7 Interview Tips for Entry-Level Accounting Jobs

How to Ace Your Interview

Entry-level accounting jobs have stiff competition and it’s an employer’s market. The number of accounting jobs is increasing in general, with jobs expected to grow by 6% between 2018 and 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the expected growth in the field it is a popular career path for many, with college graduates fighting to land the accounting role they want.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. With the right preparation, you can give yourself a leg-up in the fight to land the accounting job you want. Here are our top seven interview tips to help you secure an entry-level accounting role.

1. Know Your Basics

For entry-level accounting jobs, you won’t be expected to know all the ins and outs of accounting functions. However, if you know the basics this can show an interviewer that not only are you genuinely interested in a career in accounting, but also that they will have to conduct less training because you already have some essential knowledge.
Some accounting basics to brush up on include:

  • Knowing the difference between cash and accrual basis
  • Knowing the difference between accounts payable and accounts receivable
  • How to check for errors in your work

2. Keep Up to Date With Industry Changes

The financial industry is constantly changing. New tax laws and regulations come into play all the time. Keep up to date with these changes and follow industry media like the Wall Street Journal, and associations like the Financial Accounting Standards Board.  When the time comes to interview, show off your knowledge. You can show that you are passionate about a role in accounting and will be an asset to the company, helping them stay on top of changes in the industry.

3. Research the Company and Your Interviewer

Make sure you do thorough research into the company interviewing for an accounting job. Find out who their clients are, what their company mission is, etc. At the interview, you can impress your interviewer by showing you know about the company. You can also demonstrate how your values and beliefs align with their own, and how you will contribute to helping them achieve their mission.

4. Confidence Is Key

You’ve already landed an interview. That means that your resume has shown that you have the skills and experience necessary for the job. Go into the interview room with confidence in your abilities. Don’t worry too much about what you think the interviewer wants to hear. Instead, look back to your experience or education and think of example situations that prove you are a good fit for the role.  Have confidence. Speak clearly and directly. If you don’t believe that you should get the role, why would the interviewer?

5. Ask Questions

An interview is a two-way street. It should flow like a conversation. Ask some questions and let the interviewer do some of the talking. Find out what the responsibilities of the role are, what the workplace culture is like, the type of clients they have. This is not only the opportunity for the interviewer to decide if you are the right fit, but also your opportunity to decide if you want to work for this company.

6. Be Punctual

You never want to show up late to an accounting job interview. In fact, you want to show up early. Get to the interview ahead of time, five to 10 minutes early. If you are commuting to the interview by car or public transportation, allow some leeway in your journey time calculations for traffic or other delays.

7. Know Why You Want to Be an Accountant

For entry-level accounting jobs, a question you will likely be asked in your interview is, “Why do you want to be an accountant?” Have an answer prepared and make sure it is honest. Explain what led you to pursue this career path, why it interests you, and what your long-term goals are. You don’t need to make something up or pretend to have a life-long dream to be an accountant – tell the truth. The interviewer wants to know that you are interested in the role for more than simply the paycheck.

As a specialty accountancy recruiting agency, 6 Degrees work with some of the best employers of accountants in Atlanta. Whether this is your first accounting job or you are a seasoned professional looking to move into a new role, contact 6 Degrees today.

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