How to Assess a Candidate’s Analytical Skills in an Accounting Interview
When you are working to fill an accounting position, finding a candidate with strong analytical skills is a must as the work they perform requires a substantial amount of analytical thinking. As a result, finding out as much as possible about their capabilities in that area during the interview process needs to be a priority.
Luckily, certain questions allow you to gain additional insight regarding an accounting candidate’s analytical skills. Here are a few worth asking during your next interview and why they provide value.
Can you describe a time you had to solve a problem and didn’t have all the necessary information? How did you proceed?
This two-part question aims to give you more information based on a real-world example. When all of the details needed to solve a problem aren’t immediately available, a professional has to use their analytical skills to determine the best approach to discover what they need to know.
Additionally, you’ll learn about the job seeker’s ability to solve problems in general. You may also find out more about their interpersonal skills, particularly if they had to reach out to others to gather the missing information.
If you are given two options for tackling an assignment, how do you choose the best approach?
Not only does this question give you insight into a candidate’s analytical skills, you’ll also find out how comfortable they are with decision-making and having a degree of autonomy while at work. You’ll discover how they identify and assess priorities to make a strong decision, as well as if they feel confident making a call on their own or if they rely on input from others.
Explain step by step how you would solve [problem X].
This prompt allows you to pose a challenging scenario based on something the candidate may encounter if hired. By requesting a step-by-step approach, you can gain insight into the job seeker’s thought process when they face difficulties.
Additionally, you can find out if they consider all relevant factors that could impact the problem or its solution. As a bonus, you’ll also discover how heavily the candidate would rely on their team or manager, something that can help you determine if they are a good cultural fit and if they have the right knowledge base and skill set to handle common issues without assistance.
Since you want candidates to provide thoughtful answers, make sure to give them enough time to consider the question and craft a response. If you rush the job seeker, you are more likely to receive canned responses or an answer with very little detail, making it unlikely you can assess their analytical skills properly.
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If you would like to learn more about interviewing for accounting positions, the team at VB can help. Contact us to speak with one of our recruitment specialists today and see how our candidate selection expertise can benefit you.