Accounting Interview Prep Tips for Entry Level Professionals
Degree in hand, you’ve recently graduated after majoring in accounting and finance, and now it’s time to put your college education and experience to good use and get your career off to a strong start.
Securing entry-level accounting jobs in the accounting field can be an exciting opportunity for aspiring professionals. However, the path to success starts with acing the job interview. To stand out from the competition and demonstrate your suitability for the role, thorough preparation is key. Master some of these accounting interview tips to leave an impression on your future employer:
Know the Company and Job Description Inside Out
Before stepping into an interview, thoroughly research the company and the specific role you are applying for. Explore the company’s website, mission statement, recent achievements and company culture. Read and reread the job description carefully. Consider the main roles and responsibilities of the position and how your skills and experience align. The interviewer may ask you questions to determine if you’ve done your research on the company and the role. Showing that you’ve done your homework shows you value the employer and the prospective opportunity in front of you.
Brush Up on the Basics
As an entry-level candidate, it’s a vital step to review and refresh your knowledge of accounting principles, concepts and industry-specific terminologies. And if you’re a recent graduate, these should be readily familiar to you. Familiarize yourself with financial statements, general ledger accounts and the basics of debits and credits. Practice explaining accounting concepts in a concise, easy-to-understand manner; prep work to discuss your understanding of key accounting methodologies and the role of an accountant in an organization. This foundational knowledge will help you confidently address technical questions during the interview.
“Why Do You Want to Be An Accountant?”
It may sound like an obvious question if you’re interviewing for an accounting role, but interviewers often ask a range of common questions to assess a candidate’s suitability for the role and their reasons for entering the industry. Prepare concise and articulate answers to questions like “Tell me about yourself,” “Why are you interested in this position?” and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Think of specific, relevant examples to illustrate your answers. Run through situational and behavioral questions, and practice your answers out loud until you feel confident. Consider seeking feedback from mentors or friends to enhance your delivery and refine your responses.
Highlight Your Education and Relevant Skills
As an entry-level professional, employers will place considerable importance on your educational background and any relevant skills you possess. Be prepared to discuss your coursework, accounting-related projects and any relevant internships (all of which should be on your resume). Emphasize your ability to analyze financial data, use accounting software and demonstrate attention to detail. Additionally, showcase any transferable skills, especially “soft” skills such as problem-solving, teamwork and effective communication, all highly valued in accounting.
Demonstrate Professionalism and Interpersonal Skills
During your interview, maintain a professional demeanor, including dressing appropriately, displaying good posture and making eye contact. Illustrating your commitment to continuous learning and professional development will also impress potential employers. These are some of the foundational aspects of your career that start at the very beginning.
Prepare Intelligent Questions
An interview isn’t just about being grilled by the interviewer. It’s a two-way conversation, and asking thoughtful questions demonstrates your genuine interest and enthusiasm. In addition to doing your research about the company in tip #1 of this article, prepare a list of questions that show your curiosity about the company, the role and the growth potential. Examples include asking about the company’s long-term goals, opportunities for professional development, or how success is measured in the position. Where and how do you fit in the company for the long term?
Mobilize Your Interview Prep Efforts
With thorough preparation and confidence in your skills and experience, you’ll be able to make a strong case for yourself as a valuable new hire for any entry-level accounting position. Approach your next interview feeling ready and excited to showcase why you’re the perfect fit for the job.
Now that you’ve got the steps down to prepare for an accounting position interview, let the world know about your skill and talents by seeking out the best job opportunities that get your career off to a great start. Every day, Unity Search helps candidates like you tap into the best local and national opportunities in accounting and finance. Ready to get started?