Finance Manager interview questions
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The finance manager’s role has two key duties: advising upper management and managing finance operations. Depending on the company, they may also be involved in other tasks like financial planning and overseeing investments. They need substantial skills in data analysis, reporting and budgeting as well as knowledge of day-to-day financial operations.
Candidates will typically have a degree in finance, accounting or economics. Professional certification is a good way to select those who have more experience and knowledge. Industry-specific experience as a financial manager or finance officer may be very useful due to many specialized regulations or procedures (e.g. tax laws). A couple of technical questions may be useful to assess the depth of their expertise.
When interviewing candidates, look for attributes such as an analytical mind, critical thinking, organizational and leadership abilities. Attention to detail and math skills are equally important. Present them with different scenarios and discuss their past experience. Assign extra points to candidates who understand industry trends and challenges.
Operational and Situational questions
- Imagine upper management asks you to tell them whether the company should continue offering a product/service. How would you go about it?
- When you have to deal with multiple priorities, how do you manage?
- If one of your subordinates made an error, how would you handle it?
- Imagine there’s a conflict between two accountants you supervise. How do you resolve it?
- If we bought new equipment, how would the financial statements change?
- How would you help staff change from a “this is how it’s always done” approach to new processes you implement?
- What kind of financial reports does upper management need and why?
- What methods/metrics do you use to evaluate the organization’s progress?
- What are key elements to look at when evaluating the company’s investments?
- Is a cash flow statement enough to tell whether a company is doing well?
- How do you calculate and interpret ROI?
- What’s your experience with benchmarking studies?
- Are you familiar with Oracle?
- How do you reward innovation, initiative, teamwork?
- Tell me about a time your advice to senior management resulted in higher profits/revenues
- Recall a time you had to prepare a financial report with a very tight deadline. How did you manage?
- Give me an example of a time you solved a problem to ensure goals were met
- Describe a time where you showed initiative regarding a financial matter
- Have you ever disagreed with upper management? How did you handle it?
- Tell me about a time when your knowledge of financial regulations benefited your company
- Can you give me an example where you improved the quality/timeliness of the financial information?
- What experience do you have in team leadership? How would you describe your leadership style and how has it contributed to the success of the project/department? Talk through how you impacted the careers of the staff you mentored
- Give an example of a time when you had a difficult person to manage and how you handled the situation
- How many performance evaluations have you conducted in the last 12 months? How did your reports fare and what was your contribution to their performance? What could you have done better? Did you expand the team?