You are sitting across from a recruiter in an air-conditioned conference room. You hand them your resumé. They ask if you found the office quickly or did you have trouble. You make a small joke and they laugh politely.
Once the ice is broken, things start to get serious. The smiles disappear and inquiring looks replace them. In the next few minutes, you have to prove your worth as an accounting professional. A barrage of accounting interview questions will come at you like darts on a dartboard. If you are prepared, you’ll know most of the answers. If you came from watching a movie marathon on Netflix, or a week-long nap, you’re likely to stumble through the meeting. And the recruiters will know it. Preparation is key to nailing an interview. Most interviewers tend to ask the same set of accounts interview questions for freshers. All you need to do is ensure you know the answers.
Lucky for you, here are a list of questions and answers to help you be ready for your first interview as an accountant.
Tips on answering accounts interview questions for freshers
- Speak slowly and clearly. Don’t rush your words in. No one is timing your answers.
- However, you shouldn’t take half an hour on one question either. Keep your sentences short and articulate.
- Avoid using too much jargon. Don’t recite the textbook verbatim. Pretend you are explaining the terms to someone who isn’t an accountant.
- Practice professional etiquette before the interview, but don’t memorise the answers. Your words should flow naturally in a conversation.
10 technical accounts interview questions for freshers
How well do you know your accounting concepts? Are they on the tips of your fingers, or do you struggle when recalling basic definitions? You have to brush up on your course material and make sure you can answer all the accounts interview questions. To give you an idea of what to expect, here are some samples.
What can you tell us about balance sheets?
They are the lifeline of any productive organisation. A balance sheet is an important accounting document which contains the liabilities, assets and equity of a company during a particular period.
Who uses ‘tally accounting’?
It is an ERP software used by small businesses such as shops for recording various functions such as daily transactions, inventories and salaries.
How well do you understand working capital?
A company needs cash on a regular basis to carry out its daily transactions and operations. Accountants calculate the working capital as the difference between the current assets and liabilities.
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Do you know the difference between accounting and auditing?
Accounting maintains official records about a company’s financial situation through balance sheets, statements and reports.
Auditing is the process which verifies if a company’s accounting records are accurate.
Define double-entry bookkeeping.
This is an accounting practice where every transaction is recorded in two separate accounts — credit and debit.
What are the three types of accounting?
Financial accounting — documents every single financial transaction that occurs within the company.
Managerial accounting — uses accounting data to create strategic plans for the company.
Cost accounting — tracks the specific costs of products and services to calculate the company’s earnings and expenses.
Which accounting standards are familiar to you?
The accounting standards used in India are:
- Indian GAAP
It helps to know one or more of the above standards before you apply for an interview.
Explain GST in simple words.
The goods and services tax is a domestic consumption tax added during purchase. It ensures that tax is paid and collected through a simplified process.
Currently, there are five tax slabs — 0%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%.
What is the basic accounting equation?
Assets = Liabilities + Owner’s equity
Define revenue transaction.
These are transactions that have a short-term impact
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Common HR-based accounts interview questions
Besides the technical round of the interview, you may also have an appointment with the HR manager. They are going to analyse you to see if you are a good fit for the company. Here are a few pointers to handling HR-related accounts interview questions.
Why did you choose accountancy after college?
Three factors should influence your answer:
- Your interest or passion in the subject.
- Your skills with numbers, statistics and accounting methods.
- Your personality traits, such as analytical thinking, self-organisation, etc.
What is your work ethic like?
You need to maintain a fine balance here. Don’t paint yourself as the next Mother Teresa but don’t undersell yourself either. Keep it real.
You can talk about your past commitments, how well you work in a team or how you handle deadlines. Draw from your experiences. If you haven’t worked before, you can discuss your college projects. They want to know if you are an efficient and reliable professional who won’t cause them any grief later.
Are you a team player?
There is only one answer here. Yes, of course, you are. However, you do need to prove it. Narrate an anecdote of how you work well with others, whether during a college festival or a team sports event. The idea is to reassure them that you won’t hinder the smooth functioning of a department with any ego hassles.
How do you ensure your work is free of errors?
Relax. The HR executive doesn’t expect you to possess computer-like qualities. They only want to know if you are diligent and thorough when checking your work. You need to convince them that you always check and verify all facts and numbers before submitting them for review.
Do you have any questions for us?
This is a golden opportunity for you to clear doubts and make a significant impression on the recruiter. Here are some intelligent questions to ask.
- Are there any existing challenges within the accounting department that I should know of?
- What are the company’s objectives/goals for the coming year?
- Which accounting software systems do you use?
- What qualities do you look for during promotion time?
- What happens next in the interview process?
Did you know, you could easily work with Big 4s, or go abroad with an ACCA certification?
A quick checklist for your interview
Here are some pointers to help you professionally answer an accounts interview questions.
- Speak in clear and concise sentences.
- No slang, jargon or unnecessary word fillers.
- Use appropriate emotional cues when talking.
- Avoid over-dramatising.
- Sit with your back straight or aligned with the chair back.
- Don’t fold your arms.
- You can mirror the interview’s posture or stance if you are unsure.
- Appear confident and sure of yourself.
- Don’t over-gesticulate. Keep your hands within arm’s length distance.
- Maintain professional body language throughout the interview.
About Proschool’s accountancy courses
Your accountancy qualifications are one of the most asked accounts interview questions. Your certification speaks volumes about your abilities. As one of India’s best coaching institutions, Proschool has a proven track record of helping students achieve their various accounting credentials. The institute offers ACCA, CIMA and IFRS courses. These are highly prestigious programs that make you a coveted hire in companies all over the world.
The faculty has industry experts who use engaging study techniques such as real-world applications and active learning methods. Once students are certified, they can apply for jobs through the Proschool placement portal. To help them on their recruitment journey, the students also learn about interview etiquette, resume writing skills and presentation techniques. Proschool’s training ensures you are ready for the corporate world, and prepared to answer all accounts interview questions for freshers.
FAQs about accounts interview questions
How many rounds are there in an accounting interview?
While the answer varies from company to company, it is safe to say you can expect two or three rounds of the interview process.
The first interview is with the direct employer, and the second could be with the HR department. If things go well, you will get a call for the third and hopefully final interview. You may have to meet higher-ups or upper management and make a good impression on them.
Do all firms ask technical accounts interview questions?
Again, this depends on the company or HR policy. Some recruiters conduct rapid-fire rounds with technical questions. Others may adopt a more laid-back style of interviewing. It is best to be prepared for both possibilities.
How does Proschool help me prepare for accounts interview questions?
Students learn about accounting concepts, advanced terms and technical knowledge in an easy, practical manner. This ensures maximum retainment for the exams as well as the interview rounds. You also learn how to optimise your time during an interview, how to make an impression and answer confidently. These tips will ensure you nail all the accounts interview questions.
To sum it up, you need to be prepared for whatever the interviewer throws at you. Every interview round gets you closer to getting hired. Always revise your coursework before every meeting, so you can tackle tough accounts interview questions. Also, be aware of industry developments as that might come up in the interview too. The recruiter mustn’t just see you as a fresher but also as a future leader who grows with the company.
Find out more about Proschool’s accounting courses