How to Answer 'Why Do You Want To be an Accountant?'

1-2 minutes

In a job interview, answering the question 'Why do you want to be an Accountant?' can make or break your chances of success. It is essential to provide a well-thought-out answer that highlights your motivations, qualifications, and enthusiasm for the accounting profession.

There are lots of reasons to become an Accountant which makes answering this question even harder. Your answer requires careful consideration and should highlight your skills, potential and dedication to guarantee success in the field. 

Throughout this guide, we unpick how to craft a compelling answer to this common interview question and how to showcase your skills, potential, and passion in order to guarantee a successful response.

How to answer 'Why do you want to be an Accountant?’

In an accountancy job interview, there are general interview questions which every practice asks so it will work to your advantage to prepare answers for these questions.

One of the most common questions is ‘Why do you want to be an Accountant?’ which is asked to demonstrate candidates enthusiasm and passion for the industry as well as their knowledge and understanding of the role they will be expected to do. 

How to Answer 'Why do you want to be an Accountant?’

  • Introduce yourself.
  • Express your interest in numbers.
  • Emphasise your attention to detail.
  • Discuss your ability to problem-solve.
  • Talk about stability and career growth.
  • Mention your goals and career plans.
  • Express enthusiasm for the industry.
  • Conclude with confidence and enthusiasm.

Introduce yourself

Start with a personal introduction mentioning your professional background and any relevant experiences or qualifications you have related to accounting.

Express your interest in numbers

Demonstrate a passion for numbers, financial matters and statistics and how you can apply your skills to analyse financial data. Explain your genuine interest in numbers, financial matters and the role of accounting in managing data. 

This will demonstrate to the hiring manager that you are aware of the requirements of the role and not only that, but you are interested in every aspect of the role including numbers and statistics.

Emphasise your attention to detail

In your answer, mention the essential qualities an Accountant should have and explain how these attributes make you well-suited for the profession. Highlight your organisational skills, meticulous attention to detail and how these skills perfectly align with the demands of an accounting career. 

Provide an example of a time when your ability to organise and analyse proved successful in the accountancy sector. Stress the importance of being meticulous to ensure consistency and accuracy e.g. to review and identify inconsistencies in large amounts of data or information. 

Discover more about how Accountants should answer ‘How can you ensure accuracy and attention to detail in your work?’

Discuss your ability to problem-solve

Problem solving is a crucial part of being an accounting professional as it can resolve issues and save the business time and money. According to Digits LMS, interest in problem-solving skills has increased year on year, indicating that it is believed to be one of the top skills a candidate should possess.

Mention your problem-solving abilities and how you enjoy tackling financial challenges and finding solutions. Provide examples of how your compliance skills and accuracy has led to you being able to identify problems and challenges and propose solutions, as well as finding ways to minimise tax payments or balancing a budget.

Talk about stability and career growth

It is important to demonstrate your passion for accountancy but also explain that you value the stability and growth potential that the accountancy profession offers.

Explain your appreciation for the stability and career growth opportunities that come with a career in accounting. Highlight the potential for continuous learning and professional development.

Discuss the potential and opportunities to learn and advance in the accountancy sector and how these benefits are highly rewarding as well as convenient.

Mention your goals and career plans

Discuss your long-term career goals and how becoming an Accountant aligns with those goals. Practices like to know about employees' plans and aspirations for the future and how they can contribute to a career strategy or plan of action.

Therefore it is important to be able to express how a career in accounting is the foundation candidates need to achieve their goal.

Be specific about your plans for the future, even if you don’t have a final goal. Mention any aspirations for certifications like ACCA, CGMA, CIA, or how you hope to contribute to financial strategy or be more active in decision making. Including a qualification such as an ACCA or CGMA on your CV is crucial to advance your accounting career and get candidates to the interview stage.

Express enthusiasm for the industry

Convey your enthusiasm and passion for the accountancy profession, the various roles and the industry as a whole. Demonstrate why you want to be an Accountant and your passion for the industry. This will sell candidates as a desirable potential employee and demonstrate your commitment to becoming an Accountant.

Perhaps you want the opportunity to help others, advance your career or if you have a clear career path, mention your motivation behind this interview and your goals for the future.

Convey your enthusiasm for the various roles within the accounting profession, such as Senior Accountant, Management Accountant, or Financial Accountant, and demonstrate how each role represents unique challenges and opportunities to excel.

Conclude with confidence and enthusiasm

Conclude your answer to ‘Why do you want to be an Accountant?’ with confidence and enthusiasm. Reiterate your genuine interest in the profession and your enthusiasm to contribute to the financial success and well-being of the organisation.

Summarise your response mentioning your qualifications and experience, and how your skills would contribute to the profession and in particular the practice. Relate your genuine excitement about the prospect of joining the team and the possible opportunity to pursue your career further.

Your answer should demonstrate your commitment to and passion for the accounting profession, as well as your alignment with the role's requirements.

Remember to speak clearly, maintain eye contact, and convey your responses with enthusiasm throughout the entire interview. 

Searching for an Accountant job?

If you’re searching for your next Accountant job, why not take a look at all the vacancies currently available at Spencer Clarke Group? We work with some of the most prestigious accountancy practices across the UK, offering positions with desirable work-life balances and market leading salaries & benefits. 

You could also upload your CV or contact our accountancy specialist, Matt Byrne-Fraser, to discuss upcoming opportunities. 

Struggling to write a standout CV? Check out our six powerful tips on how to write an accounting CV now! 

Searching for help with your recruitment?

Struggling to win the war for talent? Discover how recruitment agencies give you a competitive edge and 4 accountancy recruitment trends to watch out for in 2024.

If you’re struggling to fill a role, why don’t you give us a call on 01772 954200 to see how we can help? One of our consultants will be happy to listen and advise you on the best possible solution for you.

Meet Matt Byrne-Fraser

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