Once you have completed your resume and cover letter, you have to start preparing for the interview portion of your job search. This is an important process because this face-to-face meeting is your first chance to impress the hiring manager. If you are not prepared and cannot answer commonly asked questions, you may find yourself floundering rather than excelling.
Looking at commonly asked questions can help you better prepare for the interview. There are some inquiries that are likely to be made regardless of the job you are seeking, and you should come up with responses to the most standard questions before entering the interview. However, learning how to answer basic questions may not be enough to help you stand out. You can ensure you make an impression by looking at specific accounting interview questions and answers.
5 Accounting Interview Questions & Answers
1. Do you have any experience with enterprise resource planning systems?
I have had to use a few different ERP systems throughout my work history. Hyperion and Oracle Enterprise Manager are the two I am most familiar with. While I pursued my Chartered Financial Analyst certification, I had to learn about other ERP systems, such as Microsoft Dynamics GP. I enjoy using these automated organization systems because they add efficiency to the business.
Can you describe any challenges you have faced while leading a team in an analysis project?
My first big leadership role was over an analysis project a few years back. I was still trying to hone my leadership and management skills, and had not quite mastered the delegation that is a necessary part of good leadership. Not only was I a new leader, but my team was fairly unexperienced as well. Our goal was to determine the stability of one of our client's businesses. Each young, unexperienced team member wanted to go about the analysis in a slightly different way, so it seemed every task was getting done multiple times. Our deadline was approaching quickly and we were struggling to work together. As the leader, I knew I had to step up and start delegating and actually leading better than I had been. I started handing out specified roles to everyone, so we were able to analyze the future performance of the company and determine that the business was going to be able to sustain itself in the long run with a few minor adjustments.
How do you minimize the risk for errors in the work you do?
As an accountant, making errors can lead to huge financial issues for the company. I think it is important for every accountant to acknowledge this fact and admit that he or she is susceptible to errors. At my last company, there were a lot of mistakes happening, and the managers were struggling to stop them. I helped implement a checks-and-balances system that used teamwork and peer evaluation to ensure everyone was doing their best work. I also always take the time to double-check my own work to ensure it is error free.
How did you gain your knowledge of accounting standards?
I was able to gain knowledge of accounting standards through my undergraduate, graduate and certifications studies. Accounting standards, like the standards of so many other industries, may change from time to time. This is why I think it is so important to attend conferences and workshops on a regular basis to ensure my knowledge is up-to-date, but I didn't always recognize the importance of this continued education. As I pursued my Certified Information Systems Auditor certification, I realized some of my other accounting standards knowledge was out of date. It was at this time that I gained a new sense of priority for my continued learning.
Why do you want to be an accountant?
Ever since I was a kid, I have been drawn to numbers. Most of my friends thought I was odd because of my love for math. When I was a sophomore in high school, I took my first accounting class. Working with the ledgers gave me a thrill I had not had before. I love helping identify cost-cutting measures and developing financial analysis programs. I want to be an accountant because I enjoy doing the work and helping make a difference where I can.
These common accounting interview questions and answers can help you better prepare for the interview and wow the hiring manager.