Interviews for accounting job candidates have changed over the years. Instead of asking questions almost exclusively related to know-how, employers now often integrate a series of "behavioral" questions. These questions are usually very different in pitch, focus and purpose from typical accounting-related skills questions. Understanding the difference and preparing for the two types of questions ensures that you are going to make a good professional impression.
Job Accounting Interview
Common Accounting Questions
Favorite questions focus on knowledge of and preparation of accounting reports, understanding and improvement of typical accounting applications, internal control procedures and cost containment systems. Since the late 1980s, interviews have often contained issues relating to forensic accounting techniques and procedures, if appropriate for the title of the work. Be prepared for job-specific questions that directly test your technical responses to the job functions you are expected to perform. For cost accounting jobs, you are likely to be asked about inventories, transportation, on-the-job processing, and direct / indirect cost evaluation.
Purpose of behavioral questions
Behavioral questions attempt to help the interviewer learn how the candidate could "fit in" to the company. Employers often emphasize the importance of the company culture playing on the overall performance of the organization. Behavioral questions focus on the possible actions that the candidate can take when faced with different job situations. Their answers indicate how they had behaved in these situations. The interviewers then interpret and evaluate this behavior in light of the job requirements, existing policies and procedures, and personnel in the department in which the candidate was to function.
Typical behavioral questions
Favorite questions include asking the candidate to expose their strengths and weaknesses with accounting skills and coping with co-workers; career goals; How they see their career progress to date; And how they might behave when others make mistakes, deadlines, or poor quality work, all of which affect their accountability performance. Other common behavioral questions often refer to ethical issues and workplace reactions of the candidates to pure accounting problems.
Prepare thoroughly for both types of questions. Anticipate the type of questions related to the skill that should specifically relate to the job offer creating the interview. Regardless of the complexity or advanced skills needed for the specific job, make sure you have smart answers for the basic accounting skills that are also needed. Anticipate possible behavioral questions and prepare yourself to respond to this type of question, both carefully and positively. Experienced interviewers are increasingly efficient at "reading between the lines" of responses to behavioral questions. Only be honest and respond with a reasonable expectation that your behavior in these workplaces and hypothetical situations related to accounting.