Your resume shows prospective employers your education, professional qualifications and achievements. These factors are important for landing a job, but the interview can often be the secret sauce that can clinch the deal. It is vital to present yourself with self-assurance and to prove you are well-versed in the demands required by your field. One way to ensure interview success is to have in mind common forensic accountant interview questions.
Every worthwhile pursuit requires preparation. A job interview also requires some advance planning and preparatory work. In addition to thinking about the usual questions that arise in a typical job interview and requests to delve deeply into your professional qualifications, consider questions the interviewer is likely to ask you concerning your specific field to test how effective you will be on the job. The following questions provide guidance in preparing you for the actual experience of the interview and will give you an idea of what to expect during the face-to-face meeting.
5 Forensic Accountant Interview Questions & Answers
1. Describe the process of locating the financial information you need for a specific case.
In my work, I have to take a unique approach to each case. Rather than taking a standardized approach to finding information, the key is to locate the people or organizations that will have the right data. In the case of fraud, for instance, it means tracking out where that individual organization is likely to conceal information. This sometimes requires thinking outside of the box or trying to put myself in the situation of the person. He or she might be hiding assets in another account or with relatives, as happened in one case I dealt with. In each situation, I need to zero in on what is required and what that person or company might do.
2. Have you or are you prepared to appear in court as a witness? What skills did you bring to that situation?
I have appeared as an expert witness in a bankruptcy case. It is essential to have all of the information needed, so I had to look specifically into all the details required, including all of the assets listed, accounts, financial records and other matters. It is also necessary to do a thorough investigation to ensure all parties are providing up-to-date and accurate data. In addition, I am aware of the need to communicate information precisely in the courtroom setting and how crucial it is to be clear under a substantial amount of pressure.
3. Give an example of a successful financial report you prepared as a forensic accountant.
In my work with insurance companies, I often had to prepare reports quantifying losses to establish how much the party was owed. In this case, it involved a company that suffered damages to their premises from a flood. The calculation of losses were complex because it involved not just the actual damage to the property, but quantifying the lost earnings from the weeks the business could not function properly. In addition, we had to figure out the loss of market share to competitors as the result. Preparing reports involves a multi-stage process of collecting information and organizing it in a form that is clear to everyone involved, including the business owners and the insurance companies.
4. How do you conduct an investigation of a company, for instance?
In one case I was involved in, we did a complete surveillance of the premises after the CEO of a major company said he suspected there was a misappropriation of funds occurring. The surveillance cameras showed employees concealing tools, materials and other items. We could have stopped there, but in my experience, if there is one type of irregularity, there are usually others. I looked at the records thoroughly and found a number of other issues, including employees who were illegals as well as missing funds. As a result, we were able to uncover a plethora of issues occurring at the business and enable to company to prosecute those responsible for the missing items and funds.
5. What are your long-term career goals?
I would like to continue to work for a firm and assist using my skills in investigation, auditing and reporting to optimum use as an asset for the company. This will enable me to gain my experience and hone my skills and will also benefit the firm.