If your major is in the finance field, the director of finance may be one of your career choices. This article provides 20 probable interview questions and answers if you are applying for the job. Employers may also refer to this article to prepare for questions to be asked.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Job?
Employers are interested to know what drives you to apply for the job there.
Tip #1: Provide specific motivation professionally
Tip #2: State what you seek from being hired
I have had years of experience in my current workplace and I think it is time to develop my career. I strongly believe working here could benefit both me and the company given the experiences that I had that could be applied here. Aside from implementing what I know, I also strive to further improve my skills.
2. What Are The Roles Of A Director Of Finance?
This question will display how much candidates know about the position offered.
Tip #1: Be familiar with the job scopes
Tip #2: Don’t mull your answer, be confident
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The director of finance is responsible to manage all financial-related operations and directing strategy on finance. They are also the ones to provide training to accounting staffs. Their main tasks range from monitoring the budget to even reporting the revenues and finance of the company or organization.
3. What Are The Qualities That A Director Of Finance Should Possess To Be Effective?
Display that you possess the needed qualities as a finance director as well as sought by the company.
Tip #1: Align what the company seeks with the important qualities of a finance director
Tip #2: Avoid contemplating the answers
Aside from knowledge of financing and accounting principles, a great director of finance should possess excellent interpersonal skills because they have to interact with many people in this job. Great leader skills are also needed to ensure success in maximising productivity among staff.
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Handle It?
Interviewers would like to see if candidates are able to manage and adapt to challenges well.
Tip #1: Share a real challenge that you had
Tip #2: Provide what those challenges taught you
One of my biggest hurdles in being a finance director is to manage various areas in the company. This job requires the finance director to balance and provide the best management to a wide range of sectors from transactional operation to keeping up to date with stakeholders. It was tough to handle those at the same time in the beginning, but I was trained and coached well and I am currently confident of my management skills.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As A Director Of Finance?
This is to test candidates’ knowledge of the nature of the job offered.
Tip #1: Provide several tasks that are done on a daily basis
Tip #2: Mention ample but not too much
As a director of finance, my typical days would be spent reviewing budgets from various business areas. Most of the tasks are finance-related and one of them is to oversee the transaction occurring in the company. That aside, I need to ensure that all practices done in the company’s finance adhere to regulations and laws.
6. Describe Briefly Your Job Experience As Director Of Finance.
Providing your experiences may display how much you are familiar with the field.
Tip #1: Share real experiences
Tip #2: If you have no experience working, provide what skills you have acquired before
In my previous position, I was one of the teams assigned to review the financial status of the company at that time. We were tasked to forecast what the trend would be like in the future and had to implement strategies to boost up the profitability. We managed to improve the profit by 30% compared to the previous month.
7. What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Is Required For This Role?
This question may display if the candidates are ready for the job.
Tip #1: Be relevant and concise
Tip #2: Mention why the strategies are important
The strategies needed to become an excellent director is the ability to be alert and organized. A finance director has to juggle a lot of job scopes at one time hence it is very crucial to have strong management skills. I believe it is important for a director to possess great management skills not only for the director themselves but also in order to lead the other staffs well.
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?
This is another question that may display how you tackle challenges that may be faced in the field.
Tip #1: Be straight to the point
Tip #2: You may provide how you could overcome the challenge
The most common challenge in finance is pricing. There is a lot to consider when pricing a product, such as the profitability it brings, the demands from stakeholders, customers, and so forth. Having countless competitors in the same industry is also another factor to be thought of whenever pricing is to be done.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated At Work?
This question may display if the candidates intend and manage to contribute as the staff there for the long term, which is highly sought by employers.
Tip #1: Some goals could be trivial but impactful
Tip #2: You may provide personal motivation or career-related
As a director, I am the one responsible to instruct the staff. The motivation that I always sought in this job is by seeing great accomplishments from my team as well as myself. Seeing my team working well under my supervision gives me utter joy to perform this profession well. That is one of the biggest achievements and motivation I seek in my jobs.
10. Describe A Time You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learned.
This question is important to see if you are able to admit the mistakes you have done and what you do to solve them.
Tip #1: Display that you are able to admit your failure
Tip #2: Provide what you learned from the experience
When I first got promoted as a finance manager in my previous workplace, I had a hard time to communicate well with the employees. I failed to see them individually hence hindered how I assess them. I abruptly proceeded with a project without properly checking on their operational performance and the quality produced was not as expected. From there, I learned that I have to first establish rapport with the team to have more achievable expectations from them.
11. Share Your Greatest Achievement.
This question may be asked to see candidates’ skills in performing tasks.
Tip #1: Share about your motivation and how your goals were achieved
Tip #2: You may concisely provide the methods you used to achieve it
One of the achievements that I am proud of was when I managed to improve average client revenue by 20% in my previous workplace. I had long dreamed to contribute by improving the company’s revenue. That achievement was accomplished by identifying the low-performing accounts. Steps were taken to improve the accounts.
12. How Do You Keep Yourself Updated With Changes In The Financial Sector?
The question will display if candidates are strategic in working as the finance director.
Tip #1: Provide several ways
Tip #2: Name the specific examples
I signed up for several related podcasts. Along with online news sites, I subscribed to their newsletter to keep up to date with any changes or new trends in finance nationally and even globally.
13. How To Ensure That Your Company Complies With Laws And Regulations In The Financial Sector?
The finance director should ensure that all financial operations adhere to the laws. This question may display if candidates are capable to perform that responsibility.
Tip #1: Display understanding of several laws to abide by (company, federal, etc)
Tip #2: Provide several examples of compliances you encountered before
I will ensure that every action taken related to finance in the company go through reviewing processes first. To ease this task, I may assign and supervise a team to be in charge of reviewing and be up to date with all regulations that ought to adhere. Failure in this crucial process may damage the reputation and performance of the company.
14. How Do You Monitor Progress In Business Or Department?
Assessing progress is one of the responsibilities of a finance director hence candidates should be familiar with several indicators to be assessed on.
Tip #1: Provide fundamental metrics to be used to track progress
Tip #2: Make sure to study which aspect is most suited to the nature of the company
I will first identify the suitable metrics to monitor and given attention to. In common cases, I will observe cash flow metrics as it is highly related to other specific aspects. Another vital metric is financial statement metrics. To ensure that everyone is alert with the expected milestones to be achieved, I will regularly notify and remind the staff.
15. How To Ensure Success In Financial Planning?
This question may display how much candidates are familiar with financial planning and budgeting.
Tip #1: Display understanding of the crucial elements of an effective planning
Tip #2: Be straight to the point
The sales forecast is one of the important elements for financial success. The finance director has to provide an estimation of the sales trend to foresee the trend of finance. This may help to identify actions to be taken to sustain or improve sales. Forecasting should be done regularly as it could be followed with other important processes to ensure the success of finance.
16. Are You Familiar With Any Technology To Be Utilized In The Finance Sector?
It is important to find alternatives to ease tasks, using technology included.
Tip #1: Show that you are able to improve performance using technology
Tip #2: State what examples of technology you are familiar with
Yes, technology is very helpful in the finance sector due to its automaticity and interoperability. Using cloud storage is also more secure in preventing data loss since it could be backed up. I am familiar with several software since my years of study. I am most competent in using Quickbooks since it is the latest one that I have been using.
17. What Is Your Biggest Weakness As A Finance Director?
Candidates have to provide a real weakness and explain how to address it.
Tip #1: State your weakness
Tip #2: Share what you would do to overcome the weakness
My biggest weakness is my compassion for other people. I have been told many times that I am not strict with other people hence people often take their tasks under my supervision lightly. I am flexible and often allow extension of deadlines to my staff. This may be a huge trouble if we were to deal with difficult stakeholders. I am currently consulting an acquaintance of mine on how to be more assertive as a director.
18. What Steps Would You Do If Your Company Intended To Purchase A New Plant?
This question may display candidates whether they are good at decision-making.
Tip #1: Display the connection between finance and business strategy
Any purchasing may affect the company’s finance hence it is important to analyse the effects first. I will analyse if the purchase could further boost the cash flows to compensate for the amount used to pay it. This strategy is important to avoid the company from suffering a major loss. From the analysis, I may provide my advice if the purchase is necessary or not.
19. What Are The Challenges Faced When Budgeting?
Interviewers may look for candidates with experience and skills in solving challenges.
Tip #1: Be familiar with the challenges when doing the budget
Tip #2: Provide how to resolve the issue
One of the biggest challenges in budgeting is inaccuracy. When a company is larger, then the tendency to make errors is higher. Not only the process takes time if error or miscalculations occur, but it may take more time to fix the problem. This may be addressed by incorporating digital-based tools to minimise errors.
20. What Would You Do If One Of Your Staff Underperforms?
A director is also one that has to work with the staff hence it is crucial to be able to possess skills to maximise staffs’ performance and provide support where needed.
Tip #1: Display the right way to treat your junior staffs
Tip #2: Prove that you are able to lead well
I will make sure to pay attention to every members’ performance and morale. The underperformance may be caused by a lack of skills or loss of morale. Hence, I will consult the staff to investigate the reason for the poor achievement. I will provide support where necessary depending on the seriousness of the issue. However, I have to be careful not to cross the personal boundary.
That concludes the 20 questions and answers that may be used in an interview for a director of finance position. These may be helpful for both employers and applicants in preparing for interview sessions.