Resume, check. Research on the company’s profile, check. Outfit, check. Anything else?

Preparing for an accounting interview entails a lot of details. Most of the time, we leave the interview questions to faith and trust our guts that we can answer well. But did you know that on average, a job interview lasts 45 mins to an hour? And in that period, you can establish a good impression in 7 seconds? This means that every second counts. From start to finish, you will have to continuously build momentum with your interviewer that they will find you interesting and relevant.

As you prepare for the questions that you’d like to ask, always remember to prepare for the questions that you will be asked. Read on to know the top accounting interview questions and start formulating your own responses.

ACCOUNTING INTERVIEW QUESTION 1: Why are you interested in our company?

Employers want to know that you are interested in them, just as you want them to be interested in you.  This is where your research skills come in. Learn about the company, its culture, and the role that you are applying for. Try to craft a compelling answer focusing on how you can create a positive impact and show the “what’s in it for them” side of the story. This is one of the most basic accounting interview questions, so it is safe to expect your interviewer will ask it.

ACCOUNTING INTERVIEW QUESTION 2: Please describe the accounting software you have used and your proficiency levels?

In this day and age, we depend more on different systems that will automate data, making our day-to-day more manageable. As you discuss the accounting system/s that you have worked with, stick to what you have applied and how proficient you are. Avoid over-promising so that in case they put you to the test, you will have better chances to excel.

ACCOUNTING INTERVIEW QUESTION 3: Explain financial statements.

While you might think that this is the very basic element that you have spent years learning and creating, consider being more in-depth and cite a few examples on how you relate it with the company or its industry.

ACCOUNTING INTERVIEW QUESTION 4: Was there ever a time when you had to face a tough deadline? What did you do to pull through?

Time is of the essence in accounting. When you respond, make sure that you provide concrete details on how you were able to deal with the situation. In case you did not succeed at that particular time, cite your key takeaways and how you will be able to deal with a similar situation. Admitting that you are not perfect but open to learning more is also admirable.

ACCOUNTING INTERVIEW QUESTION 5: Describe a time when you had to walk through a complex accounting issue to a colleague without an accounting background. How did you help your audience understand the situation?

Your ability to communicate is what the interviewer is trying to gauge by this question. As an accountant, you will be dealing with different types of people, and depending on the accounting field or path that you have chosen, the level of knowledge in accounting will not be the same for all employees. Try to be as detailed as possible, while using terms that are more common.

ACCOUNTING INTERVIEW QUESTION 6: Please Demonstrate how you will translate the numerical data to a report that is visually appealing and will be presented to different company stakeholders.

Now your presentation skills are being evaluated. It is evident that people working in the financial industry would be dealing with numbers and formulas, charts, graphs and Excel sheets. But think of a way on how you will be able to tell a story with the numbers.

Feeling more confident about how to ace an accounting interview? Just keep in mind that nothing beats good preparation. Take some time to think through accounting interview questions and answers, and then go ahead take that leap, breathe and show them what you got!