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Accounts Payable Interview Questions & Responses (25+ Examples)

Dive into Audit Friendly's Assessment of the top Accounts Payable questions and responses to prepare candidates for their next interview.

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Accounts Payable interview questions. Whether you're preparing for a job interview as an Accounts Payable Specialist or looking to hire the right candidate, this page provides an extensive list of questions and responses to help you succeed.

In this guide, you'll find detailed explanations and sample answers for various types of questions, including behavioral, situational, technical, competency-based, problem-solving, knowledge-based, ethical, career motivations, and soft skills questions. We aim to cover the most important and frequently asked questions to help you ace your interview or select the best candidate for your team.

Question Types

1. Behavioral Questions

2. Situational Questions

3. Technical Questions

4. Competency-Based Questions

5. Problem-Solving Questions

6. Knowledge-Based Questions

7. Ethical Questions

8. Career Motivations and Aspirations Questions

9. Soft Skills Questions

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Examples of Accounts Payable Questions + Responses

1. Behavioral Question

Question: Tell me about a time when you had to handle a high volume of invoices. How did you manage your workload?

Reason: This question assesses the candidate's ability to manage time and prioritize tasks under pressure.

Approach: Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result).

Sample Response:

"During the year-end close, we received an unusually high volume of invoices. I prioritized the invoices based on due dates and importance, worked extra hours, and automated parts of the process using software. As a result, all invoices were processed on time, and we avoided any late fees."

2. Situational Question

Question: How would you handle a situation where you discovered an overdue invoice that hadn't been processed?

Reason: This question evaluates problem-solving skills and the ability to handle urgent tasks.

Approach: Describe the steps you would take to resolve the issue.

Sample Response:

"I would first verify the invoice details and ensure it hasn't been paid. Then, I would prioritize processing the invoice immediately, contact the vendor to explain the situation, and negotiate any possible late fees. Additionally, I would review our current processes to identify how the oversight occurred and implement steps to prevent future occurrences."

3. Technical Question

Question: Explain the difference between accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Reason: This question tests the candidate's fundamental knowledge of accounting principles.

Approach: Provide a clear and concise definition with examples.

Sample Response:

"Accounts payable refers to the money a company owes to its suppliers for goods and services received but not yet paid for. In contrast, accounts receivable represents the money owed to the company by its customers for goods and services delivered but not yet paid for. For example, if a company purchases office supplies on credit, the amount owed would be recorded under accounts payable, while the amount a customer owes for a completed project would be recorded under accounts receivable."

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4. Competency-Based Question

Question: Describe your experience with financial software and tools used in accounts payable.

Reason: This question gauges the candidate's familiarity with relevant tools and their ability to leverage technology to improve efficiency.

Approach: Highlight relevant experience and specific tools used.

Sample Response:

"I have extensive experience using financial software such as QuickBooks, SAP, and Oracle for managing accounts payable. In my previous role, I utilized these tools to automate invoice processing, track payments, and generate financial reports. This experience has helped me streamline workflows, reduce errors, and improve overall efficiency."

5. Problem-Solving Question

Question: How would you approach resolving a situation where multiple invoices from different vendors are due simultaneously, but the company has limited cash flow?

Reason: This question evaluates the candidate's prioritization and negotiation skills under financial constraints.

Approach: Explain prioritization and negotiation strategies.

Sample Response:

"First, I would prioritize the invoices based on due dates, early payment discounts, and the importance of maintaining good relationships with key vendors. I would then contact the vendors to negotiate extended payment terms if necessary, explaining the situation and proposing a realistic payment plan. Additionally, I would collaborate with the finance team to explore short-term financing options to cover the critical payments."

6. Ethical Question

Question: What would you do if you were asked to process a payment without the proper documentation?

Reason: This question tests the candidate's integrity and adherence to company policies and accounting standards.

Approach: Describe steps to maintain integrity and compliance.

Sample Response:

"I would explain to the requester that processing payments without proper documentation violates company policy and accounting standards. I would request the necessary documentation and escalate the issue to my supervisor if needed, ensuring that all procedures are followed correctly."

7. Soft Skills Question

Question: How do you prioritize your tasks when you have multiple deadlines?

Reason: This question assesses the candidate's time management and organizational skills.

Approach: Describe time management and prioritization strategies.

Sample Response:

"When I have multiple deadlines, I prioritize tasks based on their urgency and importance. I create a to-do list, breaking down larger tasks into manageable steps, and set specific timeframes for each. I also communicate with my team and supervisors to ensure that the most critical tasks are addressed first and that deadlines are met efficiently."

Explore our full list of accounts payable interview questions and responses linked below.

By reviewing and preparing for these types of questions, you can build confidence and improve your chances of success in your next accounts payable interview. Whether you are a candidate aiming to showcase your skills and experiences or an employer seeking to identify the best fit for your team, understanding the reasoning behind these questions and the best approaches to answering them is key.

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