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Five Interview Questions You Should ask Candidates for Accounts Payable Positions

Employers typically have a broad bank of interview questions to ask candidates for job openings. However, certain critical roles require a specific set of skills, and employers need to drill down for these positions with specific skill requirements. Take, for instance, accounts payable. Employers looking to hire in that area need interview questions that focus on time management and organizational skills. Here are five questions to consider adding to your accounts payable hiring playbook. 

What strategies do you use to keep track of your accounts and stay organized? How do you decide which tasks to tackle first?  

Accounts payable positions require superb organization skills to keep track of financial documents. And while many technical skills can be learned on the job, organization is more difficult to teach. Candidates who have strong organizational skills will provide a high level of detail in describing specific techniques they use. For instance: “I start my day by making a list of the most important tasks I have to accomplish and create folders for each task.” 

Imagine that while reviewing vendor invoices you discover that a vendor has underbilled us compared to our purchase order records. What do you do? 

One of the best ways accounts payable specialists can help maintain strong vendor relationships is prompt payment of bills and careful handling of billing discrepancies. This question can reveal candidates’ general knowledge of record-keeping, their ability to follow company policy, and insight into their customer relations skills. A good answer here might be, “I’d refer to company protocol and procedures to address the discrepancy and ask someone higher up for help if I still needed guidance.” 

Describe your level of experience creating spreadsheets and reports on the computer. 

A familiarity with basic spreadsheet and document creation software is a requirement of most accounts payable positions. Applicants should be able to clearly describe these programs and their uses to prove they have the basic level of computer proficiency required for the job. If they’re also able to provide examples of past work experience that required these programs, that’s even better. 

What types of bookkeeping software have you used in the past? 

Beyond spreadsheet and database software, many companies employing accounts payable specialists use programs specifically for bookkeeping. While this software can be learned on the job, candidates who are already familiar with it show they have relevant job experience and learn advanced programs. Their answers to this question can also demonstrate how comfortable they are learning new skills on the job.  

Please describe a time when you couldn’t resolve a discrepancy in an account or ran into a technical roadblock. 

No matter how much skill or practice applicants have, they’ll inevitably run into situations that require learning something new. In addition to providing insight into their past accounting experience and technical abilities, this question reveals how they deal with challenges and frustration. 

Do You Need to Hire for Accounts Payable in Fayetteville?

Mega Force, a leader in clerical and manufacturing recruitment, can meet your contingent workforce needs. Contact Mega Force to request an employee today. 


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