All potential bookkeeping employees should face basic employment questions during a bookkeeping interview, but a few specific questions can help you choose between two qualified applicants. A book-keeper must have adequate knowledge and experience in financial matters, software applications and customer invoicing, but she must also possess loyalty and have the ability to keep financial matters confidential.
One of a book-keeper's main responsibilities is to ensure proper client invoicing. During the interview, ask the applicant if he is comfortable with client invoicing. Ask the applicant to explain his process for customer invoicing and how he reports and records payment from clients. Ask him to list all of the general information that he intends to include on your company's customer invoices.
Modern bookkeeping requires familiarity with bookkeeping software. Ask the applicant to explain what type of bookkeeping software she has used in the past and how it is applicable to your company. Briefly explain the current software your company uses and ask whether she is comfortable learning new bookkeeping software programs. Most bookkeeping software programs have similar terms, functions and procedures so previous experience in one typically translates quickly to another.
Experience and Education
Ask the applicant to briefly explain the difference between assets and liability. These two terms are fundamental basics of accounting and must be understood to effectively perform bookkeeping tasks. Discuss the applicant's experience in the industry and his educational qualifications. Determine the level of experience necessary for your company's bookkeeping needs and verify the applicant's ability to perform those tasks.
Loyalty and confidentiality are two important character traits that a book-keeper must possess since he will have privileged information about your company's finances. Ask the applicant about his previous employer and watch for any sign that the relationship was strained. Request his previous employer's telephone number, so you can contact him to discuss the applicant's ability to remain loyal and confidential. Ask the applicant outright if he is committed to keeping your company's finances confidential.