This Financial Controller interview profile brings together a snapshot of what to look for in candidates with a balanced sample of suitable interview questions for a controller. Similar job titles include Financial Specialist.
Financial Controller Interview Questions
The Financial Controller’s primary responsibility is to ensure the long-term financial solvency of a company. This involves establishing budgets, overseeing and regulating corporate funds and accounts, forecasts preparation, and the development of internal control policies and procedures. Most corporate controllers have master’s degrees in accounting or business administration. In addition, many are certified public accountants (CPAs) or certified management accountants (CMAs), qualifying them to answer your toughest accounting questions.
Leadership skills are crucial for this role. The person you hire should have a strong track record of hiring and developing skills. The latter is crucial due to the scarcity of skilled talent for finance positions. In addition, they should have great presentation and negotiation skills. They should also be able to communicate financial information to non-finance employees, especially the management team. Your interview questions for a finance controller position can both incorporate quantitative and qualitative skill sets.
These finance controller interview questions are intended to help you start a purposeful, open-ended conversation with your candidates. Do they have a gift for strategic planning? Can they clearly articulate their logic? Can they coach and motivate the people they work with? Have they done their research, and are they familiar with your company and industry? These should be your goals when compiling interview questions for a financial controller.
Operational and Situational questions
- What are the most important factors to consider in budget development?
- What is the most challenging financial project you’ve ever worked on?
- Recall a time you identified a financial opportunity for your company.
- How have you reduced expenses at previous companies?
- What are the financial strengths and weaknesses of our industry?
- How has your leadership contributed to the success of your current/previous team?
- How have you increased revenues in previous companies you’ve worked for?
- Recall a time when you improved the quality of financial information or the efficiency of sharing financial information.
- What kinds of reports or presentations have you developed for executive teams?
- Do you have any experience in setting up accounting/financial reporting controls? If so, please give an example of a control you were able to design and implement.
- Recall a time when you introduced new technology to your staff.
- What kind of accounting/financial reporting software are you familiar with?
- What is your approach to hiring financial staff?
- How have you helped junior financial staff advance in their careers?
- Recall a time you had to motivate your team to complete a complex project under a tight deadline.
- How do you monitor and evaluate the performance of your team?
- Recall a time you had to persuade an executive team to make an important financial decision.