If you apply for a job of an accountant, you will be confronted with some tough questions in an interview. On the top of that, interviewers will give you several practical exercises and case studies, so you can demonstrate your true knowledge of accountancy. But you may encounter general questions too… All in all, it’s a tough interview. Let’s have a look at the questions!
List of tough accounting interview questions
What was the toughest accounting task you had to solve in your career so far?
Accounting is tough. If you have ever done it, you know what I am talking about. When answering these sort questions, you should focus on challenges that you faced successfully, and tasks that helped your previous employers/clients to save some money, or to avoid legal troubles.
What do you consider to be three key skills of a great accountant?
When answering such questions, people tend to name their own skills. Interviewers are aware of it. Anyway, a good accountant should definitely pay attention to details, have good math skills, analytical thinking and an ability to think one step forward. Choose some of it and you’ll be on your way to sell yourself in an interview.
How do you ensure you make no mistakes in work?
People make mistakes. But when we speak about accounting, a mistake can prove extremely costly. There are thousands of examples in the US that second what I just said. As a good accountant, you should be able to avoid making mistakes. And how? You should say that you always double check everything, use both software and calculator and that you always consult any problematic decisions with other members of the department.
What software packages for accountants are you familiar with?
Clever accountants work with software applications. It’s more accurate, faster and simply more reliable than traditional “pen and paper” method. Therefore, it is good to suggest that you have some experience with software packages. In an ideal case, you should pick a well known and country specific software, for example the Canadian Quickbooks Online For Accountants, if you apply for a job in Canada. In many cases, you can try the trial version of the software for free – you should do this, to be better prepared for practical tasks in an interview.
When you hear an expression creative accounting, what do you imagine?
Creative accounting has various meanings for various people. Some of us imagine illegal practice behind it. Some other just imagine atypical unorthodox methods we use to save money. Anyway, the right answer here is definitely that for you, creative accounting means saving money of your clients, using unorthodox, but 100% legal methods of recording transactions. By the way, you should be able to elaborate on your answer with an example of an application of creative accounting.
You should prepare for various questions related to accounting standards, financial planning and analyzing, or even auditing. However, you can hardly prepare for such questions and tasks in advance. Either you know your stuff, or you don’t…
Still, if you do not, you can attend some lessons or courses to improve your accounting skills and practical knowledge of it. There is one website that specializes on the accounting interview and it is http://accountantinterviewquestions.com. It covers the topics that go beyond the purpose of InterviewPenguin.com. Maybe you can find good inspiration there…
Want to know more? Check also some unique job interview tips.