accounting job interview

Signs That You Nailed Your Accounting Job Interview

Anxiously waiting to hear if you nailed your accounting job interview?  We all know the feeling: You were punctual, prepared and polished, but did the interviewer notice? The conversation seemed to go well, but how can you be sure?  It would be easier if every successful job interview ended with an immediate job offer, but that rarely happens.  Now’s the time to reflect on your interview. Look for signs that it went well. When you recall that most of the following occurred, you’ll know you nailed it!

Long Interview

The accounting job interview questions, answers, and dialogue went smoothly. The interviewer paused near the end and asked if you had time to discuss the position a bit more. The interview going into overtime is a sign the hiring manager is interested in you.

Second Accounting Job Interview

You know that second and third interviews can be part of a company’s search process. That invitation for a second interview during your first interview is a good sign.

 Other Prospects

Accounting and Finance professionals are working within a sector of very low unemployment. Companies are in competition with each other, hoping to hire someone with top skills and aptitude. Being asked about your other prospects is a great sign. Hiring managers need to know when to move quickly to recruit the most in demand candidates.

You and the Hiring Manager Got Along Well

From the minute you walked in the door, people made you feel comfortable. The interview dialogue flowed well between you and your interviewer. The rapport felt genuine, from handshakes to comments about shared values and aspirations. You even had a few minutes to chat about common interests you have outside work.

Another Manager Was Invited In

Early in the interview the hiring manager asked your permission for a department head to step in to meet you.

Follow-up Specifics

Your interviewer provided you with follow-up details, including a direct phone line and email. The statement “please let me know about any job offers you receive” made it clear you are in the running!

Job hunting? You’re in the right place! Working with a finance and accounting staffing firm can help you find the right job for you.





Financial Industry Job Interview Questions

Answering Financial Industry Job Interview Questions

To land the most desirable financial industry positions, you will have to prepare for more than just the basics. Research the company and learn the latest salary trends for the financial industry position that you are interviewing for. During your interview your hiring manager will be armed with challenging financial industry job interview questions that you need to be ready for.  Although they can be intimidating, you can prepare for these questions. Get ready for them by following these tips:

1. Review key industry terms

Perform an overview of basic financial and accounting concepts before you interview.  Even though they may seem elementary, there may have been modifications or updates since the last time you had to answer questions to them.   Here are some concepts to consider reviewing:

  • Entity Concept
  • Going-Concern Concept
  • Money Measurement Concept
  • Accounting Period Concept
  • Cost Concept
  • Dual-Aspect Concept
  • Accrual Concept
  • Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA)

2. Show your commitment

A question such as, What do you bring to the table?” is not necessarily just about your skills. It also provides insight into your commitment to the accounting and finance profession.

Discuss your personal attributes, such as persistence and loyaly and use examples.

5. Prepare for difficult financial industry job interview questions

Practice answering the following tough financial professional job interview questions:

  • Which profitability model do you prefer for forecasting projects?
  • What methodologies do you use for financial analysis?
  • What are your processes for creating financial analysis reports?
  • Explain your process for creating sales reports?

Financial Industry job interviews can be stressful, especially if you haven’t been on a job interview in a while. But, by using the above tips, you will be better prepared for the tough financial industry job interview questions that hiring managers will throw at you.

Job seekers, check out What Not to Say in Job Interviews


job interview questions

Job Interview Questions

Interviews are a two-way street. You get to ask questions, just as those have been asked of you. The answers you receive give vital information about how good of a fit the company is for you. Below are some pointers to help you select the best job interview questions for your next interview.

Ask Job Interview Questions About the Company

Learn more about the company. Doing so assures that you are making a well-informed decision. Prepare a few questions. Decide which one(s) to ask based on how the interview unfolds.

  • Inquire about the on-boarding and new employee phase. These responses reveal the organization’s attention to detail and investment in new employees.
  • How do you celebrate success? Answers here let you know if honoring success is embedded in company culture. You will also learn if celebration is a formal or informal process.
  • What opportunities are offered for professional development? This is a crucial question about the commitment an organization makes in employees and overall corporate quality.
  • What do you like best about working here? Listen for a sincere response that indicates engagement and enthusiasm.

Ask Job-focused Questions

Ask pointed job interview questions. Doing so fills in details not covered in job postings.

  • What are the standout qualifications for the position? Answers to this question go beyond the details of skills and qualifications. One is learning the style of the most suitable candidate.
  • Determine if there are factors that limit your getting the job. Inquiring about your perceived limitations offers you the opportunity to address these. It also lets you know if your chance of getting the position is good or otherwise.

Inquire About the Department

Let’s face it, the quality of departments varies, even within a solid organization. Answers to these questions offer you insights to help you decide if this is a position you want.

  • Ask how the department does its work. This information lets you know about work processes and the department’s culture.
  • How is success measured? This response gives you an idea if the department uses outcome measures that you find suitable for individual employees as well as the group.

For more job interview tips, check out Talking About Your Weakness in a Job Interview.

Beacon Resources is currently seeking premier talent for interim, interim-to-hire or direct hire accounting and finance positions. Click here for a listing of our current job openings.

Words to Never Use in Cover Letters

Words to Never Use in Cover Letters

Using the right words on your cover letters can give you the extra edge. However, using the wrong words, can cause your resume to end up in the “rejected” file.

Below are 6 costly mistakes to avoid adding to your next cover letters.

“To Whom It May Concern”, “Dear Sir”, “Dear Madame”

Generic salutations can be a bit sterile as well as sound like you are using a cut-and-paste cover letter.   Conduct a little research to find the name of the hiring manager.  “Let’s say you are interested in a  Senior Staff Accountant position at ABC Company.  The job description indicates this position will report to the Accounting Manager but does not list their name.  You can search LinkedIn for this person by using the advanced search feature and type  “ABC Company” for the company name, “Senior Staff Accountant” for keywords and fill in the zip code where the company headquarters are located and click enter.

Stick to Your Usual Vocabulary

Hiring managers look for alignment of language and dates in prospective employees’ applications, resumes, and cover letters. Convey your integrity with word use that matches that in other application materials. Craft a cover letter that represents your communication style as well as business acumen by:

  • Integrating active verbs that you regularly use in verbal and written communication. Examples include:
    • Design
    • Analyze
    • Launch
  • These can be used in past, present, or future tense.

Cut Out Cover Letter Clichés

It’s okay to use clichés over coffee, but not in your cover letter. These off-handed phrases can slip into writing far too easily:

  • “You most likely know that…” or similar statement.
  • “Team player” or “heavy lifter.”
  • “Think outside the box” or “seasoned professional.”

Clichés do not describe your accomplishments. Give hiring managers what they want—concrete, specific details of your abilities, such as:

  • Led a team that streamlined financial analysis processes, saving a client 20% on accounting expenditures within six months.
  • Participated in a workplace wellness committee that contributed to a 10% decrease in absenteeism during its first year.

Stay Away from Flowery, Cutesy Language

Save flowery, fun communication for personal cards and letters. Prepare a professionally written cover letter that reveals your passion and enthusiasm for your work as you:

  • Describe your commitment to consumers’ success.
  • Summarize accomplishments that highlight your innovation.

Forget Flattery—Focus on Sincerity

Hiring managers are skilled at seeing through insincere language. They are confident professionals who trust their company’s services. Show your sincerity by describing your interest in the organization’s values and professional principles.

Please feel free”

End your cover letter with a clear and direct call-to-action. Don’t be gentle. Be confident and show the recruiter that you know you are right for the position by concluding with a more self-assured request for an in-person interview.




political discussions

Vote No on Political Discussions in Job Interviews

Unless you’re applying to work with a politically affiliated organization or a politician, there is no need to discuss politics in a job interview.   Everyone has the right to their own political opinions. But, job interviews are not good places for potentially heated political discussions.

Here are some tips for keeping your political views out of the hands of hiring managers:

Resumes Should be Apolitical

Don’t list political affiliations in your resume, unless it directly relates to a past job or the one you are currently applying for.  You don’t want your resume ending up at the bottom of the stack because the person reviewing it strongly disagrees with you.

Google Your Name

Scroll through two or three pages of results. If you find any potentially controversial statements or images belonging to you, remove them.

Consider Going Private

Many hiring managers these days conduct  social media searches of job candidates.  Set your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles to private. So, only your approved friends can see your posts, including political discussions.

Maintain a Politics-Free Zone During Your interview

If you’re planning to bring up political news as a good way to break the ice with the hiring manager, skip it.  Even if you feel confident that your views are in line with the hiring manager’s views. You could be mistaken to what degree they agree with you.

Don’t Feel Pressured into Offering Your Political Views

If the hiring manager brings up politics, politely say:  “Sorry, but talking politics in the office isn’t my thing.”   You might even score points with the hiring manager because you just told them that you won’t be stirring up potentially heated political conversations around the office.

If you find yourself heading down the political discussion path during a job interview, make a detour and save your energy. It could do more damage than good.

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