35 Accounts Assistant Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 13, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Accounts assistants are valuable members of accounting departments and firms as they help company officials and personnel with important duties, such as processing payroll, generating invoices and creating financial reports. When pursuing an accounts assistant position, during your interview, it can be helpful to highlight key skills, such as analytical, problem-solving and communication techniques, to help you demonstrate your occupational qualifications for the role. In this article, we give you a few lists of accounts assistant interview questions, and provide you with some beneficial sample answers to help you prepare.

Related: Learn About Being an Accounting Assistant

General accounts assistant interview questions

Here is a list of general questions an interviewer may ask about the accounts assistant position:

  • Why are you applying for this position?

  • What kind of work atmosphere do you feel most productive in?

  • What future challenges do you think accounts assistants are facing?

  • What's the best way to prepare for this career?

  • How do you make sure your work is error free?

  • What's one way you stay up to date with current accounting information?

  • Why are you leaving your current position?

  • What is your least favorite aspect about being an accounts assistant? Your most?

  • What do you know about our company?

  • Where do you hope to be in five years?

Questions about experience and background

Here are a few questions regarding your occupational experience and background:

  • What's your experience with accounting?

  • Do you have any experience with accounting software? Which ones?

  • Tell me about a time you had to use accounting principles.

  • What's the most complex assignment you've ever had?

  • Have you ever used graphs or charts to make a point?

  • What major strengths are necessary for the accounts assistant career?

  • Do you hold any accounting certifications?

  • Name some accounting packages you've used recently and their different advantages.

  • What accomplishments are you most proud of?

  • Have you ever tried to improve an accounting package? How did it go?

In-depth questions

Here are some in-depth questions on the accounts assistant role:

  • What's the best way to respond to an audit or discrepancy?

  • What is the basic accounting equation? How do you use it?

  • What's the difference between ABAP memory and SAP memory?

  • Describe the major difference between inactive and dormant accounts.

  • What is a bank reconciliation document?

  • Define a balance sheet and tell me about its major uses.

  • How would you improve our company's capital flow?

  • Name the three major branches of accounting.

  • Tell me how you would implement a new project.

  • What does TDS stand for?

Interview questions with sample answers

Here are some interview question with helpful sample answers:

Describe a time when you successfully multitasked.

This question can help interviewers understand your time-management capabilities and how you prioritize several projects at once. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe some of the projects you were working on, their importance to your employer and the steps you took to ensure you completed them on time.

Example answer: "When I first started as an accounts assistant, I had to prepare multiple financial documents for different company departments, all by the same deadline. The assignments required a lot of analytical and detail-oriented work, which took a lot of time. I was worried I wouldn't finish all of them by the deadline, so I talked with my manager to see which financial documents were most crucial. Using her advice, I prioritized the completion of the most important documents and was granted a one day extension to finish the others."

Related: Multitasking Skills: Definition and Examples

Have you ever found a payroll discrepancy?

It can be beneficial for employers to understand how you respond to mistakes. This can help them understand how you use your communication and problem-solving skills to inform managers and fix the situation. This can also help inform them how you could use those skills with their own company.

Example answer: "At my last place of employment, as I was entering payroll information into the company's system, I noticed that a colleague's pay was abnormally low. I took the time to look up their billable hours and calculated what their normal pay should've been, which was a lot higher. I brought it to the attention of my manager and double checked to make sure there were no official reasons for the payment decrease.

They informed me it was a mistake and thanked me for bringing it to their attention. My colleague then received their full amount for the pay period and I saved the company time from fixing a larger problem in the future."

Related: Steps to Take After Making Mistakes at Work

Has your work ever affected the outcome of a project?

This question can allow you to talk more about your experience and background and how you can use your occupational skills to help your employers. When answering this question, it can be beneficial to mention the specific accounting knowledge and techniques you used to complete the project and how it positively affected the results.

Example answer: "While working for my current employer, the accounting department was working on generating financial reports for the quarter. As I was reviewing some documents, I noticed some numbers didn't seem realistic because of my experience processing that quarter's sales receipts. I informed my supervisor, who encouraged me to look further into the situation. I re-examined the sales receipts, compared them to the financial reports and noticed that there was a fixable mistake. The department was able to make the correction and my work helped finish the project successfully and accurately."

Tell me about a time you had to give someone difficult feedback.

Giving difficult feedback is an important ability to have, because it can allow you to point out mistakes, helping individuals to improve and develop in their occupation. When answering this question, consider discussing how your skills and practice of communication helped coach the colleague, or manager and improved the work environment.

Example answer: "Once, at my current place of employment, I noticed a colleague was making quick estimations for some numbers instead of using exact calculations. Though the numbers weren't for something as important as a financial report, his estimations could still have caused the company to lose money, or make uninformed decisions. I asked if we could talk privately, and when we were alone, I very politely informed him how his work could affect the business. He completely understood, and since that conversation he's worked hard to develop as an accounting professional and stop his estimations."

Related: The Best Ways for Coaching an Employee in the Workplace

What's your approach to working with a lot of numbers and data?

This question can help interviewers understand how you use your analytical and prioritization skills to provide quality work for your employers. When answering, it can be helpful to mention the specific strategies or tools you use to help you sort through data and effectively fulfill your responsibilities.

Example answer: "There are many times, working as an accounts assistant, where I have a lot of data to sort through or calculate in order to complete my daily duties. During that time, I always try to break down my larger projects into smaller, more attainable, goals. For example, I process all invoice information first, and then move on to customer payments. This helps me sort through the information more efficiently and also helps make my day more manageable."

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