What questions should you expect? How to make a long lasting impression on your interviewers? And what decides the winner at the end?
Simply, how to prepare for this challenging experience, and walk away with a coveted job contract? We try to answer this question on our website that specializes only in accounting interviews. Written by Caren Mayers, Recruitment Consultant at Financial Recruitment Agency HW Search & by Matthew Chulaw, Independent Interview Coach. Welcome!
What questions should you expect?
The principal part of your interview will consist either in behavioral questions, or in practical exercises. The interviewers in smaller companies will usually test you with a series of short case studies (VAT calculation, balance sheet reporting, cash flow analysis, etc.), trying to understand whether you can do the job, or just talk about doing it.
In big corporations, however, you can expect a more traditional approach. You will have to deal with personal, behavioral, and technical interview questions, and often also with a personality test. But they will use less case studies, since they will provide you a training if they hire you.
Typical questions added to the mix
In both big and small companies, as well as in recruitment agencies, they will use some typical interview questions to understand your personality, communication skills, and motivation. “Why do you want to be an accountant?”, “What characterize a good accountant?”, “What do you think is a goal of an accountant in this company?” are some of these typical questions.
Other things do also matter
Brilliant interview answers form a foundation stone for your success. But you shouldn’t forget that interviewers observe many things, such as your non-verbal communication, your methodology in work, your way of thinking. They try to assess whether you meet the following criteria:
- Decent computing skills
- Mathematical skills
- Responsibility and loyalty
- Attention to detail
Try to present yourself as a detail oriented, responsible, motivated, and loyal employee.
List of typical accountant interview questions
Note: Clicking a question will direct you to a separate page where we analyze the particular question and offer sample answers.
However, we suggest you to firstly read this page to the end, so you understand all nuances of accounting interviews, before you start practicing interview answers.
- Why do you want to become an accountant?
- Why do you want to work in our company?
- What was the toughest accounting task you had to solve?
- Why should we hire you?
- Do you possess knowledge of accounting standards?
- How do you ensure you make no mistakes in work?
- What characterize a good accountant from your point of view?
- Describe a stressful situation in work, and how did you handle the pressure.
- Describe a time when you helped to reduce costs at a previous accountant job.
- What do you think is a goal of an accountant in our company?
- When you hear an expression creative accounting, what do you imagine?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What motivates you to do this routine job?
- Which accounting software are you familiar with?
- Practical exercises
Do the questions differ in various companies?
Obviously, the interview process differs in every company. On the other hand, if they try to recruit a corporate accountant, they will not give the applicants questions intended for managers, or for bank tellers. . . .
Even if they use slightly different questions, the same strategies and attitudes will lead you to a coveted job contract in every single accounting interview. It’s just a matter of understanding the way of thinking of the interviewing panel, and what they expect to hear from an ideal candidate for the job.
Job interview is not a monologue. And it shouldn’t become one.
You should ask the employer some questions about their working environment, accounting software, career growth possibilities, next step of the recruitment process. Simply anything sensible, that will show that you care, and want to learn more about your future employer.
Talk of two people
At the end of the day, do not forget that every job interview is just a meeting of two (or more) people – You and the interviewer(s). Try to approach it in a way in which you should approach every other meeting – show positive attitude, praise the other person, listen to what they have to say, show enthusiasm for the topic of the meeting (getting employment with them).
You should simply try and build a relationship with your interviewers.
We hope that our answers to particular interview questions help you to gain confidence, and prepare for the interview. But if you still find the preparation challenging, you can have a look at our Accountant Interview Guide. The eBook offers brilliant answers to all twenty most common accountant interview questions, practical exercises, winning interview strategies, and much more…
I wish you good luck in your interview!
Caren Mayers, Interviewer at HW Search & Your Personal Interview Coach