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Senior Accountant Interview

28 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 21st, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 28
What qualifies you for this position, and why should we hire you?
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How to Answer
Assure the hiring manager that you are the best possible fit for the role by discussing your qualifications, strengths, and what sets you apart from the others.
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Top 25 Senior Accountant Interview Questions with Full Content
What qualifies you for this position, and why should we hire you?
Assure the hiring manager that you are the best possible fit for the role by discussing your qualifications, strengths, and what sets you apart from the others.

Rachelle's Answer
"In addition to meeting all of the educational experience you are asking for, I also have the additional PMP designation which qualifies me to lead accounting based projects for your firm. This is a unique combination and I feel it is just part of what makes me a stand out candidate."
Anonymous Answer
"I have years of experience in various accounting roles. I have always been part of the closing process or being responsible for the closing and doing tasks such as completing the period-end close, monthly balance sheet reconciliations, preparing accurate and timely financial statements, review of financial statements for accuracy."
Rachelle's Answer
It's nice that you offer up the specific tasks that you are experienced in. Be sure they apply to the job description. I also recommend adding in some soft skills so that your response does not begin to sound like you're just listing off accounting tasks.
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Tell me about your experience as an Accountant.
It's best to start at the beginning of your accounting career, and work your way to your most recent position. Talk about any complicated projects you have worked on, who you have supported, and if you have ever led a team.

Rachelle's Answer
"I began my career with company XYZ immediately after graduating with my Bachelor's Degree in Finance. I have worked my up from there to a Senior Accountant role with the same company. I primarily work with corporate accounts but do have experience in personal accounting as well."
Give me an example where you used your skills to bring down costs for a client.
Tell the hiring manager about a time that you have been able to present cost-savings to a client through the utilization of your accounting skills. Walk them through your example, bringing the situation to life for them.

Rachelle's Answer
"I am very proud of my ability to bring down client costs through my very thorough analysis process. Last year I was able to save one of my commercial accounts an additional $3500 per month by taking a much closer look at their expenditures and making recommendations for streamlining."
Do you work well on a team? How do you define teamwork?
As an Accountant, much of your work will likely be independent but some project teamwork will be required. Talk to the hiring manager about your ability to work as part of a team.

Rachelle's Answer
"I am a strong team player and will often take on a leadership role when given the opportunity. To me, teamwork means that everyone ensures that the project is running smoothly by doing their part. On larger projects that require teamwork I feel it is always best to utilize each individuals' strengths and have them feel accountable for their work."
Take me through your latest budget preparation.
Take the hiring manager through your budget preparation steps. Be to the point when giving your answer. If the interviewer would like for you to elaborate on particular steps, they will ask.

Rachelle's Answer
"My latest budget preparation was a very in-depth project. I began by updating the budget assumptions. Then, reviewed any bottlenecks. Next, I determined whether any step costs existed and then created a budget package."
Would you consider yourself a beginner, intermediate or expert user in Excel?
Tell the hiring manager about your level of comfortability with Excel. Have you been tested recently on your Excel abilities? If so, you can certainly talk about that.

Rachelle's Answer
"Recently I was given the opportunity to test my skills in Excel when I was being considered for an opportunity through a placement agency. They tested me on my Excel skills and I came out as an expert level user."
How do you stay organized as an Accountant?
Being organized is very important when you are working with numbers and finance. Discuss with the hiring manager how you are able to remain organized on the job.

Rachelle's Answer
"I stay organized by utilizing all programs provided to me by the firm I currently work for. We use a couple of web based programs that are very easy to use. Also, I ensure that my team meets every day in order to discuss our priorities and upcoming deadlines."
Why did you choose to pursue a career as an Accountant?
Talk to the hiring manager about how you came to choose Accounting as your career path. You can make the answer a bit personal if you wish.

Rachelle's Answer
"Growing up, my father was an Accountant and my mother was a bookkeeper. I always took an interest in problem solving and numbers. Accounting was a natural career for me to pursue."
What is your preferred industry to work in?
Are you a generalist, or do you prefer to be an accountant in a particular industry? Talk to the hiring manager about your industry preference. Be careful not to express interest in an industry that the hiring company does not have work in.

Rachelle's Answer
"I really do prefer corporate accounting within the hospitality industry. I think this is because I am familiar with the industry and find it easier to uncover unique ways for my clients to leverage their money."
Describe to me what qualifications you feel a person applying for this position will need, in order to have the most success?
Tell the hiring manager that you are able to understand the qualifications required to be successful in this position and that you personally possess these qualities.

Rachelle's Answer
"I feel the qualifications required for this role would be a strong mixture of education and experience. You would really benefit from a candidate who has experience working on more complicated corporate financial portfolio's, which I certainly do."
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