Standing out from your competitors…
Every business in the country has accounting staff, contracts with an accountant, or relies on an accounting company to help them manage their finances. Despite the constant need for accountants, you still need to impress your employer when attending an interview, this will stand you in good stead and allow you to gain the recognition you deserve and the role that you aspire to have.
To ensure you impress your interviewer, or panel of interviewers, you’ll need to do your research on the company, and make this apparent during your interview. Equally important, is to consider your answers to possible questions as questions may be challenging, this all counts towards your interview preparation and will help you stand out from the crowd.
Even if you’re the most efficient and qualified accountant in the world, you still have to communicate that you’re the best, otherwise other more convincing candidates will beat you to the post. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of interview questions that are likely to come up, so you can learn the relevant interview strategies to rise above the competition.
What type of questions should I expect?
Most companies will look to hire a candidate based on them passing various levels of an interview, so they will ask questions to test your accounting knowledge as well as expecting you to complete practical exercises to ensure you are the correct candidate for them. Just remember, interviews are designed to test you and the best thing you can do is remain calm, this will help you to focus and think clearly when giving your answers.
In order to test your accounting knowledge and ability, you may be expected to complete some basic and some more challenging accountancy tasks, you may also be set some tasks to complete using their specified accountancy software. By testing your ability to use accountancy programmes, this can help the interviewer determine if you’re really able to do the job.
In addition to practical accounting exercises, interviewers will also ask you behavioural questions to test your ability to deal with various situations and resolve problems. Questions you may be asked include:
- How you’ve been able to solve a conflict
- How you’ve been able to address a disagreement, or
- How you’ve been able to deal with change
Why do you want to become an accountant?
This is a common question used in interviews for a wide variety of roles, the reason it is asked is… interviewers wish to understand your reason for pursuing a career in accounting and why you’re interested in the position. Being an accountant involves a lot of repetitive tasks, it therefore sometimes be monotonous and a tad boring. In this instance, you’ll need to tell your interviewer that you have chosen this career path because you love accounting.
What’s the most challenging accounting task you’ve had to solve?
Try to think of an example based within your work experience, even if it’s limited to an internship.
Why do you want to work for our company?
This is a very important question that many interviewers ask, regardless on the job role. What employers want to know is that you’re genuinely interested in their company, as well as being the best candidate for the position.
How do you make sure you don’t make any mistakes in your work?
In your response, tell the interviewer the steps you take to ensure mistakes are rarely made, including; performing tasks on paper and on computer, then comparing results, double-checking everything (triple-checking if need be), and if you’re not 100% sure, that you always check with someone that knows.
Are you familiar with current accounting standards?
There are a lot of accountancy standards and they change a lot so it can be very difficult to remember them all and employers are aware of this. In your response, you will however need to demonstrated that you are familiar the different accounting standards, especially those that are relevant to your expertise and position.
How do you feel about creative accounting?
Employers strive for creative accountants, accountants who demonstrate creative accounting to save money and find new opportunities for the company. If this questions props up in your interview, be sure to express your willingness to find new ways to save money.
Which accounting software are you familiar with?
We suggest trying to find out what type of accounting software the company uses. This will give you the upper hand and enable you time to become familiar with it, so you can respond knowledgeably and intelligibly.