Suppose a candidate accountant at a previous place of work had subordinate employees. In that case, this might not be the best choice for a company that requires a universal accountant who must personally handle all accounting – from the primary to the balance sheet. Many specialists with experience in managing the accounting department are good managers. Still, they are not very strong in accounting work, as they are used to shifting it to other employees. An accountant is a person who has access to all company finances, tax reporting, and statutory documents. Therefore, carefully searching for a candidate for this vacancy is necessary. It is helpful for employers and job seekers to know how to properly conduct an interview when hiring an accountant. Often, the best candidate for the position of the chief accountant is an employee who worked in the previous position as deputy chief accountant. In practice, in 68% of cases, the deputy chief accountant is most qualified in accounting. The candidate must have skills in working with accounting programs and be aware of essential accounting services and resources where you can learn about changes in laws.
How to interview an accountant?
After you determine what qualities, knowledge, and skills the employee should have, select the interview format. It can be an individual, or group, include only questions, or imply additional testing. Important! If you choose not the chief accountant who will manage the department, but an ordinary financier, do not conduct a psychological assessment but limit yourself to only professional tests. Decide who will interview with you for an accountant position. The personnel manager decides what general questions are asked during the interview to the chief accountant or an ordinary financier. But don’t drag out the conversation. As soon as a person is liberated, and begins to feel confident, proceed to questions about professional experience. With their help, you will discover the applicant’s knowledge, skills, and abilities. Usually, the second person’s role is an experienced financier who knows the questions and answers. It is undesirable to conduct interviews only by the HR service, as recruitment managers cannot fully assess the applicant’s level of knowledge.
Ask to provide references from previous jobs
If you are hiring an incoming accountant, ask what organizations he works with and if he can contact any of his current clients to get feedback about him. Ask this question even if you don’t intend to call anyone. How the accountant will respond to such a request will already give you helpful information. Will he immediately write the contact person’s full name and phone number, or will he hesitate and begin to explain why he cannot do this?
Before meeting with a potential accountant candidate, preparation should be professional and thorough. As a rule, there is a whole accounting department in significant associations. It includes several accountants. The chief accountant or department head heads this structure. If the company is small, then one specialist works there who independently executes all operations. An understanding of the different functions of the accounting department is essential to clearly define what kind of specialist is required and what type of work he will perform.
This is one of the critical points that cannot be successfully implemented if the previous ones are not completed. Therefore, we first choose what we are looking for and then pick questions that will help determine if the candidate has the required skills. Attentiveness, responsibility, and conscientiousness are universal skills without which a person cannot become successful in the accounting department. In addition to them, you need to make a list of specific skills required for a particular job.