Accounting Interview Preparation Guide
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This section of Accounting Interview Questions and Answers will unlock your potential regarding all aspects of Accounting. Accounts is base of any growing business, any business can not grow as an international organization with out Accounting. So if your are a marketing person or having financial expertise then you must have to know about the accounting interview questions and answers techniques here with us.

202 Accounting Questions and Answers:

1 :: Why do you want to be an accountant?

A stereotypical answer to this question is that accountancy offers a respected professional qualification which can lead on to a wide range of opportunities in business. This is all true, but it doesn't answer the question of why YOU want to become an accountant - and if you give as general an answer as this, you can expect to be questioned in detail on the nature of the qualification and the opportunities you see it leading to.

Much of the income of the larger accountancy firms now comes from consultancy and related services rather than from audit. Even in audit you will spend much of your time visiting clients and asking questions, so good interpersonal skills are important. Your answer to this question should probably make this point.

Accountancy is now a fast changing profession, so they are looking for individuals with initiative who can manage change. Ensure that you have a considered answer to this question. It is bound to be asked!
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2 :: Why did you choose the A-levels you did?

The A-level subjects you chose are largely irrelevant, so answer this question honestly, although A levels which demand numeracy, analytical skills and communication skills may help.

If you have not done A levels, but entered university by some other route such as an Access course, explain why this was so - you may find the selectors will in this case put a lot of weight on your degree performance.

A-levels are close to the heart of Accountancy firms. This is because your performance in the profession's examinations have been shown to correlate quite closely to A-level examination performance. Many firms will have a points requirement, but will also be interested in your reasoning behind the choice of subjects.
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3 :: Were you happy with the grades you achieved at A-level?

Chartered Accountancy firms put a lot of weight on A-level grades as these have been found to be the best predictors of success in professional examinations.

If your A levels were not outstanding, this may sometimes depend more on the quality of the school you attended than your ability. In some inner-city schools it may be that a mediocre A-level performance that you achieved might have been the best in your school - if this is so, then make it clear. An average performance at a weak school academically may be the equivalent of a much better performance at some prestigious establishments.

Similarly, if there were any other external factors, such as illness, that may have affected your grades, tell the interviewers - but don't sound as though you are making excuses.
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4 :: How did you chose your university?

Be honest, but try to show evidence for careful consideration and logic in your choice. The interviewer may follow up this question by asking if, with hindsight, you felt you made the right choice, or how you feel the course you have followed could be improved. Constructive and thoughtful criticism is appreciated, but try to balance any criticisms with positive points too.

You could include in your answer any of the following:

* Advice & guidance from teaching/careers staff at school or college
* Geographical preferences
* Availability of a particular course
* The research and/or teaching quality of institutions
* Cost factors
* The reputation of the institution, or individual members of staff
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5 :: What qualities have you got that would make you a good accountant?

Aside from the obvious ones such as numeracy and interpersonal skills, key skills will include determination and self discipline (to get through the difficult professional examinations) and an interest in the business world generally. An ability to work in (and ultimately lead) teams, strong analytical skills, good verbal and written communication skills and curiosity (particularly on the audit side) are some of the others you could mention - if you aren't strong in some of these areas then you may have problems making a persuasive case for yourself.

You are likely to be asked many questions seeking evidence of these particular competencies and will be expected to give examples which are backed up with evidence: for example, if asked about your leadership qualities, you should give an example of where you led a group successfully rather than just stating 'people always look to me to take the lead'.
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6 :: Why have you applied to our firm?

Quantifiable differences between chartered accountancy firms are often found on the basis of size rather than between individual firms. In general, the Big Four offer more international opportunities, household-name clients, more structured training, the chance to specialise in particular industries … Smaller firms usually market themselves on factors such as greater client contact, greater variety of work (shorter audits at smaller clients), early responsibility, work-life balance, friendliness and smaller audit teams. In the end, graduates often choose between similar types of firm on the basis of the company culture and atmosphere, which often boils down to which of them seemed the friendliest at interview!

The interviewer will have expected you to have done your research on the firm – not just reading the careers section of their website but looking at the pages for clients, press releases etc. You should also look in the general business press for mentions of larger firms. Factors you could mention include:
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7 :: What have you read in the newspapers in the last few days that particularly interested you?

Questions like this are testing your general interest in business and finance and your commercial awareness. You will be expected to come up with stories from the political, finance or other specialist sections of the papers that may be relevant to the firm or its clients.

Make sure that you read a quality newspaper regularly so that you are up to date with current business and financial affairs (One of the Big Four firms asks interviewees if they read the Financial Times). Try not to side with a particular opinion. Do not be party political! You should aim to provide a balanced assessment of a topic of interest to you. Explain why it interests you. Be prepared for follow-up questions.
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8 :: What other careers are you considering?

The obvious answer would be careers in banking and insurance and other finance areas, but it is OK to mention any career here as long as you can argue your case effectively e.g. by demonstrating that the skills required are similar to those of an accountant.

Interviewers will be looking for evidence that you have analyzed your skills and interests in a logical manner when coming to a career decision, and also for signs of your commitment to accountancy.

However, in an interview you do not HAVE to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. If you admit to also applying for highly-competitive areas such as journalism or the Diplomatic Service, the interviewer is likely to assume that accountancy is your second choice. Similarly, you might find the interviewer challenging your interest in business if you said that social work or nursing was also an option.
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9 :: Tell me about a situation where you showed determination?

Questions like this are designed to bring out evidence of the qualities that you have which you will need to do the job. Be very well prepared with examples of situations where you have used these skills. If you have answered a few demanding graduate application forms, you will have come across most of these questions and prepared answers.

Other situations which are frequently asked about include the following:
Give an example of when you:
* Planned something.
* Took on responsibility.
* Led a team.
* Had to cope with pressure.
* Dealt with an unreasonable person.
* Had to make a difficult decision?
* Used initiative
* Influenced others.
* Solved a problem.
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10 :: What is your greatest achievement and why?

Before your interview think through everything you have done in the last five years and try to find at least one example which fits each of these situations.

Don't worry if your examples are not earth-shattering, as long as they give some evidence for possessing the quality in question.

You can answer these questions by first describing the SITUATION and/or TASK you had to achieve, then the ACTION you took in the situation and finally the RESULT or outcome. Some interviews consist almost entirely of these types of questions, in which case the order of the interview is set in advance with a standard list of questions. Even more so than usual answer questions honestly - honesty is essential in the job!
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