The 100 interview questions for accountancy firms interviewing & recruiting accountants, accounts assistants, semi-seniors, auditors, audit managers, accounts technicians, accountancy students and ACCA graduates.
Below you will find some of the most popular questions asked by interviewers in the accountancy profession and financial services industry. Most questions are relevant to all types of accountancy firm, whether interviewing or recruiting accountants, accounts technicians, graduates and students, work placements or internships. Please feel free to print the list off – we are aware of a number of UK and overseas firms who have been using these questions as a template for their accounting job interviews.
When going for interviews, bear in mind that a large number of accountants and particularly partners/directors of accountancy firms have never received formal training in interview technique. Often, therefore, it can result in an interview being more of an opportunity for one of the directors to tell you all about their plans to take over the world of accounting, employ armies of staff and retire to the Maldives to live on a yacht within 5 years.
It can be a good idea to try to steer the conversation towards the topics you have particular strengths in, so highlighting your good points. Of course, if you get a HR specialist, things are considerably different, and you may find the interview concentrates more on competency based interviewing techniques..
For details of professional accountancy careers services, please visit JB Fagan & Associates, professional careers coaching, CV preparation & advice and interview training for accountants and students.
The Top 100 Accounting Job Interview Questions
1 Where do you see yourself in five years time?
2 Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
3 Tell me about yourself?
4 What is your major achievement?
5 What do you consider yourself good at doing?
6 What sort of person are you?
7 What are your strengths?
8 What are your weaknesses?
9 How would you approach this job?
10 How do you get things done?
11 How would you decide on your objectives?
12 How do you manage your day?
13 What motivates you?
14 How do you cope without motivation?
15 How long were you at your last job?
16 Why did you leave your last job?
17 How have you changed in the last five years?
18 What contribution do you make to a team?
19 How do you react if you find that someone you work with does not like you?
20 Have you ever experienced such a problem during your working life?
21 If so, how did you cope and how did the matter resolve itself if it did occur?
22 What would your peers say about you?
23 Describe your ideal work environment?
24 Describe your worst work environment?
25 Tell me about a time when you successfully handled a situation?
26 Tell me about a time when you felt that you dealt with a situation inadequately, and how has that changed how you would approach the same situation?
27 What do you think you can bring to this position?
28 What do you think you can bring to this company?
29 How do you see this job developing?
30 What sort of salary are you expecting?
31 What was your last salary?
32 If you did not have to work what would you do?
33 What decisions do you find easy to make?
34 What decisions do you find difficult to make?
35 Do you like to work in a team or on your own?
36 What would you do if you don’t get this position?
37 If offered the position, how long do you plan to stay at this company?
38 On taking this job, what would be your major contribution?
39 How do you get the best out of people?
40 How do you respond under stress?
41 Can you provide a recent example of when you were under stress, and how you coped?
42 What support training would you require to be able to do this job? If not, why not? Explain.
43 What would you look forward to most in this job?
44 In your view, what are the major problems/threats/opportunities facing accountants today?
45 What will be your key target in this job if we appoint you?
46 What makes you think you can be successful with us?
47 How does the job sound to you?
48 Which subjects did you enjoy during your qualifying degree?
49 Why do you want to be an accountant?
50 Have you always wanted to be an accountant? Why on earth would you want to do this job?
51 What is your alternative career, should accountancy not be the avenue for you?
52 Would you be able to supply any references?
53 What sort of response would we get from your referees about your professional as well as social manner? What weaknesses will they highlight?
54 Why would you want to work in private practice for a small/large firm?
55 Why should we employ you, instead of someone else?
56 What do you think about partnership or equity prospects in the future?
57 We are not willing to give partnership or equity prospects, what are your views on that?
58 What are you expecting from this firm/company in the future?
59 What are your views on the regulation of accountancy firms?
60 Which is better – ACCA or ACA – why?
61 What do you think about the impact of the new Bribery Act will be on accountants in this country?
62 How you will attract new clients to our firm?
63 Does generating new business interest you? How have you done this before?
64 Have you ever reported a client for money laundering?
65 What was the outcome?
66 Short term gain or long term relationship – which is the better with clients?
67 What age do you expect to retire at?
68 Should accountants offer fixed fees or hourly rates to clients?
69 Are you willing to do after-hours work?
70 Are you willing to go through taxation or financial planning training in order to provide financial advice to clients?
71 In the future would you be willing to manage a branch office? If not, why not? Explain.
72 What sort of audit experience do you have in public practice?
73 Do you think you would need to undergo training to do any area of work?
74 How do you stand on equal opportunities?
75 Have you ever been involved either paid or unpaid with the services of the voluntary sector?
76 What do you know about us and the way we practice? Can you suggest any improvements?
77 What are the three main attributes for a successful accountant?
78 What views do you hold on the recent budget?
79 Who would you take a desert island, and why?
80 Are you a member of any clubs or charities?
81 What sort of activities are you interested in outside of work?
82 Are you a socialising person? What is your work/life balance?
83 Would your social life infringe on your work commitment?
84 If so, how? Explain.
85 What sort of management skills do you have?
86 Do you think you require training in management skills? Why?
87 Do you prefer to manage yourself or let someone else do the managing?
88 Are you a leader or a follower?
89 Are you computer literate?
90 Would you be able to do time-recording? Do you keep good time?
91 What sort of employment background do you have?
92 Why did you come to us through an agency?
93 Have you applied anywhere else apart from us?
94 Have you had any other interviews apart from us?
95 Have you been offered a position yet?
96 How much notice would you need to give to your present employer if you were offered a position?
97 Would you be willing to branch out into any other area of law, if the need arose?
98 Have you ever been abroad?
99 Do you speak any other languages apart from English?
100 What questions have you for us?
Top 100 Interview Questions from www.tenpercentfinancial.co.uk
* Visit the JB Fagan website for professional accountancy career coaching – www.jbfagan.co.uk
A few extra questions:
1. Tell me about a time you misjudged a person.
2. Do you check your emails when you’re on holiday?
3 Do you have a role model? If so, who is it and why?
4. If you could try any job for a week, what would you do?
5. How do I rate as an interviewer?
6. Rank these in the order of importance: power, health, status, wealth.
7. Give an example of when you have learnt from a mistake.
8. Who would you like to punch on the nose?
9. Sing us a verse from your favourite song.
10. What did you have for breakfast today?