Regardless of whether you apply for an accounting job with some big corporation, a small NGO, or any other organization, sooner or later you will have to introduce yourself. They may ask you to do so directly on the online job application, or while talking to you in the interviews.
In many cases “Tell me about yourself” is the very first question you will face, and it will set the tone for the rest of the interviews. That’s why it is actually more important than most outsiders think. It isn’t just an icebreaker, though no doubt it is perhaps easier than some tricky behavioral questions the hiring managers may ask you later on. So, how should you introduce yourself in the accounting interview?
My simple (and yet not so simple) advice is the following one: You should focus on your strengths in your introduction. What does it mean? Well, it depends… If you’ve been working as an accountant for ten years already (or even just for two years), you can center your answer around your experience. On the other hand, when you are just starting your career in the field, you can focus on your education, personality traits important for a good accountant, or even on your career goals, motivation and enthusiasm for the job.
Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question. You will find on my list answers for fresh graduates, students, experienced accountants, and also a couple of rather unconventional answers that can help you stand out in your interview (something you may try to do when you compete with many people for the job). I hope at least one of them will resonate with you, and you will find it fitting for your strengths, and for the message you try to convey in the interviews. Enjoy!
7 Sample answers to “Tell me about yourself” question for accountants
- My name is Alice, I’ve just graduated from Accounting and Business Management, from ABC university, with a GPA of XX. During my studies I discovered passion for accounting, and understood the big role it plays in the corporate world, and an impact a good accountant can have on the profit and loss of their employer. School finally over, I feel ready to dive in the corporate waters, and hope to get a chance to do so in your place… If you’d like to know something about me as a person, you should know that I enjoy reading a Nordic Walking in my free time, trying to balance the long hours I spend in front of a computer screen with some physical activity.
- I would introduce myself as an ambitious, responsible, and detail-oriented accountant, or to be more precise a “to be accounting professional”, since I have just finished my studies. I’m also an avid guitar player and someone who always try to bring positive energy to their surroundings, which I believe is a plus for any workplace. I still lack experience, but I can assure you that I am eager to learn. And I know you have an excellent training program for new hires in place, so with my attitude, education, and intelligence, I believe I will soon be ready to excel in my job.
- Perhaps the best definition of myself is this job title: Accountant. That’s how I see myself, how my peers and family perceives my professional role. I’ve been devoted to this profession for 15 years, working for 7 years for ABC Corporation and 8 years for DEF Organization. I’ve led a small accounting department in my second job, which wasn’t a small task considering the company had a yearly turnaround of ten million. But I enjoyed the challenges, helped them big time, and now I am ready to make the next step in my professional career. I also want to stress that I have life outside of work. Enjoy spending time with my two daughters and my dog, and overall I try to spend my time outside of work away from screens and numbers.
- My name is Richard, and I ran my own accounting consultancy for about eight years. Now you may wonder what I am doing here. Well, the thing is that while I enjoy keeping books and working on tax returns, I started to hate other things that belong to any freelancing career. Looking for new clients, taking care of marketing, applying for projects, trying to compete with prices of accountants from other areas, and so on, and so forth. At this stage of my professional career I would really like to focus on the core of my work, which is my strength and something I enjoy doing. That’s why I decided to close my consultancy and am looking for a job right now.
- Let me start with saying that I am trying to change my life right now. I’ve worked as a logistics manager for six years, and while I learned a lot in the job, I just do not enjoy it anymore. Results of your work in logistics depend on so many people–you need a report from this guy, a plan from another, than a truck is late and the warehouse full, and so on, and so forth. Since accounting formed the part of my studies at the university, I would like to make a transition to this field. Maybe I am wrong, but I imagine having more independence as an accountant. If I do my job well the results will come, and my results won’t depend on the work of ten other people, as it was the case in logistics…
- Maria here, twenty-one years old, still studying at the university, with passion for numbers and financial analysis. I have seen your job opening for accountant assistant on the board, and decided to apply, since I’d like to give myself a head-start once I am done with the college. I know I won’t respond for any elaborate accounting tasks as an assistant here, but I also believe I can learn a lot working in your office, and will have something to put on my resume once I apply for my first accounting job, or decide to pursue a career of a freelancer…. Outside of school and work I am just a normal young woman, enjoy spending time with friends and a good TV show. Is there anything you’d like me to elaborate on from my education or personal life?
- The best accountant ever. Of course you cannot know it, since you do not have me onboard yet. But I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed, and I am ready to bring tremendous value to your existing team of accountants. As a person I am confident and ambitious, but I try to stay humble at the same time and never stop learning new things related to my field of expertise…
Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions for accountants: