California State Board of Equalization

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California State Board of Equalization Tax Auditor Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated May 22, 2014
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Declined Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Tax Auditor Interview

Tax Auditor
Fresno, CA

I applied online and interviewed at California State Board of Equalization.

Interview Details – The interview questions were fairly easy basically just asked about strengths and weaknesses. Also asked about auditing situations and how you would deal with them, and a few questions about databases and if you ever worked on a database.

Interview Question – How would you deal with certain situations during an audit?   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – Too much traveling involved


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Tax Auditor Interview

Tax Auditor

I applied online and interviewed at California State Board of Equalization.

Interview Details – Describe a process, have you ever had any issues with difficult people and if so explain. Scenario based questions.

Interview Question – Scenario: If a client lost all of their documents how would you prove their sales?   Answer Question


3 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Tax Auditor Interview

Tax Auditor

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at California State Board of Equalization in January 2013.

Interview Details – I've actually interviewed for this position at different branches several times. Things to note: You need to take the online "test" (its really a questionnaire) to get on their mailing list. Once you "pass" it, they will mail you a form letter any time a job opening occurs: You are often asked to reply with a state application + college transcripts (and maybe a resume/references) Once you mail it in, expect to wait anywhere from 3-6 weeks for a reply. So you might not get a call back for an interview until 2 months after the job posting initially shows up on ca.jobs.gov.

From what I've seen they usually interview for about 2-3 days (so maybe 20 or 30 applicants) but they typically get anywhere from 50-200 people applying per job opening. After interviewing, it might take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to even find out if they are interested or not. (one of the senior auditors at a branch told me it took her NINE months from when she was interviewed to when she got her job offer - while that is unusual, be prepared to wait awhile - probably minimum 2 months)

Since I've been on this interview a few times I'll list what you can expect and what you *might* see. The interview itself usually is with either 2 or 3 supervisors/managers and usually lasts 45 mins to an hr assuming you have decently good responses. They usually ask somewhere between 7-10 questions

Questions are often as follows (some combination will be asked, definitely not all of them):

General things: what do you know about boe, why do you want to work for boe, what computer programs do you know, whats your strengths, yada yada. Pretty vanilla stuff you would get asked at any interview.

Behavioral/Past questions: Often times phrased as "describe a time when you had "x" and how did you handle it. "x" can be something like time management stuff, deal with an angry customer, etc. This type of question can be hard to answer if you have no work experience IMO.

Situational Audit-Related question: General situational audit questions. What types of forms would you ask to review in an audit, what do you do if a client your auditing is uncooperative, etc. This can be tricky. They aren't expecting you to *know* these answers cause obviously this is an entry level audit position. They want to see however if you have the ability to think of ideas on the fly. "i don't know" is obviously the worst answer you can give; just make sure you try something even if you have no idea. Some of these questions you can't possibly answer absolutely correctly unless you have had prior audit experience.

Sometimes before the interview they will ask you for a writing sample (usually they give you 20-30 mins) and you write about some prompt they give you. Sometimes they also give you an audit/math based question. Get familiar with looking at pro-forma I/S, B/S for multiple years and trying to spot any strange entries that might indicate that they are doing something fishy/wrong.

After the questions are done they give you some time to ask questions, and then you are done.

Interview Question – Situational Audit questions basically   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Negative Experience

Difficult Interview

Tax Auditor Interview

Tax Auditor

I applied through other source - interviewed at California State Board of Equalization in February 2013.

Interview Details – First had a phone interview with a group of interviewers. Phone interview consisted an overview of my experiences, and what i knew about the company. They had questions such as how i would quality for this position and how i heard of it. That same evening got a call back for office interview.

Office interview was a panel of interviewers. They gave me a list of questions to do and read a code and had to analyze it. It was weird because i had 45 minutes to work on the questions and paper before they interviewed me. After the 45 minutes they went one by one on the list of questions and they expected a lot for your answers.

Interview Question – Reading a tax code and explaining what it means.
Analyzing an income statement and what you would look at if your an auditor.
How did you hear about BOE and why do you want to work for them?
  Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Tax Auditor Interview

Tax Auditor
Culver City, CA

I applied through other source and the process took a day - interviewed at California State Board of Equalization in February 2012.

Interview Details – California State Board of Equalization (BOE) sent a form letter to my home requesting completion if I was interested in employment with the BOE. However, prior to this I had taken the State of California, Tax Auditor Exam and scored 95%. The test must be taken before any State of California agency will contact you. I sent the data via mail as requested by BOE. I was called by a staff employee approximately 3 weeks after the job announcement had closed for an interview. There were two interviewers and after introductory replies a stack of 5 questions were placed in from of me. The questions were skill and technically based; however, I was caught "off guard" because the description of the position on the website addressed training for this position. I felt rushed during this portion of the interview and I was not told I could use a writing tool to compute my answers. A multiple choice question asked for the amount to be charged approximately to 11 employees for the meal bill including tax. Two questions were on (1) what is cost of goods sold and (2) what is cost of goods sold in a manufacturing environment. The fourth question was a listing of transactions and basically you had to state how you would audit the data. Basically, the answer expected was that you would take a sample of the data to be reviewed. I can't recall the fifth question. I was not offered employment. I recommend a study of sales and use tax forms and the related cost and expense items on the forms, related tax auditing of those forms, and some financial statement data reminders to prepare for the interview. The staff appeared happy and pleased with their working environment.

Interview Questions

  • A multiple choice question asked for the amount to be charged approximately to 11 employees for the meal bill including tax.   View Answer
  • What is cost of goods sold?   View Answers (2)
  • The fourth question was a listing of transactions and basically you had to state how you would audit the data.   View Answer
  • What is cost of goods sold in a manufacturing environment?   View Answers (2)


4 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Tax Auditor Interview

Tax Auditor
Santa Rosa, CA

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at California State Board of Equalization in September 2011.

Interview Details – I applied with the State for tax auditor positions after I scored 95% on the online exam. The BOE contacted me by phone to schedule an interview about 10 weeks after I took the Auditor exam online. There were two days of interviews scheduled and I was offered a choice of days as well as time of day to interview (8:30 a.m. , 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m.). I checked in BOE office and was told that someone would arrive shortly to meet me. There were several individuals in the office that appeared to be negotiating with the BOE staff across a counter. The office atmosphere was somewhat gloomy especially when noticing the thick glass partitions separating BOE employees from those of "us" sitting in the general lobby. Within a few minutes of checking in at the lobby counter, an interviewer came into the lobby area and introduced herself to me. We went upstairs and I was again introduced to each of the panel of 3 BOE staff conducting interviews. I was instructed to review a single page (front and back) which had 7 questions (4 questions included several subsections) and let the panel know when I was prepared to answer those questions. Beginning with Question 1, the panel members went down the list of questions, each asking a question. As I answered all 3 panelists took detailed notes averaging half a page per question. Among the questions posed to me: 1). What do you know about the BOE? 2.) Why do you want to work for the BOE? 3.) What qualities, education and job experience do you have to offer the BOE if offered this position. 4.) Describe how would you respond in the following situation: You are assigned to audit a small business owner's accounting records to ensure that sales tax has been properly reported. The business owner agreed that you would go to the business location and review his records onsite. The following Monday when you arrive to inspect his financial records the business owner informs you that he has changed his mind and that he no longer will agree to let you inspect his records; that he doesn't have to allow an inspection and he's not going to do so for anyone. 5.) How would you respond if you were scheduled to review the records of the owner of a small convenience store for sales tax verification. When the taxpayer arrives in your office he shoves a shoe box at you. Inside the shoe box are several rolls of cash register receipts, cancelled checks and copies of other paperwork. The business owner does not have any other form of formal accounting records for his convenience store. 6). Math/accounting problem asking you to compare and contrast an income statement reflecting two years of Sales and other items (interest income, advertising expense, salary expense, etc). This problem required the reader to subtract the difference in the balances for each year, assign a percentage of change for each item and comment on the changes between the two years' entries. 7). Word problem: two pages (front and back) which included 2 pages of a Sales tax return, a business's Income Statement which reported net operating loss for each of two years and a 4th page reflecting numerous accounting transactions. The reader was to issue spot and advise the panel which, if any, entries found on the Income Statement and/or Sales Tax Return appeared inconsistent and "suspicious" when contrasted with other accounting entries reported.
After completing all 7 questions I was asked to use a laptop computer to write a letter to a former employer requesting a recommendation for a position as auditor with the BOE and reminding the former employer fo all those qualities that made me a good match for the BOE auditor position. I was told I had ten minutes to draft the letter and when the letter was drafted, to save it under my last name in the Word format.
The final task I was asked to perform was to prepare an Income Statement using various accounting entries/amounts representing a business owner's set of books.
When the interview was over, all the panel members were friendly, shook my hand and advised that there were other applicants scheduled for the remainder of the day. I was told that everyone would be notified of the panel's decision among candidates.

Interview Question – The accounting word problems were difficult simply because I was unprepared for the depth of accounting detailed knowledge required under time constraints. It did not help that while working on these problems, all 3 panel interviewers sat a few feet away waiting for me to finish the task at hand. The only sound heard was the squeaky shoe sole sound coming from a panel member shifting his feet on the floor.   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Tax Auditor Interview

Tax Auditor
Sacramento, CA

I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at California State Board of Equalization in July 2010.

Interview Details – I applied for the job posting online and I received a call a coupple of weeks later to set up an interview time. I came to the office and was ushered into a small conference room and I had two person interviewing me. They were both writing down notes as I was talking. They asked about 8 situational questions and after the interview they told me I would hear from them through the mail.

Interview Question – Tell us about your work experiences, education or achievement that would help you as a Tax Auditor?   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Tax Auditor Interview

Tax Auditor
Oak Brook, IL

The process took a day - interviewed at California State Board of Equalization in April 2009.

Interview Details – Interviewed with two people who quizzed me on my knowledge of taxes.

Interview Question – Name 7 types of tax.   View Answer


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Tax Auditor Interview

Tax Auditor

The process took a day - interviewed at California State Board of Equalization in July 2009.

Interview Details – Easy going, should know about company

Interview Question – What is your weakness?   Answer Question

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