What Questions Should You Be Asking In An Accounting Interview?

Whether you’re in the process of starting your own accounting firm, or are seeking to increase your team of employees, finding the right candidates for the role in question, isn’t always straightforward. But, with the success of your business riding on this, it’s worth paying extra attention to your interview process, and the questions you ask of interviewees. 

So, along with offering employees a respectful and pleasant environment to work in, opportunities to expand upon their existing knowledge base and gain new skills, and a competitive salary with benefits, here are some of the most important questions to ask candidates for an accounting role in your next interview: 

Can you tell me a bit more about yourself?

Try to avoid getting straight down to the nitty gritty with questions about their experience or skill level for example, and instead, ask some simple questions about their lifestyle, interests and personal life to help them feel relaxed, and give you a clearer picture of them as a person and not just as an accountant. 

What are your roles and responsibilities in your current role?

Finding out more about what they are doing in their current role, can help you offer interviewees what they might want from a new role. If they’re not working, find out why and if there is anything you can do to make the role you’re offering them, more enticing. 

What are you looking for from a new job?

Closely linked to the question above, knowing what an interviewee wants, or expects from a new job, and why they are planning to leave their existing one, can give you a clearer picture of their future plans and desires. 

What can you tell me about the latest accounting trends?

Ideally, you want candidates to be tech savvy and up-to-date with all of the latest and emerging trends within the accounting industry.

How do you react to difficult situations?

Their response will give you a better idea of how they confident they are in their own ability, and whether they can keep a cool head under times of pressure or challenges. 

Are you flexible about taking on extra responsibilities?

Should you wish to focus on other aspects of your business at any time, it can be helpful to know that your new employee will be able and willing to step up and take on new responsibilities or roles. 

How do you manage your workload?

Understanding how a candidate usually manages their workload helps you to understand whether they have good organizational skills, and whether their productivity levels are high enough. 

Do you need any additional training to familiarize yourself with our company and software?

A candidate showing a desire to learn more to enhance their skills and fit in with your company’s philosophy and goals, is never a bad thing, and shows that they are willing to go the extra mile to fulfil their new role. 

Would you like to ask me any questions?

If they have plenty of questions to ask you, this can be a positive sign that they’re interested in the role. 

When can you start?

If you need a new accountant urgently, their answer to this question could prove crucial. 

Despite there being an ongoing crisis of talent within the accounting industry as a whole, there are still candidates out there, provided you can attract them to the role with some carefully planned marketing, and thoughtful questions designed to give both employer and candidate a better understanding of each other. Then, once you’ve found them, all you’ve got to do is keep them!

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