5 Accounts Payable Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

Are you trying to land a role as an accounts payable clerk? Or are you looking to interview one? 

One of the most important parts of landing a role is acing the interview. So, we outlined five key interview questions for the role of accounts payable clerk, with some advice on how to answer them.  

Let’s get started. 

What’s an Accounts Payable Clerk? 

First, let’s look at the role of accounts payable clerk. 

An accounts payable clerk (also known as AP clerk) plays a vital role in the financial operations of a company and helps to maintain healthy vendor relationships. Here’s how they achieve these goals:  

  • Processing and maintaining records of all incoming invoices and payments 
  • Reconciling accounts payable transactions and resolving any discrepancies or errors 
  • Assisting with month-edn closing activities 
  • Collaborating with internal departments such as procurement and finance to resolve any payment related issues or inquiries 
  • Maintaining vendor files and communicate with suppliers regarding their billing records 
  • Preparing and processing payments including checks, electronic transfers, and wire transfers 
  • Matching invoices with purchase orders and contracts to ensure proper billing and pricing 

RELATED: Accounts Payable Salary: What Should You Offer?

5 Accounts Payable Clerk Interview Questions 

The following five questions are key examples of what an accounts payable candidate may face in the interview process. By reviewing these questions (along with the tips to answering them) you can be better prepared for upcoming interviews! 

1 What Do You Enjoy Most About the Accounts Payable Process? 

Hiring managers want to bring on a candidate they feel confident will be eager to succeed and who will see themselves in this role long-term. So, part of this question’s intent is to find out whether a candidate is passionate about accounts payable. But the other intent is to uncover the candidate’s knowledge of and comfortability with the accounts payable process. 

To impress the interviewer, outline multiple parts of the accounts payable process and pinpoint why exactly you enjoy this profession.  

2 Are You Familiar with any Accounts Payable Technologies? 

As more and more organizations rely on financial technology (fintech) to streamline their accounting processes, accounts payable clerks must stay up to date with the latest tools. And although companies are regularly training their clerks on the newest tech, hiring managers are looking for talent that is already comfortable with accounts payable technologies.  

So, this one may sound like a ‘yes or no’ question, but the interviewer is really trying to uncover the extent of your familiarity with these technologies. Be as specific as possible when answering this one and describe: 

  • Which technologies or software you’ve worked with 
  • In which roles or capacities you have worked with these technologies 
  • Your level of experience with these technologies  

3 How Do You Handle Discrepancies or Errors? 

Finding, researching, and resolving discrepancies or errors in financial records, invoices, and other documents is a major responsibility for accounts payable clerks. They’re in charge of ensuring all financial documents are correct and authentic so that there are no faulty or fraudulent transactions.  

When answering this question, it’s best to provide any specific experiences you’ve had with discrepancies and errors. Walk the interviewer through the process of you uncovering these issues and the steps you took to rectify them. Keep in mind, they’re likely testing your thoroughness and attention to detail! 

RELATED: How to Choose the Right Accounting Career Path

4 How Do You Balance Accuracy and Efficiency? 

Like the previous question, this one is testing your ability to be both accurate and efficient. We’ve mentioned several times that accuracy is a vital component to a successful accounts payable clerk. But they also need to be efficient and be able to maintain utmost accuracy without sacrificing efficiency—and vice versa. 

If you encounter this question, answer it with your personal method for holding yourself accountable and achieving accuracy and efficiency. It may be helpful to describe a time when this was a challenge for you, and then how you overcame that challenge. 

5 What is Your Experience in Managing Vendor Relationships? 

While maintaining corporate financial records and transactions is at the center of an accounts payable clerk’s duties, they’re also largely responsible for liaising with vendors and clients.  

Answer this question with specific examples about how you’ve supported or even improved vendor relationships. Be careful though not to reveal any sensitive or private information of your current or previous employer and vendors.  

Are You Interview Ready? 

When studying accounts payable interview questions, be sure to focus on the types of questions that the interviewer may ask. Also, take some time to think about your own experiences and how you can best articulate them. By being prepared for your accounts payable clerk interview, you’ll increase your chances of landing the job! 

And if you need help finding the right accounts payable clerk position, check out the Insight Global job board to get started. 

Looking for more? Check out our tips and tricks for ending an interview with confidence.