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If you’re looking to hire an accountant, you want to be able to draw the line between qualified, self-possessed candidates and candidates who are able to bluff their way through the interview. Finding the right fit for your company is tricky, and a bad hire could end up majorly costing you in the long run. So how do you separate the good from the bad hires? Ask your candidates these 5 questions to gauge whether or not they’ll be an appropriate fit for your business.

  1. What are the top skills that every great accountant possesses? Typically, when posed with this question, candidates will often answer with what they believe to be their best attributes. Good candidates are ones who will include hard and soft skills, like proficient knowledge of big data concepts and great customer relation skills, respectively. The best of the bunch are the ones who can provide examples of when they’ve implemented and developed these skills in previous positions.

    Accountant interview

    Hiring any new employee is an important process in the development of the company.

  2. Tell us about a time when you made an error in accounting and detail how you handled the situation. Any candidate who claims they’ve never made a mistake is a major red flag. Everyone at some point makes mistakes, so look for the candidates who readily admit that they’ve made mistakes, owned up to them, and corrected them as best as they were able. Mistakes happen, but the best employees will be the ones who take the initiative to rectify their mistakes.
  3. How do you ensure that you’re up to date on accounting laws and regulations? With how rapidly things change in the finance and accounting industry, it’s in your best interest to hire someone who makes a point of staying current. The best candidates will be the ones who are able to identify ways in which they stay informed by citing industry publications to which they subscribe, professional organizations of which they’re a member, and conferences or webinars that they attend.
  4. What different types of accounting software have you used in previous jobs? By including this question, you’ll know ahead of time whether a candidate is already familiar with the system you use or if you will need to train them to be able to use it when they start. However, don’t let their knowledge of your system be the deciding factor in choosing your candidate; if they aren’t familiar with the software that you use, ask a follow-up question about how quickly they are able to learn new technologies so you can gauge how quickly they’ll be able to get up to speed.
  5. Why did you choose a career in finance and accounting? This question is a great one to include on your roster because it can reveal a lot about the candidates true intentions for seeking a position with your company. The best candidates are the ones who show true passion for the industry, and not just someone looking for a good salary and job stability. The ones who are truly passionate about their career choice will be easier to develop and retain within your company.