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accounting interview questions

Important Accounting Interview Questions

Today’s candidate-driven job market has created unique challenges for hiring managers looking for skilled finance and accounting professionals.  For this reason, it is imperative to have a wealth of accounting interview questions that will allow you to evaluate the skill levels of job candidates. Their verbal and non-verbal responses will reveal their confidence levels regarding accounting fundamentals.

We have compiled some accounting interview questions below — and what you should look for in the answers:

 

“What methods do you prefer for estimating bad debt?” “Why”

The candidate’s answer will reveal their understanding of the most commonly used methods.

“Is it easier to commit fraud using a journal entry or a ledger?”

A candidate with training specific to fraud analysis or auditing should be able to offer a thorough explanation with examples.

“What Enterprise Resource Planning systems have you used?”

Their answer will let you know if there is any training needed on the software used by your company.  If they can’t name any ERP systems, then you know the candidate might not have the experience that you need.

“What challenges have you had in leading a team through a project?”

The answer will reveal the candidate’s critical thinking skills and give you an overview of their leadership techniques.

“What do you consider the most important skills of an accountant?”

The candidate’s answer will give you a snapshot of their business knowledge, technology skills and leadership abilities.

“Give me an example of how you would explain a complex accounting process.”

Their explanation will display their level of communication. A top-notch accounting professional should be able to simplify information for non-accounting employees.

“Describe a time you’ve made an accounting error and how you handled it.”

Everyone makes mistakes.  What counts are the lessons learned from them.  And how they managed their mistake.

“How do you evaluate the reliability of financial information?”

What methods did the job candidate design to check for errors or quality control problems?  Use their answer to evaluate their attention to detail and accuracy.

“What are your thoughts regarding the new tax changes and lease accounting standard?”

These accounting interview questions explore their knowledge of current affairs in their industry.

Situational Interview Techniques

Put together a situational question that may arise in your accounting department.  This tactic will help you gauge the job applicant’s ability to quickly think through a scenario relevant to your company.

Now that you have equipped yourself with some useful Accounting Interview Questions, explore Making Competitive Job Offers Without Breaking the Bank.  We can also make your hiring process easier. Click here to find out how.

Make sure that the salary you are offering is competitive. Download the 2019 DLC Group Salary Guide for compensation data on the top accounting and financial positions

 

weaknesses

Talking About Your Weaknesses in a Job Interview

You know the topic will come up in almost every job interview.  Weaknesses can be one of the most stressful things for a candidate to address.  Are you too hard on yourself? Or do have trouble identifying your weaknesses? The weakness question is a presumably innocent one, but has the possibility to expose shortcomings if not answered carefully.  There is no right answer, but hiring managers are looking for some specifics in your response.  They are basically looking to find out how a candidate faces obstacles with this question.  With some planning, job candidates can neutralize this query and even use it to their advantage.  With that in mind, set aside some time to go through these planning steps:

Why Weakness Questions Matter

Hiring managers ask about weaknesses to learn more about your self-awareness, confidence, and integrity. Your preparation will show, even if you are a bit nervous. Pay attention to how the question is asked and the response you receive. This information helps you to learn about a prospective employer.

  • Did the interviewer make notes after you responded?
  • Listen for an affirmative comment or non-verbal sign approving your response.
  • These seemingly small actions offer you insights about personnel interactions and performance expectations.

Select Weakness Scenarios to Discuss

Choose a couple of scenarios to use when you are asked about weaknesses. Use these tips as a guide:

  • Weakness or limitations come in a couple of varieties:
    • Personality traits or style, like being shy, or too loud.
    • Habits and abilities, such as procrastinating or having writing challenges.
  • Select those identified by past supervisors and coworkers.
    • These are relevant as they are associated with work.
    • Go with any you have heard about more often.
  • Make notes including steps you have taken to improve.
    • Be concrete.
    • Acknowledge help you received from others.
  • Pay attention to the outcomes of your improvement actions.
    • Recall what worked.
    • Describe what you’ll do differently in the future.
    • Discussing these points reveals your self-awareness and critical thinking skills.
  • Include strengths in your reply as these aid in overcoming limitations.

Practice Your Weaknesses Reply

Chances are you are friends with a trusted professional who wants you to land the right job. Ask this person to do a mock interview with you, focusing on the challenging question about weakness.

  • Be sure not to know the question beforehand.
  • Request tips from your trusted friend.

For more job interview tips, check out Interview Etiquette: During Your Job Interview

 

intake meeting questions

Questions to Ask During an Intake Meeting

As you prepare to help a hiring manager find a candidate, it is important to understand what their needs are. Getting the fundamentals wrong can lead to embarrassing and costly hiring mistakes. That being said, not only do recruiters need to ask a lot of questions. They need to know which questions to ask.  As well as, when and how to ask them.  Asking the right questions during an intake meeting will help you gain the trust of the hiring manager and hire the right candidate.

Below are some questions that you should ask during an intake meeting.

Intake Meeting Question #1: What qualifications and skills are needed for the job?

Be sure to differentiate between technical skills (i.e. hands-on experience) and soft skills (i.e. communication skills). When discussing skills, ask for detailed examples to create a concrete definition. If they are looking for strong communication skills, find out what strong communication skills mean to them.  Why are strong communication skills important for their company? How does having strong communication skills effect productivity?   The goal is to determine which skills are imperative versus just nice-to-have.

Intake Meeting Question #2: In the simplest terms possible, can you explain the role of this position?

This question can help you quickly understand the needs of your hiring manager. It also helps the hiring manager to break down their expectations into easy to understand expectations for prospective employees.

Intake Meeting Question #3: What problems will this position solve?

By asking about the issues that this position will focus on, you can identify skills that candidates needs to be successful.  It can also help to weed out candidates that may be lacking in these areas.

Intake Meeting Question #4: How does this role fit into the Organization’s overall mission?

This question adds additional purpose to the role.

Intake Meeting Question #5: What makes this role exciting?

If you can figure out the details that will make people want to keep coming into the office and being a productive team member, it can also help your outreach and ability to find the best candidates for the position. Employees are not simply looking for a paycheck; they want to make a difference where they work.

If you follow this guidance, you can help the hiring manager succeed in their mission, and find the best employee for their organization.

Top-3-Interview-Questions-&-How-to-Answer-Them

Top 3 Interview Questions & How to Answer Them

Sufficient preparation will make any interview far less daunting. While you can never be 100 percent certain of what a hiring manager will ask, there are common interview questions that typically come up. Familiarize yourself with them and know how to answer them so that you stand out in the hiring manager’s mind.

Interview Question #1: Why Should You Be Hired?

Hiring managers meet with a ton of applicants. You need to stand out from the crowd and show how your specific set of skills will help the company. This gives you an opportunity to discuss your core competencies, and it gives you a chance to show that you have done research on the organization. You should also remember to not be overly modest. The interview is your time to shine.

Interview Question #2: What Is Your Greatest Strength/Weakness?

You want to discuss strengths that the company values. You should know what those are based on the job listing you found. It can also be helpful to provide a story of a time at a past job where you exemplified that trait.

For weaknesses, you do not want to discuss anything the company highly values. Talk about a skill that is not overly crucial for this particular job, but you also need to take the time to discuss how you have worked to improve upon that weakness. You also do not want to say, “My greatest weakness is that I work too hard.”

Interview Question #3: Why Do You Want to Work Here?

You never want to say you want to work at a company solely for the paycheck. Show you have researched the company and talk about how your skills help fill a void. This is also a good opportunity to be complimentary, but you do not want to go overboard with the flattery.

As you are looking for a job, you should also submit a resume with Beacon Resources. When you are looking for a career in finance or accounting, Beacon Resources can help put you in touch with the right people.

recruiters-pick-up-where-job-search-engines-fall-short

Recruiters Pick-up Where Job Boards Fall Short

If you’re on the hunt for your next career move in accounting and finance, you may be tempted to spend hours scrolling through job boards for job openings.  Unfortunately, these often end up as hours lost in space. However, recruiters are hired by employers to seek out the top talent in the accounting and finance industry to fill positions. Recruiters have connections to a network of companies and the ability to get your resume into the hands of hiring managers. Let’s take a closer look at how recruiters take the job hunt a step beyond search engines and how they not only find opportunities but match a suitable candidate to a position.

Stop Scrolling Job Boards and Start Applying

Job boards appear to be wonderful tools for those starting out on the job hunt. There are hundreds of websites which host boards and listings that can be an excellent resource for gauging the labor market and dominant industries in a region. However, listings found on these sites are typically wide-reaching and generate thousands of responses. As a result, the likelihood that your resume will even be seen by a hiring manager is extremely slim.

According to Forbes.com, many job coaches advise that one should not spend any more than 10 percent of the job hunt on a search engine. Any more than that and you’re likely wasting time pursuing a lost cause.

Recruiters to the Rescue

Working with a recruiter can offer a variety of benefits to job seekers. First of all, they are commissioned directly by companies looking to fill a vacancy quickly and effectively. Secondly, they hand-pick candidate resumes based on qualification, suitability and specialty. This means that candidates working with a recruiter already have an advantage in the application process. Both of these benefits increase the chances of meeting with employers and finding jobs that align with the candidates’ career goals.

For more information on how to connect with our team of recruiters at Beacon Resources, email us today.