Competency-based questions for tax professionals

Niall Harris 27.04.2012

The tax team here in Morgan McKinley all got together to pull together some of the most popular HR type interview questions that commonly get asked. Below are a few examples and tips on how to handle. If you have any other questions that you are nevous about, please comment on this article and we will address it in another article!

1. How do you handle stress or pressure?

You could answer this question by saying that stress is an important issue to you. While high levels of stress can be negative, I use stress in a productive way that can allow me to work harder. It is important for me to make sure I have the correct balance of positive stress and negative stress. You could also answer this question by saying you perform better when you are under reasonable levels of stress.

2. What do you find motivates you the most?

This is a question that does not require an answer that is right or wrong. The employer is trying to see how you are motivated. It is also a method they will use to determine if you are compatible for the job. It doesn't make much sense to put you in a position where you will not be motivated by the work you do. The best way to answer this question is to be honest. Let the interviewer know what motivates you the most. Don't tell them what they want to hear because you are trying to get the job. While this may help you in the short term, it can hurt you in the long run.

3. Do you prefer to work alone, or do you work better in groups?

This is a question that you will want to answer carefully. If the position you are applying for requires you to work alone, it doesn't make much sense to answer it by saying you enjoy working in groups. If the position requires you to work in groups, telling the interviewer you like working alone can keep you from being hired. However, the answer you give should be an honest one.

4. Give us an example of a challenging situation you've overcome.

This is a request that will require you to know a lot about yourself. If you've prepared for the interview beforehand, you should be able to answer this question without any problems. You should reflect on your past work experience. You must quickly be able to think about any challenges you've overcome. It doesn't have to be something that is related to employment. If you were in the military, you could describe a challenge you overcame. If you are a college graduate, you can give an example of an academic challenge you successfully overcame.

5. What do you find interesting about this job?

The answer that you give better be more than just the salary. You should be able to give detailed reasons for why you are interested in being hired for a certain position. Answering this question correctly may require you to do your research on the company. This is something that must be done before the interview starts.

6. Why should we hire you?

This is one of the most difficult questions in the interview process. However, it is a good question, especially if you are competing for a position against people who are equally qualified. To answer this question, describe how your skills can be valuable to the company. Not only will you want to direct the towards your accomplishments, but you will also want to demonstrate your personality and desire. Explain that you are impressed with the history of the company, and you want to play a role in the success of the organization.

7. In what ways can you contribute to our company?

You will want to answer this question by selling yourself. Explain how your skills, personality, and experience can allow you to contribute to the company. This is a question that you may want to prepare for in advance. You will want to answer it with a powerful statement. You don't want to be uneasy of hesitant. If the employer suspects this, you may lose your chance to be employed with the company.

Niall Harris's picture
Associate Director
nharris@morganmckinley.com

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