The next graduate arrives, interviewing for a position at a small to medium-sized accounting firm: your accounting firm. This graduate will be one of the top performing employees for the employer of their choice. It takes you a while — nearly fifteen minutes into the interview, to fully realise that they are actually interviewing you.
Methodically, the graduate carefully crafts their answers and questions. When you look up from your notepad, direct eye contact takes a fraction of a second to re-connect: this graduate is absorbing the environment, the workspace and your body language. As you take notes, this graduate is also checking boxes on their own mental checklist: assessing you as a partner and the firm as a whole.
They don’t fit into your standard interview guide or assessment criteria: they are impressive in every aspect that a young aspiring graduate could be. They are energized and prepared to embark on a exciting career — just not with your firm.
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