When interviewing for an accounting position, it’s important you prepare ahead of time. This includes reviewing potential questions and practicing clear, concise answers.

Here are five questions likely to show up during your next accounting interview.

Question #1: Who or What Encouraged You to Become an Accountant? 

Your reasons for being an accountant provide the interviewer with insight into your career choice. Provide a thoughtful answer incorporating events in your life that inspired your interest in pursuing that field. For example, you may have served as class treasurer, bought your first car when you were 16 years of age or simply love numbers. Perhaps you want to be paid well, have job security or work in a variety of industries. Maybe you enjoy complex problem solving, providing value to companies or want a variety of roles to choose from.

Question #2: What Knowledge of Accounting Standards Do You Possess?

If working in a highly technical role, you must have knowledge of international accounting standards (IAS.) Even if you haven’t held an accounting job before, you will know IAS from your accounting education. Because staying as current as possible is necessary for holding an accounting job, ensure you are familiar with relevant recent changes to the reporting standards, participate in annual continuing education (CE) and regularly attend accounting conferences and workshops.

Question #3: What Are Some Methods You Use to Minimize the Risk for Errors in Your Work?

Because even minor errors can lead to substantial financial issues, working as an accountant means you’re held to a high standard of excellence. Therefore, you need to check your work multiple times and utilize a system of checks and balances to ensure the accuracy of your results. Also, keep in mind that it typically takes more time to correct an error than to correctly complete your work the first time. In addition, remember that it typically costs less to find and correct errors early in a project rather than later.

 Question #4: Can You Tell Me About a Time When You Helped Decrease Costs?

Pointing out to management areas in which a company can decrease costs shows you go out of your way to provide additional value. Therefore, you want to give specific examples, including amounts or percentages, of how you helped reduce expenses. For example, “I decreased the company’s phone bill by 25% over a 12-month period.”

Question#5: Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

Sharing where you plan to be in five years demonstrates ambition and planning. Be truthful and modest while pointing out how the role you’re interviewing for fits in with your career path. Because hiring and training employees costs much time and money, the interviewer wants to hire a candidate who’s motivated, proactive, engages in their work and will most likely remain loyal to the company for many years.

Are you looking for an accounting job in Western Canada?

These are five questions likely to show up in an interview. If you’re looking for a new job in accounting, get in touch with Mercer Bradley!



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