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10 Frequently Asked Accounting Interview Questions

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If you are aware of the appropriate accounting interview questions as an interviewer or employer, then you be rest assured of hiring a diligent individual in contrast to a person not fit for the job. In this post, we are going to share with you 10 frequently asked accounting interview questions that you can put up to job candidates for a role in the accounting or finance department in your small business.

Analyzing the skills of a job candidate

Simple and straight forward accounting related questions are sufficient to determine the technical prowess and expertise of a candidate. However, soft skills of a candidate also matter and they can provide you with a different perspective into the candidate’s personality and expertise.

Let’s discuss the four interview questions that will help you assess an individual’s core skills.

What approach do you undertake to stay updated with the latest accounting laws and regulations?

The accounting and finance industry is undergoing an evolution of cataclysmic proportions in the modern era. It is imperative that you end up recruiting individuals who are familiar with the latest trends. The leading candidates for an accounting job post should be able to demonstrate and elaborate on the different approaches they undertake to stay updated with the current laws and regulations and other subscriptions relevant to the industry, memberships in professional organizations and participation in accounting conferences and webinars.

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Delineate the top three skills that any accountant ought to have.

Generally, candidates come up with the three skills they deem to be mandatory characteristics of an accountant. You should be looking out for applicants who discuss a blend of hard skills such as awareness about big data concepts and softer skills such as business credentials, interpersonal skills and customer service traits. The leading contestants will portray their acumen in these attributes by offering examples of practical situations and their past experiences.

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What kinds of accounting applications have you used in the past?

This is an important question as it will help you decipher if a certain candidate is tech-savvy or he or she will be required to undergo a capacity building program in this regard.

Of course, it is always going to be beneficial for your potential employee to be cognizant of the accounting system being used in your company. Having said that, even if someone is not familiar with your accounting system, there is no reason to write him or her off straight away. You should be flexible enough to throw up a follow up query regarding their ability to get accustomed to new technology as it will give you an opportunity to ascertain how long it will take for them to get to know the accounting system in your firm.

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Discuss examples of different kinds of reports you produced in your previous jobs.

Similar to other questions, this query will help you peek into a candidate’s experience and determine if it is what you are looking for. For instance, if you are in pursuit of an individual who can come up with income and cash flow statements, then it will always be satisfactory to know that he or she has been generating such reports in their previous jobs.

Team Player

It is essential that candidates who possess the requisite technical and soft skills should be able to blend into the work atmosphere at your firm. Accounting interview questions that ask candidates about a diverse range of scenarios that they are likely to encounter on the job can assist you in ascertaining whether they are team players or not.

Let’s discuss a few interview questions to evaluate if a certain candidate can manage different on the job situations and prove to be good team players.

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Did you ever encounter an accounting error and how did you manage it?

You should be on the lookout for candidates who accept the fact they have committed errors and are willing to right their wrongs as and when required. You should be careful about candidates who pose that they have never committed any mistakes.

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Have you had the experience of presenting accounting or financial data to non-financial staff?

Accounting and finance personnel, in the modern day and age, have to share their financial reports and information with their colleagues frequently who are not acquainted with financial stuff. So, it is crucial to hire professionals who can share their numbers game with their colleagues with ease. This interview question further sheds light into an applicant’s interpersonal skills and experience in presenting financial data.

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Share an instance when you met a tight deadline and also elaborate on how you were able to accomplish it?

More often than not, accounting and finance professionals have to generate crucial reports at short notices. The response to this query will underscore an individual’s attitude under pressure.

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What’s the toughest accounting challenge you have encountered till now?

You can ascertain a candidate’s approach to issues by virtue of this question. The leading applicants can employ this question to demonstrate their innovation, skills and experience in the face of difficult accounting situations.

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Discuss an instance when you were part of a team to revise or enhance a certain financing process. Describe your role in the team and the overall performance of the team to accomplish the set task.

Accounting and finance professionals should be able to work efficiently in a team environment. They should have the skills and abilities to work well within and outside their department. You should be looking out for responses that demonstrate collaboration and leading skills.

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Why have you chosen accounting and finance as a career?

This question can help you understand an individual’s core aims and ambitions while he or she is in search for a role in your company. You should be looking out for applicants who are passionate about accounting and finance industry and not just for remuneration. You will be able to ensure a high retention rate at your firm if you hire staff who love what they do.

Conclusion

As a small business owner, hiring is one of the most important things that you need to undertake. Every job vacancy and interview is different and you should fine tune your interview questions accordingly. However, when you ask interview questions such as those discussed above, it gives you an opportunity to assess a candidate’s skills and acumen which will assist you build a formidable team for your enterprise and achieve success in the long run.

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