9 Must-Ask Bookkeeper Sample Interview Questions
Bookkeepers are key members of any business. Because their job duties include reconciling records, using bookkeeping software, paying attention to detail and practicing integrity, you can draw from a general base of bookkeeper sample interview questions when talking with job candidates. Here are nine that are absolutely necessary to ask.
1. What Have Your Previous Bookkeeper Jobs Been Like
The answer to this question gives you a feel of whether job candidates’ experience has adequately prepared them for the position you are filling. It also gives you an idea of a candidate’s attention to detail; for example, if a candidate answers something vague like, ïGood. The people were nice, and the work was challenging,ï that is telling, and requires follow-up questions on your part. Even for specific answers, common follow-up questions are, ïTell me about the types of financial reports you prepared,ï and ïWhat were your key responsibilitiesï
2. What Do You Consider to Be the Most Important Quality in a Bookkeeper, and Why
There is really no wrong answer to this question. Critical bookkeeping qualities include a finely tuned sense of ethics, computer skills, an orientation to detail and math smarts. However, the way the question is answered lends you insight into a candidate’s mindset. Slightly out-of-the-box answers such as a ïsense of humorï can also be refreshing and intriguing.
3. Tell Me What You Know About This Business and the Services We Offer.
Of all the bookkeeper sample interview questions, this question (actually, a request) could be the most important. You can learn about a job candidate’s work experience through application materials, but these materials do not really give you a sense of how much a candidate has prepared for the interview. The answer to this question tells you how interested the applicant is in working for your business as well as the level of her thoroughness.
4. Describe a Complicated Project You Had to Finish Under Deadline. Did You Succeed, and What Were Your Challenges
The answer to this query illustrates a job candidate’s problem-solving approach as well as her definition of ïcomplicated.ï It also should shed light on how well she collaborates with others and how she stays calm under pressure.
5. What Mistakes from Past Jobs Have You Most Learned From
No doubt you know the typical interview question, ïWhat are your greatest strengths/weaknessesï Many bookkeeper sample interview questions retain this approach, but this question and the one above it, number 4, are more reflective of real life and should result in answers that that are less rehearsed. Practically everyone knows to expect the strengths/weaknesses question.
6. Please Share Your Interpretation of the Job Description.
It is always a good idea to review the job description during an interview, and this question allows you to more or less kill two birds with one stone. For one thing, you get an understanding of how well the job candidate read and retained the job description, and for another thing, you have the opportunity to correct any mistaken impressions and to offer clarification. For example, if the job requires overtime work a few times throughout the year, you can point this out to double check that the candidate is on board with that requirement.
7. Which Accounting Systems Are You Most Familiar With
The answer to this question measures an applicant’s practical knowledge. Pair it with the requirements of your business to decide whether someone could be a good fit.
8. Tell Me About Your Proudest Accomplishments at Previous and Current Jobs.
As far as bookkeeper sample interview questions go, there are a few ways to rephrase this prompt. For example, you can instead ask, ïWhat have you accomplished in prior work to save your business money or timeï Follow up these answers with further questions such as how the job candidate got that idea, how it was approved and so on.
9. What Sorts of Training or Projects Have You Done Lately to Improve as a Bookkeeper
This question helps you glean a candidate’s level of enthusiasm and motivation for what she does. It also clarifies professional credentials such as certification that she has or is working toward.
Other bookkeeper sample interview questions to ask about or incorporate into the above questions include touching on the level of interaction a job candidate had with vendors or clients in previous work, her awareness of legal requirements at various levels, and her computer skills in general. As you explore the ways to make all-star hires and enhance your business, use the tools here at Mighty Recruiter to help.