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Here are key questions to ask when conducting your next accounting interview

By Elio Recchia, Area Vice President - Accounting and Finance, Hays U.S. on February 21st, 2019

There are an abundant of interview questions out there, but what are the best interview questions you should be asking to find a star hire?

Here are some key questions you will want to ask and why, to help you assess overall candidate quality when conducting you next accounting interview.

1."Where do you go to further your knowledge of accounting and technology?"

This question will help you gauge if the candidate takes initiative to grow and deepen their understanding. Having employees who have a genuine interest in technology is an asset and can help share the latest developments to help your organization stay one step ahead of the competition. The right candidate will be able to explain how they find out what the newest tech is and if they have an approach to training themselves on it.

2. "Could you tell me what accounting reports you have prepared and analyzed? Additionally, what reports do you find most interesting to analyze?"

This is a great way to assess a candidates technical skills. Since every candidate comes from a different background, you cannot assume that they will know the accounting knowledge you would expect. You will also be able to get a better understanding of their relevant experience and ask probing questions to find out more details. The right candidate should have sufficient knowledge preparing and interpreting a variety of reports, so that you avoid any surprises during onboarding.

3. "What is the best outcome you have achieved following a work situation?"

This question will help you gauge candidates problem-solving skills. By asking for a specific example you allow the candidate to explain their thought process and how they handle a complex situation. You will be able to determine if they have a result focused mentality, think creatively and how far they are willing to go to provide excellent service to clients. The candidate should be able to explicitly explain the situation, what actions they took to overcome the problem and the results.

4. "What are you seeking to accomplish in your career?"

Think about the opportunities available within this role. For instance, there may be scope for the successful candidate to progress their skill-set and career within your organization. This question will assess if the candidate is willing to take advantage of the opportunities available to them. You should also find out what their expectations are for training and development opportunities. Internal progression and development should be a core part of your staff retention strategy and a key driver of company performance. You will want to look for the candidate who wants to better under the industry and are motivated to advance their career.

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