Hiring the right accountant for your company is crucial. Selecting the right accounting interview questions and knowing what answers to look for are just two of the challenges in the hiring process. Despite high demand, there is a limited supply of accounting candidates, making the hiring process even more challenging.
Recruiters can help you find the right talent for your accounting openings. But you can also optimize your ability to find the best candidate by knowing which questions to ask during the interview.
The following are the most important accounting interview questions to include.
What Skills Do You Think Accountants Need to Have?
This question lets you confirm that you and the candidate prioritize the same set of skills. That, in turn, implies similar expectations for the role.
Of course, candidates are likely to list skills that they have. As such, this also gives you more information about the candidate.
Tell Me About Your Experience
This is a classic question for interviews, but it is essential. It gives you more insight into the jobs listed on the candidate’s resume.
Get More Specific With these Accounting Interview Questions
Make the question more specific and ask about:
- What types of reports they have generated
- What software they have used
- Whether they’ve presented financial data to coworkers outside of the financial department
This is also a good opportunity to ask questions about specific scenarios such as:
- When they met a tight deadline (and how they did so)
- When they made a mistake (and how they handled it)
- The biggest accounting challenge they solved
Those questions help you understand how the candidate would handle challenging situations.
Why Did You Decide to Work in Finance and Accounting?
This question will give you information about what motivates the candidate. As with any industry, you want to look for candidates truly passionate about accounting and not just in it for the salary. Of course, everyone needs a job, but the best candidate will have a good reason for choosing this profession over others.
Questions to Confirm Their Skills and Knowledge
You should also ask a few questions that confirm the candidate’s accounting skills and knowledge during the interview. For example, you could ask about:
- Differences between accounts payable and accounts receivable
- What needs to be equal in the ledger in double-entry accounting
- The types of special journals
- How many ledgers a company with X bank accounts would need
How Do You Stay Up-to-date on Accounting Rules and Legislation?
It isn’t practical for a single person to stay up-to-date on every single rule and piece of legislation. However, they should make a conscious effort to do so. The best answer will include things such as:
- Attending conferences
- Attending webinars
- Reading accounting publications
- Maintaining memberships in accounting organizations
The above questions should help you find the right person for your accounting role. You will be able to gauge their experience, their priorities, and what skills they have. Of course, you will also want to ask about other topics to encourage a well-rounded interview. At the end of the interview, you want to be confident that they have the skills for the role and will fit into your company culture.