Stand out from the competition by asking these key questions during your accounting job interview.
You’re almost there – you’ve updated your resume, applied for the job, got the interview, done your research and preparation, and are now at the end of the interview.
“Do you have any questions for us?” your interviewer asks.
Oh yes you do, or you will, after you read this article to help you snag that job offer. You don’t need to ask a lot of questions, either. Arm yourself with this handful of high-impact questions and you’ll be on our way to making a positive impression on your interviewer or hiring manager.
Why is it important to ask questions in an accounting job interview?
It’s important to ask your own questions in accounting job interviews. This is because a job interview is a chance for you to also interview your possible employer.
By asking questions you can gain a better understanding of:
⦁ The firm’s work culture and environment
⦁ Your potential responsibilities
⦁ Expectations surrounding the job
⦁ Your potential boss’ management style
Having clarity on these factors is important, because it will help you figure out whether you and the job are a compatible.
So without further ado, here are five questions accounting candidates should ask in job interviews.
What are the most important skills and qualities the person in this job needs to have to be successful?
The answer to this question will confirm what skills and attributes the employer is looking for – and considers most important – and can provide insight into just what kind of work you can expect to be doing.
Are the skills and attributes your interviewer mentions what you expected? If the answer is yes, that’s a good thing – it’s a sign you understand the job requirements. It’s always good to confirm this, because what’s outlined in a job ad can sometimes be open to interpretation, or not mention things you believe are important to know, such as the requirement to travel twice a month or that you would be responsible for training interns.
You can then use your interviewer’s answer to provide examples of times you used those skills and attributes to solve a problem and/or achieve a positive outcome.
What professional development and training opportunities does your firm offer employees?
Employers who offer their employees opportunities to upskill are not only taking action to grow their business but to also keep employees engaged, productive and motivated. It’s a win-win situation and savvy employers know this.
By joining a firm that offers professional development opportunities, you can become better equipped to advance your career, keep your employer’s firm competitive, and keep up with changes in the workplace.
What do you wish you had known about working here before you started working here?
By asking this question, you can learn more about job expectations, potential challenges, and the work culture. Ideally, you’ll receive answers that will tell you things that wouldn’t normally be included on a job ad or job description but are still useful.
For example, perhaps the firm has a policy of no one going on vacation during tax season, or the boss provides free lunch on Fridays. Of if the door to the firm owner’s office is closed, that really means “do not disturb unless the place is on fire.” Or you’re allowed to work from home two days a week.
The answers to this question can obviously vary, yet should provide good-to-know pieces of information.
What’s your management style?
You may have heard that people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. So this question is important because it can tell you what your potential manager will be like on the job and if you’ll like working with him or her.
If you like to have a lot of autonomy while you’re working and you have a manager who is happy to leave you to it after providing you with guidance and instruction, then great – you will likely work well together. Whereas if the manager micromanages, there might be friction there.
Find out if the manager has an open-door policy if you need to chat with him or her, or if you should go through their assistant to schedule an appointment. This can be a clue into how formal or busy your manager is, so you can adapt your approach. (When you understand people, you can manage them!)
What is the next step in your recruitment process?
Asking this question will confirm to your interviewer that you’re interested in the role. It will also let you know how long it will take before you hear back from them (but by all means, don’t pin all your hopes on one position. Keep on applying and interviewing with other firms).
The answer to this question should also hopefully give you an idea of a timeline – for when you can follow up on next steps if you haven’t heard back by a time they indicated.
Asking well-thought-out and purposeful questions in accounting job interviews can help you stand out from other candidates and nudge you closer to a job offer. It shows the interviewer you’ve put thought and effort into preparing for the interview and that you’re serious about considering the job.
This reflects great qualities an employer would want to have in an accounting professional, as well. And when it comes to an accounting position, care and attention to detail count!
Ultimately, the answers to your accountancy interview questions should help you more easily decide if the role and the firm are a good fit for you.
Ready for your next opportunity? Check out TOA Global’s job opportunities and apply on TOA Global Careers.