3 Interview Red Flags to Avoid When Hiring Accountants


If you were driving your car and there was a flashing red light in the near distance, would you blithely continue on, accelerating, or would you slow down and peer cautiously ahead?

Similarly, when you get a red flag during the interview process, even if the candidate is highly likable, slow down, re-evaluate and clarify.  In fact, watch for the following 3 warning signs when hiring accountants.


We know that some people don’t interview well. We also understand that this doesn’t necessarily reflect their overall skill set. Nevertheless, an inability to give a detailed, clear answer to an interview question could be cause for concern.  If the candidate’s communication skills aren’t up to snuff, this could be a challenge on a daily basis.

Consider, as well, that if the candidate can’t give a detailed answer to a question based on their resume, perhaps what’s on their resume is not entirely accurate. Does this speak to overall ethics, or to human nature’s very real temptation to put your best foot forward? Either way, a follow-up question is in order.

Due Diligence

Candidates need to arrive at the interview informed about the company, its competitors and the industry. Candidates who do their due diligence show engagement, motivation and buy-in. As well, prospective job seekers who take the time to research the hiring agent, often find areas of commonality that enable them to build rapport during the interview process. A candidate who shows up to the interview uninformed may not be showing the level of engagement necessary to be successful.


If the only questions a candidate asks are on benefits and holiday time, this can be a red flag. Having well-thought-out questions that address the challenges the company is facing (for example, rebuilding a finance team or new system implementation), positions the candidate as a problem solver who can add value. A question that addresses the deliverables for the role is also a positive. Again, we’re looking for motivation and engagement, not just someone who has googled “5 Questions to Ask During an Interview.”

Watch for the 3 interview red flags above to help ensure you get a quality candidate who is already engaged and interested in delivering for you.