Knowing what to expect during the interview can make all the difference. Here is a list of the 20 questions you are likely to be asked during your bookkeeper job interview.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
This question allows the interviewer to know the values you can add to their team. While answering this question, focus more on the values you can bring to the team.
“My passion for bookkeeping drives me to work in this field. I knew I would become a bookkeeper when I was still young. My passion to see small businesses succeeding began when my mum’s business failed due to serious bookkeeping errors. I am dedicated to helping clients in checking cash flow issues to ensure that their business succeeds.”
2. What Are The Roles Of A Bookkeeper?
The hiring team asks this question to find out if you are aware of what is expected of you should you be hired. Explain a few responsibilities of a bookkeeper as you connect to the job description.
“A skilled bookkeeper records a business’s financial transactions after which he/she creates financial reports from that data. A bookkeeper also manages cash receipts, customers’ and suppliers’ receipts. He/ she reviews and reconciles all business accounts to ensure that they are accurate.”
3. What Are The Qualities That A Bookkeeper Needs To Be Successful?
Your answer to this question will demonstrate whether you know the best qualities that a bookkeeper should possess. Describe some of the traits that a skilled bookkeeper needs to have.
“For a bookkeeper to be successful needs to be attentive to details, have basic arithmetic, and computer skills. A bookkeeper needs to have abilities to prepare and produce spreadsheets as well as being able to use bookkeeping software”.
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
The interviewer asks this question to evaluate your problem-solving ability. Describe how the challenge took place and how you managed it.
“When I began working in this industry, I had challenges to consistently maintain the records of the book. Over the years, I learned that keeping the records up to date needed time and effort. I have improved significantly on my time management skills that have made me enjoy working in this industry. Recently, I received the award as the best bookkeeper of the year.”
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Bookkeeper.
The recruiting manager wants to evaluate how you prioritize your daily work. Describe all the tasks you perform in your recent role and align them with what your potential employer is looking for in the right candidate for the job.
“My daily routine rotates around tracking all cash flows, billing, and lines of credit that affect my company. I cut and mail checks to vendors for purchases. I find myself talking to customers and vendors for purposes of order supplies and other services.”
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
This question allows your interviewer to know whether your background matches what they are looking for from the right candidate. Summarize your job history as you relate to the post of the bookkeeper.
“I have been a bookkeeper for 3 years now. I have learned how to set up spreadsheets, reconciling ledgers, and reading the three main types of financial statements. I believe that if given a chance, I will make a success of this role.”
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindsets Is Required For This Role?
The interviewer wants to understand your attitude as you perform the job. Showcase the values you regard as important as far as this job is concerned.
“A skilled bookkeeper needs to have a great sense of accuracy. Wrong data can mislead the whole financial statement hence resulting in the downfall of the entire company. Time and effort are also crucial aspects of maintaining up-to-date records of the book. A good bookkeeper must be hard working and know how to work under pressure.”
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?
The recruiting team wants to find whether you are ready for challenges and if you can handle them in case they happen. Demonstrate that you are well informed about the potential challenges and you can handle them.
“There are many challenges that relate to this industry such as AI, software, and inexpensive labor. However, the major challenge that I foresee in this industry is fraud and cyber threats of many kinds. However, I up to the challenge since I’m familiar working with bookkeeping soft wares that can detect high-risk areas as well as providing solutions to overcome safety challenges.”
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Work?
The interviewer wants to know your interests and values. Demonstrate your personal interests and values that help you perform well in your roles.
“I am passionate about explaining accounting to accounting to non-mathematically minded people, putting it into practical, down-to-earth terms they can comprehend. I love helping people understand things better.”
10. Describe A Time When You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learnt?
The answers you give for this question demonstrate your ability to own mistakes and whether you learn from them. Share your recent failure and the lessons you picked from it.
“In my early days as a bookkeeper, a head of one of the departments requested I pay an invoice even if he did not provide the documentation that the service was performed. I knew that he couldn’t lie and I ended up paying that invoice. However, something kept bothering me as to why I had authorized the payment without documentation. I immediately called the head of the department back to my office and requested him to collect evidence which indicated that the invoice was legitimate. He did and I presented the evidence to the general manager who authorized me to pay for the invoice. From that time, I have never risk to pay for invoices without proper documentation. My approach has helped the company to retain a good relationship with vendors and managers as they comply with these procedures.”
11. Why Do You Feel You Are The Most Suited For This Role?
The interviewer wants to evaluate whether you are well aware of the skills they want to form the applicants. Showcase your top best traits, experience, and skills.
“I hold a bachelor’s degree in bookkeeping. I am keen on details and a good track record of organizational and communication skills which are integral in this role. I also have 4 years of experience in recording and analyzing financial statements. I am well familiar with working with bookkeeping soft wares that minimize risks of fraud in accounting systems. Given a chance, therefore, I will work to make a success of this role.”
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement.
This question helps your interviewer to know what you refer to as a success. Share what you are proudest of in your recent job.
“The biggest achievement was when I was able to convince the bank to integrate their system with our bookkeeping software. This enabled the transactions which we used to enter manually in the systems to begin reflecting automatically in our systems. It not only made it easier for the transaction to be entered in the proper accounts but also be classified correctly.”
13. What Is The First Thing You Would Do On Your First Day On The Job?
The interviewer wants to find out your priority as far as bookkeeping is concerned. Demonstrate the most important area of bookkeeping and keep it brief.
“The first thing I can do is to review the business bank accounts to ensure that they are properly reconciled. Then I will go ahead and review the balance sheet line by line as I go through the profit and loss statements. I would compare the balance sheet to the last completed tax return/ external auditor’s report to get the actual position of the business finances.”
14. How Do You Ensure Confidential Financial Information Stays Secure?
The interviewer wants to ensure that you can keep confidential information organized and secure at all times. In your answer, demonstrate that you will apply care and attention as you perform this role.
“ I will make sure to enter confidential data into the company’s systems with password-protected files to allow access to the authorized personnel only. In addition, I will lock in the confidential physical documents in the filing cabinets available in the accountant office”
15. Assume That The Ledger Is Off By 70cents. How Would You Find The Error?
The interviewer is gauging your ability to pinpoint errors and fix them on time. In your response, highlight your ability to apply, analytical, mathematical skills, and problem-solving to competently distinguish errors in a balance sheet and find solutions to fix them.
“The first thing I would do is to check whether the error is caused by the software being used since at times the accounting software can get corrupted during the programming updates and result in errors in the organization’s account details. After ascertaining that the software is not the issue, I would check in the monthly balance sheet to find out whether there is any issue in every ledger account. In case I find that the problem is only in one account yet the balance is still 70cents, I would refer the difference to a miscellaneous expenses account.”
16. When Is The Cash-Basis Method Used?
The hiring manager wants to determine whether you understand when it is the right time to rely on the cash basis method. Use your skills to highlight that you are familiar sung various accounting methods.
“Cash accounting is effective when reporting taxes. This is because it records receipts when you receive and pay for them. Instead of recording every transaction as it occurs, expenses and revenues are recorded only when they are received or paid.”
17. How Do You Handle Customer Invoicing?
The interviewer asks this question to check out whether you are aware of the difference between outgoing payments the organization is liable for and the incoming cash flow. In your response, highlight your organizational, critical thinking, and accounting skills.
“I always ensure that I update clients’ payment as soon as they arrive. I then create invoices for any unsettled balances after I reconcile clients’ files. When I am done organizing this process, I then send out clients’ invoices according to the assigned billing cycle.”
18. In Your Opinion Is There Any Difference Between Salaries And Wages?
The hiring team wants to find out whether you are familiar with bookkeeping. Begin by defining the two terms and state how you use them while completing bookkeeping entries.
The terms salary and wages are interchangeably used in bookkeeping. The wages apply to the nonexempt hourly staff and salary applies to the exempt staff. Additionally, wages are determined by multiplying the hourly rate payment by the number of hours worked during the accounting period.Salary is determined by dividing the worker’s annual compensation by the accounting period (week, bi-weekly or monthly).”
19. Why Do You Think The Accumulated Depreciation Is An Asset Account?
The recruiting team wants to learn more about your understanding of the purpose of bookkeeping and accounting practices. In your response indicate that you are familiar with entering a specific transaction and you can identify bookkeeping issues and other potential errors.
“Having an asset account, for example, accumulated depreciation helps the company to track both the asset’s initial cost and its current value. The account is referred to as a contra account because it increases as the asset account falls and is a credit account. It is also used in reducing the company’s tax liability”
20. Under What Circumstances Does Goodwill Increase?
The interviewer is asking this question to determine your knowledge in this field. Use your previous knowledge to give your response.
“Goodwill is created When a company buys another business for more than the fair value of its tangible and intangible assets.”
The easiest way to impress the interviewer is to answer interview questions correctly. Studying these answers will help you to respond correctly to each question.