40 Questions for Jobs as an Accounting Assistant
Accounting assistant jobs can be a great way for recent college graduates or people who want to switch careers into finance to learn from more experienced accountants and get more work experience. When applying for these kinds of entry-level jobs, it’s important to be well-prepared and know how your skills and experiences will help you in the role. Studying sample interview questions can help you plan your answers before the real interview and make you look like a strong candidate. In this article, we look at some accounting assistant job interview questions and how to answer them.
At the beginning of the interview, the hiring manager may ask you some general questions about yourself and your professional goals. This helps them get to know you better. Here are some general questions you might be asked at an accounting assistant job interview:
- Why are you interested in accounting?
- What do you know about our company?
- What made you want this job?
- What skills do you have that could help our team?
- How would you explain what a person who helps with accounting does?
- What do you want from your next job, and do you think our company has those things?
- How long do you want to work at your next job?
- Do you want to go back to school or get a promotion at the job you have now?
- What are your weaknesses at work, and how do you try to improve them?
- Can you work well when you’re under pressure?
- Do you prefer to work with other people or on your own?
- Do you care about the small things?
Questions about work and history from the past
How you answer questions about your experience and background can show how qualified you are for this job. Here are some questions about your work history and background that an interviewer for a job as an accounting assistant might ask:
- Have you ever worked as an accountant’s assistant? Why did you stop working there?
- Tell me about your schooling and how it prepared you for this job.
- At your last job, what tools and software did you use?
- As a data entry worker, have you ever had to file as part of your job?
- Do you know how to read and understand important papers like bills and bank statements?
- Do you feel comfortable working with confidential documents?
- Have you written about money in a report?
- Have you ever been in charge of more than one project at once?
- Have you ever had an assistant job?
- At your other jobs, how have you built relationships with accountants or other professionals with more experience?
- How many people did you help in your last job as an assistant?
- Have the bills been paid?
Accounting firms and other businesses may ask you detailed questions to find out how you might fit into their business. Here are some detailed questions that an interviewer for an accounting assistant job might ask:
- How do you make sure there are no mistakes in your work?
- Tell me about a time when you didn’t agree with a peer or a boss and what you did about it.
- What do you think are the most important skills for an accounting assistant?
- Tell me about a big project you worked on at work, what your part was, and how it turned out.
- How do you plan your time when you have several due dates at the same time?
- If I asked you to process a bill, what would you do?
- Tell me about a time when something was different at work and you had to get used to it.
- If you want to move up in this job, are you willing to get training?
- What do you think our team’s assistant accountant does?
- How do you handle a check?
- Can you tell me what you liked and didn’t like about some of the accounting software you’ve used?
- Tell me how you’ve used an accounting principle in your everyday work.
Sample answers to questions asked at an accounting assistant interview
Here are some questions and answers to help you get ready for an accounting assistant job interview:
Tell me about the math and computers you know.
Employers may ask you this to see how sure you are of your skills and how much experience you have. If you have work experience, you might want to talk about a time when your math or computer skills helped you solve a problem. You can talk about things like awards or internships you did while you were in school if you just graduated.
Example: “I liked math and computer science in school, so when I went to college, I found a few ways to learn more about them. I got a degree in accounting and then got a minor in data processing. This helped me learn how to use accounting methods and understand bigger pieces of financial information. I also made budgets and kept track of money for a few student groups that put on events. This helped me in my summer internships at entertainment companies, so I feel like my math and computer skills have really grown in these business settings.”
How would you set up a spreadsheet to track the money you get every day?
This question can help hiring managers find out if you know more about accounting than just how to use software. In your answer, show how organized you are by giving clear, step-by-step details of what you did.
Example: “My plan would depend on the business, but I’d start by adding a main page to keep track of totals. On this page, I’d write down how much cash I had at the start, how much money I made from sales, and how much money I got from accounts receivable. At this point, I’d add up all the money that comes in. Then, I would write down all cash that went out, such as refunds, bank deposits, and any money that was taken from the owner. I would leave room for the expected net cash on hand, the actual cash on hand, and the difference.
If the company isn’t keeping track of transactions anywhere else, I would add pages to record each cash transaction that comes in and goes out. Last, I would save a copy of this spreadsheet that is blank so I can use it as a model in the future.”
How do you think this job will help you advance in your career?
Since most jobs for accounting assistants are entry-level, employers may ask you questions like this to find out if you want to move up in their company, if you’d leave to go back to school, or if you’re already taking part in any professional development activities. In your answer, you can show that you are curious by wanting to learn new things. If you do plan to get more education or a certification, you might want to let the company know in case it has resources for continuing education or helps with tuition.
Example: “I think this job as an accounting assistant could be a great way to learn about different parts of accounting and how the accounting department in a business this size works. From what I know about your company, I know that you have some great, experienced accountants here, and I’m excited to learn from each of them. I want to become a CPA in the future, and I think this department will give me a lot of chances to learn more and move up, which will help me reach that goal.”
Are you good at talking to clients, vendors, and people from other parts of the company?
Interviewers might ask you questions like this to see if they can trust you to tell them things in a clear and professional way. These kinds of questions can be important because accounting assistants may have to look into differences or answer customer service questions. You can talk and write about any communication experiences that are important to you.
Example: “I’ve talked to a wide range of people at my jobs in retail and at the front desk of a local medical office. I’ve learned how to talk about sensitive topics and how important it is to keep secrets. I think I’ll be able to use these skills well when I talk about receipts and mistakes with clients and vendors outside of the office. Working in a medical setting also made me realize how important communication is within an organization, so I’m very motivated to do what I can to share information between departments.”