You’re looking for an accounting job, and you have an upcoming interview. That’s great! Now, it’s time to prepare. Here are six questions accountants are likely to get asked along with tips for crafting the best responses.
Which Accounting Platforms Are Familiar to You?
Ideally, the platform you have worked on is the same one the company uses. However, the reality isn’t always that simple. Therefore, display your familiarity (if not your expertise) with a variety of programs, versions, and features. In addition, be sure to mention if you already have switched from one platform to another. This shows you can learn and adapt to new software.
How Do You Maintain Accounting Accuracy?
In accounting, mistakes equal losses. As a result, the interviewer is searching for someone who is detail orientated. Discuss any tools or personal practices you use to double-check for accuracy as well as strategies you apply to quickly correct mistakes.
How Have You Helped Clients or Companies Save Money? *
Ultimately, organizations are hoping to find a superstar accountant who will maximize their resources and improve their bottom line. Arrive at the interview with several stories in mind. Have you identified and eliminated wasteful spending? Or, have you optimized a process and thus increased profits? Also, make sure you show the impact of your accomplishments by providing real-time data, including percentages, dollars, and cents.
Have You Ever Used Automation to Improve Accounting Processes at Previous Jobs? *
With the rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence, companies are searching for ways to streamline procedures, reduce duplicate work, and maximize efficiency. Displaying your knowledge of advanced tools and software features can give you an edge over the competition. As with the previous question, think of an example along with its result.
How Would You Explain a Complex Issue to Someone Without an Accounting Background?
As an accountant, you may need to describe a complicated financial concept to your boss, a client, or your colleagues in another department. This talent is especially important if you will be working in an advisory role. Emphasize your strong communication skills by offering examples of how you could simplify difficult-to-understand information using comparisons, storytelling, or graphic representations.
What Do You Do When You Have Multiple Projects to Finish on a Tight Deadline?
Often, accountants face high-pressure situations. (Think tax season.) Highlight your ability to plan, prioritize, and, when necessary, ask for additional assistance. Once again, a story about how you meet a tight deadline is a smart way to prove you genuinely have the skill set needed to get the job done.
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* Questions #3 and #4 can be tricky if you are early in your career. After all, you may not have a specific example to share… yet. In these cases, talk about innovative ideas you have studied and would like to try.