5 Best External Auditor Interview Tips


You put in a lot of work into creating a stellar resume and cover letter that showcase your qualifications, highlight your achievements and exemplify your professional work experience. When done right, those documents will catch the attention of potential employers. When they like what they see, that is when your phone will ring off the hook, requesting you for a job interview. Even though a top-notch resume and cover letter get employers to call you and open the door to an employment opportunity, the real work begins with your next step. How you perform during the interview will determine whether you will be offered the position. This aspect of the employment process gives you a chance to make the case for why hiring you will benefit the company. There are general best practices that can help prep you for this pivotal face-to-face experience, it is also important to follow some external auditor interview tips.

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External Auditor Interview Tips

Obtain the Proper Certification: Most individuals working as external auditors are also Certified Public Accountants. It is essential that you have the CPA credential, especially if you are applying for a job with a public accounting firm. Even if you don’t possess this certification, you may still land a job as long as you have a background in accounting, business administration or finance. However, you will likely be required to obtain the proper credential once you are hired. Keep in mind that you will have more of a competitive advantage if you are a CPA.

Highlight Your Analytical Skills: External auditors have the responsibility of reviewing, examining and preparing a wide range of financial documents, including profit and loss statements and tax records. In this position, problem-solving is an asset when it comes to analyzing the financial condition of an individual or business. A critical duty auditors perform involves finding errors and inconsistencies in the records by following Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, which include the best recommended corrective actions to take. Share with the interviewer any situations where you identified and solved accounting problems that helped the client save money, improve profits or boost revenue.

Emphasize Your Computer Skills: Experience with computers, accounting software and spreadsheets are a central component of this position, because external auditors must keep track of financial data. Therefore, a working knowledge of industry-specific software applications helps them manage and organize important information. They are also required to prepare various annual and quarterly financial reports, which often involves creating charts, graphs and tables. So the ability to present financial documents that are well-written and visually appealing is an important asset. If needed, offer a sample of a report you generated. Also, mention your proficiency level with relevant software programs.

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Showcase Your Communication Skills: External auditors work with a diverse clientele, including government entities, corporations, nonprofits and individuals. Because they deal with complex accounting data, it’s important that they explain information in a way that is easily understood by the client. If you have conducted consultations or given presentations, share this with the interviewer. Specify the topics you covered and the type of audiences you addressed. Of course, the way you express yourself during the job interview is crucial too. Speak with confidence and authority while maintaining a smile and good eye contact.

Research the Company: When you invest time into learning about the prospective employer, you gain valuable insights that can improve your interview. During your research, focus on the company history, culture, mission, clientele and services offered. Also, jot down questions based on what you learn and be sure to ask them during the interview. Use the information you gather to pinpoint the company’s needs. By doing so, you can determine the best way to present your experience and qualifications. You need a clear idea of how you can benefit their business, and when you know about the employer, you can ask better questions. Hiring managers are sure to be impressed by how much you know about the company. You will come across as someone who is proactive, highly engaged and eager to hit the ground running if hired.

Employing the external auditor interview tips mentioned above can help you establish your expertise and professionalism during your external auditor interview. If your interview goes well, you have a better chance of being offered the job.