Acing Your Financial Clerk Interview: 8 Common Questions and How to Tackle Them
Taking on the role of a financial clerk means handling the day-to-day processing, verification and documentation of an organization’s monetary transactions. If you have a Financial Clerk interview lined up for such a bookkeeping-heavy role, solidifying your responses to some very likely questions should be on your preparation checklist.
Brushing Up on Job Duties and Requirements
Interviewers almost always assess candidates on whether they clearly understand a financial clerk’s core responsibilities, critical skills and daily tasks:
What are some typical duties of a financial clerk?
When I was preparing for a final round clerk interview at an insurance firm last fall, reviewing sample log sheets helped remind me of key activities like reconciling accounts, data entry into various spreadsheets/software and reviewing documents for accuracy – all important duties I discussed when this very question was asked.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 43% of financial clerks work over 40 hours a week during month, quarter or year-end closing. Being comfortable with high volumes and tight deadlines is key.
- Processing accounts payable/receivable invoices, expense reports
- Entering financial transactions into journals/ledgers
- Performing account reconciliations
- Preparing audit materials and supporting external reporting
- Resolving discrepancies and customer financial queries
What skills would you need to be successful in this financial clerk job?
Competency using tools like Microsoft Excel and accounting platforms is imperative given the heavy systems work. For a temp clerk role I once interviewed for, I made sure to showcase skills like:
- Proficiency with data entry, recordkeeping using computers
- Meticulous attention to detail
- Solid mathematical aptitude
- Customer service and communication abilities
- Integrity when handling money and sensitive information
Getting confirmation during your interview that you have the above competencies puts you on the right footing for the role.
Demonstrating Important Soft Skills
Beyond technical proficiencies, interviewers want candidates with habits and traits aligned to high performance:
How would you handle a discrepancy you uncover between two reports?
I would follow protocol and bring the discrepancy to the manager’s notice right away. For small amounts, I may revisit both reports first ruling out entry errors on my end before escalating. Displaying a composed approach to identifying and reconciling errors is a valuable skill financial clerks must possess.
What qualities make you well-suited to be a financial clerk?
Qualities that have helped me develop a sharp eye for detail and a knack for numerical accuracy critical for financial reconciliation tasks include:
- Strong ethical orientation – integrity with data and transactions
- Organizational skills – meticulous recordkeeping
- Composed under pressure – month-end reporting crunches
- Perseverant – resolving discrepancies can take time and patience!
Getting a chance to exhibit these qualities and self-awareness during the interview is a great way to showcase your fit.