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Project Accountant Interview
Questions

31 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 30th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Careers     Business    
Question 1 of 31
How will working for us help you reach your professional goals?
View Answer
How to Answer
Answer this question by telling the interviewer what seems great about the company, e.g., their services, initiatives, growth opportunities, and so on.

Make sure to answer by providing evidence that you did your due diligence before the interview (e.g., by mentioning something exciting you saw on the job posting, company website or social media pages), which demonstrates you are serious about working for this employer specifically and are not simply looking for any job. Link this evidence to your professional goals proving this position was made for you and it is one in which you will excel.

For instance, you can point to their seemingly friendly company culture as per some specific programs or initiatives you came across on their website, and say how friendly and how much of a team-player you are - and that this is exactly the type of work environment you are looking for.
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1.
How will working for us help you reach your professional goals?
Answer this question by telling the interviewer what seems great about the company, e.g., their services, initiatives, growth opportunities, and so on.

Make sure to answer by providing evidence that you did your due diligence before the interview (e.g., by mentioning something exciting you saw on the job posting, company website or social media pages), which demonstrates you are serious about working for this employer specifically and are not simply looking for any job. Link this evidence to your professional goals proving this position was made for you and it is one in which you will excel.

For instance, you can point to their seemingly friendly company culture as per some specific programs or initiatives you came across on their website, and say how friendly and how much of a team-player you are - and that this is exactly the type of work environment you are looking for.

Rachelle's Answer
"I saw on your website that your company is participating in the Run for the Cure benefiting the Breast Cancer Foundation. This is a great initiative contributing to the company morale by strengthening relationships while giving back to the community. I always seek the opportunity to demonstrate my team playing skills and hope to work with colleagues I will consider part of my family."
2.
Are you planning to obtain your masters' degree (where applicable, i.e., if not already listed on your resume)?
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.

Rachelle's Answer
"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."
3.
What areas of accounting do you consider your strongest and which ones are you the most passionate about?
Answer this question by providing your strongest areas in accounting and the ones you are the most passionate about, and why.

Rachelle's Answer
"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."
4.
How would you handle disputes with other employees in different departments about costs?
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.

Rachelle's Answer
"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."
5.
Have you ever worked on a project that lasted multiple years?
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.

Rachelle's Answer
"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."
6.
Tell me about your experience with a difficult superior. How did you handle the situation?
Tell the interviewer about your experience with a difficult superior and how you handled the situation.

Rachelle's Answer
"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."
7.
How have you monitored, or would you monitor, the performance of your team?
Tell the interviewer what you have done or would do to monitor and ensure your team's performance.

Rachelle's Answer
"I haven't monitored the performance of any team, however, I would meet up with them on a regular basis to ensure they are meeting all expectations, and would conduct performance reviews should expectations not be met. The performance reviews would address areas needing improvement and a timeline for the employee to prove himself, at which date I would meet with him/her again to assess his/her improvement."
8.
What differentiates you from other accountants?
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?

Rachelle's Answer
"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."
9.
Provide an example of a project you had to complete in a short period of time, and what you did (alternatively, would do) to successfully complete the project in a timely fashion.
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?

Rachelle's Answer
"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."
10.
Tell me about yourself generally and your accounting experience specifically.
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.

Rachelle's Answer
"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."
11.
How have you implemented the recent tax changes in your company?
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.

Rachelle's Answer
"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."
12.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in accounting?
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.

Rachelle's Answer
"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."
13.
To confirm I have the most updated copy of your resume in hand, please confirm your highest degrees granted and the years of obtention.
Answer this question by mentioning all degrees granted and the years of obtention.

Rachelle's Answer
"I received my Bachelor's degree in Accounting from UCLA in December 2011, and my MBA from McGill University in April 2016."
14.
Describe the systems you have in place for keeping track of assignments given to staff members.
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.

Rachelle's Answer
"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."
15.
How do you stay organized as an accountant?
Tell the interviewer about your organizational skills as it pertains to the position you are applying for.

Rachelle's Answer
"I use to-do lists to keep track of my duties for the day, and prepare to-do lists for the following day each afternoon before leaving for the day. I also set reminders to be reminded of important meetings and deadlines."
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31 Project Accountant Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. How will working for us help you reach your professional goals?
  2. Are you planning to obtain your masters' degree (where applicable, i.e., if not already listed on your resume)?
  3. What areas of accounting do you consider your strongest and which ones are you the most passionate about?
  4. How would you handle disputes with other employees in different departments about costs?
  5. Have you ever worked on a project that lasted multiple years?
  6. Tell me about your experience with a difficult superior. How did you handle the situation?
  7. How have you monitored, or would you monitor, the performance of your team?
  8. What differentiates you from other accountants?
  9. Provide an example of a project you had to complete in a short period of time, and what you did (alternatively, would do) to successfully complete the project in a timely fashion.
  10. Tell me about yourself generally and your accounting experience specifically.
  11. How have you implemented the recent tax changes in your company?
  12. Why did you choose to pursue a career in accounting?
  13. To confirm I have the most updated copy of your resume in hand, please confirm your highest degrees granted and the years of obtention.
  14. Describe the systems you have in place for keeping track of assignments given to staff members.
  15. How do you stay organized as an accountant?
  16. What steps do you take to keep a project within budget?
  17. Where do you see yourself in 2 to 3 years from now, or where would you like to be?
  18. How do you determine accurate labor costs for a particular employee that has worked on several projects?
  19. Please provide an example of a situation you were in with a difficult and/or dissatisfied client and how you resolved the situation.
  20. Tell me what your greatest weakness is, and what you are doing to improve yourself in that area.
  21. How do you prioritize when you have multiple deadlines to meet?
  22. What is an audit query?
  23. How would you come to a resolution disputing material costs for a project that you shared materials with?
  24. How do you stay on top of regulation changes in the financial industry?
  25. What do you do to improve the communication channels within a team?
  26. What is the largest portfolio you have been responsible for, preferably in a project accounting capacity?
  27. Please confirm when you received your Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation, or alternately when you plan on receiving one of these designations.
  28. Tell me whether you ever had a project go over budget, and how you managed the situation.
  29. Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now, or where would you like to be?
  30. On a scale of 1 to 10, rate your proficiency level with respect to Quickbooks, Sage and Simply Accounting.
  31. Please tell me a few of your greatest strengths.
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