1. Can you keep records fully confidential?

With some professions, it is relieving and sometimes even rewarding to discuss the happenings of the day with friends and family members. However, when it comes to bookkeeping, there is very little that you will be able to discuss. Working within this field involves handling the company or client's finances, and this is very sensitive information. Although some of it may be released as public record due to federal law, individual entries and expenditures are often completely classified. Your employer will ask this question in order to determine your loyalty, and you should assure your interviewer that you understand the sensitivity of certain pieces of information.

2. Tell me do you have any experience respected to the field?

If this is the first time you have applied for a job since graduating college, then you are likely not going to have any work-related experience. If not, never fear; you can overcome this by reinforcing your positive traits and assuring the interviewer that you are perfectly capable of performing your required duties. If you do have experience, be sure to provide details such as your required duties, your accomplishments and more.
If you want to land a job as a bookkeeper, you will need to impress your interviewer with your abilities, skills and experience when applicable. Part of standing out as the most qualified candidate for the job involves being able to provide solid, detailed answers to the questions your interviewer asks.

3. How to rank the following in order of importance for business success:
Sales, Teamwork, Quality, Integrity, Profitability, Service?

There isn't a right or wrong answer to this question, but it will indicate whether the candidate is aligned with your business culture and also demonstrate critical thinking skills. Look for a justification for why they answered the way they did. Does it line up with how you would answer the question? For example, if they say Profitability is the most important. Why is that the case? If they say teamwork is least important, you probably want to dig a little deeper if teamwork is high on your priority list.
A bookkeeper would preferably list profitability lower on the list because you want to know that they are considering the whole business, not just their job. You would also want to see integrity high on the list. Do you really want a bookkeeper who doesn't value integrity.

4. General ledger account is out of balance by $.24. Describe the process you would take to discover the error?

First, I would want to make sure the error is not due to a larger computer software glitch. I have worked with systems that were corrupted by updates or programming errors. I make sure my accounting systems are backed up regularly just in case the data gets corrupted. Also, I reconcile all balance sheet accounts during the month and as a part of my month end close process so I would be able tell if the problem is isolated to one general ledger account or if I have a larger problem.
If I discover an error in the accounting system due to an update, I would recover the most recent backup prior to the update. If the problem is only in one account and the balance is only $.24, I would write off the difference to an Miscellaneous Expense account. In my opinion, looking for a $.24 error is not the best use of my time or your resources.

5. We have met several candidates. Why are you one we should hire?

Give definite examples of your skills and accomplishments. Be positive, and emphasize how your background matches the job description. Mention any accounting software packages and spreadsheet software you are familiar with. Also let them know if you have advanced knowledge of any of the software.

6. Tell me where you find that you work better?

I find that I work better under pressure, and I enjoy working in an environment that is challenging. I am the type of person that diffuses stress. I am used to working in a demanding environment with deadlines, and enjoy the challenges.

7. Explain Assets and Liability?

Be prepared to succinctly and clearly define all accounting related terms and explain their interdependence.

8. Described about a time you faced an ethical dilemma?

When I was working at X company, a vendor did not send me an invoice for material I was 100% certain we had received. I accrued the expense in the books and waited for the invoice to arrive. After a month had passed, I contacted the vendor for a copy of the invoice.
In researching the shipment, the vendor's accountant discovered that the paperwork was lost and was never turned in to the accounting department for billing. Even though my call to the vendor ended up costing my company some money, I still feel it was the right thing to do. It was a legitimate expense that we owed to the vendor and I would not have felt right about cheating the vendor.

9. Tell me which bookkeeping systems have you used and tell me which one you liked best and why?

I liked X system because it had a robust and easy to use report writer. I could quickly create ad-hoc reports for the President of the company or department supervisors and get them the information they needed.
Sometimes in a matter of seconds. With the X system I had the option to save the report as a .PDF document or an Excel spreadsheet and I could email the report to them.

10. Have you done at your previous employers to increase revenues, reduce costs, or save time?

I make it a practice to review every vendor invoice to make sure the amount is correct before I enter it. At X company, I discovered we were being charged sales tax for an item that I knew was tax exempt. I sent our sales tax exemption certificate to the vendor and they stopped charging the sales tax. I was able to save the company approximately $2,000 a year.

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