43 Accounts Assistant Interview Questions (Plus Answers)
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An accounts assistant aids an accountant by performing tasks like sorting mail, handling phone calls and performing basic bookkeeping. If you're interested in applying for a job as an accounts assistant, it's important to prepare for an interview. Knowing the interview questions a hiring manager may ask you for this role can help you formulate strategic responses that may impress them. In this article, we list 43 accounts assistant interview questions hiring managers may ask and provide you with five interview questions with sample answers to help you create your own responses.
16 general accounts assistant interview questions
The following are the general accounts assistant interview questions you may hear during an interview for this role. Hiring managers often ask basic questions to learn about you and your unique personality. Asking these questions can help them learn whether you're a good cultural fit for their company:
Tell me about yourself.
Why did you become an accounts assistant?
What's your greatest strength as an accounts assistant?
What's your greatest weakness as an accounts assistant?
How does this role align with your career aspirations?
How might your coworkers describe your work ethic?
How might your supervisor describe your work ethic?
What do you enjoy doing when you're not working?
Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years?
What motivates you as an accounts assistant?
Why do you want to work for us?
What do you know about our company?
How did you hear about this job?
How soon can you start?
Why are you leaving your current company?
What are your salary expectations for this role?
12 questions about experience and background
Before offering you the job, a hiring manager may ask questions to learn whether you have the skills and industry experience to perform the job well. To determine whether you're qualified for the role, they often ask a series of questions to test your accounts assistant knowledge. Here are some interview questions about your experience and background that you may hear from the hiring manager:
Tell me about your experience as an accounts assistant.
Which of your classes best prepared you for this role?
Tell me about your working pace.
Tell me about your experience using accounting principles.
How did you become an accounts assistant?
Explain the role of an accounts assistant.
In your opinion, what qualities make a good accounts assistant?
Tell me about your duties in your last role as an accounts assistant.
In your opinion, what are the three most important skills for this role?
How do your qualifications make you a better candidate for the job?
What accounting software do you have experience with?
Tell me the difference between auditing and accounting.
10 in-depth interview questions
At the end of an interview, a hiring manager may ask in-depth questions to learn whether you're the right fit for the role. For example, they may ask situational questions that test how you might react during certain situations on the job. Here are some in-depth interview questions the hiring manager may ask:
Have you ever disagreed with your supervisor? Tell me what happened and how you resolved the situation.
Tell me about a time when you successfully multitasked.
Tell me how you might handle an audit.
Have you ever disagreed with a coworker? Tell me how you overcame the conflict.
Have you ever made an accounting error? How did you handle the situation?
How do you resolve a conflict at work?
How do you adapt to change as an accounts assistant?
How do you manage your workload?
What do you think might be the most challenging part of this job? How do you plan to overcome it?
Describe a time when you used logic to resolve a problem.
5 interview questions with sample answers
Apart from considering the questions a hiring manager may ask, it's important to think of how you might respond to them. If you provide the hiring manager with thoughtful answers, you can impress them and improve your chances of getting hired for the job. Consider practising your answers to common interview questions with a trusted friend or family member. Use these questions and sample answers to help you craft your own:
1. Have you ever found a payroll discrepancy?
Employers often want to understand how you respond to mistakes. This can help them know how you use your communication and problem-solving skills to inform managers and address the situation. Essentially, knowing how you handle discrepancies helps them understand how you might handle similar situations at the company. In your answer, consider providing them with an example of a similar occurrence in one of your previous roles. Explain you resolved the discrepancy successfully.
Example: "At my last place of employment, as I entered payroll information into the company's system, I noticed that a colleague's pay was abnormally low. I looked up their billable hours and calculated their normal pay, which was a lot higher. I informed my manager and double-checked to make sure there were no official reasons for the payment decrease.
They informed me it was a mistake and thanked me for bringing it to their attention. My colleague then received their full compensation for the pay period. In the end, I saved the company time from fixing a potentially larger problem in the future."
2. Has your work ever affected the outcome of a project?
This question lets you talk more about your experience and background as an accounts assistant. It also lets you explain how you use your occupational skills to help your employers. When answering this question, mention the specific accounting knowledge and techniques you used to complete a previous project and how it positively affected the results.
Example: "While working for my current employer, the accounting department was working on generating financial reports for the quarter. As I reviewed some documents, I noticed some numbers didn't seem realistic because of my experience processing that quarter's sales receipts. After informing my supervisor, they encouraged me to look further into the situation. I re-examined the sales receipts, compared them to the financial reports and noticed that there was a fixable mistake. The department was able to make the correction and my work helped finish the project successfully and accurately."
3. Tell me about a time you gave someone negative feedback.
Giving negative feedback can help you highlight mistakes and show individuals how to improve and develop in their occupations. When answering this question, consider discussing how your skills and communication methods helped a colleague and improved the work environment overall. Make sure to express how you approached this situation with caution and care.
Example: "At my current company, I noticed a colleague made quick estimations for some numbers instead of using exact calculations. Though the numbers weren't for something as important as a financial report, his estimations may have caused the company to lose money. They may have also led the company to make uninformed decisions. I asked to speak talk privately with this colleague, and when we were alone, I politely informed him how his work might affect the business. He completely understood, and since that conversation, he's worked hard to develop as an accounting professional and make more accurate estimations."
4. What's your approach to working with a lot of numbers and data?
When hiring managers ask you this question, they're trying to understand how you use your analytical and prioritisation skills to provide quality work for your employers. When you answer it, consider mentioning the specific strategies or tools you use to help you sort through data. Make sure the strategies or tools you mention help you effectively fulfil your duties.
Example: "As an accounts assistant, there are many times where I have a lot of data to sort through or calculate to complete my daily duties. During these times, I always try to divide my larger and number-filled projects into smaller, more attainable goals. Doing this can help these tasks seem easier to accomplish. I start by processing all invoice information first and then move on to customer payments. Prioritising my work in this manner helps me sort through the information more efficiently. It also helps make my day more manageable and helps me save valuable time."
5. Describe a time when you successfully multitasked.
This question can help hiring managers understand your time management skills and how you prioritise several projects at once. To answer this interview question effectively, it can be helpful to describe some of the projects you were working on. You can discuss their importance and the steps you took to ensure you completed them on time.
Example: "When I first started as an accounts assistant, I had to prepare multiple financial documents for different company departments, all by the same deadline. The assignments required a lot of analytical and detail-oriented work, which took a lot of time. I was worried I wouldn't finish all of them by the deadline, so I talked with my manager to see which financial documents were most crucial. Using her advice, I prioritised the completion of the most important documents and used the one-day extension she gave me to finish the others."
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