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By Esther Kamau
Every year in Kenya, there are thousands of graduates being released into the Kenyan job market.
It is estimated that over 50,000 thousand students graduate yearly from universities and colleges.
And part of those who are being released into the job market are Accountants.
One of the most saturated fields in the Kenyan job market today is accounting. Almost every other university offers this as a major and in-demand course.
These Accountants are also mandated to take the 6 sections of CPA courses in order to be registered with a professional body by like the Institute Of Certified Public Accountants Of Kenya (ICPAK).
And with such a flooded pool, employers have now devised new ways of interviewing in order to pick out only the best out of the fresh graduates.
But if you have been attending interview, you have noted that a lot of employers ask for practical experience in Accounting.
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So what do you do when you are only a fresh Accounting graduate and you don’t know what to say in interviews when asked about your experience?
Today, we’ll look at least 4 interview questions you should expect in an interview and how to respond to them whether you have the experience or not.
Question 1: Tell us about yourself…
This is a MUST ASK question in any interview you’ll ever attend.
Always remember this; this is not the time nor the place to talk about personal and irrelevant things.
You will always be interviewed as a professional; as an accountant.
So when you are telling the panel about yourself, focus more on your qualifications and skills in relation to what is laid out in the job description.
This Is A Must Read >>> Why a job description is the secret to passing any interview
And if you have no experience at all, relate what you say based on the skills you have learned in school.
Question 2: Why did you apply for this job?
The trick to answering this question is to go back to the job description and mention the specific skills which you are going to grow in as an Accountant.
Be specific and point out the key practical skills you want to gain.
Avoid being vague or beating around the bush.
For instance, did you apply because you have seen an opportunity for you to perfect your skills on how to file taxes and do bank reconciliations? Mention that.
Also, don’t be tempted to say, “I applied because I’m looking for a job.” That holds no water and it will disqualify you in an interview.
Question 3: What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This is a very common question for not just accountants, but every other professional.
When you are asked to mention your strengths, avoid vague answers like: “I’m hardworking, self-motivated” etc. This tell an employer literally nothing.
Strengths are actually soft skills. So pick some out of the job description and then relate them to your profession as an accountant.
E.g., “I’m a very detail oriented person because in my career, I’m required to work on minimizing errors and preparing reports.”
Question 4: Why Should we hire you?
Now, even though you don’t have the needed experience, there are certain pointers you can use to answer this question effectively.
Focus on your soft skills and show how you are a person that is very willing to learn and quick to adapt to new and challenging environments.
If you have volunteered or done an internship, also mention it and show how you are always going out of your way to keep learning in your field.
So there are just 4 of the common interview questions you will encounter in an interview.
But just in case you need help preparing for this 4 main questions and how to answer them as an accountant, then you can learn how to prepare for an Accounting interview here.