7 Behavioural Questions For An Accounting Interview
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 1 July 2022
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.
Interview questions about your behaviour allow you to describe your reaction to past situations while providing an opportunity to discuss how you might respond to similar situations in the future. These questions also let you consider challenges you may encounter and how you might choose to address them if you experience those challenges. Behavioural questions often have in-depth responses, so practising a reply can help you get the accounting job you want. In this article, we discuss potential behavioural questions for an accounting interview and provide sample answers to help you achieve a successful interview outcome.
Behavioural Questions For An Accounting Interview
As accountants prepare to advance their careers, hiring managers may ask behavioural questions for an accounting interview so they can learn how you find solutions to work-related challenges. Below are seven behavioural interview questions for an accounting interview and sample answers you can use as inspiration during your interviews:
1. How do you manage successful team projects?
A hiring manager may ask how you successfully manage team projects to determine your working relationships with other professionals in your field. For example, as an accountant, you may work on a team, so demonstrating that you can achieve successful outcomes might help you acquire a role at a large organisation. As you answer this question, include an example of a rewarding project and how the team worked well together to complete it.
Example: "In my most recent role, we worked on a team project with another organisation, with the joint project representing multiple interests. As the representative of my organisation's accounting team, I worked closely with an accountant from the other organisation. Together, we discussed how to efficiently distribute resources so we could complete the project on time. As a result, through our collaborative teamwork, we successfully met the deadline by allocating additional time to extra features of the project."
2. Describe a project that you are proud to have completed.
A potential employer might ask this question to understand what projects you enjoy doing and your contributions to the project. When you prepare to answer this question, choose a rewarding project and discuss how you and others were able to make that project a success.
Example: "Early in my accounting career, I worked with a medical technology company that used excess funds to develop research into new technologies that could save lives. Through my work, I discovered the company had additional funds that departments were not using. After asking the head of each department, I found that they no longer required the funds. That year, by using the excess funds, the organisation could expand its technological research, increasing its revenue. I hope to impact your organisation in a similar way."
3. How do you work with challenging clients?
Accounting professionals may interact with the customers of an organisation. These may include business-to-business or business-to-consumer situations. When a hiring manager asks you this question, they assess your interpersonal skills and how you express your commitment to customer satisfaction. When you answer this question, choose a time you worked with a difficult client and how you came to an acceptable resolution of the challenge you experienced.
Example: "Customer satisfaction is a high priority when performing my tasks as an accountant. My current role includes issuing invoices to our clients and sending receipts upon payment. One time, a client I was working with was unhappy with the process I used to send the invoices and claimed that it made their job more difficult. By collaborating with them, I could determine how to make their job easier and initiate changes within my organisation to introduce a process more suitable to our clients' needs."
4. What single improvement have you made to a process and how did it affect the accounting team?
An interviewer may ask this question to determine how you create more efficient processes for an organisation. These processes might benefit you and others on the accounting team leading to better productivity. When you answer this question, choose a specific scenario when you implemented a process, why you changed it and how it made work procedures easier for you and your team.
Example: "In my second accounting role, I worked for an organisation that recorded all its accounting transactions on paper instead of using digital technology. This led to a situation where the accounting team had such a large workload that they could not keep up with other businesses using modern technology and slowly lost market appeal. My suggestion was to digitise our work methods to help us process documentation, and the managers agreed. Over the next several months, we transferred the majority of documentation to a digital format and increased the team's efficiency by 50%."
Related: 7 Basic Accounting Concepts To Know
5. How do you handle disagreements in the workplace?
During an interview, a potential employer might ask this question to understand how you address challenges between yourself and other accounting professionals. When you answer this question, consider the conflict resolution practices you use and how they facilitate agreements between you and others in the workplace. Remember to express your respect for your colleagues even though conflicts may arise.
Example: "If a disagreement arises between myself and my colleagues, it is important to maintain a constant level of respect. Then, I try to address the source of our conflict and suggest an approach to create an amicable solution. If they are challenging my work processes, I listen to their perspective first and then offer my viewpoint regarding the situation. Once we share our perspectives, I ask what course of action they would prefer I take and seek to do so if it meets the organisation's standards."
6. How do you manage stress at work?
Hiring managers may ask how you manage stress to understand how much work you can take on and how you might handle the challenges of your accounting work. When answering this question, focus on your desire to work for the business. You can also discuss any specific stress-management techniques you use.
Example: "There are various ways that I can deal with stress. First, I can return refreshed and work productively by taking my lunch break and time out to disengage from my work. Second, by organising my workspace, I can respond to diverse situations in a quick and orderly manner. Finally, I remind myself that my work is important, and I exercise patience to ensure the best and most accurate outcome possible. Each of these techniques helps to minimise my stress level and helps maintain my ability to work effectively."
7. How do you implement criticism into your work processes?
By asking this question, an interviewer might try to understand how you change and develop your processes to be more effective in the workplace. It can also help them learn how you address criticism when interacting with other professionals and customers. When you answer this question, focus on a specific example of when someone's criticism helped you advance as a professional and how it affected your employer's business practices.
Example: "Early in my career, I had a mentor who was excellent at providing constructive criticism. During that time, I learned so much from them, and in hindsight, I realised I left that role a much more effective professional. Now, when I receive feedback from others, I think about how I can change my work processes and determine whether it may be beneficial or if it might add unnecessary steps to a procedure. Then, if it is helpful, I implement the changes."
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