If you have been scheduled to take an interview for an account payable assistant job, your ability to answer the questions that will be put to you successfully will depend on how well you prepared for the interview.
You can prepare effectively for the account payable assistant interview by familiarizing yourself with questions that are likely to be asked and practising your responses with them.
This post provides exhaustive account payable assistant interview questions you can apply in your preparation.
What do Interviewers look for in an Account Payable Assistant?
Interviewers mainly look for 3 things when interviewing someone for an account payable assistant position.
The first is a resume that identifies the person’s skills and qualifications for the position.
They are also looking for account payable assistants with appropriate work experience, which should be appropriate to the degree of knowledge that will be expected in the position.
The third thing they look for is credentials that match what the job needs.
10 Most Common Account Payable Assistant Interview Questions and Answers
Here are some of the commonest questions you might face in an account payable assistant interview (with suggested answers):
- What skills would you need to excel in this position?
The skills I need to excel in this position include good math skills, bookkeeping skills, and excellent organizational skills. I also need to be able to pay attention to detail and be able to work independently.
2. How would you go about finding information for this position?
I would need to know where to find the information that I am looking for. I would ask the appropriate people how to get that information, or use different references or resources.
3. What have you done in previous jobs to increase profitability?
I have created efficiencies in the work process, I have tracked and analyzed data to find discrepancies and potential savings, and I have reduced waste.
4. What is your experience with accounts payable?
I have experience with processing invoices, maintaining vendor files, and issuing payments.
5. What is your education and/or work experience in bookkeeping?
I have a degree in bookkeeping and I have two years of work experience in the field.
6. Why did you choose to pursue a career in accounting and/or bookkeeping?
The stability of the accounting and bookkeeping profession, the opportunity for advancement, and the challenge of the work.
7. What do you think this position has to offer?
Opportunity to learn new skills, work with many different people, and complete challenging tasks.
8. What are your strengths?
I have an excellent attention to detail, I am able to adapt quickly to changes in the work environment, I am proactive and take initiative, I am well organized, and I can work independently.
9. What do you think are the biggest challenges this position has?
The most challenging part of this position would be maintaining accurate records, reconciling accounts, and managing deadlines.
10. What questions do you have for me?
I would like to know what the expectations are for the job, what the company’s policies and procedures are for performance management, how the company supports career development, and what the opportunities for advancement are.
More Sample Interview Questions for Account Payable Assistant Position
Here are more sample account payable assistant interview questions to boost your preparation:
Sample Behavioral Interview Questions for Account Payable Assistant Position
- Can you tell me a time in which you had to work in a team?
- What was the most difficult decision you have made recently and how did you handle it?
- Do you think that your experience differs from different people, because of where they live or their culture?
- If something goes wrong at work, what do you do to get things back on track again?
- Tell me about a time when someone else screwed up and put something that wasn’t their problem onto your plate. How did that make you feel and how did it impact your workload for the day/weekend/month/year (depending on how long)?
Sample Case Interview Questions for Account Payable Assistant Position
- What are the three most important skills for an account payable assistant?
- What is a trigger event and how does it apply to accounts payable?
- How do you play the role of a detective as an accountant or auditor?
- Give me some examples of where “stepping on toes” could happen in finance.
- Why would we need to communicate with other departments about triggers and reconciliations?
Sample Competency Interview Questions for Account Payable Assistant Position
- Provide examples of a time when you were able to make a big impact on a project.
- Give an example of a time when you had to sell your idea to others.
- How do you improve your work efficiency?
- Can you tell us about a situation where you demonstrated courage in the face of adversity?
- Give an example of how you have been able to handle difficult people.
Sample Problem-Solving Interview Questions for Account Payable Assistant Position
- How do you handle discrepancies between vendor invoices and purchase orders?
- How do you calculate discounts and late fees?
- What is a credit memo?
- How do you set up a cash payment system for accounts payable?
- How do you create an invoice from a purchase order?
Sample Situational Interview Questions for Account Payable Assistant Position
- What is the best way to handle a repeat customer who insists on sending you personal checks?
- What do you think about counterfeit money?
- How would account payable know if there was duplicate or fraudulent payments?
- Explain what happens when an invoice doesn’t match with the purchase order.
- When should I call our banking department with questions about my tasks for accounting work?
Sample Communication Skills Interview Questions for Account Payable Assistant Position
- What is your communication style?
- What are the best ways to work with difficult people in the workplace?
- How do you handle sensitive or confidential information from employers?
- Do you have a problem handling criticism well when it comes from your peers and supervisors?
- Can you provide an example of how you effectively collaborated on a project with someone who had different priorities than you did?
Sample Interpersonal Skills Interview Questions for Account Payable Assistant Position
- What is your biggest pet peeve?
- What’s one mistake you’ve made at work, and what did you learn from it?
- Why do you think this position would be a good fit for you?
- How well can you manage working with others?
- How comfortable are you with getting feedback from co-workers or supervisors about the quality of your work?
Sample Company Culture Interview Questions for Account Payable Assistant Position
- What is your favorite company culture?
- When was the last time you were disappointed at work?
- After a year of employment, how do you feel about your current company culture?
- What creative outlet do you enjoy the most and why do you like it?
- Do you like to work independently or as part of a team and what is the biggest reason for that preference.
Sample Technical Questions for Account Payable Assistant Position
- What is a typical project that an account payable assistant might work on?
- How would you go about reconciling accounts payable and receivable against the general ledger?
- What are the five core process areas in finance?
- For what types of transactions can account payable be used to record such as cash receipts, vendor payments, purchase orders etc.?
- Which one sentence statement describes why an organization needs accurate and timely financial records?
Sample Finance Interview Questions for Account Payable Assistant Position
- What is the primary goal of account payable?
- How much do you know about accounts receivable and accrual accounting?
- What are common acronyms for AP staff?
- Do you know the difference between a general ledger and an AP report; which one does your company use?
- What types of reports would be used in conjunction with accounts payable workloads:
Account Payable Assistant Interview Success Tips
Interviews for the role of an account payable assistant can be tough, but here are some tips to help you succeed:
- Be ready to answer the tough questions, but don’t be afraid to ask questions too! Employers want you to be engaged and inquisitive in an interview setting.
It’s fine if you’re not sure of the answer right away, just say that you’ll get back with them after looking into it more thoroughly and then follow through on that promise.
This demonstrates your commitment to getting things done and following through with what is asked of you.
- The best way to prepare for an account payable interview is by practicing common accounting terms and financial reporting basics before going for the interview.
This will make you look knowledgeable and confidence when answering questions at the interview.
- Practice common questions that you may be asked in an interview, such as your experience with reconciling accounts or handling vendor payments.
The best way to do this is to have a friend or family member to play the interviewer for you. This will give you a better idea of how to answer questions in a more natural way and it will also show you where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
- Make sure you come across as personable and easy to work with during your interview. One way to do this is to send a thank-you note after the meeting, even if it was over the phone.
This shows that you’re appreciative of the interviewer’s time and that you’re interested in the job.
If you’re seeking an account payable assistant job and are scheduled for an interview, it’s important to be prepared for the questions that will be asked.
It’s worth taking the time to think through samples of commonly asked account payable assistant questions so that when one comes up during your meeting, you’ll have a well-thought out answer.
And remember, if you’re having trouble answering certain questions, no matter how prepared you are, it’s okay to tell the interviewer.
They will appreciate your honesty and probably even admire you more for your honesty.