31 Questions and Answers Written by Professional Interviewers
Question 1 of 31
Are you efficient with your time?
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Yes, I am!. You understand that all accountants have a lot of work to accomplish every day, and you must be efficient with how you use your time to achieve your goals. You may even mention that you spend time each day prioritizing your focus for that day to ensure you are meeting deadlines, responding to urgent needs, and staying on track with meeting goals.
The interviewer wants to hear that you are passionate about some aspect of the organization. What do you like most about this company? Have you heard great things about it? Do they offer great benefits? Does the job have a unique aspect that appeals to you? Simply share what you like most about the company, and share that this is a big part of why you want to work for this organization!
Talking about ourselves in this way can be challenging. We recommend reaching out to a few colleagues, family members, and friends. Ask them for their opinion. You'll probably be surprised at the consistency in their responses! Their answers will give you the response to the question. Tell the interviewer what sets you apart, and explain how your colleagues, family members, and friends have encouraged you with your gift in this area.
What are your career goals as a Junior Accountant?
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In other words, what do you hope to achieve in this position? This question is all about you, and the interviewer is trying to determine if they can help you achieve your goals. What are you hoping to get out of this position? Simply share what you hope to achieve in this position, and be sure to mention that you look forward to learning as much as possible along the way!
How have you monitored the regulations that affect your accounting position?
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Keeping up with laws and regulations is important in most industries. How do you keep up with those affecting your accounting position? Do you subscribe to email updates that keep you in the loop? Do you attend seminars and conferences that help you stay tuned into this information? Or, do you have one person on your team who is responsible for this and keeps your whole group up-to-date? Simply share how you stay in touch with regulation updates.
6. What are your greatest strengths? This is the time to discuss the talent you offer, and employers want to see that you know yourself and work within your strengths. Jump right in offering your key strengths! Maybe you are really good at analyzing data, understanding financial concepts, building rapport with internal customers, or ensuring you have a balanced budget. Be sure to mention how you use these strengths in the workplace! Here is an answer example: 7. Tell me about your math skills. Basic math is essential for an accountant, and the interviewer is trying to learn more about your level of expertise. Share what college math courses you took. Talk about what math you typically utilize in your job on a day-to-day basis. Mention any math honors that you have received such as winning a math competition, and be sure to mention how you utilize programs like Excel to keep math simple on the job! Here is an answer example: 8. What have you done recently to become a better Junior Accountant? Interviewers love hearing that you continually work on furthering yourself as a professional. Have you read any good business books recently? Are you a part of any professional associations? Have you taken a seminar or attended a conference? Or, have you received mentorship from another accountant? Simply list 1-2 things that you have done recently to further your professional career. Here is an answer example: 9. Would you be available to work extra hours if needed? Be open & honest with the interviewer sharing if you are available to work extra hours if necessary understanding that you may eliminate yourself from consideration if you are unable to work additional hours. It is better to learn now that additional hours are required rather than later! Here is an answer example: 10. What are your greatest weaknesses? We all have weaknesses, and it is okay to share yours! Pick a weakness to share that is not a priority for a junior accountant. Common answers might be:
- Having to negotiate a sale...like when buying a new car. I would prefer to just be given the best price first!
- Hosting company at my house. It stresses me out!
- Giving a speech in front of a large crowd of people.
- Being afraid of trying adventurous things such as bungee jumping, sky diving, or riding the latest roller coaster.
Simply share a couple of your weaknesses with the interviewer. Here is an answer example: 11. How do you minimize the risk of errors in your work? The interviewer wants to hear that you have some sort of method for ensuring the accuracy of your work. Do you read your work out loud to help you catch errors? Do you utilize dual monitors to help you cross-check information? Do you use a buddy system to cross-check each others work? Whatever method you are accustomed to using, share it with the interviewer! Here is an answer example: 12. What do you know about our company? With any job interview, it is crucial to understand the organization you are applying to. We recommend visiting the company's website to learn key information such as company history, key services offered, who the current CEO is, mission & vision, and even fun facts such as recent events the company has posted on social media! As a bonus, be sure to mention any positive interactions you have had with current employees as well as what they have told you about the company. Here is an answer example: 13. Why did you choose to pursue a career as an accountant? What led you to become an accountant? Did you have a mentor who encouraged you to pursue the field due to your strong attention to detail? Have you always enjoyed working with numbers? Do you enjoy financial concepts? Or, did you complete a job shadow during high school that you really enjoyed? Now is the time to share your story! Here is an answer example: 14. Tell me about a suggestion or successful contribution you have made in your past job or in college? Here is an answer example: 15. What type of schedule are you looking to work? Each person has their own scheduling needs, and it is important to be candid with the interviewer about your availability. Begin by telling the interviewer if you are seeking full-time or part-time hours. Then, define what days/times you are available for work. You might state something like this, "I am looking for a full-time schedule hopefully working Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. I am available to work later into the evenings, and I am happy to come in on an occasional to weekend to help out when necessary." Here is an answer example: "I am looking for a full-time schedule hopefully working Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. I am available to work later into the evenings, and I am happy to come in on an occasional to weekend to help out when necessary."16. Tell me about your computer skills. The interviewer wants to hear what computer programs you are proficient with. Simply tell the interviewer which programs you comfortably use. You might consider Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, QuickBooks, any accounting software, as well as the internet for business research. When discussing accounting software, be sure to include a high-level overview of what you typically utilize the software for to help the interviewer understand your level of expertise. Here is an answer example: 17. What position in a team environment, do you normally take? Be candid with the interviewer expressing where you typically land in a team environment. Are you the person always leading the pack? Or, are you an actively involved participant? Maybe you tend to be the quiet one who offers great suggestions and creative ideas. Or, perhaps you like to be the person who takes the lead on executing ideas that others come up with. Be true to yourself expressing what role you typically took in a team setting. Here is an answer example: 18. Describe a situation in which you received instructions with which you disagreed. The interviewer wants to hear that you work for the betterment of the organization while respecting your company's leadership. Think about a time a decision was made that you disagreed with yet you had a positive reaction. Tell the interviewer the instructions you were given and explain why you disagreed with the instructions. Next, describe your positive response. Did you simply comply with the instructions because you wanted to respect your leadership team? Did you mention key information that the person may not have thought of before giving you the instructions that made the person change their mind? Be sure to mention that being a team player is key, and there are times when you just go with the flow of leadership's direction, and there are times when you need to speak up with key information that others may not have thought about. Here is an answer example: 19. What have you done at your present/last company to increase revenues, reduce costs, or save time? Interviewers love hearing that you help the organization achieve a better bottom line whether it is through dollars or time saved to get more work accomplished. Think about how your actions have impacted the organization's bottom line recently. What have you done to create a better bottom line? Did an idea you had recently get implemented which resulted in cost savings? Did you come up with a new promotional strategy that increased revenues for your company? Or, maybe you found a way to make a process more efficient saving your company time! Here is an answer example: 20. How do you handle stressful situations? The interviewer is really looking for past experiences that you have been in that have been stressful. They want to get to know your background better. Highlight these examples, tell them how you remained calm, and held your composure. Tell the interviewer what you learned from those experiences. A good example, when you have been in stressful situations, you have found its best to remain calm so you can think through any challenges that you are facing. Try to think of these examples before the interview, because this is a very common interview question and may likely be asked. Here is an answer example: 21. What are the most challenging aspects of your work? An interviewer wants to hear that your work is challenging because having a challenge often helps keep employees engaged. What is the most challenging aspect of your work? Is there one specific task that is challenging? Or, is it staying on top of a very busy workload? Go ahead and share your greatest challenge! Here is an answer example: 22. Do you work well under pressure? Yes, I do! A Junior Accountant's job is filled with meeting endless expectations of internal & external customers, and the interviewer wants to hear that you thrive under this pressure. Tell the interviewer that the pressure of the industry motivates you, and you like knowing that you have an opportunity to thrive in pressure-filled situations. Here is an answer example: 23. Take me through your latest budget preparation. Begin by telling the interviewer what your latest budget preparation was for. Was it for a large project? Or, was it a year-end budget? Share how large of a budget you were working with. In many cases, you will not be able to disclose exact amounts for confidentiality reasons, and that is okay! Instead, ballpark the number using phrases like 'tens of thousands' or 'hundreds of millions' to define your budget framework for the interviewer. Share how you determined where the money will be spent, who approved the budget, and how the budget is tracked against actual spending. Here is an answer example: 24. Do you have previous experience as an accountant? The interviewer wants to learn about any accounting background that you have. Did you complete an internship? How about a job shadowing experience? Did you previously work with A/R or A/P? All of these make great examples! Share any accounting related experience that you have mentioning where you worked, your role, and how long you were a part of the team. If you are a recent graduate with no official experience, that is okay too! Tell the interviewer that you recently graduated, and share any large accounting projects you worked on during your collegiate studies. Here is an answer example: 25. Tell me how you reacted when someone elses errors were impacting negatively on your job. Interviewers are hoping to hear that you react positively as a team player during times when you are impacted by another person's errors. Think about a time this happened to you, and you had a pleasant reaction. Tell the interviewer what error the other person made, and discuss how the error impacted you. Next, tell the interviewer that mistakes happen, and you just did what needed to be done to ensure everything was correct on your end. Here is an answer example: 26. What has been the most significant decision you made at work this year? What decision led to the biggest payoff? What decision had the impact on the largest number of people? What decision led to a culture change or major process change? These questions will help lead you to determine your most significant decision in the past year. Once you know your most significant decision, provide the interviewer with an overview of the decision you had to make. Discuss why the decision needed to be made, the pros and cons of a few possible outcomes, and what decision you ultimately made. Next, share how your decision played out highlighting the positive results from the decision you made. Here is an answer example: 27. How have you managed potential payment problems with your customers? The interviewer wants to hear that you hold your customers accountable for payments while remaining positive and professional when working through payment problems. A great example of this scenario is an excellent long standing customer who simply made a mistake with a payment at one point in time. Give the interviewer a high-level overview of a time when you had a payment issue with a customer. Define the problem, and share how you realized there was an issue. If the customer was a long standing excellent customer, be sure to mention that you have worked with this customer many times in the past and there was never a mistake before. You knew the customer had good intentions, and it was probably an honest mistake on their part. Next, share how you responded to the situation by courteously addressing the situation with the customer to resolve the issue. Be sure to mention that most customers are wonderful about their payments, and the challenging ones are few and far between. Share that you focus on the good customers and happily work through any bumps in the road that occur along the way! Here is an answer example: 28. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Interviewers want to hear that you will be in the accounting field still working for the same company! Tell the interviewer that you see yourself actively engaged within the field. Explain how you hope you have grown professionally, and mention that you see yourself having continued to create a positive career path within the organization. You may even mention if you hope to have received a promotion by the five-year mark! Here is an answer example: 29. How did you maintain confidentiality when managing information? Easy! You just don't talk about things that others do not need to know about! Interviewers need to hear that maintaining confidentiality is easy for you. Share that maintaining confidentiality is of the utmost importance, and you just don't share things that others do not need to know about. Additionally, share that you ensure papers are turned over on your desk when you are away to add protection from wandering eyes. Mention if you lock your filing cabinet drawers. Discuss if you lock your office door each night. And, mention if you use a screen cover to keep others from being able to read your computer monitor. Here is an answer example: 30. Describe a time when you helped reduce costs. You might have helped save costs in all sorts of ways! Did you notice a common key expense that could be reduced while completing your accounting work? Do you participate in a company committee where you helped save money? Did you come up with a great idea to save the company money on a holiday party? Or, maybe you are just starting out your career, but you have helped reduce your family's grocery bill by putting your accounting knowledge to work creating a budget. The interviewer's goal is to determine if you are a cost conscious person, so go ahead and share one example of a time you helped reduce costs or save money! Here is an answer example: 31. What makes you a great fit for this position? The key is in the job description! Before arriving for your interview, we encourage you to review the job description the company posted when you applied for the job. Take note of the Qualifications section. What is the company looking for? These things will make up your answer! Simply list off the qualifications that you possess! For example, you might state, "I have an excellent eye for details. One of my college professors commented that I never seem to make any errors!" Here is an answer example: "I have an excellent eye for details. One of my college professors commented that I never seem to make any errors!"
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