What to do in an audit interview

What to do in an audit interview

Audit interviews are arguably the most important part of the audit. They are what gives us, the auditors, the evidence to make informed decisions about an organisation’s compliance with the audit criteria.
In order to help, the Auditor Training Centre have developed a list of nine do’s and don’ts to remember when you’re conducting an audit interview.

  1. Greet the person with genuine pleasantness – don’t do the power thing. Shake hands, smile and be nice.
  2. Conduct a mini opening meeting – explain why you are there and that it’s not about them, it’s about the system. Put them at ease. Some people will be incredibly nervous and may not have slept the night before – the perception of being audited is much worse than the reality.
  3. Be interested in what they do – most people spend more than half of their waking day at work, so it’s an important part of their life. Some people will have worked there for a very long time and you may be the first person to show any real interest in what it is that they do.
  4. Pay attention – you may think that you have heard it all before, but everyone has their own take on things. Be engaged, maintain eye contact, smile and nod to show you’re listening.
  5. Take good notes – this does not mean that you need to be constantly writing the whole time as this can be quite intimidating. You do need to write things down, but be open about it and make sure you record sufficiently for any reporting or follow up you may have to do later.
  6. Be transparent – if you find things that aren’t correct or that you may need to follow up on later, tell them. Show the person your notes and explain to them what you are thinking. This will also give you a better understanding of what you need to know.
  7. Don’t be a consultant – don’t tell them how you would do it, how good you are, or how you have done it in the past. You are there to audit not to tell them how special you are.
  8. Hold a mini-closing meeting – at the end explain what you have found, confirm that your findings are correct and make sure they understand particularly if there are any possible non-conformities. No one wants a surprise at the closing meeting.
  9. Thank them – genuinely thank them for their time, remember they still have their job to do and you have just taken up some of their time.

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