Does your team need to interview an accounting clerk?
Accounting clerks have a wide range of responsibilities—they provide clerical support, prepare and maintain accounting documents, enter and verify financial data, reconcile accounts, track accounting information, and more.
In short, they champion a host of critical accounting duties, and you deserve to be confident that this is someone you trust to get the job done. When hiring an accounting clerk, you need interview questions that will identify skills, experience level, work ethic, mindset, and everything else that makes someone right for your team.
For someone hiring an accounting clerk, the proper interview questions are a significant tool in securing talent that is:
- Responsible and timely
- Competent with databases and accounting software
- Highly organized
- Proficient in numbers and data verification
Here are some of our top accounting clerk interview questions designed to test accounting clerks.
What interests you about accounting?
This is a good question for kicking off the interview, and you can use it to get a sense of their motivation for pursuing a career as an accounting clerk. Assessing their motivations can be useful in assessing their commitment to the role and your company.
How would you describe your accounting clerk experience?
This question can help you glean information on the candidate’s background, skillsets, level of experience, and whether they’ve worked in a related field. Look out for years in the industry, process knowledge, and specific experience that aligns with your business needs.
What methods do you use to stay organized?
The accounting clerk is responsible for a myriad of documents and administrative processes—it’s important to be sure that you’re bringing on someone competent in organization, and in a way that is advantageous to your existing team.
As an accounting clerk, how would you add value to the organization?
This is a spin on the classic question: “What are your greatest strengths?” But rather than a generic, and sometimes manufactured, answer, this question should provide insights on their strengths as they pertain to this specific role. On top of that, it can help you find out how the candidate sees themself fitting into the bigger picture.
What accounting software are you most comfortable working with?
This interview question is a bit more specific, designed to really test the extent of their knowledge and expertise. It’s useful in determining a candidate’s proficiency with accounting software in general, and knowing whether they have experience with the software your team uses.
What procedures do you use to avoid making errors?
In any job, it is important to have procedures in place to avoid errors. For accounting clerks, this might include double-checking spreadsheets, researching accounts, or verifying financial records. Hearing their procedures can tell you a lot about their level of diligence and accountability.
How would you handle a situation where you submitted a document but realized you made an error?
Everyone makes mistakes—what matters most is how they handle them, and if they can learn and grow from the experience. Use this question to determine how a candidate navigates difficult situations, and whether they’re able to take responsibility.
What do you do when you don’t know how to do something? Or encounter difficult situations?
Speaking of growth and learning, you want a candidate who is comfortable asking questions and digesting new information. This questions can assess problem solving skills as well as how the candidate works under pressure.
Describe the most common reports you prepare in your current job and explain how you compile the data.
With this question, you can test their financial report knowledge. Here, you can find out how familiar the candidate is with the most common types of reports, how they gather the data, and if they understand what each report means and why it’s used.
What are some of the most common mistakes that you have seen when verifying data?
This is another great question for testing knowledge and experience. Not only will it help you gauge their level of experience, it could shed light on their attention to detail.
As an accounting clerk, what measures do you take to manage confidential documents properly?
Managing confidential documents is a critical part of the accounting clerk’s day-to-day. You need to know if you’re hiring someone you can trust with sensitive information.
The power of the interview
Don’t underestimate the power of effective and thoughtful interview questions. With these questions outlined above, you should be able to source quality candidates for an accounting clerk role. But if you’re looking for a little more assistance, let us know what you need below! You can also check out our list of general accounting interview questions, too.