Job Interview Questions and Answers for Accounting and Finance Careers

Job Interview Questions and Answers for Accounting and Finance CareersSection One: Job Interview Questions for Accounting and Finance Careers

( Please CLICK on the Question to reach the model answer, tips and related video)

General Questions for Accounting and Finance Job Interview

Question No. 1: Why did you select Accounting as your profession?

Question No.2: Where do you see yourself in the next 2 to 3 years?

Question No.3: Why should we hire you?

Question No.4 : Tell me about yourself

Question No.5 : What is your philosophy towards work?

Question No.6 : Do you consider yourself successful?

Experience Related Questions 

Question No. 7:  What did you do in your last job?

Question No.8: What is the most recent skill you have learnt relating to Accounting?

Question No.9: How many invoices on an average you process on a daily or weekly basis?

Question No.10: What would you do if you notice discrepancies in the invoices made by someone else in your office ?

Question No.11: Do you possess any knowledge about accounting standards?

Question No.12: Have you ever made suggestions to your seniors? Tell us about that.

Question No.13: What previous experience you have any of this field?

Question No.14: What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?

Technical Knowledge Questions for Accounting and Finance Job Interview

Question No.15: What is Departmental Accounting? What are its benefits?

Question No.16: What are Fictitious Assets?

Question No.17: By saying, perpetual or periodic inventory system; what do we mean?

Question No.18: In accounting, how do you define premises?

Question No.19: Do you think Accounting Standards are mandatory and why?

Question No.20: Define Executive Accounting?

Question No.21: Define Public Accounting?

Question No. 22: How many types of business transactions are there in accounting?

Question No. 23: What is a Balance Sheet?

Question No.24: Please explain the basic accounting equation?

Question No.25: What is a Bank Reconciliation Statement?

Question No.26: Where in journal entry would you record a cash discount?

Question No.27: What is meant by reversing journal entries?

Question No.28: What Are The Different Branches Of Accounting?

Must watch this video to watch the interviewer ask questions:


Section Two: Job Interview Questions and Answers for Accounting and Finance Careers

Question No. 1 Why did you select Accounting as your profession?

Similar questions:

• Why did you decide to become a Finance or Accounts Professional?
• What factors influenced you to choose this career path?
• Why do you want to become an Internal Auditor?

Understanding the Question:

The interviewer is seeking to understand your primary motivation for selecting this career. It is also a good question for the interviewer to learn how much planning and thought actually went into your career selection. Are you there by random acts and/or chance? Or is this part of a well-designed plan?

An example of how to best answer this question for entry level candidates:

Model Answer to Question:

There were many influences that went into my decision to select Finance and Accounts as the career field. One of my early mentors is my Father, who works with a well known Bank in the country and he encouraged me to explore opportunities in this field. Later my elder brother qualified as a Chartered Accountant and is now working with a large FMCG company. They have pointed me in the right direction to explore the possibilities. But it was the combination of my career research along with my subjects in School and College which helped to solidify my decision.

As you may notice that I have scored more than 90% marks overall in school, as well as in Economics and Accounting during my graduation studies.

Thus I am well prepared for a successful career in Finance and Accounts

Final Tip

The easiest way to do this is to use an example from your background and academics. It is a behavioral question and not a technical one. Hence it should not be difficult.

Watch this video for Model Answer & Tips

Question No. 7 What did you do in your last job?

Similar Questions

Instead of this, question, the interviewer may ask:
• Tell us about your achievements in your previous job?

Understanding the question

The interviewer’s job is to hire the person who has contributed in some way to the organization.
This interview question, like every other interview questions is an attempt to gather information to take an informed hiring decision.

Answer Tip

You should carefully mention what you bring to the table. This could be a combination of the necessary academic and professional qualifications, skills, experience (if any), right attitude which more than matches with the job profile and the specifications.

Your point by point answer could be in terms of your qualifications, experience, skills and special achievements which you bring with you.

Draw their attention to how your professional assets meet what the organization’s needs.

Model Answer to Question:

Having graduated from college last year, I haven’t faced much difficulty in my first job.

This gave me an opportunity to study the accounting processes of my employers. Fortunately, I found an area which could be improved upon. This was the accounting process of vendor payment.

Thus I created a system on processing payments for a faster processing and quicker payment. Earlier it used to go through 6 persons and would take 8 to 10 days. After implementing the system recommended by me, it is now done by 3 persons and in 3 days only.

This not only resulted in the savings for the company in terms of time and cost but earned the praise of the vendors. The vendors are now very happy to work for us.

Overall it has also created a better image of my company in the market.

Final Tip

Be clear, quantitative and give specific example! Be careful not to tell lies or take all the credit yourself.

Watch this video for Model Answer & Tips

Question No. 8 What is the most recent skill you have learnt relating to accounting?

Alternative questions

  • What have you learned in your last job?
  • What did you learn in each of your previous jobs?

Understanding this question

The interviewer would like to know if you are an all-time learner. Companies want to hire people that are constantly learning and updating their skill sets.

Answer Tip

Provide the information about (a) What the skill it is (b) how it is relevant to to the job you are interviewing for and (c) what you have accomplished or can accomplish

Sample Answer

I recently learned more about the latest software for processing and computing Income Tax, TDS, using accounting software. I also learnt how to generate customized reports. Although everyone uses accounts software but the catch is how to use the different features of the software by generating useful reports for analyzing data better. My reports were found very useful by the management and appreciated by the customers.

This skill has been very helpful when attending business meetings and establishing new relationships.

Watch this video for Model Answer & Tips

Question No. 15  What is Departmental Accounting? What are its benefits?

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Similar Questions

Instead of this, question, the interviewer may ask:
• Define Departmental Accounting and give an example.

Model Answer to Question:

It is a type of accounting where a big business has diverse activities. The organisation is likely to have several departments and each department deals with a particular kind of goods or service.

For example, a textile exporter may trade in cotton, woolen and polyester fabrics. The overall performance for this type of business depends, however, on departmental efficiency. He may also have a factory which is away from his office, while he may also do trading.

As a result, it is desirable to maintain accounts in such a manner that the result of each individual business activity and department can be known—together with the consolidated result.

This system of accounting which is followed for this particular purpose is known as Departmental Accounting.

There are several advantages of Departmental Accounting such as:

  1. Management can know of the efficiency and profitability of different business activity
  2. Management can keep track of revenues and expenses of each unit or department

Watch this video for Model Answer & Tips

Question No. 16 What are Fictitious Assets?

Similar Questions

Instead of this, question, the interviewer may ask:
• Define Fictitious Assets and give an example.

Model Answer to Question:

Fictitious Assets are Assets created by an accounting entry that have no tangible existence or realizable value. However, they actually represent cash expenditure.

The purpose of creating a fictitious asset is to account for expenses that cannot be placed under any normal account heading. Fictitious assets are written off as soon as possible against the company’s earnings.

Examples of Fictitious Assets are:

  • Promotional or Advertising expenses of the business
  • Preliminary expenses at the start of the firm
  • Discount allowed on issue of shares
  • Loss incurred on issue of debentures

Fictitious assets are shown in the balance sheet on the asset side under the head “Miscellaneous Expenditure”.

Watch this video for Model Answer & Tips

Question No. 20 Explain What Is Executive Accounting?

Similar Questions

Instead of this, question, the interviewer may ask:
• Define Executive accounting.

Model Answer to Question:

Executive Accounting is a type of accounting that is specifically designed for the firms that offer services to users.

Such businesses require a sophisticated accounting system, yet that is simple to use. Executive Accounting contains many advanced features such as three styles of invoicing, multi-currency capabilities, multiple bank account capabilities and other powerful features. Executive is a single-user system that can be upgraded to an multiple users.

Watch this video for Model Answer & Tips

Question No. 25 What is Bank Reconciliation Statement?

Similar Questions

Instead of this, question, the interviewer may ask:
• What are the steps to prepare Bank Reconciliation Statement?

Model Answer to Question:

Bank reconciliation statement is a statement prepared at periodical intervals, with a view to indicate the items which cause disagreement between the balances as per the bank columns of the cash book and the bank pass book on any given date.

Watch this video for Model Answer & Tips

Question No. 28 What Are The Different Branches Of Accounting?

Model Answer to Question:

There are three main branches of accounting named as “Financial Accounting”, “Management Accounting” and “Cost Accounting”.

  • Financial accounting refers to systematic method of recording transactions of revenues, expenses, assets, and liabilities. It involves basic accounting processes of recording, classifying, and summarizing transactions. This is done according to the principles of accounting. The main purpose of financial accounting is to calculate the profit or loss of a business during a period and to provide an accurate picture of the financial position of the business as on a particular date.
  • Cost accounting is the branch of accounting which specializes in recording, classification, allocation, and reporting of current and prospective costs. Cost accounting evaluates the cost of a product or service with an objective to help the management in fixing the prices and controlling the cost of production.
  • Managerial accounting is the branch of accounting designed to provide information to various management levels for enhancing controls, better administration of business and effective decision making.

There are several helpful tools of Management Information System such as Budgets, Projected Cash Flow and Fund Flow Statements, Variance Analysis reports, Cost-Volume-Profit Analysis reports, Break-Even-Point calculation, etc.

Besides these three main branches of accounting, there are a few other branches which are in practice and very useful for various purposes. They are:

  • Auditing
  • Tax Accounting
  • Fund Accounting
  • Forensic Accounting

Watch this video for Model Answer & Tips


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About the Author

Sundeep Kataria CV MakerSundeep Kataria is the CEO of ACS Consultants – a Management Consulting Firm. He holds multiple qualifications: MBA, PGDIT (IIFT), MS in Counselling & Psychotherapy and Diploma in Company Law. He has also formally learnt Digital Marketing and Website Making.

In 1995 he pioneered the concept of professional Career Counselling, Executive Coaching and Mentoring. Over the years he has mentored many professionals, like CAs, Engineers, Sales & Marketing Professionals, IT Experts etc.

The unique style of Sundeep Kataria is that he connects with each and every individual personally, holds in depth discussion before undertaking the assignment.

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