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What Do Accountants And Doctors Have In Common?

Freshly qualified accounting graduates when asked by the interviewer "Are there any questions you want to ask?" usually respond with "What are my duties and responsibilities"

Be careful. Some interviewers intentionally do not mention anything about duties and responsibilities to test the reaction of the candidates. Those less confident will show on the face.

I usually respond to the candidate "You're lucky I'm the interviewer and I'm accountant by training. So I can tell you what are the duties and responsibilities of an Accountant... but what if I'm the boss. I do not know anything about accounting. A friend I know just asked me to get an Accountant as my business is growing. Now should'nt you tell me what the Accountant is supposed to do. Isn't it a profession? Didn't they teach you stuff like that in business school. Imagine if our company is hiring an in-house doctor and the candidate asks "What is a doctor suppose to do?".

Another favourite question by candidates to the interviewer "Are your accounts uptodate?"

I answer swiftly "No. They are quite backlogged and damn messy". And watch the reaction on the candidate's face. Some show disinterest and some insecure. And then I add "if our accounts are so beautiful and uptodate we don't need an Accountant do we?"

Candidates should just learn to listen carefully and spot any potential problems given away by the interviewer during the interview. If there are, phrase your question carefully about the problem spotted and ask this during the open session.

Do not think about problems you may have heard, read about or whatever from somewhere and ask the interviewer. Just remember, after two or three years you maybe the one sitting on the other end. Think about what you like in a candidate during an interview.

James NK Khoo is the owner of Qwenkay Information a company providing accounting and content management systems software support. He is also the publisher for Go Uncle Web, a practical online business and web oriented guide. James has been in the commercial and industrial sector for many years.

If you need solid practical advice with accounts/bookkeeping or a budgeted yet decent website, contact him at

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