48 Accounting Assistant Interview Questions (With Answers)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 3 March 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Working as an accounting assistant can give you access to learning opportunities before you become a certified accountant. When applying for this position, it may be helpful to prepare for interview questions so you can demonstrate your expertise in the field. Studying and understanding these questions can help you develop your answers in advance and appear as a strong candidate for the open role. In this article, we discuss 48 accounting assistant interview questions you might encounter during an interview and explore some sample answers you can use as models for your own.

Related: 7 Behavioural Questions For An Accounting Interview

General Accounting Assistant Interview Questions

Hiring managers typically use general accounting assistant interview questions to learn about who you are both in your professional and personal life. This may help them determine if you are an excellent fit for the culture of their organisation. These questions may relate to how you work with others, what your values are and what you like to do outside of your work. Below are 15 general questions a hiring manager may ask you during an interview:

  1. What do you know about this organisation?

  2. Why are you interested in accounting?

  3. What do you want to gain from this role?

  4. What strengths can you bring to a team?

  5. Do you have any questions about this organisation or the role you are applying for?

  6. What hobbies do you have?

  7. Are you comfortable meeting deadlines and working in a fast-paced environment?

  8. Do you prefer to work with a team or by yourself?

  9. Are you detail-oriented?

  10. How would your best friend describe you?

  11. Where do you see yourself in one year? And in five?

  12. What are your professional strengths?

  13. What do you think an accounting assistant does?

  14. Do you want to continue advancing with this organisation or return to school?

  15. How do you work to improve your professional weaknesses?

Related: Creating An Accounting Assistant Resume (With Template)

Questions About Your Background And Experience

Hiring managers usually ask questions about your work experience to learn more about who you are as a professional. These questions may include hypothetical situations and how you would handle them, descriptions of how you work through challenges in the workplace and what experiences you have had. Interviewers may also enquire about your integrity. Below are 15 questions a hiring manager may ask you about your background and experience:

  1. Do you have experience as an accounting assistant?

  2. Do you know how to process payroll?

  3. How many people were you or your team responsible for in your previous role?

  4. Can you prepare financial reports?

  5. Are you comfortable working with confidential information?

  6. How has your education prepared you for this position?

  7. What techniques and equipment have you worked with in other positions?

  8. Are you comfortable doing administrative tasks, such as filing, documenting and organising?

  9. Can you handle multiple deadlines and projects simultaneously?

  10. Do you have a network of professional accountants on whom you can rely?

  11. Have you worked in an assistant role before?

  12. Are you familiar with financial documents like bank statements and invoices?

  13. Are you comfortable with data entry duties and technologies?

  14. How have your previous jobs prepared you for this role?

  15. Can you tell me about a criticism you received in a previous role and how you addressed it?

Related: 7 Experience Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

In-Depth Questions

Employers may use in-depth questions to learn how you process information, make decisions at work and handle your responsibilities. You can prepare for them by practising the situation, task, action, result (STAR) interview response technique. The STAR method typically allows you to answer questions fully, with enough detail to satisfy your hiring manager. Below are 15 in-depth questions you may encounter during an interview:

  1. Can you describe a time when you experienced a challenge and how you overcame it?

  2. If you could give advice to your previous manager, what would it be?

  3. How do you minimise errors in your work?

  4. What are some best practices a manager can use to help support you?

  5. Can you tell me about a project you are proud you worked on and how you contributed to it?

  6. What are your time management processes?

  7. How do you process an invoice?

  8. How do you handle changes in processes at work?

  9. How do you think this role fits with the rest of the accounting team in this organisation?

  10. How do you handle an audit?

  11. What are the benefits of the accounting software you are familiar with using?

  12. What are some critical accounting principles you apply to your life?

  13. What do you think are the best skills for an accounting assistant?

  14. Can you describe a time you had a conflict with a colleague or supervisor and how you worked to resolve it?

  15. What did you like most about your previous role?

Related: How To Use The STAR Interview Response Technique

Accounting Assistant Interview Questions With Sample Answers

Understanding the types of questions you might encounter during an interview can help you successfully go through a job application process. You can also use sample answers to see how to apply your specific knowledge and background to particular questions. Below are three sample questions and answers you can use as inspiration for your own practice:

1. What are your math and computer skills?

Accountants and their assistants use math and computers in their daily work. A hiring manager might ask this question to learn if you have the necessary skills for the role and how you would apply them when carrying out your tasks. When you answer this question, focus on detailing the application of your skills to specific accounting processes.

Example: "In my most recent role, I developed extensive computer skills using Microsoft Excel to track cash flows, receipts and other critical information we use daily. My minor in mathematics was also helpful in my daily tasks. I prepared budgets for student groups when I was in college and then did the same for small teams in my current role. Now that I am more familiar with accounting processes, I can use my math and computer skills to process information quickly."

Related: Computer Skills: Definition And Example

2. How would you design a spreadsheet to track daily cash receipts?

This question can help hiring managers understand your organisational skills beyond the basic principles of using software tools. To answer this question, focus on creating a set of steps that your listener can easily follow. This may show that you understand the process and can describe it to others in a helpful way.

Example: "Although businesses often need different spreadsheets to track their daily cash receipts, you can also use a generalised process. First, I would design a page to track cash totals throughout the day. Then, I would add separate columns to track the beginning cash and total sales to understand the income. After that, I would create columns to track money leaving the organisation for purchases, refunds and deposits. Finally, I would track the totals of incoming and outgoing cash. Before adding values to this spreadsheet, I would create a blank copy that I or my colleagues can use for daily calculations."

Related: What Areas For Professional Development Can You Improve

3. How do you think this role can help you develop professionally?

Accounting assistant positions are often entry-level roles, so an employer may ask this question to evaluate how you want your career to develop. When preparing your answer to this question, consider whether you want to stay with the organisation you are interviewing with, how the role can help you develop and where you want to be by the end of your career. If your answer includes continuing education, mention this in case an organisation offers educational funding.

Example: "This role can help me develop into a full-time accountant. While I am still earning my certifications, I wanted to use this work experience to gain critical workplace readiness skills and start to build a network of experienced professionals I can turn to for help. When I researched your organisation, I found that you have a history of developing excellent accountants from this position, and I want to contribute to that legacy. I think that working for your organisation can help me achieve my ultimate goal of becoming a chartered accountant."

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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