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Accounting Interview
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30 Accounting Interview Questions

By: Bobbi Witt

Question 1 of 30
In what instance would you use LIFO compared to FIFO?
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How to Answer
This is an inventory-based question. LIFO, or Last In First Out compared to FIFO, First In First Out.

If you have personal experience, always draw on that for an answer. If you don't have personal experience, then provide an analogy that would help explain not only the difference, but the importance. Understanding various industry inventory methods is important for this. A food service business will always want to use FIFO, whereas a manufacturing company that doesn't have products that expire will use whatever is most convenient. The Accounting method changes based on the inventory method. While not a lot of companies use LIFO due to the government's indecision on whether to accept it and the additional documentation it requires, the tax implications are less compared to FIFO.

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Question 2 of 30
Give an example of when internal controls needed to be changed or updated and how you handled the change.
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How to Answer
This is a SOX related question. SOX compliance is critical for publicly traded companies because controls are constantly evolving as the company grows and change.

If you have no experience with this, be honest and use your ability to learn quickly and adapt well to change. Mention how compliance changed drastically after ENRON and WorldCom.

If you have experience, then describe the exact change that occurred unless you're prohibited from revealing details due to an NDA agreement.

Question 3 of 30
Give me an example of how your strengths help you in Accounting.
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How to Answer
This is a subjective question and one that will be asked (maybe in a different way), but this is the strength vs. weakness question. I'd focus on about 2-4 strengths and give an example. Common list of strengths to choose from are:

1) Organizational and planning skills.
2) Perseverance.
3) Persuasive ability.
4) Communication skills.
5) Leadership ability.
6) Stress tolerance.
7) Ability to learn and apply new information and skills.
8) Flexibility.
9) Trustworthiness.
10) Detailed oriented.
11) Reliable.
12) Unwavering.
13) Ethical.

Always try to give an example of how you've used your strengths to improve your performance or your company in some way.

Question 4 of 30
Tell me about the financial forecasting you've been responsible for.
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How to Answer
To answer this question, you have to understand what forecasting is. It's not just making a budget for yourself. You can make a budget for yourself at the pay rate you have right now for the next year. Do you take into account if you're going to get a raise? Do you project how much of a raise? Probably not. Forecasting takes into account the busy seasons and basically alters the budget for the year by the time of the year before it ever happens.

If you have no experience forecasting, then explain how you'd handle forecasting by demonstrating your knowledge of it.

Question 5 of 30
Give an example of something you'd put on a sub-ledger that wouldn't be included on the General Ledger.
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How to Answer
Sub-ledger is the subset of General ledger in accounting terms. The relation between sub-ledger to the general ledger is many to one. There can be multiple sub-ledger accounts linked to the same general ledger account. Posting from sub-ledger to general ledger is a process in which entries from the general journal are periodically transferred to ledger accounts (also known as T-accounts).

This is the second step of the accounting cycle because business transactions are first recorded in the sub-ledger, and then they're posted to respective ledger accounts in the general ledger. The type of accounts found on the sub-ledger would be Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, and Fixed Assets. These are then rolled up in summary form to the general ledger.

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Writers for Accounting Answers and Questions

Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
Bobbi Witt
Bobbi Witt, has been a finance manager for over 15 years, with direct recruiting and hiring experience in her field. Additionally, she helps young graduates prepare for their job searches by reviewing resumes, doing mock interviews, and providing guidance.
Samantha Hamilton
Samantha H. is an Accountant with a technology firm in Austin Texas. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting and over a year of experience in Auditing she is taking on new challenges in the Accounting world with her firm. She has almost three years of experience in recruiting and loves to help people obtain their dream jobs. With a mix of recruiting and accounting knowledge, we hope she can help you land your dream job.
First written on: 06/23/2018
Last modified on: 01/22/2019

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About Accounting

January 22nd, 2019

Accounting professionals handle all the financial dealings of the company they are working with. Their specific duties may vary depending on the size of the company as well as the industry they are working in. Generally, accounting professionals analyze accounting data, prepare asset and liability reports, document financial transactions, audit documents and recommend financial actions when necessary.

A bachelor's degree in finance, economics, accounting or related fields may be sufficient to get hired by a smaller organization. Larger corporates will only hire applicants with a master's degree in the above fields along with substantial experience. The best way to get the necessary experience is by doing an internship with an experienced accountant. This will help you learn all the duties and responsibilities of the role and also boost your chances of employment.
Most of the questions asked at your interview will be aimed at evaluating your competency and skills in accounting. The interviewer will ask you several questions to gauge your knowledge and skills and also to determine your career goals. How you answer the question about your career goals will speak volumes about how long you are likely to stay on in the job. Most employers are looking for long term employees so you need to be careful how you answer this and all other questions. A look through mock interview questions can prove to be very helpful.