Interviewers try to find out two things with this question:
- Your real level of experience (If you have strong experience with accounting, you have for sure solved difficult tasks in the past. Oppositely, if you did it only at school, you might have problems to recall them.)
- The way you think about problems, and about solving them. (Once you describe the toughest task, interviewer will ask you if you were able to solve it, and how did you proceed in solving it.)
Choose a task you solved
Think about it for a moment. If you presented a task that you failed to solve, it would create a bad picture about your accounting skills. You should always talk about the problem that you managed to solve at the end.
No experience with difficult tasks?
If you have no experience, you can research on “difficult accounting problems”. You will find many tough to solve (our interview guide offers a few as well). You can design your own case situation according to them, and then simply talk about it in your interview (regardless of whether it happened in reality).
At the end of the day, if you apply for an entry level job, you can be honest and say that you have no experience with difficult tasks. However, do not forget to say what you would do if you were facing one:
I have no experience with tough accounting tasks. I have been able to solve everything so far, using my knowledge and IAS. However, if there was a difficult task, I could not solve it, I would consult one of my senior colleagues, or look for the solution on the internet. I am a member of some forums where experienced accountants help to solve the problems confidentially. I’d use this option if I can find no other way out.