An employer interviewing you for a forensic accountant position may ask specific questions about the qualifications and experience you describe in your cover letter and resume. The interview is your opportunity to show the employer your ability to clearly communicate your analytical skills. Knowing more about possible interview questions to expect can give you an edge in the interview process.
In this article, we will help you prepare for a forensic accountant interview with a range of general and specific questions that potential employers may ask you.
10 General Forensic Accountant Interview Questions
Employers may ask general interview questions to get a better idea of your personality and how you would fit in with the company’s workforce. These are questions that can concern any candidate, not just a forensic accountant. Here are 10 common questions you may encounter:
- How do you respond when you receive constructive criticism?
- Why do you think our company should hire you?
- What are your long-term professional goals?
- Who is your role model and why?
- Give an example of your greatest strength and greatest weakness.
- What sets you apart from other candidates?
- How do you de-stress after a long day at work?
- How do you organize your day when you have to complete multiple tasks?
- Do you work better as a team member or team leader?
- How do you manage frustration when you encounter unexpected obstacles?
11 Questions about Experience and Background
Questions about your experience as a forensic accountant can help the interviewer determine if you are qualified to succeed in the position. As you answer these questions, you can also discuss how your previous job experiences have prepared you to succeed as a forensic accountant at your new company. Many experience and contextual questions may take in:
- How many years of experience do you have with forensic accounting?
- What accounting applications do you have experience with?
- Have you ever prepared a case for trial?
- How do you start investigating a company?
- What questions do you ask an employee who may be involved in suspicious activity?
- How do you obtain and compile financial information during an investigation?
- What safeguards and procedures do you use to minimize the likelihood of errors?
- Do you prefer to investigate cases alone or as part of a team?
- Describe the moment you changed “no” to “yes”.
- Where do you think the future of forensic accounting is headed and how are you preparing?
- How many forensic audits have you participated in?
10 Detailed Questions
The purpose of in-depth questions may be for the interviewer to delve into your decision-making process. Here are sample review questions that can help you prepare to showcase your analytical skills to potential employers looking for a forensic accountant:
- What do you consider most important when appearing in court as a witness?
- How do you deal with confusion from documents that provide conflicting information?
- Talk about a challenging audit and how you were able to successfully complete it.
- What do you do when you and another team member have different perspectives after interviewing a suspect?
- Discuss a time when you handled multiple audits simultaneously and how you organized the processes.
- Describe your presentation style when communicating audit results to management and stakeholders.
- What are your short and long term goals as a forensic accountant and how do you hope to achieve them?
- How do you structure financial statements?
- Have you ever had to adapt to new technologies?
- What is the optimal organizational approach when working with a large amount of data?
05 Interview Questions with Model Answers
Studying these five interview questions and their sample answers could set you up for success in your next forensic accountant interview:
1. What procedure do you follow when you discover an irregularity during an investigation?
Ensuring the true measures is very significant in forensic accounting. A potential interviewer may ask you this question to determine if you are familiar with industry standards. The interviewer may also be looking for insight into your thought process. When answering this question, you can refer to your years of experience and explain the process steps you would follow.
Example: “When I realize an abnormality while exploring a company, I monitor the trail of indication until I catch the source of the wrong doing. I conduct a comprehensive investigation, reviewing documents, records and surveillance records, because the presence of one discrepancy may indicate other abnormal practices. I am an experienced forensic accountant and pay close attention to every detail. Finally, I will meet with the company’s stakeholders to discuss how to prevent such irregularities in the future and preserve the company’s assets.”
2. How do you handle the pressure of testifying in the courtroom?
Occasionally forensic accountants are called to appear in court. The ability to remain calm under pressure is essential to maintaining the integrity of investigative results and ensuring that people and companies are held accountable for their actions. Your interviewer may ask this question to confirm that you would be an asset to the firm if you were called to testify in an active case. When you answer, you can assure the interviewer of the safeguards you follow to maintain the accuracy and admissibility of your testimony in the courtroom.
Example: “I minimize any anxiety I might feel before testifying in court by making sure all my facts are correct. I anticipate the questions my lawyers may ask and prepare evidence to support my claims. If a long period of time between the original data collection and the court proceedings has passed in the meantime, I double check that the data is correct and update it if necessary.”
3. How would you prepare a damage assessment report for an insurance company?
Your potential employer may ask this question to determine if you have the practical skills to succeed as a forensic accountant. Specific questions like this refer to your previous experience. You can take the interviewer through your process step-by-step and explain how you would gather information and develop your conclusions into a report.
Example: “First, I would gather all the appropriate figures and sequence it through a digital accounting application. Then I would calculate the material losses based on the original value of the property and the depreciation of the property. Then I would add the value of the indirect losses. By indirect losses, I mean the material and moral damages caused to the business from the reason for not being able to use the affected assets. I would conclude with a detailed report that will quantify the total losses and determine what compensation is owed to the client.”
4. When have you had to catch an exclusive clarification to a problem?
Be confidential about your previous employer and clients when answering questions about specific situations you have encountered in the past. It is a sign of professionalism and adherence to confidentiality agreements. Your interviewer may ask this question to realize if you have an inventive thought development and can handle unpredicted conditions.
Example: “I was investigating a company that did not keep accurate financial records. When I interviewed the employees responsible for the company’s financial records, they were unwilling to speak openly. The solution was to examine their stories for contradictions and compare discrepancies until I could uncover the truth.”
5. How do you trace assets that companies or individuals might be hiding?
Forensic accountants often work in situations where the objectives of the investigation do not cooperate. Your potential employer might be interested to know how you deal with such people. In your response, demonstrate that you have a strong eye for detail and that you are unlikely to let targets escape your control.
Example: “Sometimes people hide funds in the accounts of their relatives or with off-shore companies. The answer may not be obvious, so I have to imagine what I would do if I were the target of the investigation. I pay attention to their banking activities, their routines and their connections. Even a piece of information that seems tangential can be the key to solving a problem and finding assets.”
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