33 Interview Questions with an External Auditor with Tips

Interview Questions

An external auditor is a financial consultant who reviews information from an organization to ensure that it is free of potential errors. If you are applying for the position of external auditor, you can attend an interview. Understanding what types of questions an interviewer might ask can help you prepare, which can increase your chances of successfully completing the interview.

In this article, we discuss the types of questions you may encounter when interviewing an external auditor, some examples of these types of questions, and three sample answers you can use as a reference.

General Questions

At the beginning of the interview, employees usually ask general questions to help them learn more about you as a candidate. These questions are usually related to your personality or work style and may not require a great deal of experience or expertise to answer. Here are some examples of some general questions a hiring manager might ask you:

  1. Tell us about yourself.
  2. What are your greatest strengths?
  3. What are your greatest weaknesses?
  4. How do you handle negative feedback?
  5. Do you work best alone or in a group?
  6. What is your ideal company culture?
  7. Why did you decide to apply for this position?
  8. Tell me about some of your career goals
  9. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  10. How do you describe your leadership style?

Background and Experience Interview Questions

After the general questions are completed, the employer may start asking you more detailed questions about your experience as an external auditor. These may include questions about how long you have worked in the accounting or auditing industry, details about your experience, and your knowledge of industry-specific tools or computer programs. Here are some examples of questions they may ask about your experience and background:

  1. What is your auditing experience?
  2. How do you ensure accuracy in your work?
  3. What external auditor computer programs do you know?
  4. What has been one of your greatest achievements as an auditor?
  5. What systems or habits have you developed to help reduce errors in your audits?
  6. Tell me about your biggest challenge as an external auditor.
  7. Can you walk me through your process for accessing an audit?
  8. What do you like best about your job as an auditor?
  9. What do you consider to be the most important skills of an external auditor?
  10. What do you consider the most challenging part of the auditor’s work?

In-Depth Questions

In-depth interview questions are questions that may require more specific knowledge or relate specifically to your exact job position. The interviewer may ask you specific detailed questions about the external audit or ask you to tell them a detailed story about past work experience. Here are some examples of in-depth questions from an external auditor:

  1. What is the purpose of an audit review procedure and can you describe the steps you might take during it?
  2. Tell me about a time when you had to use data from your audits to explain a situation to a client or supervisor.
  3. What are the main reasons for conducting an audit?
  4. Can you list some common actions that might lead someone to conduct an external audit?
  5. What is the term vouching and how do you use it in the audit process?
  6. What are some key elements of an external audit plan?
  7. What is an intangible asset?
  8. Can you tell me the difference between a social audit and a final audit?
  9. Tell me about a time when you needed to respond to negative feedback from a team member or supervisor
  10. Can you explain what CARO stands for?

Interview Questions with Sample Answers

Here are some sample external auditor interview questions and potential answers to help you prepare for the job interview:

1. What steps can you take after the audit is complete?

The interviewer may ask this question to gauge your ability to complete a project effectively. After completing an audit, there are several steps you can take to ensure the accuracy of your work and improve the overall result. Listing some details may help you provide a concise answer.

Example: “The first thing I like to do after completing an audit is to review my work to make sure I’ve caught every possible error. I then issue an audit report and put together a presentation about the project for my supervisors. I make some recommendations and create a plan to help the company implement changes.”

2. What is the difference between internal and external audit?

As an external auditor, you may need to know the key differences between internal and external auditing in order to fulfill your responsibilities. When the interviewer asks you this, they may want to test your basic auditing knowledge. Try to answer the question right and as carefully as conceivable.

Example: “The audit team executes an internal audit from within the company, usually around the clock. A third-party company performs external audits and receives a contract from either the company itself or its shareholders. Reasons to hire an external auditor include: to ensure that you meet local regulations, you will confirm the results of an internal audit or as a requirement for publicly owned organizations.”

3. How do you detect errors during an audit?

Detecting errors is one of the main objectives of conducting an external audit. An employer may ask this during an interview to learn more about how you process and perform standard audit tasks. Consider using this question to tell a story using the STAR method.

Example: “The main way to detect errors during the audit process is to check official financial documents with secondary documentation and look for any differences between them. There are several types of audit errors, such as errors of omission, errors or policy errors, and duplication errors. Once I worked as an assistant auditor, I finished the document, but decided to check it to make sure I found all the mistakes. During the check, I noticed a line of information that someone had entered twice.”

Tips for Interviewing with an External Auditor

Here are some suggestions that can help you prepare for and effectively answer some external auditor interview questions:

Highlight your Qualifications

When answering the questions, try to find a way to answer that will help show your skills. This will help the employer understand your qualifications and strengths. One way to emphasize your qualifications is to answer the question with a story about your previous work experience.

Participate in a Mock Interview

A mock interview is a practice interview where someone else prepares questions for you to answer. This allows you to prepare for the interview environment and can reduce your overall nervousness when answering interview questions. Consider asking friends or family to help you practice by doing a mock interview.

Use the STAR Method

One way to ensure that you effectively highlight your skills and work experience is to use the STAR method when answering interview questions. This method helps you elaborate on your experience by giving you guidance on how to structure your stories about your previous experience. It’s an acronym for situation, task, action, and outcome that you can use for your interview questions.

Communicate with the Interviewer

Involving the hiring manager during the interview can show that you are interested in the position and can increase your chances of being accepted. In addition to direct questions, try to listen carefully to their comments to learn more about the positions and find opportunities to respond to. You can also ask the interviewer your own questions that can demonstrate interest and show that you’ve done your research on the company.


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