Internal auditing is one of the most gratifying jobs in any firm. It pays well (even for entry-level positions), and working as an auditor will teach you the ins and outs of corporate processes. It will lead to many other exciting opportunities.
Though you won’t be competing against many people for the job, you can be confident that everyone invited will do their best to succeed and sign the desired work contract at the end of the interviews. However, only one individual will be able to complete the task. Will you be the one?
The standard interview procedure for this position includes a screening interview (the easy part), a behavioral interview (the challenging part), a personality test (optional but popular in large businesses), and audit-specific technical questions (which can be both easy and difficult, depending on your knowledge of the field, and the person who leads an interview with you).
You can be invited for multiple rounds of interviews (as is the case with auditing behemoths such as KPMG and Deloitte), but you can also answer all questions in one extended session, as is the situation with smaller firms. The list of interview questions provided here can help you understand what to expect. Enjoy!
What makes you desire to be an internal auditor?
This is a specific task, and you must provide a precise answer. If you have any relevant experience, please do not hesitate to share it (any experience with auditing, controlling, or accounting). You might also remark that you carefully read the job description and believe your skills are a good fit for the job.
The most vital aspect, however, is the enthusiasm in your voice. They shouldn’t think you’re applying because you can’t find another employment, or because you don’t know what to do with your life and degree right now, and the job of an internal auditor appears to be a good addition to your professional résumé.
They should believe that you genuinely want to work as an auditor and have a valid motive for doing so. It is always a good idea to underline that you appreciate the value of continual auditing in business and regard your work as having a useful purpose. That will persuade them of your motivation.
How would you describe a typical day in the life of an internal auditor (at KPMG/Deloitte)?
The idea is to approach work proactively. The scope of your responsibilities will vary greatly depending on where you work. You may go to clients (if you work for one of the big four businesses and do most of your work at customers’ offices), or you may spend a lot of time at one office.
As a solo auditor at a company (or a department of one), you may spend a large amount of time advising managers. When working in a group, though, this may fall to someone else… Remember to thoroughly study the job description—you might find your answer there. However, more often than not, the job description is hazy and does not provide a clear image of your new position. In any case, demonstrate to hiring managers that you enjoy being busy and prefer to take the initiative.
What do you think are the key auditing risks in this type of company?
This is a hard question, and you should avoid it. We are aware of three major auditing risks: inherent, detection, and control. All of these are present in every business.
Assure the interviewers that you are aware of any potential hazards and will keep them in mind when working as an auditor for their organization.
If you previously worked in a similar institution, you might choose one of the auditing risks and explain how various circumstances contribute to that risk. However, only do this if you are certain that your response is correct.
What exactly does internal audit imply for you?
Internal auditing entails assisting a business in achieving its goals by utilizing a methodical, disciplined approach to evaluating and improving the efficacy of risk management, control, and governance systems (official definition by the institute of internal auditors).
What are your thoughts on working with external auditors?
Risk assessment is a difficult and delicate subject. It would be irresponsible to rely on a single individual to handle it, even if that professional is the most qualified and experienced in the firm (which isn’t always the case). When they ask whether you want to work with other specialists (auditors, lawyers, counselors), take advantage of the opportunity.
You can even discuss previous similar experiences and clearly outline the benefits of working with someone from outside the firm (they have a different perspective, perhaps experience with similar business processes in companies with similar structures, etc).
What exactly does IFAC stand for?
This question demonstrates the importance of being attentive during the interview and calmly listening to the interviewers’ queries.
Simply state what IFAC stands for. There is no need to expound on your response in any way. All simple technological questions require a similar approach. If they want you to expound on your response (which isn’t always the case with easy technical inquiries), they’ll ask you further questions.
What will be the first thing you do in the workplace if you got this job?
Changing your LinkedIn profile, relaxing with a fine cigar in your comfortable office, and purchasing a new car. Or, at the very least, phone your buddies and tell them the good news, followed by a massive party. You might do that, but at a job interview, they want to hear something else.
I recommend that you state that you are looking forward to the orientation and discussions with senior auditors to better understand your role in the auditing/accounting department and what you will be accountable for. This is a suitable answer to provide when applying for an entry-level position or an auditing job at a company with multiple auditors.
However, if you apply in a smaller organization (whether for-profit or non-profit, private or public), and will be the only auditor, state that the first thing you’ll do is analyze the results of the last audit—assuming they made any. If they didn’t (which is frequent in new and developing businesses), explain that the first step will be to thoroughly understand the business process (by speaking with company leaders and common employees) and organize the audit timetable appropriately.
What do you consider your most serious flaw as an auditor?
If you’re just getting started, a lack of experience is a good answer. Everyone has to start somewhere, and even the best auditors had their first auditing experience and made some blunders. They might not consider it a show-stopper, but they will appreciate your candor.
If you’ve already audited, you can point out a specific area of auditing or skill or ability that needs to be improved (perhaps your computer skills, accounting skills, ability to keep a professional distance, etc). The idea is to show them that you intend to work on your talents and that you wish to improve on any weaknesses that are relevant to your career.
Other things you can be asked during your internal audit job interview
- What do you want to be five years from now?
- Describe a disagreement you had with a coworker.
- Why KPMG (or another well-known firm)?
- Do you have any experience with internal audit software solutions?
- Why should you work for us rather than one of our competitors? (another company)
- Have you ever been a part of a fraud investigation? What procedure did you use?
- How do you maintain your legal and regulatory expertise up to date?
- Describe an instance when you battled to stay motivated at work.
- Consider a circumstance in which you must deal with recalcitrant coworkers. What are your plans?
- Have you ever had trouble convincing others to follow your advice? What did you do to move your ideas forward?
- Describe your most egregious professional failure.
Finally, excellent sample replies to all queries
Internal audit interviews are among the toughest job interviews. Hiring managers will use a balanced mix of personal, behavioral, and technical inquiries to assess your motivation, abilities, attitude, and expertise.
If you are unsure how to answer the questions or are anxious, take a look at the Internal Audit Interview Guide, which I developed for you. Multiple great answers to the top 25 most typical internal audit interview questions can help you eliminate stress, expedite your interview preparation, and prepare for any challenges that may arise during the interview. Thank you for looking into it, and best of luck!