What to Expect From Your Accounting Job Interview

APRIL 12, 2011 | BY MICAH

If you’re like me, when you think about exciting careers, you no doubt think “accounting.” Plugging numbers into databases, combing through legal documents for loopholes, adjusting tax returns and keeping track of debits and credits. Man, just thinking about it gives me a rush. Not even skydiving compares.

If you are one of the 0.1% of Americans that think accounting is boring, however, you may be under the impression that accounting job interviews must be equally boring. Perhaps they will ask you about the intricacies of accounts receivable, or the techniques used in auditing, or the self-employment tax write-offs. Not exactly the most exciting sounding stuff. Yet accounting job interviews are not quite so boring. Below is a list of what to expect at your accounting interview.

What to Expect at Your Job Interview

  • Questions about intangibles

Even though accounting itself may not be the most exciting position, a large part of accounting involves the intangible personality traits, like leadership, decision making ability, teamwork, etc. Rather than asking a lot of questions about your accounting abilities, you are going to be asked about how well you work independently, what part you play in a team, etc. If you come to a job interview expecting only technical questions, you will be unprepared.

  • Boring accounting questions

Sweet! Questions about tax law! Write-offs! Budgeting! You didn’t think the accounting job was going to be all about fun questions did you? Your knowledge in the field is pretty crucial to your success.  If you aren’t fresh out of school or having recently worked in accounting, brush up.

  • Changes in accounting

Tax law changes, accounting practices change. You will be tested on how well you keep up with changes in the field. It’s important that you always have an eye out on news articles for anything that may impact your career.

  • Great Personality

You do need to showcase your personality to get a job in accounting. Other accountants and businesses need to work with you. Rarely are accounting jobs “behind the scenes” anymore. So to find employment, you should show that you are an interesting, likeable person.

Accounting jobs interviews are a lot like you expect them to be. However, remember that you need to be a personable person as well, and prepare for questions about the intangible qualities that make you a good hire.

Take Away Interview Tips

  • Accounting job interviews are not just about boring accounting questions.
  • Accounting job interviews do have a lot of boring accounting questions.

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