Below is a list of the most common questions during tax accountant interviews. Also, we have provided a sample answer for each question to help you ace your next interview.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
This question helps the employer to know why you think this job is a match for your career objectives. Take your time to describe how your qualifications connect to the job.
“From the time I was a kid, I have wanted to be a tax accountant, preferably at this company. I would be excited to have an opportunity to bring my accounting skills into this company where every employer is enthusiastic about growing in this field. I’m a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. In my four years of working as a tax accountant, I have gained enough skills in budget preparation, transaction recording, account reconciliation, and report creating among others. I believe that given a chance I can greatly contribute to the success of your company and become an asset to the company.”
2. What Are The Roles Of A Tax Accountant?
The interviewer wants to find out whether you are aware of the roles that await you should you be hired. Demonstrate that you are ready for the roles by listing some responsibilities of a tax accountant.
“A tax accountant’s job is to collect tax-related information as well reporting it to the authorities involved in taxation. They ensure that it reaches the authorities at the state, country, local and federal level in good time. In addition, a tax accountant advises the company’s management regarding the impact of tax on corporate strategies including preparing tax provision schedules, maintaining compliance with government and state regulations, recommending tax strategies for state, federal and local taxation, etc”
3. What Are The Qualities That A Tax Accountant Needs To Be Successful?
The interviewer is seeking to know whether you understand the qualities of a good tax accountant. List some of the traits of a tax accountant as you connect them with the job in question.
“Tax accountants play a very crucial role in saving customers time and money through handling their tax accounts. A good tax accountant will need to strong have strong time management skills, organizational and analytical skills, keen on details, ability to work under pressure, and be able to stay on top changing trends within the accounting industry.”
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
The recruiting team wants to evaluate your problem-solving abilities. Indicate some challenges you may have encountered in your previous roles and the solutions you provided.
“We were getting through a quarter filing when one of the members in my team fell ill and could not continue working regardless of the tight schedule we had. Being the team leader, I had to fix this gap to ensure that filing was done within the set timeline. Based on the member’s expertise, I rearranged the work to spread it out evenly. I also set up a shared calendar which consisted of reminders for all the important milestones to help us remain on task. This worked very well such that we were able to complete that task one day to the deadline”
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Tax Accountant
The interviewer wants to find out how you perform your duties. Demonstrate how you prioritize different tasks and showcase that you make good use of your time while at work.
“As an accountant, I use the largest part of the day collecting, analyzing, compiling, and calculating financial data. I also prepare financial statements and reports including daily cash flow statements as well as annual financial reports. I am also involved in reviewing tax returns and statuses, returning calls, and replying to emails.”
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
The hiring team is seeking to find out if your experience aligns with the company’s needs. Summarize your work history as you relate it to the needs of the company.
“While my experience ranges across different financial services, I am more interested in accounting. I have been a tax accountant at Morgic company for seven years. I have gained enough knowledge on how to use different soft wares in accounting processes and this is what I will bring to your firm if you give me an opportunity. Morgic company allowed me to work with many clients of all sizes and industries. I had an opportunity to learn and develop my skills in testing controls, writing audit reports, and overseeing other members. I’m to date on my CPA license. I am looking for a role that will allow me to use the skills I have acquired in auditing financial statements.”
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Are Required For This Role?
This question allows your interviewer to understand the strategy and mindset you will put into use while performing your duties. Explain some of your soft skills and strategy you will use when interacting with clients and other staff members.
“A tax accountant needs to be up to date with the changing regulations in this industry especially when servicing their clients. Most skilled tax accountants should report to the office, begin their day by checking their emails and customers’ voicemails messages as well as creating schedules of the tasks to be performed in the day. A tax accountant needs to know that servicing his/ her clients is key. He/she need to show clients that everything is in control regardless of the situation.”
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?
The hiring manager asks this question to evaluate your general knowledge of the accounting industry. Demonstrate that you are well informed about the potential challenges and that you can deal with them when they occur.
“I think the biggest challenge accountants will face in the near future is dealing with the frequent changing laws and regulations. Income tax code, compliance and reporting rules, shifts in sales tax rates, and adjustments requirements of employee compensation keep changing on the state and federal level. It might be difficult to maintain a proper level of familiarity with all these changes. However, I have subscribed to the industry publications to keep myself up to date with the news alert and I’m able to monitor upcoming legislation. This makes me stay prepared to implement new changes as needed.”
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Work?
The interviewer asks this question to find out your interests and the value you uphold. State some of the things you value in your profession and demonstrate how that makes you fit for the job.
“My love to help businesses to keep their finances in order keep me motivated. Through my documentation and analysis, I always find more tax deductibles for my clients to take advantage of. I love the challenge of putting together a business’s financial files, income sheets, and documents to evaluate the greatest tax benefits. I feel happy whenever I teach clients how to digitally organize their financial data within the software.”
10. Describe A Time When You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learnt?
The way you answer this question describes your ability to own mistakes and whether you learn from them. Describe what the issue was, the effect it had, and the lesson you learned from it.
“At some point, the organization I work for was understaffed. One of our major clients demanded that we do our deliverables one week before the deadline. Being the leader of the team, I accommodated that request since I wanted to please him and I also thought that I was achievable. However, I was wrong. The scheduled day reached yet we couldn’t deliver. The client became very angry and disappointed. Since I understand that customer satisfaction is key for the smooth running of a business, I had to explain to the client how the situation was and why we couldn’t deliver. I gave him two options; charging him more to support the cost of hiring a temp or sticking to the original deadline and we give him a 10%discount on his next order. He selected the latter option and the problem was resolved. This taught me to be honest to my clients and from that day I don’t promise anything that I can’t deliver.”
11. Why Do You Feel You Are The Most Suited For This Role?
The recruiting team wants to find out whether you are ready for the challenge. Showcase your best traits and skills and connect them to the job description.
“I’m a critical thinker accountant with strong math and communication skills. I have prior experience working with different soft wares including the latest ones in this field. I can work well independently and as a part of a team. Besides having good organizational and time management skills, I understand the relevant laws and regulations. Should you hire me, I will become an asset to your firm.”
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement.
The hiring manager wants to know what you term as a success. Share what you are proudest of in your recent job.
“My greatest achievement was when I was able to convince our chief executive officer to implement an internal training as well as a promotion program within the company. This gave our personnel an opportunity to advance within our company.”
13. Kindly Explain The Long-Term Capital Gains, And How Different It Is From Short-Term Capital Gains?
This question directly tests your knowledge of standard accounting practices. Demonstrate that you understand the practices in this field.
“Capital gains can be described as the profit earned after the firm sell an asset such as equipment, investment, or property. The gain is evaluated by subtracting the original cost from the selling price less other adjustment costs related to that asset. The difference between long-term and short-term capital gain is the time for which the asset was held. This period differs based on the class of the asset.”
14. Define Alternative Minimum Tax (Amt) And Tell Us How It Is Used.
Being able to define terms shows that you are knowledgeable in this field. Being concise is very key as it is an addition to your answer.
“The alternative minimum (AMT) tax refers to rich people who may avoid paying taxes because of the large deductions made from their income. The AMT put a minimum tax liability indexed to greater income levels, irrespective of the deductions claimed by the taxpayer even if they are legitimate”
15. What Is Inter-Company Reconciliation?
This question will help your interviewer to know your understanding of the tax practices related to their operations. Be brief in your answer but precise.
Companies need to file a consolidated tax return for the parent company. Sometimes, an organization may have individual sub diaries hence a need to assign the transaction to every sub diary. This forms a correct representation of the financial position of each sub diary and performance to evade recording of duplicate transactions”
16. How Would You Assist A Client Who Has Overdue Tax Payments?
The interviewer asks this question to test your expertise in tax accounting. Provide an answer that indicates your ability to resolve an issue as quickly as possible.
“Overdue tax payments arise from incorrect filings, IRS audits, and changes in the tax code. The best way to address the issue is to work with IRS and the company to develop a plan that updates the tax payments.”
17. What Impact Do You Think Ai And Automation Will Have On Accounting?
The goal of the hiring manager is to check your level of awareness on an important trend that will impact the field. Demonstrate that you are open and ready to embrace it.
“I believe that AI and automation are advancements. These technologies could streamline accounting operations significantly especially in high repetitive work. This will give accountants the opportunity to focus on tasks that require a human touch.”
18. How Do You Handle Stress And Pressure?
The interviewing team wants to find out how you deal with stressful situations. Demonstrate how you stay calm under pressure.
“I always realize when I’m about to feel stressed. When this happens, I ensure to take a deep breath. I exercise for 30 minutes every morning and evening to keep me on an even keel.”
19. Do You Have Any Questions For Me?
The interviewer wants to find out whether you need any clarification. Ensure you have a question to ask the interviewer. This shows that you are really interested to get the job.
“How soon will you communicate regarding the outcome of the interview?”
20. Describe A Time When You Implemented Automation Tools For Accounting Processes.
The interviewer wants to determine your skills using computer applications for accounting processes. In your response, highlight your skills in automation tools while performing business tax accounting.
“In my current role, I have assisted many small businesses to set up their ERP software to enable them to coordinate with business’s compliance and tax provision documentation. After I implemented the ERP, I began an automated process to make it easy to collect and analyze data, track important financial metrics, and also import key data for tax provision. Automating all these processes reduced the amount of time spent to prepare and file reports.”
You need to demonstrate your expertise and skills in the field of accounting to impress the interviewers. These interview questions and answers will help you to prepare adequately to do exactly that.