Interviews can be stressful at the best of times. They can be especially stressful if you just got out of the accounting program and desperately need a job or if you need to support your family through the recession with your book-keeping skills. One of the quickest ways to blow an interview is to lose your cool over one of the questions. In order to get through the interview with as little trouble as possible, here are some common accounting interview questions that you might run across and some tips for preparing for them.
1. Why Do You Want to Be an Accountant?
This is similar to the question that people are asked in many different job interviews. However, this question matters especially for those going into accounting. If you are just in accounting because it's a solid career choice and many of the jobs offered in the field can be lucrative, anyone that interviews you is going to worry that you are not really dedicated. Accounting is a detail-oriented job that isn't for everyone. You have to prove that you are the person for the job.
To ace this question, you are going to need to tell the interviewer a personal experience illustrating that you are detail oriented, especially when it comes to money. You might tell them about how you really wanted an expensive toy when you were younger and saved up all of the money you found in the couch cushions and what you earned from mowing the lawn. You might tell them how you started investing in order to earn a little bit of extra money to buy textbooks. Doing this will show the interviewer that you have a passion for keeping track of wealth and that you have a knowledge of how it can be used. It will also show that you enjoy jobs with detail and that you won't get burnt out.
2. What Do You Do to Check Your Work?
Because thousands of dollars can be lost if you make a mistake, companies want to make sure that you have an error-checking system that works for you. You might give an example of how you write everything down and then go over it again to scan for errors, or how you do a job, take a break, and then come back to the project and spot check the parts that gave you trouble.
3. How Have You Helped a Company or Person Reduce Costs?
If you get this question, then you know that the company is trying to decide if you truly care about reducing costs for others, not just yourself. Try to think of a time when you advised a friend to put off an unnecessary purchase in order to save money, figured out a way to volunteer at an event in order to cut the cost of attending that event, or found the cheapest textbooks possible.
By getting ready for these questions, you can feel confident that you will ace any question the accounting interviewer throws at you. For more information, check out websites that host accounting job boards.