Top Clichés to Avoid Using in an Accounting Job Interview


You’ve made it past the first hurdle in the hiring process – your resume has passed muster – and now you are poised to answer questions in your accounting job interview.

You’ve prepped and rehearsed your responses and feel ready.To ensure you cross the finish line and are the candidate of choice, avoid using these top clichés in any of your answers.

Great Communicator

One of the most common clichés that candidates trot out in their accounting job interview, is to say that they are “great communicators.” Employers, however, are looking for people who build business partnerships, someone who can develop relationships within an organization and with its external partners. And while strong communication skills are part of this, they’re not the only factor. For example, an internal auditor needs to gather information from a variety of sources in order to do his/her job well. But when people are striving to meet their own aggressive deadlines, dealing with an internal auditor can be last on their list of priorities. If the internal auditor has built strong relationships, however, they can get what they need in a more efficient fashion, allowing them to do their job more effectively.

Numbers Person

Top on the clichés hit list is describing yourself as a numbers person. Instead, clearly explain a time when you identified an error and formulated a solution. Success stories are founded on three steps. Identify the problem, explain the steps you took to resolve it and the benefits that resulted. This is a much more effective strategy for selling your skill set.

Excel Skills

When it comes to hitting a home run in an accounting job interview, clichés such as, “I am an expert/advanced Excel user” are more like foul balls. Prospective employers are much more interested in how you have used Excel to drive value. And be honest, if you’re an intermediate Excel user, define yourself as such and indicate that you are interested in taking additional Excel courses to maximize your skill set.

To help ensure that you are the candidate of choice in your accounting job interview, be sure to avoid using the top three clichés outlined above.