Provide the steps you took or would take to ensure the success of a project.
"I use a strategic approach by anticipating, and keeping track of, all upcoming expenses. I keep a record of all receipts and update my reports on a regular basis to ensure the most up-to-date information is easily accessible, enabling me to be prepared should an unanticipated expense be required."
Tell the interviewer about the tools you use to keep track of the duties of your team members to ensure you are always on track.
"I use a combination of staff folders, to-do lists and reminders to be reminded of deadlines and meetings I need to have with my team to ensure everyone is on track and that we are meeting deadlines."
Answer this question by mentioning all degrees granted and the years of obtention.
"I received my Bachelor's degree in Accounting from UCLA in December 2011, and my MBA from McGill University in April 2016."
This answer provides information as to your conflict resolution skills. Answer this question by outlining how you would take your colleagues points of view into consideration while respectfully expressing your position. It is important to always remain respectful notwithstanding the disputes and always keep the company's best interests in mind.
"I would listen to my colleagues to take their position into consideration, and would then politely explain my own position. The goal is for all team members to feel they are being heard, that they matter, and for the dispute to be resolved in a timely fashion."
Provide an honest answer and do not hesitate to mention you would be open to eventually moving up the ladder should the opportunity arise, i.e., that growth opportunities will be more than welcome. This will demonstrate you have leadership skills, a willingness to learn beyond your original job scope, and a desire to commit to your employer.
"I see myself working for the same employer, being established and having grown with the organization and contribute to the bottom line. I hope to keep learning and being given the opportunity to prove myself as a valuable team member."
Answer by emphasizing your greatest strengths against the advertised position. What do you pride yourself on the most? Which strengths will be, in your opinion, most beneficial to this role? Which will contribute to the company's success? Which strengths make you indispensable?
"I am a hard worker who does not hesitate to go above and beyond to ensure successful completion of projects, and I am more than willing to take on duties beyond my original job scope. I sincerely believe the company's success is my success."
Answer this question by providing your strongest areas in accounting and the ones you are the most passionate about, and why.
"The areas of accounting I consider my strongest are [X areas], as I have had a lot of experience in these areas in my last position at [X company] as an [X last position title]. As you can see on my resume, I was responsible for [X duties related to strongest areas]. I am also very passionate about [X areas of accounting]; I studied these areas thoroughly in school and these are some I would really like to gain further experience in."
Tell the interviewer your greatest weakness which can nevertheless benefit you in this position.
"I am sometimes overly independent and incredibly meticulous as I am used to completing projects on my own instead of delegating them, to complete them in a quicker fashion. But I came to realize that I am working as part of a team of highly educated individuals who are as capable as I am and whose perspective can be greatly valuable. As such, I try to seek my colleagues' input as much as possible as we are all working to benefit the company."
It is important to remain calm, polite and respectful towards the client notwithstanding the difficulty of the situation and your frustration, and to always act as a professional representative of the company. Tell the interviewer that you know you ought to answer clients to the best of your ability, and should you be unable to completely resolve the situation, the best course of action is to forward this client to a superior.
"While working at a call center during my undergraduate studies, a client called me when I was working overtime and my superior was out of the office. He was very frustrated because he couldn't access his emails through his company portal. I did my best to listen to him, let him vent and acknowledge his problem. I helped him to the best of my abilities, based upon the training I had received, and when I realized I was not in a position to resolve his issue, I tried to reach out to some of my colleagues to see whether they had encountered such issue. Ultimately, I explained to the client a supervisor would be in touch with him first thing Monday morning, and provided my extension for him to contact me should he not hear back in a timely fashion. I always ensure to remain respectful even if the clients are extremely frustrated and to take their problems seriously. I also always follow up to ensure their issues have been resolved and that they are satisfied with the services received."
Answer this question by providing information as to your organizational and project management skills.
"I always keep all relevant information pertaining to each employee up-to-date, including charts for each employee and detailed information pertaining to their related projects, and I generate and save new reports on a weekly basis. In that particular case, I would generate an up-to-date report including the projects the employee has worked on, for a given period of time, and gather the relevant documentation I had already saved."
Your answer must provide information as to your time management skills and ability to work under pressure. Answer this question by giving an example of a project which you have demonstrated your ability to prioritize, manage your time and go above and beyond to ensure successful project completion. What did you do differently? Did you delegate? Did you work longer hours? Do you enjoy working on such projects?
"I completed [X project] in one week even though I had a 2-week timeline. I managed to do so by prioritizing - by identifying which other duties part of my workload were less pressing so as to delegate these duties. I was then able to completely focus on this project and did not hesitate to stay after hours when necessary. I am someone who thrives on challenges and this was a very rewarding project."
Provide an answer outlining your team-playing and dispute resolution skills.
"I would suggest to my colleagues that we meet so as to present to each other evidence of the material costs for each of us. I would sit down with all parties involved and respectfully listen to what my other team members have to say in that regard. I would then provide my own evidence related to the material costs so that we can efficiently resolve this dispute while we are all face-to-face. It is better to discuss in person than via emails to minimize any miscommunication and quickly resolve all issues so as to move on to the next project."
Answer this question by providing evidence of your time management skills.
"I frequently work on multiple projects simultaneously, which I throughly enjoy. To make sure I meet deadlines, I identify the most pressing project and use to-do lists and a calendar to keep track of all upcoming duties and important events. I review my list every morning and at the end of each day to ensure the duties assigned were completed in a successful fashion. I also do not hesitate to work overtime if necessary."
The interviewer wants to ensure you keep yourself updated of changes in the industry to remain current, highly knowledgeable and at the top of your field.
"I follow [X organizations] on social media, subscribe to [X newsletters/publications] and attend conferences and seminars, such as [X]."
Provide an answer as to the definition, purpose of an audit query and example of a query in a given situation.
Provide an answer as to the reasons that led you to pursue a career in accounting, and link this answer to the position you are applying for - so as to demonstrate your chosen career field/original career goal is in line with this role.
"I decided to pursue a career in accounting because I [X reasons for pursuing that career, such as loving numbers and opportunity to independently manage accounts]. I sincerely feel the position I applied for is a perfect fit as I will be solely responsible for the success of the project and will be able to use my accounting skills and love of numbers on a daily basis."
Provide an overview of your professional experience while putting emphasis on your accounting experience as per the advertised position, proving you indeed have the qualifications required for this position. Review the job description before your interview and answer this question by selecting some of the main duties on the posting and telling the interviewer you have performed these duties in the past, when and how.
"I pursued a Bachelor's degree in Accounting at UCLA and upon graduation I worked as an Accounting Intern for [X company] where I was responsible for [X accounting duties ]. Since this internship, I have gained considerable accounting experience working for [X company] where I managed [X accounting duties] and for [X company] where I was responsible for [X accounting duties]. These are some of the reasons I believe I am a perfect fit for your position."
Provide an answer that provides an accurate representation of your unwavering commitment and enthusiasm for work spanning several years, as well as the ongoing provision of high quality work.
"At [X company], I was responsible for the management of all related duties pertaining to [X project] over a 3-year period. I thoroughly enjoyed working on such long-term project as it enabled me to completely immerse myself and become the number one expert in all company matters. I furthermore enjoyed the strong relationship established with the client and was grateful for the level of trust he had in me and my work. I ensured to never take my duties for granted, always conducting my due diligence on a regular basis and making sure I learned all current and upcoming areas relevant to the project."
Answer this question honestly to the best of your ability as this pertains to a specific area of the employment opportunity. If you are inexperienced in that area, say so by putting emphasis on your desire to learn and willingness to train.
"I have not implemented tax changes in any company, however I am a quick learner and am more than willing to receive training in any area requiring advanced knowledge as my employer will deem necessary."
Tell the interviewer about your experience with a difficult superior and how you handled the situation.
"I once worked with a superior who did not provide any timeline for the projects he assigned to me, yet became extremely agitated when I did not deliver within a few hours. As I had no idea he had such timelines in mind, I requested a meeting with him to tell him about my concerns and that I can absolutely adjust to tight deadlines, however I require prior adequate notice so that I can organize my days accordingly and delegate other duties if necessary - and that I cannot anticipate he would want something done right away upon receipt. He told me he did not realize he had provided unclear instructions and promised to be more clear in the future, which he were."
Tell the interviewer whether you are planning to obtain your master's degree. If so, and should you plan on pursuing it on a part-time basis, tell the interviewer by saying it will not interfere with your work and that you will remain committed to the employer.
"I am planning to obtain my master's degree effective Fall 2017, however on a part-time basis. I applied for your advertised position as I am serious about this role and sincerely believe it is the one that will meet my professional goals. Pursuing my master's degree will not interfere with my commitment to you as I will be attending classes and studying on a part-time basis in the evening and over the weekend."
Tell the interviewer about the largest portfolio you have been responsible for in your career, particularly as it pertains to the role you are applying for, in this case project accounting so as to demonstrate you already have the skills required for this role. If you cannot provide an example in a project accounting capacity, answer by mentioning a portfolio managed in another capacity to prove your skills will be transferable. In this case, provide more than one example to ensure the interviewer will have no doubt you can do the job.
"I do not have experience managing portfolios in accounting projects, however, I have managed numerous portfolios in my career. For example, at [X company], I worked as an [X position title] and I was responsible for managing portfolios worth [X$]. I also managed a portfolio worth [X$] for [X company name] and [X$] for [X company name]."
Tell the interviewer whether you already received any of these designations and when, or when you will be receiving them.
"The expected obtention date for my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation is [X month and X year]."
Tell the interviewer about a project that you worked on, and which went over budget, if that applies to you. Provide examples of what you did to manage the situation. In the event this never happened to you, tell the interviewer what you did to stay within budget.
"I have never had to manage a project that went over budget as I always do my best to anticipate future expenses. However I realize unforeseen circumstances can occur. It is why I attempt to take unanticipated expenses into account when strategically calculating upcoming costs so as to be able to cover these expenses right away."
Tell the interviewer your career goals in 5 years from now, e.g., where you see yourself, the position you would like to hold, whether you would be interested in keeping the same position for the long term, and so on. Answer by emphasizing your desire to commit to one employer and grow within the organization. This will demonstrate your commitment to one organization and that you will not leave for a better opportunity.
"In 5 years, I hope to have grown within the same company and moved to a position involving more managerial duties, e.g., such as working as a Team Leader, which will enable me to have a greater impact on the success of the company. I wish to commit to one employer and have a long-term career as opposed to a job."
Honestly rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10. Should you not be proficient in a certain area, tell the interviewer you love to learn and are more than willing to undertake training. Always provide a truthful answer.
"For Quickbooks, I would rate myself 10/10, 8/9 for Sage and 8 1/2 for Simply Accounting."
Tell the interviewer your greatest strengths which will benefit you in this position specifically.
"I am a quick learner, a hard worker and I am incredibly persistent. I do not hesitate to go above and beyond to get the work done, and I am more than available to work after hours if necessary to meet deadlines."
Tell the interviewer a few strategies to improve the communication channels within a team. The emphasis should be on human contact, i.e., meeting fave-to-face as opposed to exchanging endless emails or using other impersonal mediums.
"I prefer meeting in person to talk about a project as opposed to exchanging back-and-forth emails to ensure the exchange of a clear message. Communication can easily be distorted in an email. An in-person meeting also enables the sharing of ideas and promotes true human interactions. However, if I absolutely have to communicate via email, I will do so and then follow up over the phone or in-person to ensure that the recipient understands my message and that we really are on the same page - and that we won't have to start all over again."
Project accounting (sometimes referred to as job cost accounting) is the practice of creating financial reports specifically designed to track the financial progress of projects, which can then be used by managers to aid project management.