5 Entry-Level Accounting Interview Questions!

In this video I give you 5 frequently asked entry-level accounting interview questions and their best answers.

Hey guys welcome to another video today we’re talking about five frequently asked questions and accounting job interviews for entry level positions and entry level positions are those that require zero to two years of experience so this could be somebody who’s fresh out of college or maybe just an internship or maybe have like one year of experience so that’s the

Topic of this video today so stick around and if you’re new here welcome my name is bill hannah and i’m the financial controller i’ve been in finance for the last 15 years and i sat at both sides of the table both as the job seeker and also the hiring manager so i have the advantage of having seeing it from both sides and in this video i’m going to give you the

Secret sauce or the things that i hear as a hiring manager from a candidate that make me think right away that this is a person that i want to hire and this is a person that i want to work with so this is what we’re going to cover in today’s video okay so the way i want to do this is i’m going to cover the questions from one to five from the easiest question to

The most tricky question toward the end and for each question i’m going to give you the standard answer that typically a hiring manager would want to hear but also i’m gonna give you that secret sauce or that extra something that when i hear as a hiring manager i immediately think that this is somebody i wanna hire this is somebody i wanna work with and also at

The end of the video i’m gonna give you four keywords or four things that you want to make sure you you’re saying during the interview as a candidate that will make the hiring manager immediately realize that this is somebody that they want to hire immediately so let’s jump into today’s video okay so question number one and this is probably the easiest of the five

Questions the question goes what qualities make a good accountant and basically the hiring manager when they ask this question they’re looking for certain keywords certain things that they have to hear in order for them to feel comfortable about the person they’re interviewing and some of the keywords that you should be saying are detail-oriented so obviously as

An accountant you’ll be juggling many tasks and many different files of different formats you know like excel files pdf files also working with an accounting software as well so you need to be somebody who’s detail-oriented in order to be a good accountant the second thing you should be mentioning is being objective so objective is a is a great thing to have as

An accountant because objectivity means that you’re basing your opinion on facts or data and not just on your personal opinion so basically you need to be mentioning objectivity or being objective as a quality the other thing you should be mentioning is honesty or being honest and obviously honesty is needed for every career not just accounting but it becomes

Crucially important with accounting because you need to be able to hire somebody who when they make a mistake they’ll own up to it and say it so that you can fix the situation quickly so honesty is another quality you should be mentioning and finally you should be mentioning self-review self-review is an important quality for accountants in general it’s important

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But for accountant is very important because you need to be able uh to review your work before you give it to your manager so basically when you have a task to complete you need to be able to do it and then review it critically for uh spelling mistakes uh numerical mistakes and the actual logic of the work to make sure that it’s sound and then once you’ve reviewed

It you give it to your manager but also for this question if you really want to impress the hiring manager you want to stress on another quality which is it’s somebody who wants to help management by providing useful information help management run the business and once the hiring manager realized that you can make the connection between the accounting function

And running the business that will trigger another light bulb in their head to realize that this is somebody who’s mature this is somebody who understands that business is run on the information provided by accounting and so this is another quality you want to mention so to summarize detail-oriented objective honest self-review and someone who wants to help run

The business by providing useful information make sure to download our balance sheet metrics cheat sheet it’s 100 free and an amazing resource especially if you’re a financial professional finance student or into stock investing i’ll leave a link in the description so go ahead and check it out and again it’s 100 free okay now question number two and the question

Goes how has your education prepare you for a career in accounting and basically with this question for me as a hiring manager what i’m trying to gauge is that the ability for somebody to connect between the concepts that they studied in school the hard concepts of accounting in school and real life so basically i want to hear that you’re able to draw from the

Things that you studied in school and bring that to real life so basically there are certain key phrases that when i hear makes me feel more comfortable and one of these phrases is that you learned an accounting to summarize the business transactions into financial statements to help run the business and so this is one thing summarizing the business activity into

Financial statements the second thing is that that you learn the five basic uh principles of accounting and the five basic principles of accounting is something that you want to brush up on and remember for the interview those five basic principles of accounting are revenue recognition which basically means which period to recognize the revenue based on a

Contract with the customer second one is historical cost historical cost means you record your expenses and assets at their historical costs matching principle matching principle typically means matching revenue with expenses in a particular period so if you have revenue you need to be recording its costs of revenue and expenses in the same period the fourth

Principle is full disclosure meaning you are disclosing all the information on the financial statements including uh footnotes to the financial statements and finally uh the final uh principle of accounting is objectivity objectivity means that you are recording transactions on the books under financial statements based on evidence not based on what you think is

Should be booked it should be booked on a calculation a memo an invoice or evidence to support that transaction so these are the five basic principles of accounting really helpful to mention them in a job interview at any level not just entry level but these are always good to know uh the third thing you want to say for that question what have you know how has

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Your education prepared you for a career in accounting is the double entry accounting so basically you want to mention that you learn debits and credits and you know how to record your debits and credits for the business transactions and if you want to brush up on that particular skill you want to watch the video that i have made on debits and credits i’m gonna

Leave a link to it up here and in this description below okay so question number three and the question goes what erp program have you used in the past and erp stands for enterprise resource planning and basically it’s a fancy expression for saying the accounting software that you’re using and this could be anywhere from quickbooks for smaller companies to maybe

Netsuite for like you know slightly bigger companies all the way up to sap for really big companies and basically what the interviewer is looking for here is that if you’re if you’re fresh out of college you obviously haven’t used any rp in the past basically you just want to say that you’re aware of erp and what it is what it does and that you at least have done

Maybe some research online maybe have watched a demo or two on youtube on quickbooks or a netsuite ideally you want to research what this company is using as far as accounting package and do some research on youtube to learn a little bit more about that erp system so basically if you haven’t used any you should say that but you should also say that you have done

Some research if you’ve used in the past some erp system like quickbooks or netsuite you know so just talk about it briefly uh talk about the functions that you’ve you’ve used in the program like accounts payable accounts receivable applying cash and all that kind of stuff and that’s question number three okay so on to question number four and the question goes

How do you plan a large project to meet a deadline and basically this question here when i ask this question i’m trying to gauge the candidate’s ability to be organized you know being organized is crucial in accounting and so basically what i’m looking for here is somebody who tells me how they manage uh to get to a deadline and so what you can do is mention if

You’re fresh out of school you can mention how you met a deadline for a project a big project for school and basically what i want to hear is that you want to work backward from a deadline and establish milestones and then for these milestones you can create a checklist to meet each milestone to meet the objective of each milestone and then ideally what you want

To say that will trigger in my head that you are the right candidate is if you say that you want to leave some time towards the end of the project for review basically you want to make sure that you’re reviewing your work before you submit it um and so you leave a little cushion toward the end to reveal your work so that’s it basically you want to say that you

Want to work backward from a deadline create milestones for each milestone create a checklist of all the things that need to happen for this milestone to be achieved and that you leave some time toward the end for review to complete the project and that’s question number four okay question number five which is probably the trickiest question out of all of these


And you’ll see why here in a second where do you see yourself in five years and in 10 years and basically when i ask this question as a hiring manager what i’m looking for is your ability to express yourself and be ambitious you could say that in five years i’d like to be a junior controller and then in 10 years i’d like to be a senior controller or a similar

Position but i’m willing to do whatever it takes to learn on the job and grow professionally to meet these ambitions and for me this would be the kind of answer i’m looking for because it combines your ambition with being humble so you want to show both you want to show that you’re ambitious and hungry to grow in your career but also you’re humble and you realize

That you have a lot to learn and grow professionally and that’s question number five and as i promised you at the beginning of the video i’m going to give you four key phrases that you want to make 100 sure you’re mentioning during the job interview uh that when i hear as a hiring manager those key phrases i immediately think that this is somebody that i want to

Work with and those key phrases are key phrase number one is that you want to support management with information to be able to run the business so basically you want to show the hiring manager that you understand that accounting is about providing information to management to run the business so supporting the business with the right information is a key phrase

Number one number two key phrase or keyword is self review you want to mention the phrase uh or the expression self review because basically that shows the hiring manager that you’re someone who’s gonna be double checking their work and not just giving any work to their manager but correct and work that has been checked and reviewed so self-review is another key

Phrase that you want to make sure you mention the third key phrase or keyword you want to mention is checklist and basically as a hiring manager when i hear somebody that i’m interviewing that they work with checklist basically i will realize immediately that they are organized and being organized is key to working in accounting so making checklists is something

Is a quality that i look for that someone always works with checklists so make sure to mention the keyword checklist in the interview keyword number four you wanna mention fast learner and basically this is assumed that everybody is fast learner because basically you’re not really interested in hiring somebody who’s going to be slow and learning but you want to

Mention fast learner because that will concrete the idea in the interviewer’s head that you’re somebody who’s committed to learning on the job and learning fast so you want to make sure to mention these four keywords or key phrases during your accounting job interview and that’s it for this video if you enjoyed it give us thumbs up and if you haven’t subscribed

To the channel go ahead and subscribe now if you want to give me some ideas for future videos to make use the comment section below and i’ll see you in the next video you

Transcribed from video
5 Entry-Level Accounting Interview Questions! By The Financial Controller