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Interview questions

Financial Accountant

For the interview

A positive opener to start

Why did you choose to work in this industry?

What has been your journey so far?

Behavioral Questions

  • Why did you choose to become an accountant? What do you like most about your job?
  • Gives you some background information and shows a little about their personality. 
  • How do you usually prioritise and organise your day?
  • A good financial accountant needs to be very organised and plan out days and weeks in advance to ensure they are not missing important payment dates.

Soft Skills

  • How do you stay up to date with new processes and laws surrounding accounting?
  • An important question, a good candidate should be passionate and proactive enough to stay aware of any changes they will need to legally implement. 
  • How would you approach explaining a complex financial situation to a team member that has little experience in the industry?
  • Should have good communication skills and be able to explain complex issues in an easy to understand way.

Hard Skills

  • Can you walk me through the three different financial statements?
  • The candidate should talk about the balance sheet, the income statement, and the cash flow statement.
  • What are some examples of budgeting methods?
  • Some examples include zero based budgeting, incremental budgeting and value based budgeting. 
  • What accounting processes are you most familiar with?
  • Candidates should have known steps and processes, look out for implementing changes or improvements for bonus points. 
  • What technical experience do you have with accounting software tools?
  • Should know how to use a few different tools and have preferences about why they would choose those ones. 
  • Do you have your accredited accounting certifications?
  • This, of course, for an industry such as accounting and finance, is a very important question. All applicants should have the accredited qualifications that meet the requirements of their country of residence.

Operational / Situational Questions

  • How would you deal with a difficult situation with another team member? Maybe a discrepancy with a client, or an account that is inaccurate?
  • Should be able to stay confidential and know how best to approach sensitive financial conversations, and when best to escalate matters. 
  • What is your process when you have a lot to manage and deadlines to meet in one day?
  • Good accountants need great time management skills and an awareness of important incoming tasks.

Best interview questions for a Financial Accountant

Financial Accountant Interview Questions

When hiring a financial accountant you should look for:

  • Great communication skills.
  • Outstanding attention to detail.
  • Time management skills and practice in prioritisation.
  • It would be beneficial for you to find a candidate that already has some years experience in the industry, or has got plenty of accredited qualifications.
  • From the questions you ask you should get a feeling that the candidate fully understands accounting processes but also has some good interpersonal skills and can communicate effectively. 

Interviews naturally breed nerves, so the first part of your interview should aim to make the candidate feel comfortable speaking with you, you’ll get much more information out of them and a better sense of the person they are if they feel like they can trust the environment they are in.

To do this you can ask some fun and interesting questions linked to the role, they should be open ended and encourage conversation. A good place to start is with behavioural questions.

For the interview

A positive opener to start

Why did you choose to work in this industry?

What has been your journey so far?

Behavioral Questions

  • Why did you choose to become an accountant? What do you like most about your job?
  • Gives you some background information and shows a little about their personality. 
  • How do you usually prioritise and organise your day?
  • A good financial accountant needs to be very organised and plan out days and weeks in advance to ensure they are not missing important payment dates.

Soft Skills

  • How do you stay up to date with new processes and laws surrounding accounting?
  • An important question, a good candidate should be passionate and proactive enough to stay aware of any changes they will need to legally implement. 
  • How would you approach explaining a complex financial situation to a team member that has little experience in the industry?
  • Should have good communication skills and be able to explain complex issues in an easy to understand way.

Hard Skills

  • Can you walk me through the three different financial statements?
  • The candidate should talk about the balance sheet, the income statement, and the cash flow statement.
  • What are some examples of budgeting methods?
  • Some examples include zero based budgeting, incremental budgeting and value based budgeting. 
  • What accounting processes are you most familiar with?
  • Candidates should have known steps and processes, look out for implementing changes or improvements for bonus points. 
  • What technical experience do you have with accounting software tools?
  • Should know how to use a few different tools and have preferences about why they would choose those ones. 
  • Do you have your accredited accounting certifications?
  • This, of course, for an industry such as accounting and finance, is a very important question. All applicants should have the accredited qualifications that meet the requirements of their country of residence.

Operational / Situational Questions

  • How would you deal with a difficult situation with another team member? Maybe a discrepancy with a client, or an account that is inaccurate?
  • Should be able to stay confidential and know how best to approach sensitive financial conversations, and when best to escalate matters. 
  • What is your process when you have a lot to manage and deadlines to meet in one day?
  • Good accountants need great time management skills and an awareness of important incoming tasks.

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