1. What are your strengths as Senior Tax Officer?

We recommend basing your answer around three or four key skills. You will probably be asked for examples of how you have demonstrated them, so try and prepare a few in advance of the meeting. If your job description contains key competencies for the position you are interviewing for, you should look to these for examples of skill areas you could discuss.

2. Can you tell us what have your achievements been to date?

Select an achievement that is work-related and fairly recent. Identify the skills you used in the achievement and quantify the benefit it had to the company. For example, 'my greatest achievement has been to design and implement a new sales ledger system, bringing it in ahead of time and improving our debtors' position significantly, saving the company £50,000 a month in interest'.

3. Tell us what do you dislike about your present job?

Be cautious with this answer. Do not be too specific as you may draw attention to weaknesses that will leave you open to further problems. One approach is to choose a characteristic of your present company, such as its size or slow decision-making processes etc. Give your answer with the air of someone who takes problems and frustrations in your stride as part of the job.

4. Tell us how well do you multi-task?

Multi-tasking is an important part of most jobs. You want to show that you're good at it but not overwhelmed with it. So discuss just a few things you can multi-task well on - for example: "I'm good at multi tasking between work email and working on projects and the reason it because I'm good at prioritizing my work emails.

5. Tell us who was your favorite manager and why?

Describe the attributes you liked about your favorite manager, typically attributes discussed are: Great at coaching, inspiring, motivating, empowering, trusting, delegating, leading, etc.

6. Tell us what's your salary history?

Be prepared to share your salary history and also the documentation to back it up. This is a common request from companies, especially if you're trying to negotiate a higher salary than what they're offering.

7. Tell us how do you motivate employees?

☛ 1. Understand their goals
☛ 2. Understand what they're good / not good at
☛ 3. Align their personal goals to the company goals and then utilize their strengths to achieve it
☛ 4. Inspire them through coaching and pep talks

8. Explain me about a difficult situation that you have been in at work and how you overcame it?

Employers use this question to try to gauge what you view as a ‘difficult situation' and if you are able to show a logical approach in how you go about solving problems. Always aim toshow yourself in a positive light. We would normally advise that you choose a difficult situation that was not caused by you, remembering to:
☛ 1. Define the problem
☛ 2. Discuss the options available
☛ 3. Give your final decision and reasons for your choice
☛ 4. The final outcome, always try to end on a positive note

9. Tell me about your professional qualifications?

I pursued a Bachelor's degree in X at [X university] and upon graduation I worked as an Intern for [X company] where I was responsible for [X tax management duties ]. Since this internship, I have gained considerable tax management experience working for [X company] where I managed [X tax management duties] and for [X company] where I was responsible for [X tax management duties]. These are some of the reasons I believe I am a perfect fit for your position.

10. Can you tell me are you happy with your career-to-date?

This question is really about your self-esteem, confidence and career aspirations. The answer must be 'yes', followed by a brief explanation as to what it is about your career so far that's made you happy. If you have hit a career plateau, or you feel you are moving too slowly, then you must qualify your answer.

Download Interview PDF

11. Explain me a time where you had to make a hard decision?

Hard decisions are hard for a reason. It could dramatically effect the company. It could affect other workers. So if you have a story about how you made a hard decision and had a good outcome, share that. If you have one where the outcome wasn't great, explain how you would have changed the way you approached the decision to show you learned how to improve.

12. Tell us what are you most proud of?

You should be proud of all your achievements! We just don't have time to hear them all as interviewers most likely. Focus on 1 really good achievement that showcases characteristics like the following: Integrity, competitiveness, resourcefulness, intelligence, persistence, and so forth.

13. Tell us what's the last book you read?

Try to talk about a book related to the industry, for example, if you're applying for a role related to business, cite a business book.

14. Tell us what is it about this role that interests you?

They have asked this question to explore whether the role suits you and fits in with both your medium and long-term goals.

15. Tell me how do you handle stressful situations as Senior Tax Officer?

I always remain calm and look for ways to be more efficient. For instance, if there is an unexpected deadline, I will determine what can be done to ensure the deadline can be met, I will write down the steps to take to ensure successful completion and will delegate a few tasks if necessary. In brief, I am always ready to adjust my approach because stressful situations are bound to occur in a professional environment.

16. Can you please explain what is the most difficult situation you have had to face and how did you tackle it?

The purpose of this question is to find out what your definition of difficult is and whether you can show a logical approach to problem solving. In order to show yourself in a positive light, select a difficult work situation which was not caused by you and which can be quickly explained in a few sentences. Explain how you defined the problem, what the options were, why you selected the one you did and what the outcome was. Always end on a positive note.

17. What are the goals you've set for yourself as Tax Officer?

You could discuss your goals with regards to these categories: Career goals, impact you want to leave on society, financial goals, academic goals, charitable goals.

18. Tell us what have you done to prepare yourself to be a supervisor?

☛ 1. Learn from current supervisors (best practices)
☛ 2. Mentor others
☛ 3. Be exceptionally good at your current job so that it builds your credibility
☛ 4. Have a high emotional IQ

19. Tell me what general trends do you see in our industry as Tax Officer?

Examine what's happened in the industry in the last 5 - 10 years and how it's evolved and then look at what both the company and analysts are saying about the future of that industry in which that company competes in. Read trade magazines / online sources in that industry as well to make sure you stay up to date on trends.

20. Can you tell us why do you want to leave your current employer?

State how you are looking for a new challenge, more responsibility, experience and a change of environment. Do not be negative in your reasons for leaving. It is rarely appropriate to cite salary as your primary motivator.

21. Explain what motivates you to perform to the best of your abilities?

What motivates me the most is becoming the best in my field, and as a result having the opportunity to make an impact on a greater scale and contribute to the company's long-term success. For instance, with this position, what motivates me the most is the opportunity to (X newly acquired duties that will enable you to help the company be more successful, as per the job posting).

22. Please explain what is it that you like about your current role?

Always try to relate your ‘likes' to the skills that are needed for the position. Be aware of the balancing act required when answering this question; you need to appear to be positive about your current job while making it clear why you are looking for a new role.What is it that you dislike about your current role? In your answer it is key that you get across to the interviewer that you are able to tackle problems and frustrations as part of your job. You can also use this to demonstrate why you are interested in their role, for example if one of your frustrations is a lack of management responsibility, and they are offering a Manager role.

23. Tell me what do you know about this department?

One good way to find out about the department is to try to "informally" interview the existing employees over coffee (outside of the office) if possible. It's hard if you don't have any connections there, but if you do a great way to learn about it. Other than that, it's often hard to learn about the department so you can turn the table back on them by asking questions to learn about it.

24. Explain me what a "lot of work" looks like to you?

Ideally you'd like to state that you can take on a lot of work - this shows your work ethic, but at the same time it's okay to tell them that you value work and life balance.

Download Interview PDF

25. Can you tell us what do you like about your present job?

This is a straightforward question. All you have to do is make sure that your 'likes' correspond to the skills required for the job on offer. Be enthusiastic; describe your job as interesting and diverse but do not overdo it - after all, you are looking to leave.