I was asked these questions in a phone interview....

Feb 17, 2018
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Hi All,

I'm a new here and I decided to join this forum because I want to have a place that I can learn to improve myself and share my thought about the accounting field. I know that I am not very good at accounting but I'm always willing to learn.

I am looking for a position like an account payable or junior accountant. And today I had a phone interview. I don't know how to say at this time, but even though I told myself many times, I still have a feeling that I am useless.

Honestly, I didn't expect that I was asked these questions in an interview over the phone. After telling me about the company and himself, the manager asked me:
- For example, we rent a building and every month we receive an invoice billed $10000 for the time date 8 to date 7. Ex: Feb 8 to Mar 7. You're now on Mar and doing the closing for Feb. What will you do? - My thought: at first, I thought he asked about what account I will put in. But it wasn't. Then he asked "What number will you put in credit and debit? what will you do with $10k?. My answer was: I put $10k in debit and credit. I wanted to ask him more, but look like he didn't want to spend much time and patient on it.

- We move to the 2nd question: you run a trial balance, you see $100k. However, in the bank, the money is actually $300k. How do you explain that? and why the amount is different? - My answer: maybe we receive money from customers but we have not applied into cash receipt yet.

- Tell me the supposed reasons to explain why money in the bank is difference because the money in bank does not always stay the same. Tell me why? - My answer: there are some reasons such as: receive money from customer but does not apply yet. Or issue the checks but the vendors have not cashed out the checks yet.

- Supposed: you give me the check to sign, how do I know that the check is correct? What will you provide me? - my answer: I will attached the invoice with approval and packing slip or PO.

- How to do bank reconciliation? - my answer: every month log into the bank account, download the bank statement and compare to the expense report that I download from the accouting system. I will check to see if the amount is correct or not for each transaction.

- What is file with CVS? - my answer: it's a file for import. ( I just know like that).

- you are the accountant and you know in accounting. How can you explain "..." for a person who does not work in accounting to understand? - My thought: He said a word but I dont know what it is and I never hear that before. I tried to ask him what the meaning of that word but he moved forward.

- Tell me what do you do with excel in accounting? - I thought that he asked me about pivot table or something like that. But he want me to tell him 1 formula that I use in excel. Then he gave me a question like: I have information in cell A1 to cell A199. At cell B232 how you use the formula.... He asked me kind like that and I think that I gave him the answer that he expected.

- He asked me some but I don't remember all.

After that phone interview, my mind was a complete blank. Now I sat down and looking back, record all things in that interview to learn from it. I know that he was not happy with any my answer, only except that excel question. I'm posting the questions here to hope that any of you can teach me or provide me the best answer to these questions. The interview was over and I can change nothing but I really want to learn to improve myself. I know that i am not good at accounting.

Thank you so much for your time to read this post. If you can, please leave me some suggest so that I can do better in the next one.



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Jun 16, 2017
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I know that I am not very good at accounting but I'm always willing to learn.

I am looking for a position like an account payable or junior accountant.
I'm sorry but this just stood out to me. If you're not good at accounting, why on earth would you try to get a job as an AP clerk or junior accountant?

question #1 - they are asking how to account for the timing issue of what the invoice covers vs the month end.
so for example using a 30 day month
DR rent expense 7333 (feb 8-feb 28)
accrued liability 2667 (mar 1- mar 8)
CR AP $10,000

then in march business
DR rent expense 2667
CR accrued liability 2667

question #2 - seems an appropriate answer absent any other information

question #3 - seems an appropriate answer absent any other information

question #4 - seems an appropriate answer absent any other information

question #5 - Its a bit more cmplicated than that. You start with bank begining balance <cleared transactions> to get to bank ending balance. Then add uncleared deposits and <uncleared checks/wires> and you should arrive at general ledger ending balance. If you don't, then you have to reconcile (find the differences)

question #6 - CVS file is a comma seperated values file which can be used for import/export function in excel among other programs

question #7 - without knowing what he asked, cant help here

It sounds like he was really looking for someone who knew the basics.
Apr 19, 2018
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Hey, I agree with @AGH the CPA , if you think you are not very good at accounting, you shouldn’t be looking for jobs in that field. You can explore different options in fields that you like or have knowledge or experience in. That way it would be much easier to ace the interview too.
Sep 15, 2018
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Wow. Both of the former responses are rude, I am so glad they started in accounting as a genius.

There are basics in accounting. If this was your first interview then good. There is nothing wrong with an interviewer trying to get some knowledge of your skills. Accounting experience is learned, and keep in mind, sometimes you learn and then get into an organization that does things their own way. You have to learn to adjust and get that business in proper alignment with GAAP.

What happened after the interview? Did you hear back? Are you still in Accounting?

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