Are you looking for an internship position in accounting? Several accounting firms ate always looking for sharp and fast-learning accounting interns who can offer basic services as they gain more experience in the accounting world. However, you should prepare well ahead of your interview.
This article will look at some common accounting interns questions that you can expect ahead of your interview. Remember that even though you will have a relatively less workload, you will still be expected to perform basic accounting tasks. You also need to prepare well for technical questions. Take a look at the following recommendations:
8 Tips to Prepare for a Accounting Internship Interview
Here are eight key areas an accounting internship candidate should prepare for when going for an internship interview:
Accounting Internship Interview Preparation
|Educational Background||Review of Accounting Courses and Grades.||Emphasize how your coursework has prepared you for practical application in a professional setting. Connect specific course content to real-world scenarios.|
|Technical Skills||Proficiency in Accounting Software (e.g., Excel, QuickBooks).||Provide examples of projects where you’ve applied these skills, and demonstrate your ability to navigate through software functionalities.|
|Communication Skills||Verbal and Written Communication.||Practice explaining accounting concepts in simple terms. Be prepared to discuss any written reports or presentations you have prepared.|
|Analytical Skills||Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving.||Highlight any experience where you’ve successfully tackled complex problems. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your responses.|
|Industry Knowledge||Understanding of the Company and Industry.||Discuss how your academic background and skills align with the company’s needs. Mention any relevant industry trends or challenges.|
|Ethical Awareness||Understanding of Ethical Issues in Accounting.||Be prepared to discuss how you would handle ethical dilemmas. Showcase instances where you’ve demonstrated ethical behavior in your academic or professional experiences.|
|Time Management||Prioritization and Time Allocation.||Provide examples of situations where you successfully juggled multiple responsibilities. Mention any tools or strategies you use for effective time management.|
|Adaptability||Ability to Adapt to Change.||Illustrate your flexibility and willingness to learn. Talk about instances where you quickly adjusted to new information or requirements.|
Remember to tailor your responses to reflect the specific requirements of the internship and the company’s values. Additionally, preparing thoughtful questions for the interviewer demonstrates your genuine interest in the position.
Top 30 Accounting Internship Interview Questions and Answers
Here are the top 30 Accounting Internship interview questions, along with a sample answer for each question.
1. Why Are You Interested In Our Company?
This is one of the best accounting firms in the country. I want to be associated with the best and work extra hard to improve or build a career. I am also convinced that I will find the challenges I am looking for as an accounting intern. I am willing to work extra hard, not only for my betterment but also for the company. I would be more than happy if I landed this job.
2. Why Are You Interested In This Position?
I am fresh from school and would like to get a feel of the accounting world before looking for an active, long-term job. This internship will be a great way of understanding what an accountant does in the real world and learning all the basics of a successful accounting career. I know that I will do a good job if given a chance.
3. Do You Know The Roles Of An Accounting Intern?
I have gone through the job description of an accounting Intern and therefore understand what is required. Some of the responsibilities of an accounting Intern are offering assistance on research, data entry and recording, filing and financial records maintenance, shadowing members of the relevant department, preparing financial reports, operating different bookkeeping software, handling sensitive information, and working as part of a group. Other responsibilities include handling additional tasks to learning more about accounting and office operations.
4. What Qualities Does An Accounting Intern Need To Be Effective?
An accounting Intern must first be a fresh graduate or someone working on a degree in Accounting. They should have completed the basic/introductory phases of accounting and therefore understand accounting principles. Away from educational qualifications, an accounting graduate should possess excellent written and verbal communication skills, motivation, and a strong desire to face new challenges and computer proficiency. Other Qualities include an aptitude for math and dedication.
5. What Is The Main Challenge That You Faced In Your Last Role? How Did You Overcome It?
I am fresh from college and haven’t, therefore, had an active role. However, the biggest challenge in school was unsupportive and unresponsive group members. I was the team leader and was occasionally forced to handle most of the work. I later had enough and introduced regular monitoring and progress update, which proved successful. Stubborn group members were also given the option of either changing or quitting the group altogether.
6. Do You Know Your Daily Routine As An Accounting Intern?
I will report to work early and begin attending to my duties. My day will revolve around shadowing members in the accounting department as they go about their duties, giving a hand in research, data entry, filing, maintaining accurate financial records and recording; working with different software; preparing essential reports such as income statements and balance sheets and working with the accounting team on several projects. I am positive that I will do a good job.
7. Mention A Strategy And Mindset Required For This Job
The best strategy that any accounting intern can have is proper organization and prioritization of work. They should know how to handle all the tasks required by the end of the day and deliver excellent results. They must also be able to maintain similar quality in all the tasks. As for the right mindset, an accounting intern should be positive and mentally prepared for all the work. Being in a state that can enable them to handle most of the challenges in accounting without enough experience comes in handy.
8. How Will You Stay Motivated If You Get This Job?
I don’t normally struggle with motivation, a trait that I am usually grateful about. I can wake up daily, report to work, maintain a positive attitude, and deliver. However, I also believe that I am motivated by results. I would love to succeed in my work and thrive in this field, which will motivate me to give and be at my best. I will be a good addition to the team.
9. Can You Work In A Team Setting?
I understand the importance of teamwork in accounting. I also know that one of my roles will be shadowing my team members as they go about their roles, which will require me to know how to get along well. I am a good team worker owing to my interpersonal and people skills. I can fit in well effortlessly in teams and contribute to their success. I am positive that I will get along with my team members, who I expect to inspire me to be at my best. It is also worth mentioning that I am a good problem solver, which will help me manage team conflicts.
10. What Makes You The Most Suitable Candidate For This Position?
I am a hardworking and dedicated person, as seen from my final grades on campus. I got an A in almost all my units and graduated in a first-class. I am willing to replicate that dedication and hard work in this establishment to better my career. I am ready to put in all the necessary work. Lastly, I have many essential skills that make me a good accounting intern. I can work with others, learn fast, and perform many technical calculations.
11. Why Did You Pursue This Career?
I have been good at Maths since my days in. primary school and therefore grew up knowing that I’d pursue a career in Finance. When I finally joined high school and chose Business Studies as one of the subjects, I was sure I had found my niche. I enjoyed accounting questions such as balancing accounts, which made me pursue accounting shortly after I was done with school. My excellent organizational and analytical skills may have informed my decision to pursue accounting. I am positive that I will have a successful career.
12. Do You Know How To Use Any Accounting Programs?
I know how to use several accounting software given my quest for knowledge. I learned how to use Microsoft Excel from YouTube while in college, becoming proficient by the time I was done. I have also had a chance to use Netsuite and FreshBooks, which I believe will come in handy in this job. I am interested in learning more about your accounting programs and using as many as possible given a chance. I know that I will enjoy my time in this establishment.
13. Can You Mention One Of Your Greatest Accounting Strengths?
Even though I haven’t had a chance to work as an accountant, I believe my excellent organizational and communication skills will come in handy in building a successful career. I know how to organize and prioritize tasks, which comes in handy whenever faced with huge workloads. As for communication, I know how to pass information across clearly and convince others due to my great interpersonal skills. I will use these two qualities for the benefit of this organization.
14. Do You Have Any Accounting Weaknesses That You Know Of?
I have discovered that I am not good at delegating tasks. Fields such as accounting require the input of all team members. However, I normally take the biggest workload, given my workaholic tendencies. It is quite disadvantageous since I always have to work twice and, at times, thrice as hard as compared to other people. I am handling this weakness by planning my work and ensuring it is shared equally among the different group members.
15. How Will You Avoid Errors As An Accountant?
I understand the importance of avoiding errors in this work, given the sensitivity of this field. I normally understand the expectations and goals of the project and the objectives and deadlines. Afterward, I break down the project well and set goals. Before submitting the work meant for reviewing it and checking for errors, I sometimes leave. I also take some time to review peer work when working in team settings. I believe the latter will help me discover some. mistakes that may have escaped others.
16. How Do You Think Your Education Has Prepared You For This Role?
I learned all the basics of accounting in school, which I believe profoundly prepared me for this role. I know how to play around with numbers, make entries, balance accounts, and various other accounting functions, which are greatly needed in this role. Senior accountants also came to mentor us in school, telling us what to expect and everything we could do to improve in this field. I am glad I got the chance to study at my former university, as it prepared me for this job.
17. Tell Me About A Time When You Made A Mistake. How Did You Go About It?
I once failed to peer review an accounting project in school, trusting that my fellow students had done a great job. I submitted the work but got summoned to the lecturer’s chambers the next day. One of the parts had been plagiarized, which almost got us into serious trouble had I not known how to negotiate well with the teachers. We were pardoned but ordered to do the work again. This experience taught me the importance of reviewing work regardless of the surrounding circumstances. I rarely make mistakes in my work.
18. How Would You React When Someone In The Workplace Isn’t Ethical With Their Dealings?
Even though I am applying to be an intern, I still owe the organization my loyalty. I am sure that the company has rules and guidelines surrounding such circumstances. I would act according to these rules and notify the right authorities to avert such an issue if necessary. I should be as loyal as possible to the organization since I am also eyeing a more permanent position in the future.
19. How Do You Normally Keep Up with The Latest Trends In Accounting?
I read a lot, which has helped me keep up with accounting trends. I am also in several Whatsapp groups formed by junior accountants and interns to keep abreast of all the changes in the accounting world. I also attend workshops, seminars, and webinars to discuss issues surrounding accounting and any other important thing we should all know regarding the subject. Learning about accounting is further made easier because I am a fast learner.
20. What’s Your Preferred Work Environment?
I prefer working in environments that embrace and appreciate teamwork. I believe that employees are more powerful and can do more whenever they act as a team. I appreciate that this workplace embraces teamwork and would go to any lengths to ensure that people get along well and collaborate on projects. I also love working in settings where employees are loved and valued, which includes being empowered to give feedback and be as open as possible in the workplace. Lastly, I prefer workplaces where people are kept on their toes.
21. Can You Mention The Differences Between Account Receivable And Accounts Payable
As the name suggests, account payable refers to the money a company owes its vendors. In contrast, the account receivable is the money that the customers owe the company. Therefore, the account receivable is the total credit the vendors awarded the company. In contrast, the account payable refers to the total credit the company has awarded its customers. All in all, both parties will record an entry to the accounts payable in both their books. I believe that every accountant intern should have that at their fingertips.
22. Can You Mention How You Will Calculate Debt If Given A Chance?
I will use the general net debt formula, which requires adding the shirt and long-term debts and subtracting the cash and cash equivalents from the resulting value. Therefore, getting the total debt of a company requires that you add both the short and long-term debts together and subtract the amount of cash in the bank accounts and any that can be liquidated for cash. This is the most used means as it is pretty simple.
23. Have You Ever Reduced Costs On A Project?
I normally look at minimizing costs whenever I am part of a project team. At my former internship, I went through the requirements for executing a project. I discovered that the company had included purchasing new machines and equipment for a one-time project that would last three months. I weighed the cost of hiring and buying new ones and found that the former would be cheaper. I table the results for the right people. They unanimously agreed that we should hire equipment instead of saving new ones. I was able to save the company over $200,000.
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24. How Do You Stay Abreast Of The Ethical And Legal Regulations Sorrouding Accounting?
There are many ways of staying up to date with the ethical and legal regulations in the accounting industry. First, I am in several online groups by young accountants. We discuss all the relevant information about accounting, including ethical and legal regulations that everyone should be aware of. We also have weekly virtual meetings where we update each other. Lastly, I follow the right accounting bodies in social media, which lets me know everything I need about regulations.
25. How Do You Always Ensure That Client Information Is Kept Confidential?
I understand the importance of confidentiality in accounting and strive to keep clients’ information as confidential as possible. I only share such information with authorized persons and don’t talk about them unless in the right settings. I also use combination passwords on files and documents containing client information and do not leave my computer unattended. I have never had an issue of breach of confidentiality.
26. What Do You Think Are The Most Important Qualities For An Accounting Intern To Possess?
The most important qualities for an accounting intern to possess are strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work well under pressure. Additionally, good communication skills and a willingness to learn are also essential.
27. Can You Describe A Time When You Had To Work With A Difficult Team Member? How Did You Handle The Situation?
Yes, I can. In my previous internship, I had to work with a team member who was not very cooperative and often missed deadlines. To handle the situation, I first tried to understand the root cause of the problem by having a one-on-one conversation with the team member. After identifying the issue, I tried to help the team member by providing additional resources and support. Finally, I escalated the issue to my supervisor, who helped resolve the situation.
28. What Do You Think Are The Most Significant Challenges Facing The Accounting Industry Today?
The accounting industry is facing several significant challenges today, including increased competition, changing regulations, and the need to keep up with technological advancements. Additionally, the industry is also grappling with issues related to data privacy and security.
29. What Do You Think Are The Most Important Skills For An Accounting Intern To Develop?
The most important skills for an accounting intern to develop are strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work well under pressure. Additionally, good communication skills and a willingness to learn are also essential.
30. Can You Describe A Time When You Had To Make A Difficult Ethical Decision? How Did You Approach The Situation?
Yes, I can. In my previous internship, I was asked to prepare a report that contained some confidential information. However, I discovered that the information was incorrect and could potentially harm the company’s reputation. To handle the situation, I first consulted with my supervisor and explained the situation. After discussing the matter, we decided to revise the report and ensure that it contained accurate information.
These are some of the most common questions in an accounting interview. Ensure that you prepare well beforehand to increase your chances of landing the job. Remember, the interviewer will also ask you many technical questions and prepare adequately.