Every business needs an accountant. It’s for that reason that there are so many accounting jobs out there – about 1.4 million to be exact.
Having the right accountant (or several) is crucial to the success of your business. You need someone who can analyze where you can cut costs and maximize the budget.
However, with so many accounting jobs and accountants out there, it’s hard to know when an accountant is truly interested in your company versus looking for just another job.
In this article, we’ll discuss several accounting interview questions you can ask candidates to find the best person for your company.
10 Accounting Interview Questions
If you’re at a loss for what to ask candidates, here are some accounting interview questions to get you started.
1. Do you prefer working alone or as part of a team?
Asking this question early on can help you understand how the candidate might react if he’s put in the opposite situation to his preference.
2. List three skills you believe all accountants should possess.
When asked this question, a candidate will likely give three traits he possesses. Ideally, he’ll list a mix of hard and soft skills like strong math abilities, analytical thinking, and attention to detail.
3. Which software systems are you most experienced with?
There are dozens of accounting systems out there. An ideal candidate will have had experience with several and show that he is adaptable and learns quickly.
4. What’s the most difficult accounting task you’ve dealt with in your career?
You want to hear how a candidate stayed calm under pressure and used his problem-solving skills. Some examples might include making unpopular cost cuts and staying out of legal trouble.
5. Describe a time when you’ve helped an employer reduce costs.
Accountants in all business sectors regularly have the job of figuring out where in the balance sheet they can reduce costs. This involves investigating the numbers and speaking to the corresponding departments to understand how that money is used.
6. Do you see improvements our company can make?
After giving the candidate a sense of your business and a brief test, ask him which spending areas or processes he thinks the company could improve.
This answer will reflect his understanding of the company and his past experiences.
7. Explain your review process and how you reduce the number of errors in your work.
Any good accountant will have measures in place to reduce the risk of an error going through. The candidate should provide an answer like asking a peer to review his work or not being too dependent on software.
8. Describe a time when you had to explain a complex accounting situation to a non-accountant.
In many cases, an accountant will have to make a business case to members of the executive team for an action he wants to take. He needs to be able to explain the problem and solution in layman’s terms.
9. Have you ever implemented a new tax law change at a company before?
This is a particularly relevant question given the new changes associated with the recently passed tax bill. Hiring someone who knows how to implement new tax laws is an invaluable asset to your company.
10. Why do you want to work here?
With this question, you want to gauge the candidate’s motivation for wanting to work for you. You want to ultimately hire an accountant who will strengthen your team.
We hope you feel prepared for giving an interview after reading these accounting interview questions.
If you still need help crafting interview questions or want help with talent acquisition, get in touch with us for a consultation.CONTACT US TODAY