Accounts payable clerks are accountable for compiling and maintaining accounts payable records in all types of industries. This role typically requires a BS degree or experience in finance, accounting, or business administration. Proficiency with proprietary software and spreadsheets are necessary technical skills. When interviewing a candidate for an accounts payable position, you must ask a variety of open-ended and situational interview questions to assess the candidate’s accounts payable experience. Here are a few suggestions.
What Nature of Tactics Do You Apply to Keep Track of Accounts and Tasks, and How do You Stay Organized?
An applicant for an accounts payable specialist position must have brilliant organization skills to track your financial documents. Organization skills are not easy to teach, so focus on candidates that can cite specific strategies to staying organized. Pay particular attention to the degree of detail in the response, how the applicant approaches scheduling and prioritizing tasks, and experience overcoming organizational problems.
Can You Explain Your Level of Experience With Spreadsheets and Reports on the Computer?
Accounts payable specialists must have strong computer skills to work on daily tasks. Fluency with basic spreadsheet and documentation creation programs are a prerequisite for these types of positions. A strong candidate should be able to describe these programs and their uses in detail. They must have familiarity with the programs and have examples of past work using these programs and overall computer literacy.
What Types of Bookkeeping Software Have You Used in the Past?
A candidate can learn bookkeeping software on the job. However, experience with this software demonstrates past job experience and the applicant’s ability to learn advanced programs. The candidate’s answer can give you an idea of their comfort level when working with unfamiliar software and learning new skills. This question will offer you insight into their past job experience, comfort with advanced computer tasks, and their willingness to learn new programs.
Can You Describe a Time When You Could Not Resolve a Discrepancy in an Account?
This question intends to gauge the candidate’s past accounting experience and technical abilities. It can also provide you with an understanding of their ability to deal with challenges and frustration. The candidate’s answer can tell you how much they rely on others to provide a solution. When asking these questions, look at their technical proficiency level, their ability to think critically, solve problems, and see if they have a routine that includes double-checking.
When You Review Purchase Order Records and Discover That a Vendor Has Underbilled, What Do You Do?
Accounts payable specialists maintain vendor relationships through the payment of bills and the handling of billing discrepancies. This question will reveal their knowledge of record-keeping as well as their ability to follow company policy. This question will explain their attitude toward company policy and their recognition of the need to reconcile accounts.
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