Congratulations, you’ve made it into the interview stage. What happens next? Speaking about yourself, your strengths, weaknesses and accomplishments can be daunting, especially if this is your first time.
You really want to hit the nail with this job interview and set yourself apart from the other hundreds of candidates in your same position. Having the qualifications and the experience is one thing however, articulating yourself in a way that exudes confidence and impressing your interviewer can be tricky sometimes.
Of course you can’t know exactly what kind of questions you will be asked in an interview for a graduate accounting role, but there are some common questions that you will likely to encounter during your interview. So here are 8 common interview questions we thought you may want to be prepared to respond to.
1. Technical Accounting Questions
Among many questions that can be asked, questions that directly correlate to the elements, principals, and process of accounting is bound to surface. It is vital to brush up on your accounting knowledge before the big day.
These questions are designed to gain an insight of how you analyse and comprehend information in a given time as well as reveal the level of understanding of your knowledge and could open a dialogue about how you may handle a scenario linked to the question.
Examples can include and are definitely not limited to:
- How does an inventory write-down affect the three statements?
- What are three examples of common budgeting methods?
- What are the three financial statements?
- How do you evaluate the reliability of the financial data you obtain?
- What methods have you used for estimating bad debt?
2. Why do you choose to work in Accountancy?
Companies want to hire people who are passionate about their work. This question enables the interviewer to gain insight on your motivation for pursuing a career in accounting and why you are interested in the position.
The accounting field can be deemed as monotonous and meticulous- something that many people would stay away from. So conveying your passion in clarity is important to separate yourself from other candidates.
Keep in mind that recruiters hear a collection of answers and can read into the lines with ease, so always stay sincere with your answer.
3. What are your strengths?
By sharing your strengths (and weaknesses), interviewers will be able to highlight your key skills that can bring benefit to the company. Whilst explaining your strengths, be sure to list examples to prove your capability in the interview. There is no point saying something with no proof- it just sounds weak.
For example, you might say “I have a dedicated work ethic with my time management skills” and just ending it there is useless. Try adding in “I have a dedicated work ethic with my time management skills by studying full time and juggling being the president of the student body and working a part-time job.”
4. Which accounting applications and software are you familiar with?
In today’s job market, knowing just theoretical knowledge is not enough. Textbook smart does not equal employable smart. Familiarising yourself with accounting software will grant the recruiter to know the ability of your skills and knowledge application in a practical sense.
Cloud accounting is used in every business; therefore companies will look for candidates with the expertise that will aid them. The two big players in the Australian accounting market are Xero and MYOB. Both are powerful and responsive solutions that offer easy and effective ways to manage accounting process for business.
Our recent blog about Make the Right Choice: Xero or MYOB provides a head-to-head comparison between these two software.
5. What challenges are you looking for in this role?
This is a typical interview question for interviewers to determine whether you would be a good fit for the role and what you are looking for in next job. This question can be a way to show how you are qualified for this job.
The key to answer this question is to present to the interviewers that how you skills and experience can be effectively utilised in this position. For example, you could say, “I recently completed XERO accounting software training and I look forward to apply those skills into this job.”
Additionally, you can also mention that you are motivated with the challenges you encounter and make sure to support your statement with some real-life examples.
6. Give an example of when you had to work as part of a team
This question calls for how the team has improved or come back from a difficult situation due to your efforts and inputs rather than your role in leading a team’s success. Examples of resilience, co-operation and professionalism are some things recruiters will be looking out for.
By identifying how you’ve played your part shows the confidence in your strengths appealing to many recruiters. These set of skills are a strong foundation of the progression of the business as collaboration in a corporate setting is crucial for the company.
7. How do you manage high-stress environments?
In a career where working on multiple things at the same time with deadlines very close together, it can be quite stressful. Especially, for a typical accounting job, you would often need to juggle between different work and project deadlines.
Demonstrating how you priorities multiple responsibilities is crucial. Listing your various duties such a work, school and hobbies are great examples of managing responsibilities. Recruiters are looking for you to display your sense of responsibility to think of examples unique to you, especially where you can demonstrate a successful outcome.
8. How do you handle the minimising risk of error within your work?
As a profession that deals with the methodical and precise way of recording and reporting, room for error can be large. You are held to a high standard and the margin for error is tiny. Small mistakes can lead to large financial issues.
So emphasis the importance of checking work and establishing checks and balances within a team is crucial when answering a question like this. Recruiters want to hear that you have some sort of method for ensuring the accuracy of your work.
An interview for an accounting graduate job can be nerve-wracking. There are various aspects that make a perfect candidate and presenting yourself well in an interview is the most important. The skills acquired from schooling are inept without the skills to carrying out a sound interview.
However, this cannot happen overnight. If you stumble your words or can’t speak clearly at the interview, it is not the end of the world. Practicing different scenarios are crucial for an exceptional interview and will help you gain confidence in your answers and yourself as a candidate. Always remember to do your research about the company and their culture and vision.
Where to get help?
If you need to brush up on your accounting skills, learn in depth about accounting software as well as your soft skills, BLC Training and Internship is the one stop solution for all. At BLC, we helped many accounting graduates to kick start their dream career in Australia just like you. Discover how BLC Training and Internship can help you with your Accounting career today.
If you would like to find out more or require training on accounting software like Xero and MYOB, we are here to help. Get in touch with one of our friendly staff members to book a free trial class today!