Accounts Position Interview Questions

How to Prepare for an Accountant Interview

There are two sides to this, just as there are two sides to the interview – the interviewer and the interviewee. Let’s look at both – not just to be thorough, but to see all sides of this interview process.

  • Accountant interviewer. If this is new territory for you, brushing up on basic accounting terms is a great way to prepare. It gets you in the right mindset, and it helps you understand what you’re asking and what’s being answered. But there is more you can do.
    • Learn accounting terms
    • Know what software your company prefers
    • Understand the company’s financial position
    • Know the company’s future financial goals
    • Be up to date on industry trends and current economic realities
    • Get specifics regarding the interviewee’s past accounting experience (look for companies that align with yours in the interviewee’s employment background)
    • Familiarize yourself with the candidate’s resume and cover letter – do any questions come to you immediately?
    • Create an outline for yourself, so you don’t miss anything
  • Accountant interviewee. It’s time to get that accounting job offer. You’re at the last hurdle, the interview. Now you need to make that great first impression in person and wow them with your skills, honesty, integrity, and willingness to learn.
    • Reread the job description
    • Research the company and learn all you can about their financial situation
    • Be confident in your abilities and even more reassuring about ones you don’t yet have but are willing to learn
    • Reflect on past experiences and have some anecdotes ready
    • You know they’re going to ask about your strengths and weaknesses, so don’t be surprised by this – be prepared
    • Come with a list of your accreditations and the software you’ve worked with
    • Prepare a 30-60-90 day plan for your onboarding and share it with the hiring manager
    • Stay up to date on accounting trends in the industry you’re applying to work in
  • Define and explain the three financial statements.

    The three types of financial statements are balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements. These statements are a big part of every accountant’s job — reading and interpreting or creating them.

    Your answer should include the purpose of each statement and what each statement shows. For example:

  • Balance sheets show liabilities, assets, and shareholder equity. A balance sheet shows a company’s financial position at a given moment. Assets should be equal to liabilities and shareholder equity, or, in other words, balanced.
  • Income statements are typically quarterly or annual reports that break down a company’s operations. This statement shows a company’s revenue, expenses, and taxes, resulting in the net income or profit.
  • Cash flow statements show a more detailed overview of a company’s incoming and outgoing cash than the income statement. This statement is useful for determining if a company can continue paying its bills and invest in growth down the line.
  • What is the difference between accounts payable and accounts receivable?

    Accounts receivable are assets — the company will collect this money in exchange for already sold goods or services. Accounts payable are liabilities — the company owes this money to someone else for goods or services.

    3 most frequently asked accounting interview questions

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