By Ruoro Kairu
An accountant is an important part of any organization, business or government. As long as the organization’s aim is to make or wisely utilize money, they will have a need for an accountant. While working as an accountant, you can fit in almost any company across different sectors.
When interviewing for an accounting position, the questions can vary based on seniority of the job, the organization, the hiring manager, the size of the company, and so on. The questions you’re asked, too, can vary on the above qualities.
However, there are questions that you can expect in any interview. I interviewed Rose, a senior accountant with over 24 years’ experience.
Rose has been on both sides of an interview. She has been interviewed dozens of time and she too, has also come to interview multiple candidates.
Here is what she had to say about the most common yet challenging interview questions and how best to answer them.
1. What would you consider to be the biggest challenge facing the accounting profession today?
There isn’t a particularly right answer to this question. However, the best way to answer it is by demonstrating your knowledge and commitment to the profession.
The answer you give should be well thought out.
Basically, the interviewer wants to see whether you’re familiar with the accounting industry and its challenges.
2. Which accounting applications are you conversant with?
There are tons of accounting software in the market. Obviously, you can’t name all of them. Furthermore, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be conversant with all them.
So what is the hiring manager looking for? Ideally, the interviewer wants to see which software you can confidently use and if it matches with the companies preferences.
If you look at the job description, the accounting software the company uses is likely listed.
When answering this question, talk about the software you’re proficient in and why you prefer it over the others.
However, remember the hiring manager may not be an accountant. So don’t use all the jargon and technical words on them.
3. What do you do when you have a tight deadline and multiple accounting projects to finish?
Most accounting projects have a strict deadline. In some cases, you may be working on more than one project at a time.
The hiring manager wants to see how well you organize and prioritize your work. Additionally, they’re also looking if you can work well under pressure and handle multiple tasks.
In your answer, include the aspects of time management, organization and prioritization skills.
Ultimately, if you have the right accounting skills, and you can confidently showcase your strengths, you will have an upper hand in the interview.
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