Formerly, it was thought that accounting was just about accounting methods, figures, and financial spreadsheets, which embody the level of accounting called compliance accounting.
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Financial Accounting Interview Questions to Prepare
Want to land an offer at KPMG, Ernest & Young, PwC, or Deloitte? It certainly will not be an easy feat. Not only will you have to excel in your course load and extracurricular activities, but also have the necessary skills to pass the interview rounds for this highly competitive industry.
To get to the interview round also takes some work behind the scenes. Applicants must be able to maintain a high GPA that is competitive with other applicants.
Additionally, they must be involved in organizations and clubs that allow them to grow their skills and networks. Especially at public schools when competition is quite tough, it’s important to be able to distinguish yourself from your peers and make clear to your interviewer what you can bring to the firm.
While it may seem overwhelming at first, there are specific techniques and questions to practice before you head into an interview. Below is a compiled list of common accounting interview questions, all of which can be learned through Arrowroot Family Office’s Wealth Management Forward Program.
Most Common Behavioral Financial Accounting Interview Questions
This may not seem challenging, but when put on the spot with a relatively vague question, it can be difficult to come up with a stand-out answer. That is why you need to rehearse what you would say for even the most basic questions.
Common behavioral questions could be:
- Can you walk me through your resume?
- Why do you want to go into Accounting?
- What are your most important strengths?
- What weaknesses are you currently working on?
- How would your friends describe you?
- Tell me about your greatest accomplishment
- Tell me about your greatest regret.
- Tell me about a time you worked on a team.
- What is your typical role on a team?
- Tell me about a time when you overcame a struggle or personal challenge.
- Tell me about a time when you demonstrated leadership.
- Can you tell me something about yourself that is not listed on your resume?
- Can you tell me about a time when you worked with someone who you didn’t get along with? How did you handle and resolve the situation?
- Can you tell me about a time when you had to juggle a lot of priorities? What was the outcome of the situation and how did you go about executing your plan?
These questions do seem straightforward, but without practice you could forget to highlight information in your interview that you want to. Know your experiences and expertise and which questions you could use to discuss them. This will help you have solid answers for each question and make you stand out to the interviewer.
Most Common “Best Fit” Financial Accounting Interview Questions
Interviewers will also typically ask you questions about why you want to work for their firm specifically. The most obvious answer is that you need a job and to make money, but this usually will not result in an offer.
It is crucial that you research the company beforehand and make a list of what stands out to you. This way, you will actually have something to talk about and you can relate the firm’s characteristics to your own experiences.
Common “best fit” questions could be:
- Why our firm over others? Specifically, why X over the other Big 4 Firms?
- What do you like about our firm? Has anyone shared their experiences with you?
- How did your interest in our firm spark and why do you want to work in the public accounting sector?
- What do you hope to achieve within 5 years at firm X? What skills do you hope to develop that will keep you as a valuable member here at firm X?
- What service line do you see yourself pursuing?
- What kind of management do you need to excel in public accounting?
- Why did you choose to study accounting over other areas in business?
These questions are also pretty straightforward, but without having specific reasons for your interest in the firm and accounting, you will give vague answers. This is problematic because vague answers do not make you stand out, resulting in no offer.
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Technical Financial Accounting Interview Questions
For financial counting interviews, there will also be a technical portion. This is where the interviewer will ask questions directly pertinent to accounting to test the candidate’s knowledge. In addition, many business interviews always have math questions and brain teaser questions to get to know how the interviewee thinks. It is important to practice these so that when it comes time to interview, you are not thrown off and unexpecting of these questions.
Arrowroot’s Wealth Management Forward Program can teach you all of these in-depth technical questions. It is a great learning program for those who want to excel in interviews and come off as a knowledgeable interviewee.
Start Practicing Financial Accounting Interview Questions
If you know that you plan to enter financial accounting, it is never too early to start preparing for these questions. However, it is important to understand that you will not be asked all of the questions we have listed, as that interview would be hours long. Each firm and interviewer is different, so it is good to be as prepared as possible. In porapring, you will become not only comfortable answering the questions that you opratice, but also be well equipped to answer any variations of them that the interviewer may ask you.
We know this is daunting and a lot of information to take in. Arrowroot encourages you to join the Wealth Management Forward Program to learn everything you need to know for common accounting interview questions.
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