Victory! I Have an Interview with a Top Accounting Firm! How Do I Prepare?

Top 50 Accounting Behavioral Interview Questions

Most corporation, public companies, law firms and consulting firms increasingly are following the trend of using behavioral and situational questions in interviews.  These employers are using behavioral interviews to test whether you will excel at the job or struggle with it. In reviewing a candidate’s answers to direct and sometimes challenging questions, employers evaluate a candidate’s past behaviors and experiences to predict how he or she would respond or act in the future.  Therefore, by using these interview questions, employers can get a quicker sense of a candidate’s ability to conquer the position.

If you are faced with a behavioral interview questions as a candidate, it may be tough, but you can succeed!  When you are thrown these tough questions during an interview, take a moment and gather your thoughts. Then, ensure that your answers comprise of the following:

-A specific example of a situation that reflects a direct answer to the question
-Your response to the situation
-The outcome of your work (whether a success or a failure)
-What you learned from the situation/result (Penny).

In the accounting and finance industry, as you prepare for your interviews, the following are 50 likely behavioral interview questions you may face:

  1. Elaborate on the pros and cons of the varying accounting software packages that you have utilized.
  1. What are some key examples of the accounting reports that you have created?
  1. How are your people skills? Give an example of how you communicate effectively with your coworkers and clients.
  1. Describe the toughest assignment that you have had to solve in your accounting career thus far. How did you handle it and what did you learn?
  1. Mistakes in accounting can end up being expensive. What techniques do you use in order to avoid making mistakes?
  1. Articulate about the amount of insight you have in pertinent government orders and state regulations.
  1. Share your experiences/qualifications for analytical and logical reasoning.
  1. Tell me about any instance in which you developed or enhanced any accounting process (Accounting Career).
  1. Recount your experience in composing management accounts.
  1. How have you kept track of the rules that impact an accounting position of yours?
  1. How have you applied any recent tax changes in your organization?
  1. Have another individual’s errors ever negatively affect your work? In what manner did you react?
  1. What kinds of set-ups do you arrange to keep track of the tasks given to staff members?
  1. How have you handled possible payment dilemmas with your clients?
  1. Enlighten me with a moment in which you were given instructions with which you disagreed. What did you do?
  1. What attributes do you utilize for assessing the accuracy of the financial data you obtain?
  1. Did you ever do something to alter the details of a set procedure that you did not like?
  1. Describe a time when it was necessary for you to convey a complicated procedure to staff members.
  1. How did you feel when you had to inform your team about an organizational adjustment?
  1. From your standpoint, what are the great challenges and opportunities pressing the accounting world today?
  1. In the past, how have you watched the behavior of your team?
  1. Tell me about the most major decision that you have made at work recently.
  1. Describe your most recent budget preparation. Be specific (Penny).
  1. Tell me about a time when another person asked you to give him or her financial information about a company. In what way did you begin gathering this information and how did you tailor the facts so that it was applicable to the original request?
  1. Share an example of when you had to collect and analyze information from different sources for the purpose of establishing trends. What were some difficulties and how did you overcome them?
  1. Remember an occasion when you organized and directed a project kick-off meeting. What were the objectives set for this meeting and how did you reach them?
  1. Provide an instance of when you interpreted financial data to make suggestions for your institution. How do you go about this task? What were the obstacles and how did you solve them?
  1. Give me the details on how you undertake a new project. How do you begin the task? What measures were needed to evaluate the risk? What tools did you utilize to oversee the project? How did you sustain authority over the project?
  1. Talk about any project that you have supervised. What methods did you implement to make this project a success?
  1. What is an example of a situation in which your communication skills (oral and written) aided in making a project successful? What were the strategies that you used and why?
  1. Provide an instance of when you received information that had to be sorted out. In what way did you recognize and fix the differences found in the data?
  1. Recall a time when you had to inform a party about the potential risks to a proposal. Was the knowledge that you provided taken well? Additionally, how successful were you in getting other individuals to see the risks and possibly having them revise their course of action
  1. Explain about a time when you were able to distinguish a possible danger to a project and generated an idea to alleviate that risk. What method did you use?
  1. What technique do you use to survey data and prepare financial tables, reports, and spreadsheets? How do you make sure that the information is detailed, yet easy enough to grasp?
  1. Discuss an occasion in which you found an error (which you did not cause) that presented a weighty amount of risk. Tell me how you passed this fact along and how did you fix the situation (Huffington).
  1. What valuable communication is required in order to fulfill an Accounting function?
  1. What is an instance in which you made use of your problem solving skills to resolve an unforeseeable complication?
  1. Tell me about a recent case of you working with someone else on your accounting team to confirm that all functions were done correctly and on time.
  2. What is a crucial goal and how were you involved in attaining the goal?
  3. Tell me about a time where you had to complete numerous assignments to meet conflicting deadlines.
  4. In your opinion, what traits comprise a good accountant?
  5. What accounting applications are you able to use?
  6. Recollect a time when you reduced expenses at a past accounting position.
  7. What do you believe is a great achievement of an accountant in a company
  8. Describe how you use accounting standards while at work (Mayers and Chulaw).
  9. Tell me about the work that you have been conducting while in the process of securing a job (Alger).
  1. What difficulties are you anticipating in this accounting position and why?
  2. Explain an average workweek for a particular accounting position (Top 10 Accounting Interview Questions and Answers).
  3. Have you ever had to say something bad to a friend or fire him/her?
  4. Discuss a situation in which you overlooked an apparent answer to a problem (Interview Questions for Accounting).

Good luck!!  Need help preparing for an upcoming future behavioral interview?  Need help with interview preparation strategies? Learn more about Lexacount Search’s interview skills preparation consulting services here.


Works Cited

Accounting Career. “150 Accounting Interview Questions and Answers Pdf.” 150 Accounting Interview Questions and Answers Pdf., 2 Apr. 2015. Web. 23 Aug. 2015.

Alger, Abby. “How to Answer Behavioral Interview Questions.” Accounting Principals Blog. Accounting Principals, 21 Oct. 2013. Web. 24 Aug. 2015.

Huffington, Amin. “The Behavioral-Based Interview: Questions for an Accountant.” Dreamfedjob, 6 Sept. 2011. Web. 23 Aug. 2015.

“Interview Questions for Accounting.” Career Services-The University of Utah. The         University of Utah, n.d. Web. 24 Aug. 2015.

Mayers, Caren, and Matthew Chulaw. “How to Answer Tough Accountant Interview Questions?” Accountant Interview Questions. Accountant Interview Questions, n.d. Web. 24 Aug. 2015.

Penny, Julia. “Accountant Interview Questions and Answers Guide.” Accountant Interview Questions and Answers Guide., n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2015.

Thompson, Carole Clark. “7 Interview Questions to Ask When Staffing Accounting Positions.” 7 Interview Questions to Ask When Staffing Accounting Positions. Hiregy, 20 June 2013. Web. 24 Aug. 2015.

“Top 10 Accounting Interview Questions and Answers.” Top 10 Accounting Interview  Questions and Answers., 3 Jan. 2015. Web. 24 Aug. 2015.

Jacqueline Hill, Esq.

This post was written by .

Jacqueline Hill is a partner at Lexacount Search, where she places top senior-level and other legal talent with law firms and corporate legal departments across the United States. She has been writing about careers, lawyers, attorney professional development, and the legal industry for more than a decade. She can be reached at or 215-740-0104, extension 101.

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