March 2010 Newsletter for Accounting Professionals in Houston, Texas

Industry News and Updates

So, I know everyone is very anxious to hear what is happening in Houston. Well, believe it or not it I have great news to report! Our Houston CFS office has been extremely busy this year. We had a great start in January and that has continued all the way into March. We have been placing accounting professionals in permanent and temporary jobs at a greater pace every week. A lot of companies cut pretty deep with layoffs in 2009 and are starting to see their volume of business pick up again. This is prompting them to first look to contractors and then eventually it will lead to more permanent positions. It may be time to dust off that old resume! Or just follow my blog at: I also accept all LinkedIn invitations:

Local Statistics

  • National / Houston Unemployment Rate: 9.7% / 8.3%
  • Price of Oil / Natural Gas:  $81 / $4.42
  • Oil Rig Count: 1396
  • Industries hiring: Upstream Oil & Gas, CPA Firms, Non Profit, Healthcare, Business Services, Commercial & Residential Property Management
  • Positions in demand: Tax Staff, Tax Senior, Tax Manager (Public & Industry), Controller & CFO (coming back), Senior Accountant, Oil & Gas Revenue Accountant
  • Industries not hiring or flat: Manufacturing, Construction, Homebuilding

Great Article



Below is a partial list of our local and national searches:

Revenue Accountant
West Houston, 80K, 10% Bonus Potential

Joint Venture Accountant
West Houston, SAP

Senior Auditor (Public Accounting) 
Centra Houston, Work Life Balance, Paid Overtime

Corporate Accoutning Director
West Houston, 150K plus bonus

Houston, Great Plains & Job Costing

4 Senior Tax Accountants
Galleria, Public Accounting

IT Auditor (E&P)
Galleria, 110K

Tax Manager or Senior Tax Manger
Downtown and Galleria, Public Accounting

Tax Lead Partnership Accounting

Accounts Payable / Purchasing Speciailst
Channelview, Great Plains, 40K

Interview Preparation

The more prepared you are the more confident you will be.

  • Read the Interview Preparation Packet
  • Buy a Portfolio if you do not have one
  • Make copies of your resume
  • Make sure your suit is dry-cleaned and ready!!!!
  • Do your research! Go to the company website, Yahoo Finance, Hoovers and MSN Money. Look for goals and objectives, corporate culture and any new press releases. This information will be imperative for the interview.
  • Google the company name and the interviewer’s name.
  • Compare your resume to the job description. Think about accomplishments you can point out. Make sure you can explain all reasons for leaving. Make the responses short and to the point. Never, ever say anything negative about an employer in an interview. Believe it or not, it IS a very small world.
  • Prepare a list of at least 5 questions per interviewer and have them ready in your portfolio.
  • Make sure you have the directions.
  • Role-play with anyone!!! Interviewing is not your profession. You have to practice!!!! Practice the hard to answer questions. You never want to sound scripted or that you are fishing for an answer. If you do not know how to answer specific questions, ask your recruiter for advice!!!!

The Day of the Interview:

Don’t forget to smile and have a positive attitude. First impressions can make or break an interview!

  • Arrive Early (if you do not know the location drive by the night before)
  • Review your notes before you go in.
  • Give yourself a prep talk (you should be a little bit nervous, this is normal).
  • Walk in with confidence and tell the receptionist whom you are there to see.
  • Make sure you are looking for your interviewer. Do not sit and read. Sit with confidence and a smile on your face!!!!
  • Don’t forget a firm handshake. If you have a tendency to have sweaty palms, wash your hands with really cold water before you enter the reception area.
  •  If you have a problem with direct eye contact, look at their eyebrows. They will never know the difference.

The Interview:

Don’t worry if you have done your homework you are well on your way.

  • Rule number 1…People love to talk about themselves. Don’t forget to ask about the interviewer’s background and why they like working for their employer.
  • It is very important to establish rapport. Look for commonalities.
  • Ask to have a typical day described to you; ask about projects and how you can make an immediate impact. Remember: The employer is probably doing his job and the one you are interviewing for as well. The more you can help, the more likely they are to hire you.
  • Talk about your accomplishment and goals. Be prepared to talk about challenges and how you met them.
  • Always know the answer to strength and weakness question. Don’t forget about your 5-year goal.
  • Make sure you ask the questions you prepared. Don’t forget to include questions to better understand the job and what it would take to be successful.
  • Don’t ask about benefits or money. This is about the job and the company. Your recruiter can get you that information.
  • If the money question comes up tell them it is more about the opportunity and you are sure they would make you a fair and competitive offer. If they press you tell them what you are making. If they keep pushing you give them a range. Never, ever give them a number!!! And do not put a number on their application.
  • Don’t forget to ask a lot of questions and show enthusiasm. Most candidates are cut from the process simply because the manager does not think the candidate is interested.

The Close:

This is your chance to bring it all together.

  • Tell them you are interested.
  • Ask if there are any concerns about your ability to do the job. This is your last chance to sell yourself!!!!
  • Explain that after learning more about the company and the position you are even more excited about this opportunity. Review the experience you can contribute and ask for the job or the next step in the process.

The Follow up:

  • Call your recruiter immediately. It is essential that we speak to you before we speak to the client to gage your interest level.
  • Very few candidates actually write a thank you note. I recommend an email immediately after and a hand written note as well.

Diane Delgado LeMaire

Managing Director, Accounting & Finance Recruiting

Creative Financial Staffing, a division of Fitts, Roberts CPA Firm