How to Answer - What Led You To Pursue a Career in Bookkeeping?

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

  • Why employers ask ‘What led you to a career in bookkeeping?’ during interviews.
  • How to answer ‘What led you to pursue a career in bookkeeping?’
  • Where the latest bookkeeping jobs are and how to apply for them.

If you’ve got a bookkeeping job interview lined up, it’s important to do your research and practice sample answers ahead of time. Hiring managers will often follow a set structure of interview questions and certain interview questions will frequently crop up. One of these being, ‘What led you to pursue a career in bookkeeping?’

When faced with this question, it’s important to give a thorough and detailed answer. Perhaps it’s because you love working with numbers? Or that you enjoy solving problems? Maybe it's because you want to make the most of your organisational skills? 

Whatever the reason, it’s important that you prepare before the interview to express your confidence, demonstrate your suitability and communicate your motivations for the role. 

Throughout this blog, you’ll gain expert advice, tips, and insights on how to answer this question effectively, including dos and don'ts to keep in mind during your Bookkeeper interview.

Why employers ask ‘What led you to a career in bookkeeping?’

When employers ask ‘What led you to a career in bookkeeping?’ a hiring manager is looking for key information within your answer, along with looking for signs of certain qualities and traits which you possess. 

The hiring manager will ask this question to gain an insight into your motivation for the role and not just to determine if you fit the criteria. Employers want to know if you can perform the tasks of a Bookkeeper, but also learn about what’s important to them. If you’re not prepared for the question, it can be difficult to think of a suitable response that will impress the hiring manager and demonstrate what kind of employee you’ll be.

Candidates should avoid answers including:

  • I need the money or I need a job.
  • Because I’m right for the role.
  • It’s the next step or will be good for my career.
  • It’s something I’m passionate about.
  • Businesses always need Bookkeepers.
  • I would be good at the job.

What employers look for when they ask ‘What led you to a career in bookkeeping?’

  • Suitability for the role.
  • Relevant experience.
  • Knowledge of the role and the company.
  • Goals that align with the company.
  • Enthusiasm and passion.
  • If you would be a positive contribution.

How to answer ‘What led you to pursue a career in bookkeeping?’

How to answer ‘What led you to pursue a career in bookkeeping?’

  • Research the position and organisation.
  • Highlight your skills and suitability.
  • Be specific and give examples.
  • Demonstrate your motivations.
  • Show enthusiasm.
  • Focus on the job at hand.
  • Be confident.

Research the position and organisation

Interview prep is crucial to landing any job. Ensure that you have done the research and that you are aware of what a career in bookkeeping entails. Candidates should make it clear that they understand the requirements of the role and what the organisation offers their employees and clients.

As Bookkeepers play an integral role in the running and financial success of a business, it is important to discuss the importance of the position and how that influenced your decision to pursue a career in bookkeeping.

It’s also important to show your enthusiasm and commitment by researching the organisation prior to the interview. Prove you have researched the company by mentioning achievements, culture points or their reputation and how that informed your decision to pursue a career in bookkeeping with them specifically.

Check out the company website, social media and news articles to find out how the business operates and the business leadership. It will be packed with key information which you could reference within your answers! The hiring manager will be impressed that you took the time to ‘do your homework’ in preparation for the interview. 

Highlight your skills and suitability

Bookkeepers are logical thinkers, and their responsibilities extend far beyond data entry and compliance. It is crucial that you are able to demonstrate how your individual skills make you the perfect candidate. 

Choose one or two relevant skills that you feel you have expertise in and identify a time when you used those skills to improve, solve a problem or enhance your bookkeeping abilities.

In your answer, mention the responsibilities highlighted in the job description and the key skills you have which make you suitable for the role. Be sure to include a mixture of soft and hard skills. As well as being able to do the job well, the hiring manager will also be looking for signs that you will fit well into their existing team. 

During the interview, you may also be able to identify potential weaknesses within the company that you can solve using your skills. However, be careful not to be critical, your answer should be constructive and demonstrate to the hiring manager that you could make a big impact if hired. 

Skills to highlight during your Bookkeeper interview

Bookkeeper skills to highlight in your interview:

  • Attention to detail.
  • Excellent organisational skills.
  • An interest in working with numbers and figures.
  • Advanced excel knowledge.
  • Solve problems and provide solutions.
  • Ability to work under pressure to deadlines.
  • An understanding of accounting and payroll softwares.
  • Ability to stay informed and maintain solid relationships.

Be specific and give examples

You should avoid being too vague or general in your answers and instead should provide examples of what you can contribute as a Bookkeeper at their firm. The employer doesn’t want to get the impression that you’re looking for just any job, they are looking for someone to show interest in their company and who wants to work for a creditable firm exclusively.

You should mention your skills, the qualities you possess, and examples of your relevant achievements. In your answer, provide examples of how you can help the organisation achieve their goals and go above and beyond the requirements of a Bookkeeper.

Mention any achievements or challenges you’ve recently faced that might be related to this new job. You may have an example of when you were successful in your role and how your skills led you to pursue a career in Bookkeeping. 

Demonstrate your motivations

Employers are looking to determine your goals and career plans to see if they align with the goals of the organisation. It is crucial that employees share the same culture, attitude and reputation as their organisation for a successful hire. If an employer and employee are misaligned, the employer will struggle to retain the employee within the business - if the employee leaves the business, this will result in another expensive and time consuming recruitment process.

The employer wants to understand your motivations for applying to the job to determine if you have plans to stay with the company long-term and support its development, growth and success.

In your answer, discuss your career goals and how they align with the organisation. Hint at your long-term suitability and how you could positively benefit the organisation and be useful in the future to demonstrate that you share the same goals and have plans to stay with the organisation.

Show enthusiasm

Being passionate about the role and the organisation is obvious but it isn’t just about listing skills and experience, or reciting a rehearsed answer. According to Standout CV, 4 in 10 employers would reject a candidate if they showed no enthusiasm.

Ensure that you answer ‘What led you to pursue a career in bookkeeping?’ with genuine enthusiasm and interest in the role. Employers want to know why this particular job is attractive to you and what drives your passion to become a Bookkeeper at their organisation. 

If you are genuinely excited about the organisation you apply for and the possibilities of the role, it will show in your answers. The interviewer wants to see how dedicated you will be should you land the job.

Explain why you made the decision to apply and anything about the job, company or reputation that excites or motivates you. You should demonstrate your passion for numbers, efficiency, problem solving but also for the way the company conducts business, or their culture.

Mention how you enjoy keeping up-to-date with industry trends by attending conferences, workshops and training programs. A desire to stay informed and ahead of the competition would demonstrate to the employer that you are passionate about the accountancy and finance industry and that you go above and beyond.

Focus on the job at hand

During the interview, don’t go off topic or be too general in your answers. Be specific and focus on what it is that drives you and the question ‘What led you to pursue a career in bookkeeping?

In your answer, you should explore the role of a Bookkeeper and the possibilities of progression, growth or improvement. Don’t go off topic by mentioning perks of the job or being too general about Bookkeepers, stay focused on what this particular organisation offers and how that aligns with your career prospects.

Be confident

Being confident when answering the question will show the interviewer that you believe in yourself and your abilities to do their job well.

A study from Standout CV, revealed that confidence was rated as the number one personality trait which hiring managers look for in an interview. The ability to sell yourself will demonstrate to the employer that you are capable of doing the job and that you have the correct skills, experience and attitude to pursue a career in bookkeeping in the organisation. 

Accountancy recruitment specialist, Lauren Bailey, said “ I always advise my candidates that it's not about having all the answers, but about having the belief in your capability to handle whatever comes your way. If you’re confident in yourself and your abilities, you’re showing to the hiring manager that you’re competent and a safe pair of hands.”

Searching for your dream bookkeeping job?

If you’re searching for your dream bookkeeping job, why not take a look at the current positions available? You could also upload your CV or contact our accountancy specialist, Matt Byrne-Fraser, on 01772 954200 to discuss upcoming opportunities. 

Recruiting Bookkeepers?

Looking for a competitive edge to recruit talent for your accountancy firm? After recruiting in the accountancy sector for a number of years, we have built an exclusive talent pipeline of Bookkeepers, Audit Managers, Accountants, Tax Managers - and more! 

If you’re recruiting, why not check out the accountancy recruitment services Spencer Clarke Group offers - or give us a call on 01772 954200 to discuss your individual requirements. 

Meet Matt Byrne-Fraser

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

Based in the heart of Lancashire, we offer award winning recruitment services in the public and private sector. We consistently reassess our approach to recruitment, aiming to break away from traditional norms to exceed expectations. 

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