Got a big interview where you’ll be applying as a Chief Financial Officer? No worries! Here you can find some of the most often asked Chief Financial Officer interview questions as well as some examples of how to answer. Check them out below (and good luck!)
What experience do you have (if any) as a Chief Financial Officer?
A straightforward question that requires an honest answer – list experience you have as it pertains to the position you’re applying for. What happens if you don’t have any experience? By thinking about the question ahead of time, you can have a reply at your fingertips. In doing this, you can actually turn your lack of experience into a showcase for your ability to relate and connect similar skillsets.
While my experience with x is limited, while working under y at my last job I really got to learn the ropes about z
Things are changing quickly in our industry. What do you feel are the biggest challenges within the role of Chief Financial Officer?
There are a variety of ways to answer this one. Try discussing ‘buzzworthy’ topics like AI, software, and inexpensive labor. Regardless of your answer, be sure to have something to backup your responses.
Like many things, I belive that with change comes opportunity
What do you to ensure error free work?
To err is human, but not when it comes to accounting. No, the company you are applying to isn’t expecting their employees to be flawless. What they’re seeking here is some method you deploy for QA.
While it may sound funny, Ive developed my own system for quality control that I call the x – its never let me down yet!
Tell me about a time you used graphs, charts, and data to drive home a point?
While it may be the epitomy of ‘nerdery’, story telling through data is a critical skill for those in the financial profession. The key to answering this question is focusing on the outcome of data you furnished – and why it mattered.
In a recent client meeting, by clearly visualizing some key figures we were able to save them $10s of thousands in tax payable.
Tell me about a time when you received difficult feedback. How did you react?
Difficult feedback is difficult for a reason. Your interviewer realizes that everyone makes mistakes, and they’re not looking to hang you out to dry. The interviewer here is looking for one thing in particular: how you reacted in the situation. How accountable were the parties involved? Your ability to navigate though difficult situations will place you high on just about any accounting employer’s list.
No one likes these situations, but Ive found that dealing with it factually and without predjudice tends to be the best approach
Would those that know you describe you as a detail oriented person? Why might they describe you that way?
Always with the details! No matter what your role in the accounting industry, this one’s important. Once again, saying it is one thing, being able to prove it is another.
My careful attention to x and y prevented a major audit last year
Which online tools, cloud software, or other accounting specific platforms are you familiar with?
These days, your mastery of accounting software is practically expected. In the event that you don’t have experience with popular software, familiarize yourself with industry standards ahead of time. Do some research and investigate new platforms or recent developments in the software field.
Im proficient in x and y, but ive ready tons of good things about z and would love to learn more about it
What sort of work culture do you find most appealing and why?
Work culture is huge and for good reason these days. Simply put, culture fit means that your values are in alignment with your prospective employer’s. You’ll want to be careful here, indicating that you are able to thrive in a variety of work enviornments.
I succeed when given clear expectations of me and my team, and find a balance of working individually as well as alongside a team is when Im most content
Why are you leaving your last financial industry / accounting position?
Tread lightly! This question can be a dealbreaker if answered improperly. Your need for better pay or indicating that your ‘old boss was an idiot’ may leave your interviewer with the wrong impression of you. Even if you were subject to downsizing or let go for other reasons, keep it short and concise, and avoid drama regardless of how tempting it may be.
Working at x was a great experience for a vareity of reasons, but now its time to seek out new challenges