Accounting Interview Questions: Seven Top Questions for Skills, Experiences, and Goals

accounting interview questionsWhether you are being interviewed or conducting the interview, expect to go through a series of standard questions. These questions should determine if the applicant has the right skills and education of the job, which include accounting skills, decision-making skills, and career goals.

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Taking time to study potential interview questions will help you prepare for your interview. Due to well-defined technical skills and regulatory requirements, accounting interviews are usually very straightforward.

Accounting-Oriented Questions

These questions should determine if the applicant’s skills and education match those required for the job. Questions should focus on skills and training needed for GAAP standards and company accounting requirements. In additional regulatory reporting, every business has it’s own unique way of tracking finances. The applicant’s skills and education should fit well with the company’s requirements. Here are seven top questions that can help determine if the applicant has the right skills and training for the job:

  • What are the general requirements of GAAP?
  • Are private companies required to follow GAAP?
  • What accounting courses did you take?
  • Which courses did you like the best?
  • Which courses did you like the least?
  • What is the single most important accounting lesson you learned in college?
  • Do you maintain continued educational pursuits to stay current on regulatory changes and accounting trends?

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Experience-Oriented Questions

These questions should determine if the applicant is capable of handling stress and decision-making within the parameters of the job. Questions should focus on previous work experience and problem-solving skills. Hypothetical situations can be used to measure the applicant’s problem-solving and decision-making skills with less experienced applicants. Here are seven top questions that can help determine if the applicant has strong decision-making and problem-solving skills:

  • How do you react when things don’t go as planned?
  • Explain a time when you were left to make an important decision that would affect the company.
  • Explain a time when you had to develop a solution to a problem.
  • How long did it take you?
  • How did it make you feel?
  • How did others react to decision?
  • Did they cooperate with your or resist your authority?

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Career-Oriented Questions

These questions should determine if the applicant is the right fit for the company over the long-term. Questions should focus on the applicant’s career and educational goals. Straightforward questions work best when determining if the applicant will fit into the company. Here are seven top questions that can help determine if the applicant is right for the company:

  • Why did you choose to major in accounting/finance?
  • If you could do it all over again, would you still choose accounting as a career?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
  • Has being an accountant provided the job satisfaction that you thought it would?
  • Why should I hire you?
  • What makes you stand out from your peers?
  • How would you describe yourself and your accounting skills?

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These are just some of the types of questions that you might encounter during an accounting interview. Whether you are the applicant or the hiring manager, you need to be prepared for the interview. Asking these questions can help determine if the applicant is the right fit for the company and the job.