactly a new development will affect your business, if you at least have a broad understanding of the main concepts, it’ll become much easier to join the dots.

The best way to keep up with the industry is by reading financial newspapers and magazines such as The Financial Times and MoneyWeek. You can also read industry blogs and join forums to get insights into what your peers think and whether there’s any important developments you should be aware of. Other ways to keep yourself up to date is to attend industry-leading annual conferences and webinars. But if you’d like to learn about the basics of finance or do topic-specific courses, then enrolling into Chartered Institute courses would be the best way to get yourself started.

2. Interview technique

Read resources online around how you can be cool, calm and collected in a job interview. You owe it to yourself to develop the skills that allow all of the hard work and experience you’ve developed to be properly reflected during a job interview.

Some simple ways in which you can be effective include:

  • Posture – make sure you sit up straight, with your arms and hands on the table, slightly leaning towards the interviewer. This will indicate that you’re confident and interested in the conversation.
  • Vocal delivery – you need to communicate with clarity and sound confident. The best way to improve your voice is by speaking through your diaphragm, not your throat. 
  • Eye contact – this is extremely important as it will show that you’re confident, engaged in the conversation, and know what you’re talking about. 

3. Hard and soft skills

Chances are you would have already developed soft skills such as teamwork, communication, and social skills through your life and work experiences. Having these skills is essential for any job as they will help you build healthy office relationships and contribute to the greater business objectives. 

You may have also learnt some hard skills during your work placement. However, if you have no previous experience, there are tons of online courses on Udemy and LinkedIn Learning that teach financial skills such as data management, financial remodelling, data analysis, building reports, setting up balance sheets and much more. 

About NatWest RapidCash

We hope this article has been useful to you. We’re a SME finance provider, NatWest subsidiary, with years of experience in the financial space. Our digital lending product relies on open banking API integrations, so we’re a perfect example of a fintech finance firm that is powered by a mix of brilliant people with completely varied talents.

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