Accounts assistants are responsible for the preparation and maintenance of financial records. Here we take a look at some of the most common interview questions for accounts assistant roles and how you could answer them if you're faced with them.
Technical accounts assistant job interview questions and answers:
What accounting software applications do you have experience of?
As a starting point, it is important for someone looking for an accounts assistant job to mention MS Excel and Project, as well as PeopleSoft and Team Design software, and how you have applied these in a practical sense.
What do you feel is the best educational preparation for this career?
It is important to ensure that your answer largely reflects your own education history. Cover academic qualifications, plus ongoing professional development, practical training such as mentoring or coaching and membership of any professional institutions.
How do you keep up to date with the latest thinking in this field?
Interview guides recommend discussing your membership of any professional or academic institutions, reading blogs, articles and newsletters, and attending networking events. Also, mention your own professional network of fellow Accounts Assistants that you are continually growing and developing.
Our finance and accounting recruiters share their top interview prep tip in the video below:
Personal accounts assistant job interview questions and answers
Describe yourself professionally in a few words.
Keep it brief and focus on your attributes that are most relevant to the role in question and the employing organisation.
What are your biggest strengths?
Typical interview question and answer structures often open with a question like this. Avoid sounding arrogant or conceited by keeping your answer concise, but be sure to cover at least a couple of major strengths that are especially relevant to the role in question. Illustrate each of them with an example of how you were able to apply the strength in a way that made a tangible contribution to the success of the organisation.
What are your biggest weaknesses?
It is tempting to adopt a common interview tactic by glossing over this, or to provide a fake answer by attempting to dress up a strength as a weakness. This is a mistake. The interviewer will want to see an example of self-awareness and a commitment to self-improvement.
Scenario interview questions and answers
What has been your most complex assignment to date?
The example given should convey how a combination of technical expertise and personal characteristics enabled you to successfully deliver within very challenging constraints.
What is your least favourite aspect of being an accounts assistant?
The risk here is to sound negative, and interview guides always recommend avoiding this, so focus on the positive without being glib. Highlight an area that you know to be commonly unpopular and discuss how you handle that so it does not impact on your performance.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
It is important to have at least one example to hand that allows you to present how you applied your skills to achieve something that is particularly relevant to an Accounts Assistant role. Improvements that led to a tangible success for your employing organisation are going to be of particular interest.
Company interview questions and answers
What attracts you to this role?
Focus on how specific elements of the role relate to your own skills and experience in order to highlight your strength as a candidate. Also, be sure to cover how the role aligns to your personal and professional development ambitions.
What do you know about the organisation?
One of the best interview tips is to ensure you have a good understanding of the organisation and its products and services and be able to relay this clearly and authoritatively. There is no need to be an expert at this stage but you should be able to talk confidently about the history of the organisation as well as its place in the market and key people.
Why do you want to work here?
Interview questions and answers like this are another opportunity to demonstrate that you have done your homework so instead of focusing on pay and benefits, talk about how the philosophy of the organisation impresses you and how you are excited at the prospect of making a contribution to its ongoing success.
Career accounts assistant interview questions and answers
What is your ideal role?
Avoid the temptation to say “this one”, but adopt the interview tactic of tailoring your answer so that it reflects, to some extent, the role in question. In general terms, you can talk about the need to be challenged, to make a tangible contribution, to try new things, to have the opportunity to fully exploit your skills, and grow yourself professionally.
Where would you like to be in five years' time?
Be ambitious but realistic and make sure your answer is about your career, not your life in general.
What are your long-term goals?
Again, these should relate to the role in question. A final interview tip is to make sure your goals appear clearly thought out and well articulated to demonstrate that this is a serious and ongoing consideration.