Questions to Expect in an Accounting Interview
You’ve landed an interview, and now you really want to set yourself apart from the other accountants, auditors, or finance specialists applying for the job. When you’re interviewing for an accounting position, the interview questions will vary depending on the job, but here are some common interview questions you need to have a killer response to:
- Do you have knowledge of accounting standards? This question really requires a two-part answer. First, be sure to share if you have knowledge of accounting standards such as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles – GAAP – and Sarbanes-Oxley. Second, explain the depth of your knowledge, how it applies to the role you’re interviewing for, and how you stay up to date with changes and developments.
- What do you consider to be the biggest challenge facing the accounting profession today? There is no one right answer to this question, but you should be able to demonstrate knowledge of and commitment to your profession by having a well-thought-out and intelligent answer. The interviewer wants to see that you are familiar with the industry and its challenges, and that you care about your job enough to have an opinion.
- Which accounting applications are you familiar with? There are many applications out there, and no one person could know them all. Interviewers are looking to see that you’re aware of more than one application and have knowledge of the tools of the profession. As well as mentioning the ones you prefer (and why), you could also talk about recent developments in relevant software.
- How do you ensure that you don’t forget details and ensure accuracy when you prepare monthly journal entries, record transactions, etc.? Almost everybody forgets small details sometimes—except accountants, who can’t afford to. Share your strategy for making sure you do not forget or unintentionally alter records. You can say that you’re not prone to mistakes in your response, or that you’re good with details, but try to go a bit deeper than that by describing when you’ve caught errors before submitting work. Emphasize how important checking work is to you and why establishing checks and balances within a team is a total must.
Some questions you’ll get when you’re interviewing as an accountant are industry specific. Others are common in any accounting interview, regardless of industry. The successful accounting candidate will have compelling answers to these questions as well as questions about audits, work culture, and many other topics. Research the company and the role you’re applying for so that you can anticipate the types of questions interviewers will be asking.
At Controller’s Group we meet with each candidate that we send out on an interview. During this process we will coach our candidates on interviewing techniques, pre-interview research, company culture and post interview follow-up. Contact us for more information.