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Tax Accountant Interview Questions

tax accountant interview questions

When you get ready for a university exam, it’s always a dream is to know what questions will be asked in advance. A job interview is not different and regardless of how prepared you are, being able to predict the most common questions is the key to success.

But is it even possible? Well, actually, it is, and if you have a tax accountants interview lined up, this article will help you to do just that. In fact, of the thousands of questions that an interviewer may ask, some of them come up far more often than others.

So, let’s go through the most common Tax Accountant Interview Questions!

tax accountant interview questions

What Does a Tax Accountant Do?

A tax accountant is that person that makes our life a lot easier and less stressful when we have to deal with one of the most boring yet necessary things: a tax declaration. They are responsible for preparing, verifying, and submitting tax statements and returns for clients or companies.

Here’s a list of the main duties of a tax accountant:

  • Filing tax documentation and preparing tax returns and quarterly payments
  • Checking the accuracy of tax declaration when prepared by the client
  • Advising clients about the best tax strategy
  • Identifying legal tax savings
  • Verifying that the client complies with every tax regulation
  • Keeping up to date with any change in tax regulation

As you prepare for the interview, make sure you’re ready to answer any specific question about the responsibilities of a tax accountant.

Career Requirements

In addition to the technical knowledge of your profession, the recruiters will verify that you meet all the requirements for the job. These include…

Education

To become a tax accountant, a bachelor’s degree in accounting is required. However, some employers will prefer candidates that hold a master’s degree.

To enhance their competitiveness in the market and get access to high-paying jobs, many accountants chose to become CPA (certified public accountant). To do that, you will need a master’s degree, and you will have to pass an exam and obtain a state license.

If you completed your studies a while back, expect the recruiters to verify that your knowledge of the current regulations is up to date.

Hard Skills

Hard skills are those skills that are strictly relevant to the profession. They are measurable and can be acquired through education and practice. A big portion of the interview will revolve around them.

But what are exactly the hard skills that you need to have to be an excellent tax accountant?

  • Working experience as a tax accountant or tax preparer
  • Extensive knowledge of tax regulation
  • Deep understanding of accounting procedures
  • Computer literacy and proficiency in Excel
  • Familiarity with accounting software

Soft Skills

As opposed to hard skills, soft skills are those qualities that relate to our personal traits. Soft skills determine how we interact with other people and how effectively we can adapt to a situation. Since they’re not easily measurable, it’s important to know what they are and be able to prove to the recruiters that we have them.

the tax accountant interview question

Some of the questions that you’ll get at the interview will be about the following soft skills:

  • Organization
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management
  • Communication
  • Analytical thinking
  • Prioritizing

Now that we know what it takes to be a good tax accountant, let’s find out how you can use this information excel in the interview…

How To Get Ready For The Interview?

While you’re waiting for the interview, there are a few things you can do to get ready. All of them are equally important, and they will make you stand out from the other candidates.

Research the company

Having a better understanding of the company you’re applying for is a great way to impress the recruiters. Not only will this show them that you’re determined to work for them, but also it can give you some useful clues about what they will ask you.

If the company is specialized in a specific niche such as real estate, the majority of the questions will be about that. In that case, make sure that your knowledge of tax regulations on that subject is on point.

Moreover, one of the most common questions that are often asked at a job interview is why you want to work there. If you don’t know anything about the company, your answer will be far less convincing.

Review the job posting

The job posting is always a useful source of information that people overlook too often. The list of requirements highlights the most important skills that the employer wants you to have. Therefore, the interviewers’ job will be to make sure that you meet those requirements, and many questions will revolve around them.

How can you show the recruiters that you have those skills? Let’s find out…

Be ready to provide examples to prove your hard and soft skills

Often the question asks you to describe a time where you managed a difficult situation or accomplished something. When the recruiters ask you this kind of question, their goal is to assess if you possess the relevant skill and if you can put it into practice.

To answer effectively, you should provide an example from your professional career where you had to use those skills.

To make sure that you say everything they want to hear, use the STAR method. Which is…

  • S – Describe the Situation
  • T – Explain what your Task was
  • A – Describe your Actions
  • R – What was the Result?

This strategy works great even with more generic questions, such as “Why should we hire you?”.

After you explain to the recruiter what your strengths are, use the STAR method to prove that what you’re saying is not just a nice anecdote.

Practice your answers

Lastly, use everything that we’ve seen so far to practice your answers to the most common questions. While you’re doing it, stand in front of a mirror or use a recorder. However, it’s important that you don’t try to memorize the answer if you still want to sound natural in the interview.

The Most Common Tax Accountant Interview Questions

It’s now time to go through some examples of common questions that you’re likely to be asked.

What makes you stand out from the other candidates?

This is a similar question to the one I just mentioned in the previous paragraph. If you can prove to them what makes you stand out, you are also informing them why they should hire YOU and what is your biggest strength.

Keep in mind that this kind of question always requires a professional answer. Therefore, keep your response relevant to the job, using the STAR method to show the recruiters how your skills match the job requirements.

Describe a time when you helped a customer to get higher returns

Keeping their customers happy is one of the main goals of any company. By showing the recruiters that you know how to legally do that, you will gain a clear edge over the other candidates.

This is again a great opportunity to apply the STAR method.

the tax accountant interview question ans

What tools do you use to create monthly reports?

This is a more specific question that the recruiters will use to assess your organizational skills. Demonstrate that you have an efficient method to complete the task and illustrate the advantages of your method. You might also need to explain how your method has been beneficial for the company you were previously working for.

What accounting software are you familiar with?

With this question, the recruiters want to test your versatility and how ready you are to start working immediately.

Unless the job description requires you to know a specific software, it’s not really that important if you’re not familiar with the one that they use yet. After you explain what software you’ve been using in the past, you might conclude by asking which one you will have to use.

If it’s something that you are unfamiliar with, tell them that you consider this as a fantastic opportunity to expand your knowledge and that you’re looking forward to being trained and fully understanding it.

More common questions…

  • What’s your strategy to keep yourself updated with new regulations?
  • What’s the biggest challenge for a tax accountant?
  • How do you explain a complex topic to a client who is not familiar with it?
  • Why did you choose this career?
  • Have you ever made a mistake while filing a tax return? What happened?

Looking for More Information on Financial Careers?

Well, if you’re not quite sure what certain job roles do, take a look at our in-depth look at the Tax Preparer Job Description, the Staff Accountant Job Description, the Financial Controller Job Description, the Accounting Assistant Job Description, and the Payroll Specialist Job Description for 2023.

And if you need more advice on your interview, our Bookkeeper Interview Questions may well come in handy.

And when it’s time for your next interview, it’s well worth investing in a book such as Interview Like A Pro or Answering Tough Interview Questions For Dummies. However, we also have comprehensive guides on how to answer common interview questions such as Why Do You Want to Work Here? Answering Tell Me About Yourself in Interview, and Why We Should Hire You? or even the always tricky, How to Answer What is Your Greatest Strength!

Back to today’s topic…

Final Thoughts

One thing that we can be sure of is that there is no shortage of questions that can come up at a job interview. Therefore, predicting exactly what you will be asked is virtually impossible. However, some of the questions are so common that having an effective answer ready will improve your chances to impress the recruiters.

Today we have seen some of the most popular interview questions for Tax Accountants. Practice them, follow the other tips that you’ve learned in this article and, if your specific knowledge is on point, you will nail the interview.

Good luck with your next interview!

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