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Top 5 Interview Questions to Ask an Accounting Candidate

Much like accounting, errors in hiring can end up costing an organization a lot of time and money. An accounting professional, much like a recruiter or hiring manager, is relied on to do their jobs efficiently and also without any errors.

Where they differ significantly is that much of what an accounting professional does has to do with numbers and financial records. There is very clearly a right and a wrong way to do things. In comparison, hiring managers and recruiters have to use their own judgement to determine whether or not a candidate is a good fit for the company. They can either end up with a new hire that is great, poor, or something in between.

The good news is that there are tools available that you can use to help you make the right decision when it comes to hiring a new accounting professional. The accounting and finance recruiters at suggest using these five interview questions to separate the contenders from the pretenders.

1. Why do you want to work here?

Regardless of the industry you work in, it’s important to start off your interview by asking a candidate their reasons for applying to your company. You’ll be able to get a sense of how much research they did about your company beforehand, and it will also give you some insight into what motivates them as well as their career goals.

2. What do you think about this recent accounting trend?

Ask about a piece of news or current trend in the industry that an accounting professional should be aware of. This will give you an idea about how seriously they take their profession, and also let you know that they are on top of things.

3. Which accounting tools do you use, and which do you find most effective?

With plenty of accounting software available out there, it’s a good idea to find out whether or not they are familiar with the kind you use in your organization. This will also give you a sense of their skill level so you know whether or not they will need additional training.

4. What do you do to ensure that your work is error-free?

This is a question that will help you learn about the candidate’s process, tools, and resources that they like to use to ensure the accuracy of their work. A detailed plan means that they are meticulous and prepared to do the work properly.

5. Describe a situation where you made a mistake. How did you handle it?

Everyone makes mistakes, so what’s important is how a person reacts to these mistakes and what they do to remedy the situation. When you ask this question, does the candidate blame someone else, or do they take ownership? Are they able to describe the steps they took to correct the mistake?

Ask the Pros

If you’re still struggling to find the right accounting candidate, then it may be time to seek out an accounting and finance recruitment firm like IQ Partners. With their years of experience and industry know-how, they’ll be able to find you the right person in no time.