MockQuestions

Accounting Clerk Mock Interview

To help you prepare for your Accounting Clerk interview, here are 25 interview questions and answer examples.

Accounting Clerk was written by and updated on February 4th, 2019. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 25

Do you enjoy working with deadlines?

How to Answer

This is a straightforward question. Most accounting positions have strict deadlines for the majority of their work. If you can't work with a deadline or are consistently late, that adversely affect your career if it hasn't already. Be honest if you struggle with deadlines and explain that it's something you're improving on daily to ensure you meet your company's timelines.

Talk about your time management system so they know you have something in place to help you meet all deadlines.

Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

Next Question

List of 25 Accounting Clerk Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1.

    Do you enjoy working with deadlines?

      How to Answer

      This is a straightforward question. Most accounting positions have strict deadlines for the majority of their work. If you can't work with a deadline or are consistently late, that adversely affect your career if it hasn't already. Be honest if you struggle with deadlines and explain that it's something you're improving on daily to ensure you meet your company's timelines.

      Talk about your time management system so they know you have something in place to help you meet all deadlines.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

      1st Answer Example

      "I'm great at meeting deadlines. I have a planner that I live by and as soon as I get a task, I break it down into manageable pieces and tackle them one at a time. I ensure that I always turn in my projects early if not on time."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

      Entry Level

      "I'm great with deadlines. I've never turned in a task late at school and with any job I've had so far."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

      Experienced

      "I'm great with deadlines. I rarely miss a deadline unless something is given to me at the last minute, and even those I can generally complete on time. I've had two instances when I was waiting for others to provide documentation, which caused a delay, but I always communicate when there's going to be a delay so that everyone knows the situation."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

  • 2.

    If a vendor called and tried to demand payment two weeks early, how would you handle it?

      How to Answer

      This is a rare occurrence, but can happen. If a vendor seriously needs cash or there's an error regarding the invoice due date, then it will result in an awkward phone call. The important thing to remember is to always check your files. They should have due dates and agreed-upon amounts.

      The correct way to handle this is to take the message, go to your manager to discuss the situation, and then follow whatever your manager says. If they're unavailable, go to your files and let them know the due dates you've recorded and the amount due. Don't authorize payment without permission from a manager.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

      1st Answer Example

      "I'd place them on hold and see if my manager is available to discuss the issue. If they're not, I'd pull the file and review the due date and the amount on file. If they have a special reason for their situation, I'd inform them that I'd contact them after discussing the situation with the manager."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

      Entry Level

      "I'd let them know our policy on file regarding the due date, and then escalate this to my manager as I'm not allowed to pay something that's not scheduled."

      Experienced

      "I'd discuss with them our policy on paying vendors and what our contract dictates. If they had special circumstances, I'd discuss either a partial payment or an amendment to the contract. I'd schedule a meeting with them, my manager, and myself to discuss the situation to resolve it in a timely manner."

  • 3.

    If a customer came to you and asked you to alter their account without payment, how would you handle that situation?

      How to Answer

      This is an ethics questions as well as a how well you handle guilt. Imagine someone coming to you with a sob story about their finances. They can't afford to pay their bills, they're overextended. They can't pay for the plasma TV they purchased from your company because they need to feed their six kids. How are you going to handle this both in a respectful but firm manner?

      Will you fall for their story and adjust their account to help them steal from the company? Or will you offer other assistance?

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

      1st Answer Example

      "I'd talk to them about a payment plan. If they couldn't afford any type of payment, I'd put their account in delinquent statues. I'd discuss the late fees associated with that and if necessary, the return of our product to get them out of the payments all together."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

      Entry Level

      "I'd let them know I couldn't alter their account without payment. I'd discuss payment plan options or the consequences of making late payments. If the company offers a grace period, I'd inform them of that."

      Experienced

      "I'd be compassionate about their situation and discuss what legal options we have for payment plans and late payments. If they can no longer afford the product, I'd arrange for pick up to eliminate that expense so they can better handle their situation. I understand life happens and sometimes your financial situation changes quickly."

  • 4.

    What's your career plan and how does the accounting clerk role fit into it?

      How to Answer

      This is a career oriented question. Where do you see yourself in five, ten, or twenty years? What are your long-term goals? All of this is basically the same but they want to know why this role fits into your long-term plans. Do you plan to stay with the company or are you a job hopper? While they may not ask this question outright, it's implied.

      Answer honestly. If this doesn't fit into your long-term goals, then maybe you shouldn't be applying for this role.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 5.

    Give an example of a time you had too many extra duties and had to delegate or reject taking on extra duties.

      How to Answer

      This is important as there will be times when you're overloaded with work and will need a break or someone to help you. The interviewer is trying to determine if you know when to admit you need help and that someone needs to help you.

      If you like to please people, this becomes difficult because you don't want to stop taking on more or helping out, but then you can't say no when it's necessary.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 6.

    Give me an example of time you had to fix the journal entries, how you found the error, and how you fixed it.

      How to Answer

      This is a simple question. If you've ever discovered an error in the journal entries and had to correct it, then you can easily answer this. If you've never found an error, then explain it and describe the process of how your team inputs the data to ensure there are no errors.

      If you have no experience entering journal entries or reviewing them, be honest. This is a low level position and is great for learning the field. Being honest is the best policy here.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 7.

    Give me an example of an ethical dilemma you experienced regarding your work and how you handled it.

      How to Answer

      This is important because you'll have ethical dilemmas not just at work but in life. Having strong ethics is important in the accounting industry. Being able to differentiate right from wrong is very important.

      Taking the ethical high ground is important in accounting. Unethical people only cause the company problems in the future. If you don't get hired because you're unwilling to bend your ethics, then you don't want to work there. It will ruin your career.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 8.

    You may have multiple deadlines to complete your tasks. When have you been in such an environment and how did you handle it?

      How to Answer

      Deadline-driven environments are a breeze for you as an accounting clerk! Planning and organization are key for any environment, and the interviewer simply wants to hear that you're not daunted by it. Begin by sharing an example of a deadline-driven environment you've participated in. It can even be a school setting if you're a recent graduate. Share where you were employed (or were a student), what types of deadlines you had to meet, and how you approached the tasks. Mention what organizational tools you utilized, and be sure to mention how successful you were in handling the multi-tasking deadline environment.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 9.

    If I were to look at your home office, or previous work station before you left, what would it look like?

      How to Answer

      This isn't about a tidy work station. Yes, it's important to have a tidy work station, but it has been shown that people who work in messy environments are generally less productive. You spend more time searching for what you need, lose paperwork or files, and are generally are late for meetings, etc., more often than those who keep tidy work areas.

      You should always keep you area clean, not only because it's attractive, but because in accounting, there's a lot of confidential information that should never be left in view for anyone to see.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 10.

    What is your personal method for double checking your work?

      How to Answer

      In other words, what steps do you take to ensure the accuracy of your work? The interviewer simply wants to hear that you have a plan in place to catch any possible errors. Accounting is a detail-oriented field, and the interviewer wants to know you can be trusted with these details. Share what steps you take to ensure accuracy.

      You might discuss that you utilize a buddy system to check each other's work. You might mention that you simply re-work each task to ensure your numbers match. Or you might mention that you double check your totals by dropping the data into an Excel spreadsheet. Simply share what works for you. Having a plan is key.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 11.

    When you make a mistake, who usually notices? You or the auditor?

      How to Answer

      Hopefully, you catch most of your mistakes. Interviewers understand that we're all human, and it's likely that an auditor will catch one of your mistakes at some point in your career too. Think through your career. What's been the average? Do you routinely catch errors in your work? Odds are, you do! Go ahead and share how often you catch your own errors to ensure the auditor doesn't need to find them for you.

      If you make a lot of errors, this may be a good way for you to explain how you correct the mistakes before they leave your desk.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 12.

    Are you proficient using the 10 key pad?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is trying to learn more about your skill level. Go ahead and candidly share your level of expertise using 10 key pad. Discuss where you've utilized 10 key pad as well as how many years of experience you have.

      If you haven't taken a 10 key test, they offer them free online. Google 10 key test and you can find out your typing speed. It's important to know your speed and practice to improve it.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 13.

    Outside of inputting sales and expenses, what other accounting tasks have you completed before?

      How to Answer

      This one should be easy! The interviewer wants to get a better understanding of your background. Break down your tasks by each past employer. State the name of the company, your job title, and the typical tasks you completed in each role. This will allow the interviewer to understand what tasks you're already skilled with and will help the interviewer implement a stronger training plan customized for you if you're selected for the position.

      Bear in mind any non-disclosure agreements you've signed. It's not uncommon to sign an NDA in the accounting field. You're dealing with sensitive information, and if you leak that information, it could cost the company investors, which is why most companies require you to sign something. If you've signed an NDA, be vague about the company while going into detail about the work you completed.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 14.

    Give me an example of a time you handled documentation preparation for an audit. How did you ensure you had everything required?

      How to Answer

      Accounting clerks have to wear many hats. Not only do they have to reconcile financial data, but they have to prepare it for the auditors. If you have experience with this, it will be an easy question. Most companies have a system or a list of things required for auditors that clerks have to prepare.

      If you don't have experience, then be honest. It will show your integrity and you can use another story that shows that you're highly organized.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 15.

    How proficient are you with Excel? Please share some projects you created and regular accounting tasks you completed on Excel.

      How to Answer

      Be candid with the interviewer when sharing your level of experience with Excel. Your honest response will help the interviewer prepare a better training plan for you if you're hired for the job. Tell the interviewer if you're a beginner, intermediate, or advanced user of the system. Then share a few projects you created using Excel as well as accounting tasks that you regularly complete in the system.

      Don't assume that you don't need Excel knowledge to handle an accounting role. Yes, there are many types of software available but none can currently replace Excel. It's the most widely used and most companies prefer it.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 16.

    What accounting tasks did you perform at your former job?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is trying to gain an understanding of your average workload in your most recent position. A great way to approach this question is to walk through a typical day or week at your most recent job. Discuss what accounting tasks had to be completed daily by providing a high-level overview. After doing so, be sure to mention your level of comfort with this workload. Did it feel comfortable for you? Were you bored in your past position? Or did you feel overworked?

      If you have no work experience in accounting, be honest. This isn't the time to exaggerate your knowledge.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 17.

    What do you do when priorities change quickly? Give one example of when this happened.

      How to Answer

      Adapting to change is an essential part of any job, and interviewers want to hear that you'll happily adapt to change when necessary. Begin by telling the interviewer that you're an adaptable person, and you simply change directions when priorities change while maintaining a positive attitude. Next, think about a time when something really urgent came up. This is your example! There are all sorts of last minute urgent situations that might have occurred. Simply share yours with the interviewer. Try to connect this to an accounting clerk history so they know you can do this in the job and not just in life.

      If you have no accounting experience, use an example from personal experience.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 18.

    In your previous accounting experience, what's the toughest group you had to get cooperation from? How did you handle it?

      How to Answer

      Getting buy-in can be a challenge from time to time for various reasons. Possible issues might include: major company changes, new company vision, launching new company processes, or even cultural differences. What has been your toughest sell to get the cooperation of others? Often, it's the situation that's challenging and not the group itself. Begin by telling the interviewer your situation. What were you trying to get cooperation for? Who were you trying to get cooperation from? Next, share the group's reaction. What kind of pushback did you get? Then, share how you successfully overcame the pushback to achieve cooperation from the group.

      Sometimes departments do not mesh well together so when you are reliant on another department to get you data it can sometimes be a challenge.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 19.

    Give me an example of an accounting goal you set for yourself and achieved.

      How to Answer

      This is a variation on the standard question of goal-setting but with an accounting focus. They want to see that you can overcome obstacles and set your goals high. If you think that you haven't set or achieved goals in this area, then look to your education. You set the goal to become educated and take on this career, so you achieved whatever level of education you have.

      If you're self-taught, that's also a goal. Discuss a project you took on or how you became interested in the field.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 20.

    What do you hope to achieve in the accounting clerk role?

      How to Answer

      This is an important question that asks if you see yourself growing with the company. They want to know if you'll be looking for advancement or if you're happy to be in the same role year after year. This could be a double-edged sword question as well. If it's a small company, then they may be concerned that if you're too eager, you won't be satisfied without pay raises later on. If you don't seem eager, they may fear you won't help them grow.

      Be honest with where you are in your career. If you don't want advancement, let them know so they can place you in the right position.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 21.

    When given a new bookkeeping assignment, how do you approach it?

      How to Answer

      In other words, what steps do you take to figure out how to do something new? If you're provided training, do you take notes? If you're not provided training, do you watch a video, read blogs, or conduct an internet search to determine your course of action? Do you seek other people in your department who can help you learn? Or do you crack open an old textbook to help you figure it out? The interviewer simply wants to hear that you're willing to take on a challenge and will determine a way to get the job done. Go ahead and share your approach.

      If you've never had a bookkeeping assignment, describe another challenge you had to figure out and discuss that.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 22.

    Give an example of a time you were helping on a project but maintained your normal duties as well.

      How to Answer

      This is important. As an accounting clerk, you'll be assisting accounting managers with projects and they'll expect you to handle all your regular duties like AR/AP and filing. You must demonstrate that you can maintain your work while taking on additional tasks they need assistance with.

      If you don't have this experience, then you should be honest about it. Anyone in the accounting should be excited about the prospect of new projects to show they have initiative.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 23.

    What made you decide on a career in bookkeeping?

      How to Answer

      This is a personal question that you should be able to answer. If you don't know why you want to be a bookkeeper, then you probably don't want to be one. Being a bookkeeper is detail and math-oriented. You have to be organized and able to handle multiple types of accounting functions as well as filing policies the company has in place.

      If you don't have an answer for this, then I suggest researching exactly what the accounting clerk role has to offer and see if you'd enjoy it. If you don't enjoy the job, you'll be more likely to miss a detail important to the role.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 24.

    As an accounting clerk, you'll act as the receptionist for the accounting department. What reception experience do you have?

      How to Answer

      Some smaller companies use accounting clerks as receptionists as well. This is a question you'll have to be prepared to answer. Accounting clerks must cover a wide variety of functions beyond financials, so having some reception and human resources knowledge is helpful.

      Being too proud to answer the phones or do no accounting tasks could cost you a job that could turn out to be an amazing opportunity. There are personal assistants that make six figures that started as accounting clerks. They took on various tasks and worked their way up to the highest tiers of the corporate ladder in this role.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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  • 25.

    Give me an example of time you caught an accounts receivable error and how you fixed it.

      How to Answer

      This is a straightforward question. If you've worked in accounts receivable before, you've likely found an error, whether it was yours or someone else's, and you followed a process to correct it. Explain that process here.

      If you don't have experience with this, be honest. Entry level candidates are just that, entry level. Provide a story when you found an error at work or school and how you corrected it. This isn't to boast, but to demonstrate your attention to detail, which is important.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on February 4th, 2019

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