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Senior Auditor Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Senior Auditor interview, here are 25 interview questions and answer examples.

Senior Auditor was written by and published on January 4th, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 25

What qualities or skills do you believe a good auditor should possess?

How to Answer

This question is a good opportunity to show you have an understanding of what qualities make a good auditor. Some key areas to hit are ethics (honesty/integrity), ability to interact with colleagues and clients (communication skills, people person), ability to limit mistakes (focused/attention to detail) and ability to get to the correct answer (skeptical/inquisitive/problem solver).

Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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25 Senior Auditor Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1. What qualities or skills do you believe a good auditor should possess?

      How to Answer

      This question is a good opportunity to show you have an understanding of what qualities make a good auditor. Some key areas to hit are ethics (honesty/integrity), ability to interact with colleagues and clients (communication skills, people person), ability to limit mistakes (focused/attention to detail) and ability to get to the correct answer (skeptical/inquisitive/problem solver).

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "First and foremost, I believe an auditor should be honest and have great integrity. Without this, it will be impossible for the person to perform the role effectively. Next, the auditor should have the education and technical skills to perform the job. They should have exceptional people skills as they will be required to communicate effectively with colleagues, clients and other parties. Finally, they should have an inquisitive mind and a keen attention to detail."

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

      Community Answer

      "A good auditor should possess professional skepticism at all times, a critical and analytically thinking mind. Organizational skills are of utmost importance as auditors have to always perform under stringent deadlines and within timeframe budgets. Hence being able to prioritize tasks is key for the auditor on any engagement. Good research skills and working to maintain client relationships is an important quality to have."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Cindy Ramsey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Cindy Ramsey Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great, now explain and show examples of how you possess these qualities and skills. This will help convince the interviewer that you're a good fit for the position.

  • Behavioral

    2. How do you manage your manager? In other words, what steps do you take to make sure you get what you need from your boss and make both your lives easier?

      How to Answer

      Also known as 'managing up', 'managing your manager' is a soft skill that can be developed over time. It essentially means doing whatever is necessary to make your manager's job easier. Some clear-cut benefits of managing up include increased productivity and better working relationships between boss and employee.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I am a firm believer in the benefits of managing my manager. At the end of the day, I want to make the internal audit engagements we work on together run as smoothly as possible. One area where I really focus on is communicating and prioritizing workload on a regular basis. This ensures that I'm always working on the highest-priority items. Another thing that is crucial is understanding my manager's style. For example, do they like regular check-ins by email throughout the day, scheduled catch-up meetings, etc. Then I tailor my communication to their style."

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

      Community Answer

      "I feel managing your manager is an art that takes a while to achieve. For me, it is personally very important to build such a relationship with the higher-ups in the team to be able to effectively get the deliverables out. Being able to prioritize my workload and keeping my manager informed about the progress. I gauge my manager's working style to understand what he/she likes. For example, there are some managers who like to get frequent updates or check-ins through emails as to the work in progress. While others are like, get the work done and just manage it yourself. So understanding this style is important. And then I tailor myself to match the particular style. In my previous roles and in my current role as well, my manager calls me his right hand and I feel great to get this appreciation as that boosts my confidence that I am a very important person on the team."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Cindy Ramsey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Cindy Ramsey Reviewed the Above Answer

      Very good! Can you provide some "real-life" examples from your experience rather than relying on hypotheticals? This will help show your approach in action.

  • Behavioral

    3. What are some of the ways that you can show professionalism when out on an audit assignment?

      How to Answer

      In public accounting (as well as many other service-based professions), showing professionalism while interacting with clients is essential. The interviewer is gauging how much awareness the candidate has.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      " It is extremely important to display professionalism when we are out in the field conducting audit procedures at our client's place of business. First and foremost, I know that I must look the part by adhering to the appropriate dress code. For some clients, a suit is appropriate. For others, business casual attire. Secondly, I know I must act professionally. This means speaking respectfully to all personnel, whether it is the company's CFO or a personal assistant. I shouldn't take personal phone calls or play music loudly. As a general rule, I shouldn't do or say anything that would harm our firm's reputation."

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

      Community Answer

      "I would only act in a way that does not jeopardize our firm's reputation. Like wearing formal business attire or maybe business casual if the client's office is more casual. Secondly, not answering personal phone calls if I am in a conversation with someone, be it the CFO or maybe the junior assistant. If I have to answer in an unforeseen emergency situation, I would seek permission from the person I am interacting with to allow a moment to take the phone call. Some simple basic office etiquettes speak a lot about a person and also reflect the firm's respect."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Cindy Ramsey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Cindy Ramsey Reviewed the Above Answer

      Very good. I like your use of examples in your answer.

  • Behavioral

    4. How do you mitigate and manage stress?

      How to Answer

      The life of an auditor can be stressful, with a lot of travel and deadlines The interviewer wants to gain insight into how you react to stressful situations.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Behavioral

    5. How would you handle working in an increasingly remote environment?

      How to Answer

      This is a question to gauge if you are disciplined enough to work from home. Be sure to touch on how you would stay focused and communicate with team members. Even after things return to normal, remote work may continue to be more common across many industries including auditing. Being able to effectively manage your projects with little supervision sets you up to be promoted to management roles in the future.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Behavioral

    6. What is your experience with interacting with senior executives at various organizations?

      How to Answer

      A senior auditor will at times be expected to interact with senior leadership of the firm's clients. Highlight that you not only have experience presenting in front of leadership, but also that you are comfortable doing it. Be specific with what you presented.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Behavioral

    7. Why do you want to work at ABC Public Accountants?

      How to Answer

      This question is an opportunity to show you have done your research on the firm. Be sure to mention some of the firm's biggest clients, as well as some of the industries they specialize in.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Behavioral

    8. Are you open to travel with this position?

      How to Answer

      The topic of travel will almost certainly come up during your interview. Many large firms send their auditors out in the field for a good portion of the year. Even smaller boutique firms require several overnight trips a year. Given this, be prepared to articulate how much travel you are comfortable with (for example, 25%, 50%, etc). Most job descriptions will include the expected amount of travel. The interviewer is gauging whether you are a candidate that is willing and able to meet the travel requirement, so try to align your answer with the expectation of the role.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Behavioral

    9. What would you do if during an audit you found an accounting practice that was suspicious?

      How to Answer

      This is an opportunity to highlight your integrity and honesty. The high-level answer should be obvious - that the concern must be addressed immediately.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Behavioral

    10. How would you deliver excellent customer service to clients in your role as Senior Auditor?

      How to Answer

      Being able to interact and communicate effectively with clients is a key skill for an auditor, and also shows that the candidate possesses the ability to grow into larger roles within the organization such as manager and director. Setting a good example for more junior staff is a key responsibility of a senior auditor.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Behavioral

    11. As a Senior Auditor, what are some steps you can take to guide new staff when out on client engagements?

      How to Answer

      Even though Senior Auditor is not a manager-level position, the interviewer wants to know if you have management skills. Some examples include providing on the job training and serving as a liaison between the Audit Manager and the junior staff.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Behavioral

    12. Why do you want to be a Senior Auditor?

      How to Answer

      This question is a way for the interviewer to find out a little bit about what makes you tick. Be honest and direct - don't give a phony answer that the interviewer will see through. Try to tie the roles and responsibilities of an auditor to your background.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Technical

    13. Explain how the Sarbanes-Oxley Act changed the auditing profession.

      How to Answer

      The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is major legislation passed in 2002 that substantially changed the accounting and auditing professions. It was enacted in response to major fraud scandals such as Enron and WorldCom. The interviewee should know the Act in detail as it is a key driver of the profession, but a summary here will suffice.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Technical

    14. As external auditors, how can we rely on the work of internal auditors?

      How to Answer

      As part of their responsibilities, internal auditors document policies and procedures. In some cases, external audit firms can rely on the work of the internal audit team in conducting the financial statement audit.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Technical

    15. How do you feel your experience as a Staff Auditor has prepared you for the Senior Auditor role?

      How to Answer

      Be sure to highlight the different areas you were exposed to as a Staff Auditor. To not sound like a 'know it all', make sure to acknowledge that there is still plenty to learn once you have been hired.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Technical

    16. What are the differences between an audit, a review and a compilation?

      How to Answer

      Audits, reviews and compilations are the three main types of engagements an auditor will perform. Being able to articulate the differences between these services is essential. Conversely, not being able to state the differences could be a disqualifier from the role you are interviewing for.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Technical

    17. What is the purpose of audit documentation?

      How to Answer

      This is a technical question to see if you are able to articulate the information that is gathered in the field to support the audit. According to auditing standards (pronouncement AU-C Section 230), the two primary purposes of audit documentation are 1) to provide evidence to support the auditor's conclusion and 2) to provide evidence that the audit was planned and performed appropriately.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Technical

    18. Have you sat for the CPA exam or are you planning to sit for the CPA exam?

      How to Answer

      Obtaining a CPA license is a major step an auditor can take to show they are committed to growing in the accounting profession. These days, many students are able to sit for the CPA exam before they graduate. For many firms, a CPA license is a prerequisite to advance to a Senior Auditor position.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Technical

    19. How do you keep up with the latest developments in auditing standards?

      How to Answer

      This question is to see if you take the initiative to stay current on the latest accounting developments. If you are a CPA, talk about how you use mandatory continuing education requirements to stay up to date on the latest trends and regulations.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Technical

    20. What is the difference between fraud and error?

      How to Answer

      This is a technical topic covered in the auditing standards under AU-C Section 240. The key difference between fraud and error is that the former is intentional and the latter is unintentional. There are two main types of fraud that an internal auditor should be concerned with: fraudulent reporting and misappropriation of assets (ie theft).

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Technical

    21. Why do companies require audits?

      How to Answer

      This question tests your understanding of the audit process beyond just the basic technical aspects.. Being able to answer this question shows you have a firm understanding of one of the basics of the profession.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Technical

    22. In an audit, who is primarily responsible for the prevention and detection of fraud?

      How to Answer

      According to auditing pronouncement AU-C Section 240, a company's management is primarily responsible for detecting fraud and preventing it in the first place by having effective internal controls. An auditor must conduct an audit in accordance with GAAS (generally accepted auditing standards). However, given the limitations of an audit, there is an inherent risk that not all material misstatements will be detected.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Technical

    23. What is the auditor's responsibility when planning an audit?

      How to Answer

      Auditing standard AU-C Section 300 Planning an Audit covers what the auditor's responsibility is during the planning phase of the audit. The engagement partner and other key members of the audit team should be involved. As a staff auditor, you will be heavily involved in the planning process, so it's important to brush up on the requirements detailed in the standard.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Technical

    24. In your opinion, why is it important for organizations to have effective internal controls?

      How to Answer

      Internal controls are rules, regulations and safeguards that an organization puts in place to ensure integrity of financial information and to prevent fraud. There are several benefits to having robust and effective internal controls, including preventing fraud/theft, improving accuracy of financial reporting, and complying with laws and regulations.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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  • Technical

    25. What are analytical procedures and what are some examples?

      How to Answer

      Analytical procedures are techniques and methods that auditors use to obtain audit evidence which allows them to express an audit opinion. The five main types of analytical procedures are analytical review, inquiry, observation, inspection and recalculation.

      Written by Brian Schuchart on January 4th, 2021

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