Accounting assistant positions can provide many opportunities to learn and gain experience from more advanced accountants, so they may be ideal for recent graduates or those making a career change in finance. When applying for entry-level positions like these, it is important to prepare thoroughly and understand how your skills and experience can translate into the role. Studying sample interview questions can help you think through your answers before interview day and present yourself as a strong candidate. In this article, we review some interview questions for accounting assistant roles and sample answers.
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To begin the interview, the hiring manager may ask broad questions about you and your professional goals to make a first impression. Here are some common questions to prepare for the Accounts Assistant interview:
- What interests you in accounting?
- What do you know about our company?
- Why did you apply for this role?
- What professional strengths would you bring to our team?
- How would you describe the role of an accounting assistant?
- What are you looking for in your next employer, and do you see those things in our company?
- How long do you plan to stay at your next job?
- Are you planning to go back to school or move on to this company?
- What are your professional weaknesses, and how do you work to improve in those areas?
- Are you comfortable working with deadlines?
- Do you prefer to work in a team or alone?
- Would you describe yourself as detail-oriented?
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Questions about experience and background
Your answers to questions about your experience and background can show the hiring manager how qualified you are for the position. In the accounting assistant interview, the hiring manager may ask some questions about your work experience and background:
- Have you worked as an Accounting Assistant before? Why did you leave that position?
- Tell me how your education has prepared you for this role.
- What software and tools have you used in other jobs?
- Have you worked in a data entry position prior to filing?
- Are you familiar with financial documents like bank statements and invoices?
- Do you feel comfortable handling confidential documents?
- Have you prepared financial reports?
- Do you have experience balancing multiple projects at the same time?
- Have you worked in a supporting role before?
- How have you built relationships with more senior accountants or professionals in other jobs?
- How many people did you support in your previous assistant position?
- Have you processed payroll?
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Accounting firms or other companies may use in-depth questions to see how you might fit in with their organization. Some of the in-depth questions interviewers may ask in an Accounts Assistant interview are:
- What personal procedures do you use to check your work for errors?
- Can you describe a time when you had a conflict with a coworker or supervisor and what you did about it?
- What qualities do you think are most important for an accounting assistant job?
- Tell me about an important professional project you worked on, what your role was, and how the project turned out.
- What is your approach to time management when you have multiple deadlines at once?
- If I ask you to process an invoice, how would you do that?
- Tell me about a time when you had to adjust to a new process or situation at work.
- Are you willing to take training to advance to this position?
- What role do you think accounting assistants play in our team?
- How do you handle audits?
- Can you point me to the strengths and weaknesses of any bookkeeping system you are familiar with?
- Tell me how you have applied accounting theory in your daily work.
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Accounts Assistant Interview Questions With Sample Answers
Here are some example questions and sample answers to review when preparing for an accounting assistant interview:
Tell me about your math and computer skills.
Employers may ask this question to understand how confident you are in your skills and how much expertise you have. If you have professional experience, you might want to provide an answer that includes the time you were able to solve a problem with your math or computer skills. If you are a recent graduate, you can instead include any relevant information related to your time in school, such as awards or internships.
Examples: “I really enjoyed math and computer science throughout school, so I had a few different opportunities to dig into my entire college experience. I added a minor in data processing to my accounting degree, which helped me understand that. Helped learn how to apply accounting practices and interpret financial information on a large scale. I also designed budgeted and tracked accounts for several student groups that put on events. It was fun during summer terms. My internship with companies was a valuable experience, so I feel like my math and computer skills have really developed through these professional settings.”
How would you design a spreadsheet to track daily cash receipts?
This question can show hiring managers whether you understand accounting principles and methods beyond general bookkeeping. In your answer, show off your personal organization skills by presenting your process in a clear, step-by-step manner.
Examples: “My outlook will depend on the business, but I’ll start by adding a main page to track the total. On this page, I list the opening cash on hand, total sales, and collections on accounts receivable. I take a subtotal Here’s a list of all incoming cash. Then, I’ll list all outgoing cash, including refunds, bank deposits, and any money withdrawn from the owner. I’ll list the net expected cash on hand, one space for the actual calculation and discrepancy.
If the company is not tracking transactions elsewhere, I will add pages to track individual incoming and outgoing cash transactions. Finally, I will save a blank copy of this spreadsheet as a template for future reference.”
How do you think this role can help you develop professionally?
Since accounting assistant positions are typically entry-level, employers may ask questions like these about your career plans so that you can understand whether you hope to advance within their company, whether you are a good fit for their company or not. to return to school or whether you are currently involved in any professional development activities. In your answer, you can show that you are eager for educational opportunities. If you plan to pursue further education or certification, you can mention this in case the company provides any continuing education resources or teaching aids.
Examples: “I think this accounting assistant position can provide some valuable opportunities to understand the different aspects of accounting, and how the accounting department functions in a business of this size. From what I learned about your company, your There are some great experienced accountants here, and I personally look forward to the opportunity to learn from them as well. Ideally, I want to eventually become a CPA, and I think this department is a great opportunity for continuing education and advancement. offers that can help me reach that goal.”
Are you comfortable communicating with customers, vendors, and other departments in the company?
Interviewers may ask questions like these to see if they can expect you to communicate information effectively and professionally. Since accounting assistants may be responsible for investigating discrepancies or answering customer service questions, these types of questions can be important. You can include any communication experiences you have that are relevant, both written and spoken.
Examples: “Through doing retail work and doing reception work for a local medical office, I’ve had a lot of experience talking to a wide range of people. I’ve learned how to communicate sensitive information, and how important privacy is to me. feel that I can apply these skills well when I am communicating with outside customers and vendors about receipts and discrepancies. Working in a medical setting also helped me realize That’s how important communication is within the organization, so I’m definitely motivated to do what I can to share information between departments.”