After you are done writing your resume and cover letter, the research should not end. Now you have to start preparing for the interview portion of your job search. You need to prepare for this face-to-face meeting so you can wow the hiring manager. Without the right preparation, you may find yourself stumbling to answer the most common questions.
You will likely get asked numerous general interview questions about your work ethic, skills, experience and education, so it is a good idea to prepare for these questions. However, if you want to be able to impress the interviewer, you need to also prepare your answers to commonly asked external auditor interview questions. These specific, industry-related answers may give you the edge you need to ensure a second interview and maybe even a job offer.
6 External Auditor Interview Questions & Answers
1. How have you gained the technical knowledge needed to be an external auditor?
I gained a lot of the technical knowledge I need to be an external auditor while I pursued my bachelor's degree in accounting. I also have my Certified Information Systems Auditor designation from ISACA, which indicates I have a lot of technical knowledge related to information systems and operational auditing experience. I also gained much of my technical knowledge while I was an internal auditor for five years and an external auditor for three years.
2. What do you do to stay up to date on the industry?
I know continual learning is an important part of being an external auditor because it helps ensure I am up to date on changing regulations and the like. I take occasional classes offered by ISACA, the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Institute of Management Accountants to stay fresh on industry-related topics. I also strive to attend workshops and conferences as they fit into my schedule. I think it is important for professionals to at least take the time to read related publications and talk with their peers.
3. How do you expect this position to help you advance your career?
As a professional, I think it is important to always think about the future. I am excited to join your company as an external auditor, but I have a potential future in mind. I would love to gain a managerial position with your company within the next five years. From there, I would be interested in joining the executives as a financial officer or something of the kind. I do not know exactly how this position will help me in my career, but I know I will gain a lot of important experiences and skills because of it. It will also give me the chance to hone the skills I have currently.
4. Do you understand the importance of communication skills for an external auditor?
Because external auditors go into companies as an outsider in order to point out issues and enact change, I realize that communication is a vital skill. Without honed communication skills, the auditor may not be able to articulate his or her thoughts or explain the issues found in a way that can be understood by the general public. It is also important that an external auditor is able to communicate in a friendly way to ensure there is no animosity.
5. What skillset do you see as being the most important for an external auditor to have?
There are a lot of skills that can benefit an auditor, such as being organized, proficient at math and detail oriented. However, one of the most important skills that can be possessed by an external auditor, in my opinion, is that of analysis. Someone in this position is expected to identify discrepancies in documents and have enough knowledge to suggest solutions. Without the ability to analyze this kind of bulk data, an auditor will not be very good at his or her job.
6. How do you detect errors in financial documents?
Errors can be detected in a financial document by comparing them to the originals and looking at the specific information in each of the columns. If the numbers do not match up, there is likely some sort of issue. The common issues in financial documents revolve around errors of principle, omission and commission.
You need to review specific external auditor interview questions and answers if you want to have an edge over the competition. Ensure you wow the hiring manager by practicing your answers to these and other inquiries.