Accuracy isn’t necessarily a quality you need to succeed in your professional career. In many jobs speed matters more than accuracy, and as long as you meet your deadlines, nobody cares about details. However, in some roles it is one of the most important qualities, and hiring managers will ask about it while interviewing you. Think accounting, financial analysis, or for example various engineering and science jobs that require high degree of precision. Obviously the best way to assess someone’s accuracy is a practical test, but in some cases it isn’t possible, and the interviewers opt for questions like this one.

Before we look at 7 sample answers, let me point out two crucial things you should remember. First of all, try to emphasize the importance of accuracy. Ensure them that it has a high priority for you, because you know how costly any mistake can prove in your profession. And secondly, the more details you mention the better. Explain them your process of checking and verifying things, of making sure your work is as accurate as it can be. This changes from one job to another, and you will see some examples of the explanations in the sample answers below. Enjoy!


7 sample answers to “How do you ensure accuracy in your work?” interview question

  1. I always double check everything. As an accountant, I know well how a single wrong digit can mess up the entire financial statement, and how hard it can be to find the culprit later on. Of course, modern accounting software helps us to avoid mistakes and stay accurate, but we can never rely on it completely. It is pivotal for me to avoid making mistakes, and hence I always check everything twice, and if I am not 100% sure, I will consult one of my colleagues. With that being said, I also realize and accept that nobody is perfect, and once in a while even the best accountant makes a mistake. If it happens, it is important to acknowledge the situation, learn from it, and avoid making the same mistake in the future.
  2. My way of ensuring accuracy is simply staying in the moment, and giving my work full attention. No smartphone, social networks, or thoughts wandering to the past weekend, or to the one ahead of us. When I am at work, I am there—both physically and mentally, and it helps a great deal with staying accurate and effective at the same time. Sometimes it may seem like I am not nice to my colleagues, since I am not chatting etc. But it is simply because I understand how important accuracy is in my role, and cannot afford any disturbances. During breaks or after work, I try to make up for the lack of contact with the colleagues.
  3. In my opinion, everything starts with knowing the laws and regulations. That’s why I always study the newsletters from governmental agencies, making sure my knowledge is up to date. The next thing is proper planning of your day. Because when you jump from one task to another, or aren’t organized in your work, mistakes will necessarily creep in. But if you have your day organized from morning to evening, you will be efficient and accurate, and will get more things done in the same time. Last but not least, it is also important to have positive attitude to your work, and to see some purpose in it. Because when things matter to us we care to do them well, and do not simply do them for the sake of earning money…
  4. This is my first job application, and I cannot really relate to work in my answer. But I want to ensure you that I understand the importance of accuracy in this profession, and will do my best to maintain it. I hope I will learn how to do it from more experienced colleagues. In any case, I hope to grow professionally in your company and to progress in my career. That won’t be possible if I make many mistakes in my work, or do not try my 100% every day. I want to keep this on my mind always, to help me stay focused and accurate at work.
  5. In my engineering work, the most important thing is relying on data, and on precise tools, instead of trusting my intuition and good judgment. I always make all measurements twice, and have the best tools and most modern devices at my disposal. I also know that a small difference, for example 1%, can prove decisive in a long run, or at least costly for the company. That’s why I pay special attention to accuracy, making sure my findings and measurements reflect the reality, and I provide exact data to my managers.
  6. A second pair of eyes is the answer. In this job it is easy to make mistakes, simply because the variables change daily, and it isn’t always possible to make correct predictions. That’s why I always prefer to have another analyst working on the same thing, so we can compare the results of our analyses, discuss our findings, and in this way ensure the accuracy of our work. In my opinion though, one cannot expect perfect accuracy when it comes to market predictions. Because while we know certain variables, the market is incredibly complex and many events impact it, and even the best analyst cannot be perfectly accurate in their predictions. It is something we have to accept. We try our best, but sometimes our analysis will prove wrong. In such a case the only sensible thing is learning from the situation and moving on.
  7. To be completely honest with you, I do not focus on being perfectly accurate. In my opinion, speed matters more than perfect accuracy in this job. Your company works in a competitive field, and it is often pivotal to be the first to make the move, than to be the one who makes the most accurate move. At least that’s how I see it, based on my working experience of a project manger. Having said that, I am a quick learner and I can adapt. If you put emphasis on extreme accuracy in your company, I am ready to change my ways of working to make sure I won’t make any mistakes…

Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also sample answers to other tricky interview questions:

Matthew Chulaw
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