Senior Accountant Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

How do I know? Some might call me a “recovering CPA”—I used to work as one at a Big Four accounting firm. And before becoming a career coach, I spent years handling recruiting efforts at a public accounting firm for five offices spanning up and down the East Coast. I worked directly with leadership to identify top talent, built recruiting processes, and screened candidates for accounting opportunities. Based on my experience, I have some advice on how to answer the most common accountant interview questions and what qualities recruiters are looking for when they ask them.

Operational and Situational questions
  • What steps do you take in preparing a budget?
  • Describe your experience with financial forecasting and projections.
  • How do you stay current on accounting and auditing standards?
  • How do you keep track of what you’ve delegated to your team?
  • How do you monitor your team’s performance?

7 Senior Accountant Interview Frequently Asked Questions

3. Can you recall an accounting error you made and what you have done since to avoid making mistakes?

Demonstrates the ability to rectify problems and minimize the risk of making mistakes.

9. How Have You Added Value to Your Company Outside of Your Client Activities?

Depending on the company or path you’re on within accounting, and especially if you’re an external auditor, hiring managers might want to understand how well-rounded you are and how committed you’d be to getting involved internally.

Keep an eye out for candidates who are:

  • Strategic and analytical leaders
  • Goal-oriented
  • Strong leadersÂ
  • The right candidate will be thrilled to coordinate complex projects involving data collection, data analysis, quality control and planning future work.Â

    Top tip: Hire candidates willing to grow by making sure their personal career goals align with your companys mission.

  • Walk me through your budget preparation process.
  • Describe financial forecasting and projections.Â
  • How do you stay current on accounting and auditing standards? What publications do you read?Â
  • How do you keep track of the work your team is tasked to do?
  • How do you monitor your team’s performance and help them set goals?
  • How do you direct internal and external audits?
  • How do you present financial data to non-financial staff?
  • Describe a time you helped senior leadership to make a decision based on financial data. What was the outcome?Â
  • How do you explain complicated processes to staff members who have no financial background?
  • Describe a time you were dissatisfied with an accounting process. What did you do to improve it?
  • Have you executed a complicated financial project on a tight deadline? How did you coordinate your team in collecting and analyzing data? How did you ensure accuracy?
  • senior accountant interview questions

    5. Do You Have Your CPA?

    The Certified Public Accountant license is the ultimate certification, and it shows commitment to the profession. If you have your CPA, it will make you stand out against the competition. However, there are many other certifications in accounting that you could pursue—having a CPA isn’t the only way.

    7. How Do You Organize and Prioritize Your Day?

    There are many moving pieces in an accounting role, so the interviewer will want to understand how well you balance and prioritize your work when things get busy.

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