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Compliance Manager interview questions and answers

This Compliance Manager interview questions profile can serve as a basis for a successful interview process. Adjust the questions to find the compliance manager qualifications you are looking for.

Nikoletta Bika
Nikoletta Bika

Nikoletta holds an MSc in HR management and has written extensively about all things HR and recruiting.

compliance manager interview questions

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10 good compliance manager interview questions

  1. What procedure should be followed when someone violates company policy?
  2. Imagine you discover an executive has been violating the company’s code of conduct. How do you handle it?
  3. If someone directly or indirectly asked you to overlook a violation of company policy, how would you react?
  4. Considering our line of business, what compliance risks would you advise us to deal with?
  5. Tell me about a time you implemented a compliance initiative that helped your company avoid litigation.
  6. Imagine you conduct a site inspection and the manager is behaving aggressively to you. How do you handle this?
  7. If you had to deal with a C-suite executive who didn’t agree with your compliance program/policies, what would you do?
  8. What is a whistleblower? How do you protect them?
  9. How do you create/implement an internal control system?
  10. What’s your experience in reporting to regulatory bodies?

Here are 10 essential interview questions and sample answers to help identify the best candidates for this role.

1. What procedure should be followed when someone violates company policy?

This question assesses the candidate’s knowledge of standard procedures and their ability to enforce policies consistently.

Sample answer:

“First, I would gather all relevant information and evidence regarding the violation. Then, I’d conduct a formal meeting with the individual involved, ensuring they understand the breach. Depending on the severity, appropriate corrective actions would be taken, ranging from training to disciplinary actions.”

2. Imagine you discover an executive has been violating the company’s code of conduct. How do you handle it?

This question gauges the candidate’s ability to handle sensitive situations involving higher-ups in the organization.

Sample answer:

“Regardless of the position, every employee should adhere to the company’s code of conduct. I would first document the violation, then approach the executive privately to discuss the matter. If necessary, I’d escalate it to the board or relevant authority.”

3. If someone directly or indirectly asked you to overlook a violation of company policy, how would you react?

This question tests the candidate’s integrity and commitment to upholding company standards.

Sample answer:

“I would firmly and politely decline the request, emphasizing the importance of compliance and the potential risks of overlooking violations. It’s essential to maintain the company’s integrity and reputation.”

4. Considering our line of business, what compliance risks would you advise us to deal with?

This question evaluates the candidate’s industry knowledge and their ability to identify potential compliance risks.

Sample answer:

“Given the nature of our business, I would prioritize data protection, anti-money laundering regulations, and industry-specific regulations. Regular audits and training sessions would also be essential.”

5. Tell me about a time you implemented a compliance initiative that helped your company avoid litigation.

This question seeks to understand the candidate’s experience and their proactive approach to compliance.

Sample answer:

“At my previous company, I initiated a comprehensive review of our vendor contracts. We identified potential areas of non-compliance and renegotiated terms, saving the company from potential legal disputes.”

6. Imagine you conduct a site inspection and the manager is behaving aggressively to you. How do you handle this?

This question tests the candidate’s interpersonal skills and their ability to handle challenging situations.

Sample answer:

“I would remain calm and professional, seeking to understand the manager’s concerns. If the aggression continues, I’d reschedule the inspection and report the behavior to higher management.”

7. If you had to deal with a C-suite executive who didn’t agree with your compliance program/policies, what would you do?

This question gauges the candidate’s negotiation skills and their ability to stand firm on compliance matters.

Sample answer:

“I would present data and case studies to support my stance, emphasizing the long-term benefits and potential risks of non-compliance. Open communication and collaboration are key.”

8. What is a whistleblower? How do you protect them?

This question assesses the candidate’s knowledge of whistleblower protections and their approach to handling such situations.

Sample answer:

“A whistleblower is someone who reports unethical or illegal activities within an organization. They should be protected from retaliation through anonymity and by ensuring a safe reporting mechanism.”

9. How do you create/implement an internal control system?

This question evaluates the candidate’s expertise in establishing and maintaining internal controls for compliance.

Sample answer:

“I start by assessing the current processes, identifying gaps, and then designing controls to address those gaps. Regular audits, training, and feedback loops ensure the system remains effective.”

10. What’s your experience in reporting to regulatory bodies?

This question seeks to understand the candidate’s experience with external compliance entities and their reporting protocols.

Sample answer:

“I have extensive experience reporting to various regulatory bodies. I ensure timely, accurate submissions by maintaining up-to-date records and staying informed about reporting requirements.”

What does a good compliance manager candidate look like?

A stellar compliance manager candidate possesses a deep understanding of industry regulations, demonstrates strong ethical judgment, and has the ability to communicate and enforce policies effectively. They should be proactive, detail-oriented, and have a knack for identifying potential risks before they escalate.



Compliance Manager Interview Questions

Compliance managers work proactively to preserve adherence to the law and internal policies. They’re found in a wide range of industries like finance and healthcare. Experience and deep knowledge are essential while certification can be an asset during the screening process.

During the interview, excellent candidates will stand out by asking questions about your compliance programs, your requirements and problems you face. They’ll be ready to talk about methodical procedures they’d employ to craft an effective compliance program keeping business goals in mind.

Your own questions should be geared towards four critical skills: conscientiousness, communication, planning and proactive thinking. Asking behavioral and situational questions can achieve this purpose. Ideally, candidates should also have knowledge of your industry and its regulations. If you want them to manage a team of compliance professionals, try to assess their leadership abilities as well.

Let’s summarize some of the questions and add a few more divided into specific types.

Operational and Situational questions

  • What procedure should be followed when someone violates company policy?
  • Imagine you discover an executive has been violating the company’s code of conduct. How do you handle it?
  • If someone directly or indirectly asked you to overlook a violation of company policy, how would you react?
  • Considering our line of business, what compliance risks would you advise us to deal with?
  • Tell me about a time you implemented a compliance initiative that helped your company avoid litigation
  • Imagine you conduct a site inspection and the manager is behaving aggressively to you. How do you handle this?
  • If you had to deal with a C-suite executive who didn’t agree with your compliance program/policies, what would you do?

Role-specific questions

  • What is a whistleblower? How do you protect them?
  • How do you create/implement an internal control system?
  • What are the main points of an effective compliance program?
  • Which are the most common compliance issues you have faced as a compliance manager?
  • What’s your experience in reporting to regulatory bodies?
  • How do you prioritize tasks?
  • What’s your experience with conducting compliance training?

Behavioral questions

  • Describe the most difficult compliance or ethics issue you’ve faced. How did you resolve it?
  • Tell me about your most significant contribution in your last position
  • Explain a procedure you have implemented in the past for employees who want to report violations
  • Have you ever encountered resistance when trying to enforce a compliance program? How did you overcome it?
  • Tell me about a time you faced issues with your subordinates. How did your leadership abilities help you to resolve them?
  • Describe a time you were involved in an official investigation

Frequently asked questions

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