Top Accountant Interview Questions with Example Answers [2020]

Prepare for your Accountant interview by going through these most asked Accountant interview questions. Additionally, get access to sample answers and interviewer's expectations.

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  • Question: What are your career goals?
  • Question Overview: This question gives you insight into the applicant's career aspirations. Look for answers that show a desire to continue to learn and grow in the accounting field.

    Sample Answer: I want to continue to learn more about the accounting industry and advance my career. I want to work for a large company that has a lot of opportunities for growth and advancement.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Desire to continue to learn
    • - Desire to advance in the accounting field
    • - Desire to work in a specific industry or type of company

  • Question: Tell me about a challenge you faced at work and how did you handle it?
  • Question Overview: This question gives you insight into how the job seeker responds to difficult situations. Look for a response that shows how the applicant handled the situation and what they learned from it.

    Sample Answer: I was working on a project for a client who was very demanding. I had to work with them on a tight deadline and they kept making changes to the project scope. I had to learn how to say "no" without upsetting them. I learned that it's important to set clear expectations and communicate those expectations clearly.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to handle conflict
    • - Problem-solving skills
    • - Willingness to learn from mistakes

  • Question: Tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult personality.
  • Question Overview: This question reveals how the applicant handles difficult situations with coworkers or clients. The applicant should explain how they handled the situation and what they learned from it.

    Sample Answer: I had to work with a vendor who was very difficult to get along with. I tried to be as polite and professional as possible, but I also stood my ground when he was being unreasonable. I learned that it's important to be assertive, but not aggressive.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Problem-solving skills
    • - Ability to work with others
    • - Willingness to learn from mistakes

  • Question: How would you rate your MS Excel skills, on a scale of 1-10?
  • Question Overview: Accountants use spreadsheets to track and organize data, so it's important to know how proficient the job seeker is with this tool. Look for an answer that indicates the applicant has a strong understanding of Excel's features and functions.

    Sample Answer: I would rate my skills at a solid 8. I'm comfortable with the basics, but I'm still learning how to use more advanced features. I've learned a lot from watching YouTube videos and reading Excel blogs.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Proficiency with Excel
    • - Familiarity with advanced features
    • - Willingness to learn new skills

  • Question: What can you tell me about yourself?
  • Question Overview: This is a simple question that allows the applicant to share their background, skills, and interests. Look for a response that shows the applicant's personality and enthusiasm for the job.

    Sample Answer: I'm a recent graduate with a bachelor's degree in accounting. I'm very interested in tax accounting and have experience with tax preparation software. I'm also an avid runner and enjoy spending time outdoors.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Personal background
    • - Skills
    • - Interests

  • Question: Why are you not looking at other opportunities?
  • Question Overview: This question reveals whether the applicant is truly interested in the position. The applicant should have a compelling reason for wanting to work for your company.

    Sample Answer: I've been looking for a job in accounting for over a year, and I'm very excited about this opportunity. I've been following your company for a while, and I think you have a great reputation. I'm very impressed with your products and services, and I think you have a bright future ahead.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Understanding of the company's mission and values
    • - Desire to work for the company
    • - Commitment to the position

  • Question: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
  • Question Overview: The applicant should have a clear idea of their career goals and how they plan to achieve them. Look for answers that include the applicant's long-term career goals and how they plan to achieve them.

    Sample Answer: I would like to be a CPA and would like to work my way up to a controller position within the next 5 years. I plan to take the CPA exam in the next year and will continue to learn accounting software and business processes so I can be an asset to any company I work for.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Long-term career goals
    • - Plans for achieving those goals
    • - Willingness to learn new skills

  • Question: Walk me through your CV.
  • Question Overview: A CV is a summary of the applicant's work history, education, and other qualifications. The applicant should be able to explain their work history in a clear and concise manner.

    Sample Answer: I've worked at three different companies over the past five years. I started out as an accounting assistant and worked my way up to senior accountant. I have a bachelor's degree in accounting from a local university.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to clearly and concisely summarize work history
    • - Good understanding of resume formatting
    • - Willingness to learn new skills

  • Question: How would you deal with a difficult employee?
  • Question Overview: Accountants may have to deal with difficult employees or clients. The applicant should show that they can remain professional and solve problems in a diplomatic manner.

    Sample Answer: I would first try to understand the other person's perspective. I would then explain my position and try to find a solution that works for both of us. If we couldn't come to an agreement, I would escalate the issue to my manager.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to remain calm and professional
    • - Ability to solve problems diplomatically
    • - Willingness to take responsibility for mistakes

  • Question: What is the price of Google's stock?
  • Question Overview: Accountants need to have a fundamental understanding of the stock market and how to read financial statements. This question tests whether the applicant can answer a basic finance question.

    Sample Answer: Google's stock price is $1,000 per share. The company's market cap is $500 billion.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Fundamental understanding of accounting concepts
    • - Understanding of financial statements
    • - Familiarity with financial news