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Jackson Hewitt Interview
Questions

26 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brunner
Published September 26th, 2019 | Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.
Job Interviews     Companies     Talent     Commercial Services    

Question 1 of 26

Being successful in consulting and working here at Jackson Hewitt requires the ability to work effectively with Type A personalities. What are your experiences in working with this personality and how did you make the relationships a success?

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Interview Questions

1.

Being successful in consulting and working here at Jackson Hewitt requires the ability to work effectively with Type A personalities. What are your experiences in working with this personality and how did you make the relationships a success?

To first understand this question, it is important that you know that Type A personalities are exemplified by being competitive, motivated, organized and goal driven, among many other traits. These traits often lead to success in high level roles within organizations and your chances of working with this personality type are high. Think of a time you worked with a typical Type A personality and explain the methods you used to ensure that you had a sound and successful working relationship. Make sure that your interview walks away knowing that you can work effectively with difficultly driven individuals with high expectations.

Ryan's Answer #1

"For the last six years, I have worked under your prototypical type A personality as my director. Being a self admitted type B, being under my new director was difficult at first. For me to be successful under her and for our relationship to flourish, I learned quickly that she liked me to regularly communicate timelines for projects and give updates when necessary as she was very time driven. As well, small talk and getting to know me personally wasn't a priority so our communications to this day are pretty succinct and to the point. In this role, I would feel very comfortable with working with high level type A's because of my firsthand experience."

Ryan's Answer #2

"If you haven't been able to tell during my interview so far, I am a type A personality myself. My personality has helped me become very successful as a Financial Analyst. Having had formal training in the different personality types, I know that I need to take a meticulous approach when working with other type A personalities. My current team is loaded with type A's and regular communication is key in ensuring that expectations are clear and timelines are being met. If hired for this position, I would know my place in working with leaders from clients and I can easily be both cognizant of my approach and have the ability to put my desire to be in the lead aside with them when needed."

2.

What customer service skills would you be able to bring as a tax preparer for the clients here at Jackson Hewitt? Why is providing strong customer service important to you?

Jackson Hewitt works hand in hand with businesses in their financial worlds and you as a consultant will be expected to provide great customer service to clients. In tax preparation, customer service comes in your ability to communicate and pay attention to detail to give the clients the best value and cost savings possible. For your answer, give your own personal touch to describe your customer service skills that you would bring to the team at Jackson Hewitt and don't hesitate to give any personal examples from your work history that demonstrate those skills.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Working with companies on their finances is often a private and sensitive topic. Because of that, I take an active listening and educational approach with my clients by first laying out my goals for them and then hearing their thoughts to work towards a common goal. As in any job, communication is key to setting expectations for the work that I do and hearing what my clients expect from me. If you would contact any of my professional references, who are clients that I've worked with in the past, they won't hesitate to talk about my excellent customer service skills."

Ryan's Answer #2

"As a tax professional, my customer service starts with my expertise in areas where most clients are very under-educated. I take the time to educate my clients about my processes in preparing their taxes, what my expectations are from them to help in the process and what they can expect from me throughout our time in process together. The clients that I work with appreciate the education and setting of expectations because it helps us work together more wisely and efficiently as we lower their tax burden."

3.

In what ways would our clients here at Jackson Hewitt benefit from your knowledge and services?

This question is your chance to talk about the unique skills and knowledge that you would bring to Jackson Hewitt and that is exactly what your interviewer is looking to hear. In your answer, keep your focus centered on how clients of the organization will benefit from the things that you bring to their table because Jackson Hewitt is client focused in all that they do. To be effective with this answer, be sure to do your research on the clients at Jackson Hewitt and think about how your experience will be beneficial for them.

Ryan's Answer #1

"As you can see from my resume, I have extensive experience in risk management in the healthcare industry. Having worked with some major players in the industry, your healthcare clients would benefit the most from the experience and solutions I could help provide them. Not to leave other industries out, I think my experience in the healthcare realm will also translate nicely to your clients in other areas of the private sector."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Having worked in accounting and tax law in a few different industries during my career to this point, I also have the unique experience of creating new organizational policies and procedures in my current role. In hearing more about this role, I think this experience would be very beneficial for your clients as I would be helping advise them in their practices and creating new policy would be crucial in that process."

4.

What would be the initial steps that you would take when evaluating the financial situation for a client of Jackson Hewitt?

If hired for this position with Jackson Hewitt, you will be expected to be a trusted financial advisor for very high profile clients. Based on your experience, talk about how you begin the process of discovering the needs of your clients. No matter how you answer the question, be sure to highlight your ability to listen to others, ask follow up questions and put those thoughts into action. The position you are interviewing for relies on a heavy dose of trust with your clients, so any of your techniques used to build rapport and trust with your clients is equally important as well.

Ryan's Answer #1

"As an experienced wealth planner and financial advisor, my first goal with new clients is to build trust right from our first meeting together. I take a little bit of time to talk about my knowledge, experience and my ultimate goals for any client. From there, I open the door for clients to talk about their situation and their future goals. I listen to them attentively and reflectively listen to their thoughts to truly understand their needs. Once I have this solid base of where they want to be, I can craft a solid plan for them. As you can see, I submitted several professional references from clients that I have served in the past and they would all be willing to talk about my ability to provide a trusting service to them."

Ryan's Answer #2

"If hired for this position and given the opportunity to work with clients on their financial planning needs, my first step with new clients would be to have a Q&A session where I can learn about their history, their finances and their plans for the future. The Q&A session would allow the client to ask questions of me as well. At the end of the initial session together, a foundation of trust is built and I let my excellent customer service and knowledge lead the rest of the way with the client."

5.

Strong time management is important at Jackson Hewitt. How do you manage your time, even on the busiest days?

The interviewer would like to know more about the types of tools you use to stay on task and meet deadlines. Discuss how you prioritize when everything demands your attention at once. Think about the ways you manage your projects and daily tasks and how those will help you to succeed in your role with Jackson Hewitt.

Ryan's Answer #1

"I manage my time by exercising the idea of 'time-blocking'. This approach means that I won't incessantly check my email; instead, I will allow myself to return emails in 30-minute time blocks, four times per day. Setting calendar alerts and personal deadlines for myself has also helped a lot."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Very carefully! I prioritize deadlines and work that need to be done. Then work backward from there. When necessary, I utilize my resources and team to pitch in and contribute."

6.

During our busy season here at Jackson Hewitt, the demand of clients under tight deadlines can create a great deal of pressure on our team. How do you work effectively under high pressure situations?

As the ebbs and flows of tax season culminate each year in the spring when workload and stresses are at their highest, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are able to handle the stress of tight deadlines and worried clients by handling your work in a methodical and planned manner. Talk about your ability to multitask and prioritize your work to meet tight deadlines. Be sure to also talk about the importance of taking care of yourself mentally outside of work and explain how you do this.

Ryan's Answer #1

"As you can see from my work history, I have worked as a tax professional through 12 tax seasons and I know what is coming every February, March and April. In looking to work for Jackson Hewitt, I know that is money making time and am willing to put in all of the hours that are needed to work with many clients at one time. I have a great ability to track and prioritize my tasks and my ability to set realistic expectations with my customers and meet those deadlines would greatly benefit your clients. The work as a tax professional really fits my own personal needs where I prefer to take most of my time off of work during the late summer and fall months to be outside and refresh myself in preparation for the coming season."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Working under the high pressures of tax season requires me to be organized, first and foremost. I consider myself very highly organized with my ability to track my tasks, prioritize high needs items first and communication with my clients. Staying organized allows me to remain focused on my work without stressing and I think this would be a huge advantage for the work that I would be doing for you here at Jackson Hewitt."

7.

At Jackson Hewitt, we often work with both small and large businesses on their tax preparation. What common deductions would you recommend for small businesses?

As a trusted adviser at Jackson Hewitt, you will be relied upon by clients to help them find every way possible to minimize their tax burden. To prove your expertise to your interviewer, try to talk about one or two common tax deductions that are often overlooked by small businesses. Explain why the deduction is important to consider and what impact that can have on a future client you would be working with in this role.

Ryan's Answer #1

"In my experience in working with small businesses, the most commonly overlooked deductions that they could take advantage of are vehicle and fleet expenses. While many businesses know this is possible, many fail at maintaining proper documentation of vehicles costs and usage as part of the job. I take it upon myself to walk clients through the proper documentation for future use and they have all appreciated this insight."

Ryan's Answer #2

"I see a lot of business owners overlook items that I would consider maintenance or facility costs that they can deduct at the end of each year. Repairs on equipment and property are deductible and business owners often fail to keep proof of payment for such repairs. On top of repairs, most utilities like electricity are deductible as well for a business. For small business owners, a huge part of my responsibility is educating them on these deductions. For your clients here at Jackson Hewitt, my education would help build trust and a long lasting working relationship."

8.

At Jackson Hewitt, our clients look to us to help find new and creative ways to save tax dollars. Have you ever had a unique situation where you helped an organization save tax dollars through your work and insight?

Jackson Hewitt is a trusted advisor to their clients on their corporate and small business taxes and your potential work in this position will put you in a position to be creative with your clients. Prior to your interview, think of a time in your work history where you can demonstrate the situation for the organization and came up with a creative tax savings solution for them. Upon answering this question, make sure that your interviewer walks away from your time together knowing that you have the ability to create solutions for clients that make a real difference.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Last year, I was working with an upstart small business in New York that employed around 20 people. Hearing that a big burden for him was providing health care coverage, which he chose to do to hire and retain great staff, I educated him on the savings he could see in starting an HSA associated with a high deductible plan. In the end, this plan was a win for the owner to see a ton of tax savings and the employees benefited with a great plan where the business was contributing towards their HSA on a yearly basis."

Ryan's Answer #2

"When working with corporation on tax advising issues, I always walk through business expenditures with a fine toothed comb because how large expenditures are claimed can really make or break taxes for years to come. When working with a client a few years ago, I noticed that they were deducting full costs up front when the depreciation method would have worked out much better for them in their financial situation. The only thing it took to convince them was a simple educational meeting."

9.

To ensure you are qualified to work for Jackson Hewitt, do you have a preparer tax identification number (PTIN)?

As a professional tax preparer, you are likely aware that a PTIN is required for professionals that submit federal tax returns in the United States. Being that Jackson Hewitt and the person for this role are compensated for their tax preparation services in the United States, this is a simple screening question that your interviewer is asking to make sure that you are qualified to work with the clients of Jackson Hewitt. Ensure that your PTIN is up to date and if not, make sure to complete all steps for renewing prior to your interview.

Ryan's Answer

"Having been a professional tax preparer for over 12 years, I have held my PTIN since 2007 with no lapses in the number since first obtaining. Every November, I ensure that I am good to go for the coming tax season by renewing."

10.

What approach do you take in giving financial and wealth advice to your clients? Why does this approach suit your clients the best?

For this question, your interviewer is looking to get down to the nuts and bolts relating to the exact method you approach clients with financial advice. Prior to your interviewer, be sure to put thought to your approach and be able to explain why this is both beneficial to your methods and to your clients. Whether you use verbal methods, printed document, email communication or any mixture of the three, be sure you can speak to your method confidently.

Ryan's Answer

"I am a firm believer in having a typed up plan that is very detailed for my clients. When coming up with a financial plan, I take the time to present my clients with a written plan and have them review it prior to meeting in person. This gives them time to review information and prepare questions for me ahead of time. My clients have always appreciated this approach and I've included a couple of examples in my portfolio for you."

11.

If you had to share difficult information with a client here at Jackson Hewitt, how would you approach that situation?

Working in tax preparation for business, both small and large, can often be a thankless job. Your role with Jackson Hewitt could entail the need for you to deliver difficult information to clients regarding their finances and tax situation. In your answer, be sure to focus on having both a sympathetic approach and an educational approach with the clients that you would be working with and explain why these approaches are the most effective.

Ryan's Answer #1

"Last tax season, I had to do just that with a very high profile client. During my initial meeting with the CFO, they were mentally prepared to see the same tax burden as the year prior. But after my work was done, it was found that the organization's capital gains and real estate taxes had significantly increased. In seeing this on my own, I approached the CFO directly to inform her of what I found. I approached her directly because I knew that her personality best suited a straightforward approach. In preparing for speaking to her, I clearly demonstrated how the organization's selling of assets impacted them negatively when they weren't prepared for it. She was appreciative of my work and educating them for the future. I think this approach is one that I would take again with your clients if I were hired for this position."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Tax law is a great unknown for many businesses and individuals and yearly changes in law and lays of the land in business can bring the need to deliver bad tax news to clients. If I were to encounter a situation like this here at Jackson Hewitt, I would make sure that I clearly explain the issue to the client and hear their thoughts while empathizing with them. Then, to build trust with them moving forward, I would talk about strategies moving forward that would help ease their tax burdens moving forward."

12.

Sometimes the services and packages offered at Jackson Hewitt can be confusing to new clients. How do you explain complicated concepts to those who may not understand?

The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of explaining complex ideas without being condescending to your co-workers or talking over their heads. Give the interviewer an example of how you break down information to make it more easily digestible for the average person.

Think of a presentation about a complex topic, as a proposal to solve a challenging problem. The solution may seem obvious to you, but everyone else in the room is scratching their heads trying to figure out what you're talking about. When you can define key terms and phrases to make them more relevant to your audience, you have skill! Not everyone can do this.

Prepare an example that demonstrates your communication skills and your ability to convey complex information in easy to understand terms.

Ryan's Answer #1

"I find that when there is a complicated concept to teach, visual aids are always the way to go. Did you know that 65% of people are visual learners and that presentations with visual components are 43% more persuasive? I took a course on creating effective info-graphics and will often implement those in my presentations."

Ryan's Answer #2

"I use the K.I.S.S method...Keep it simple, silly! If you cannot explain it simply, you do not understand it well enough. I recently rolled out a complex compensation plan with many anomalies. I took the approach to share a broad overview and provide detail for reference. I often try to make analogies or share complex information in the form of a story."

13.

If you are hired for this position here at Jackson Hewitt, what do you think the biggest hurdle for you would be from the start?

For this question, you can showcase your research that you've done on both Jackson Hewitt and the role you are interviewing for by being upfront and honest about what you feel would be the biggest learning curve for you if hired for the position and giving your plan for how you would approach this hurdle. In your answer, make sure that you highlight your skills and abilities in making a molehill out of a mountain on your way to success in this role.

Ryan's Answer #1

"As you can see from my resume, most of my career experience is in the food industry. If fortunate enough to be hired for this position, the biggest area for learning for me would be the finance side of other industries like technology, telecommunications and healthcare. From day one, I would begin by thoroughly research the clients here at Jackson Hewitt and speaking with as many industry experts that I know through business networking. While learning the ins and outs of other industries is the biggest learning curve for me, I see it as a great opportunity for me to become more proficient and effective in the work that I'd be doing for you."

Ryan's Answer #2

"While this may sound funny to you at first, I think the biggest challenge for me from the start will be adapting to the great corporate lifestyle and culture here at Jackson Hewitt. When I saw this position being open for applicants and I did my research, I was extremely excited to hear about the flexibility and openness to the ideas of your staff members. I've been working for six years in an environment that is very opposite of an open culture for new ideas and for me personally, it will feel foreign for me to bring new ideas to the team here and have them be accepted."

14.

When have you contributed to an effort to obtain a corporate goal?

Engaged employees are always the most productive. Assure the interviewer that you are capable of being an involved team member by assisting, in some way, to the end goal of the corporation.

Ryan's Answer #1

"My most recent employer had an extreme interest in giving back to the community. So much so that we, as a group, logged our volunteer hours and it was treated as another KPI. We would review our community contributions on a quarterly basis. Our goal was always to hit a minimum 500 volunteer hours per quarter which meant that everyone would volunteer one day per month. It was a great initiative and one that I happily participated in."

Ryan's Answer #2

"Everyday! The corporate goal is always my primary driver, in my current position. To be successful in my position I need to always be in tune with what my employer is trying to achieve, and be an active participant."

15.

When a problem arises, what is your first reaction?

The interviewer wants to know if your reactions to problems reflect maturity and professionalism. How you react will significantly determine how you fit with the team at Jackson Hewitt.

Perhaps your computer crashes, and you realize you may have just lost all of your hard work. Or maybe you are limited on time and have a deadline rapidly approaching. Demonstrate to the interviewer that you take a very methodical approach to problem-solving, rather than reacting in an impulsive way when a problem occurs.

Ryan's Answer #1

"When a major problem arises, my first instinct is to take a step back and absorb what just happened. I then go into "

Ryan's Answer #2

"I have taught myself to become much calmer with my first reactions when problems arise. Now, I will step back and review my options for solving the problem rather than allow myself to become frustrated."

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