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Yet More Interview Questions November 29, 2013

Posted by Audit Monkey in The Joy & Pain of Internal Audit, Working Life in Britain.
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Interview questions are always popular on the blog, so without further ado. This week, Audit Monkey was subjected to a barrage of interview questions. Although I can not remember the vast majority, those that I can are reproduced here. Of course, these aren’t necessarily my actual answers. You, the reader will have to decide between fact or fiction!

Q. I see you are FCCA qualified; how do you keep up to date for your CPD return?
A. Nano, nano. I am so cheesed off with accountancy, auditing and auditors, I let my ACCA membership lapse. The £200 they wanted for membership fees was £200 better spent on beer and fags, not that I smoke but I’m sure you can appreciate the sentiment. (Note, I only put the year of qualification on my CV;  I’m not going to get caught out for false representation.)

Q. Do you keep up to date with the latest updates from the IIA? Can you tell what their regulations are?
A. In deep do do here as I’m not a member of the IIA. No choice to but to tell the truth. I actually think the IIA is very prescriptive. Ultimately audit is about planning, testing, reporting and follow-up. Your own gut feeling should tell you if you are auditing the right areas.  As for regular independent reviews of the IA function, the feedback from the CEO and Audit Committee should be a guide. (I actually forgot to mention Audit Committee – hindsight is a wonderful thing.)

Q. You have performed a variety of roles in your career, consultancy and audit review work. How do you maintain your independence?

A. Absolutely irresistible opportunity to have a big dig at the Big 4.  Well Big 4 firms are frequently conflicted as the clients are paying their fees and there may be the inclination to issue  ‘soft’ audit reports. I however, would never compromise my integrity.  In practice, you wouldn’t advise upon and audit the same area twice.

Q. Why did you choose internal auditing?
A. I ask myself this all the time. I actually thought it might lead somewhere, not the same old, same old.

Q. What do you wish to achieve from this role?

A. Hopefully paid for doing very little. Unfortunately the interviewer stressed that people work hard. Now tell me the good news.

Q. Do you like working autonomously, as part of a team or supervise a team?
A. Well supervision is out as per usual, they want someone to do the donkey work. I usually provide a middling answer; I am happy with both scenarios, as long as everyone is clear what their roles and responsibilities are, away you go.

Q. How do you manage multiple projects?
A. I actually can’t remember my response here. Presumably something along the lines of not letting WIP get out of control and reports going stale. The interviewer interrupted at this stage and said they had too much work and that processes had been missed. We’ve all been there but the trick is avoiding getting caught out and proper scoping.

Q. How to you ensure you audit effectively?
A. I think this is a ‘what separates the men from the boys’ type question. The common pitfall is just skimming the surface and not reviewing a process thoroughly and taking the client’s word for it.  That one was for all those in the Big 4.

Q. How would your colleagues describe you in three words?

A. A right tosser. (For our American friends a translation – A right Commie.)

There was then another interview session with HR. The fun never stops. I find these especially challenging as you often find yourself talking technically to non technical people and they haven’t got a clue what you are on about. Anyway, we fumbled and fluffed our merry away along. I will confess I misunderstood some of the HR questions but given this was the nth person who had interviewed me, I was reaching the end of my tether.

The outcome? Well, they reserved the right to continue the search and interview other candidates.  You’ve got to laugh. Can’t anyone make a decision? Where is the leadership? It’s rather ironic.

Well there you have it. Apologies for the long post but I hope it has been insightful.


1. Yet More Interview Questions | Auditmonkey's Bl... - December 1, 2013

[…] Interview questions are always popular on the blog, so without further ado. This week, Audit Monkey was subjected to a barrage of interview questions. Although I can not remember the vast majority, those that I can are …  […]

2. ITauditSecurity - December 2, 2013

My favorite question that I like to ask candidates, usually last, is “Why should I hire you versus someone else?” If they don’t know, neither do I.

Audit Monkey - December 3, 2013

The problem with this question is the candidate is blissfully unaware how they compare to the other candidates as they won’t have met them!

ITauditSecurity - December 4, 2013

I beg a banana to disagree. What I want to know is what the interviewee thinks they can offer that others can’t–you don’t need to know the other candidates–you just need to know yourself and what benefits you bring to the position.

If you are no different that all the others, then I’ll just hire the person who wants the least money and feeding.

3. Audit Monkey - December 4, 2013

In practice, the answer is ‘I have experience of x,y and z. I can also do…

4. itmonkey101 - December 12, 2013

Could be a trick question to see if you are an overconfident ego maniac. I guarantee if you answered “I won’t set the world alight but I’m reliable and conscientious and don’t want a big salary” you would probably go to the top of the pile, but I’m pretty sure at least one of those things would be a lie 😉

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