How have you monitored, or would you monitor, the performance of your team?
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Tell the interviewer what you have done or would do to monitor and ensure your team's performance.
"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."
Tell the interviewer about your organizational skills as it pertains to the position you are applying for.
"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."
How will working for us help you reach your professional goals?
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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.
"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."
6. What steps do you take to keep a project within budget? Provide the steps you took or would take to ensure the success of a project. Here is an answer example: "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."7. 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. Here is an answer example: "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."8. Where do you see yourself in 2 to 3 years from now, or where would you like to be? 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. Here is an answer example: "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."9. 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? Here is an answer example: "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."10. 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. Here is an answer example: "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."11. How do you determine accurate labor costs for a particular employee that has worked on several projects? Answer this question by providing information as to your organizational and project management skills. Here is an answer example: "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."12. Please provide an example of a situation you were in with a difficult and/or dissatisfied client and how you resolved the situation. 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. Here is an answer example: "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."13. Tell me what your greatest weakness is, and what you are doing to improve yourself in that area. Tell the interviewer your greatest weakness which can nevertheless benefit you in this position. Here is an answer example: "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."14. 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? Here is an answer example: "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."15. How do you prioritize when you have multiple deadlines to meet? Answer this question by providing evidence of your time management skills. Here is an answer example: "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."16. What is an audit query? Provide an answer as to the definition, purpose of an audit query and example of a query in a given situation. Here is an answer example: "17. How would you come to a resolution disputing material costs for a project that you shared materials with? Provide an answer outlining your team-playing and dispute resolution skills. Here is an answer example: "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."18. How do you stay on top of regulation changes in the financial industry? 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. Here is an answer example: "I follow [X organizations] on social media, subscribe to [X newsletters/publications] and attend conferences and seminars, such as [X]."19. 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. Here is an answer example: "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."20. 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. Here is an answer example: "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."21. 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. Here is an answer example: "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."22. What do you do to improve the communication channels within a team? 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. Here is an answer example: "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."23. 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. Here is an answer example: "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."24. 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. Here is an answer example: "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."25. What is the largest portfolio you have been responsible for, preferably in a project accounting capacity? 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. Here is an answer example: "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]."26. 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. Tell the interviewer whether you already received any of these designations and when, or when you will be receiving them. Here is an answer example: "The expected obtention date for my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation is [X month and X year]."27. Tell me whether you ever had a project go over budget, and how you managed the situation. 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. Here is an answer example: "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."28. Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now, or where would you like to be? 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. Here is an answer example: "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."29. On a scale of 1 to 10, rate your proficiency level with respect to Quickbooks, Sage and Simply Accounting. 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. Here is an answer example: "For Quickbooks, I would rate myself 10/10, 8/9 for Sage and 8 1/2 for Simply Accounting."30. 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. Here is an answer example: "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."31. Please tell me a few of your greatest strengths. Tell the interviewer your greatest strengths which will benefit you in this position specifically. Here is an answer example: "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."
Author of Project Accountant Answers and Questions
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace.
Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career.
Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise.
Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
First written on: 09/24/2010 Last modified on: 08/30/2018
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