21 of the best accounting clerk interview questions

By Robert Half 21st August 2018

If you’re a hiring manager looking to hire an accounting clerk, you’ll need to be prepared with the right questions to ask candidates during job interviews. Here are 21 accounting clerk interview questions that can help you determine who will be the best fit and contribute the most to the job and to your organisation.

Job seekers, you would do well to pay attention to this list, too. You should be prepared to answer these queries and also use the time to showcase your accounting and interpersonal skills.

Job descriptions for accounting clerk jobs

Before the interview, familiarise yourself with the skills, experience and education required for this role, which should be laid out in the job description. Accounting clerk positions are usually entry level, with a required proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, particularly Excel. While this varies at companies, typical duties for this job include:

  • Matching invoices to purchase orders
  • Performing data entry
  • Assisting with the processing of accounts payable and accounts receivable

In a larger company, an accounting clerk may specialise in a specific area like accounts payable, accounts receivable or payroll. Accounts payable clerks update and maintain expense records, and process and send payments. Accounts receivable clerks monitor payment activity, prepare and submit invoices, and deposit receipts. Payroll accounting clerks collect and process time cards, calculate taxes and prepare payroll checks.

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Solid interpersonal skills are also important in this career. Accounting clerks may be the financial record keepers in an organisation, but they’re also expected to interact with co-workers, communicate with customers and vendors, solve problems and multi-task in this job.

So what questions should you ask — or, if you’re the candidate, answer?

Some ice breaker interview questions

What are you most proud of, either personally or professionally?

If you googled yourself this morning, what would you mostly likely find?

What inspired you to apply for this accounting clerk job?

What do you hope to accomplish in your career?

Knowledge and skills based questions

What is the role of the accounting clerk in an organisation?

What computer programmes and software have you used on the job?

Have you taken any courses or training in maintaining account records or preparing financial statements?

What do you enjoy most about this work: data entry, filing documents, reconciling bank statements or processing invoices?

What methods do you use to check data for accuracy and avoid errors?

How do you handle tight deadlines when you’re working as a clerk?

Interview questions about work experience

What responsibilities did you have in your last job?

Are there career skills you’ve developed on the job that might be useful in this one?

What types of financial records or reports have you prepared, and how was the data used?

Do you have a customer service or administrative background?

What industry experience do you have?

Have you ever worked with confidential documents?

Do you have job experience with depreciation software?

Soft skills and non-technical abilities

What sort of work environment do you prefer — quiet solitude or bustling office — and why?

How do you stay organised and focused?

Why is an eye for detail important in this job?

Can you describe a difficult situation you’ve encountered at work and how you handled it?

The interview offers an opportunity to ask and answer questions about the job of an accounting clerk, the experience and skill level of the applicant, and the organisation itself. There’s no right answer for each question above.

If you’re the job seeker, spend some time getting comfortable about what you might be asked in an upcoming interview. Practice for each question with an answer that shows how you’re the right clerk for the job.

If you’re the hiring manager, try to make all of your interview questions count so you don’t make the costly mistake of hiring the wrong person. Prepare to be asked some questions, too, during the interview. And know that you have the option of bringing in someone on a temporary basis so you can evaluate their career skills and fit with your company before making a full-time job offer.

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