Delivering a service to a client is one thing, getting paid for it another. But cash has to continue flowing in the company, wheels have to keep on turning. Working as a Billing Specialist, or a Billing Clerk, you will ensure that customers pay their invoices in time. You will issue and post bills, make calls and send reminders, and you will systematically record everything in an internal database in the company.
Billing Specialists typically work for banks and financial institutions, but many international corporations also regularly advertise the job opening. Let’s have a look at 15 questions you may face while interviewing for this interesting job.
Why do you want to work as a Billing Specialist?
Because you have basic accounting skills, attention to detail, and know how to deal with customers. You understand that money matters, and that no leaf moves without a wind. Ensuring that invoices get paid is an important role in every company, and you’d like to be responsible for it.
You read the job description carefully, you understand what will be expected from you, and you find the job interesting. What’s more, you happen to have a Bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance, and consider this job a step in a right direction in your professional career.
Try to talk with enthusiasm about your choice. They should get an impression that you really want this particular job, and do not apply only because you like the fancy job title, or because you can’t get a better job at this stage of your professional career, or do not know what else to do with your time.
Do you have any relevant working experience?
You can find yourself in two positions. First one is when you have a relevant experience, which is basically any accounting or customer service or even clerical experience. In these jobs you deal with clients and invoices and data, you learn how to classify things, how to lead a correspondence, communicate with customers.
Tell the interviewers about your duties, and how they relate to the role of a Billing Specialist.
If you have no experience, you should refer to your willingness to learn, accounting skills, and their excellent training program. Most big companies and financial institutions run great training programs for new hires, and you will learn to do everything.
Honestly, big corporations do not rely on skills and creativeness of individuals. They have processes in place for every role, including the Billing Specialist. All you have to do it learn how to follow these processes. They will explain everything during the training. For this reason it is not necessary to have previous experience with billing or accounting.
What’s necessary, however, is to have the right attitude to work, and willingness to learn.
This is repetitive job. What will you do to stay motivated?
You can say that you are a creature of habits, that you like your routines. Not everyone loves new challenges and uncertainty. You simply prefer to know what to do, and to take care of the same tasks day after day. Seeing a meaningful purpose in your work and knowing why you wake up to work each day (you have some goals you follow), you won’t struggle with motivation.
Another alternative is referring to your teammates and social contacts. You enjoy being a part of a hard working team, and do not want to let your colleagues down. Everybody tries hard and so do you, because you see the role your work plays in the company, and how it impacts other people who cooperate with you.
* May also interest you: Billing Coordinator interview questions.
An invoice is due, client did not pay, you sent them a reminder and there is no reaction. What will you do?
The key is to show proactive approach to your work, and also some guts. You aren’t a keyboard warrior, never leaving your comfort zone of your working desk. Quite the opposite. You do not mind calling the client, or even their boss, or even the head of an entire company, trying to make things straight.
Ensure the interviewers that you will continue until they pay, or until you know the reason why they cannot, of course within the limits of your responsibilities as a Billing Specialist. At some point the case will be moved to debt recollection department.
Special Tip: Download all questions in a simple, one page long PDF, print it, and practice your interview answers anytime later:
How do you ensure you make no mistakes in your work?
Everyone makes mistakes. But we can at least try to minimize the number of mistakes we make in work. Say that you double check all important numbers, and use software instead of calculator, to minimize the chances of overlooking something, or adding one zero here and there.
You can also say that you try to limit all distractions and focus only on your job, task after task, minute after minute, day after day. You can add that you have great attention to detail and strong math and computing skills, and believe you will make minimum of mistakes.
Big financial institutions typically have some error checking processes in place, and your work will be checked by someone (can be a person or a software), but they still want to see that you have the right attitude, and understand that a mistake can prove costly in a job of a Billing Specialist… If you’re still not sure what to say, check 7 sample answers to “How do you ensure accuracy in your work?“.
How would you rate your skills with MS Excel? (or with some other software they use in the company)?
Try be be confident and modest at the same time. Surely you know how to do the basic stuff with MS Excel, and you should tell them how long you’ve been working with it and everything.
But remember that they can also test you in an interview. They can open a spreadsheet with some data in Excel, and ask you to perform certain calculations and come to certain conclusions. That’s why it is better to be modest. You can always say that you have good understanding of Excel, the mathematical and statistical functionality it offers, but at the same time you may need to polish your knowledge to get into it again.
Ensure them that you always strive to improve, and learn, and do not consider your skills perfect at the moment.
How does working as a Billing Specialist match with your career goals and plans?
Nobody works as a Billing Specialist for ten years. You should ensure the interviewers that you have your career plan, and role of a Billing Specialist has a place on your plan.
Perhaps you want to work as an accountant later, or want to move into debt recollection, or even into medical billing. Ideally you should connect your future with their company. Check the career path for a Billing Specialist in their corporation (they may advertise it on their website), and try to be creative.
Alternatively, if you cannot come up with anything sensible, you can say that you aren’t sure yet about your career plans, but want to start on an entry level job in a big corporation and see what you can learn, and where you will go from there.
Other questions you may face in your billing clerk job interview
- When you worked on multiple projects, how did you prioritize?
- What things do you check on an invoice before sending it out?
- What do you consider the toughest aspect of this job?
- How would you define an excellent customer service?
- Describe a time when you had to meet a tight deadline in work.
- Tell us about a time when you were overwhelmed with work.
- What do you consider your biggest weakness when we talk about communication skills?
- Describe a conflict you had with a colleague in one of your former jobs.
- Why shouldn’t we hire you?
- Do you have any questions?
Conclusion, next steps
Interview for a job of a Billing Specialist belongs to interviews with average difficulty. You will receive an extensive training before starting in work, and therefor they typically won’t ask you any tricky accounting or technical interview questions.
At the same time, however, big corporation enjoy inquiring about all kinds of situations you may experience in work (behavioral–based questions), and they may include some tests in their hiring procedures (IQ test, personality test, etc).
If you aren’t sure how to answer such questions, or do not have experience with interviewing for jobs in general, consider checking out our Interview Success Package. Up to 7 premium answers to 31 behavioral-based questions (+ more) will help you get ready for every challenge you may face in your Billing Specialist interview, and outclass your competitors. Thank you for checking it out, and I wish you good luck!