Financial management interview questions and sample answers
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 4 June 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Financial management involves the planning and coordination of the financial activities of an organisation. When interviewing for the role of a financial manager, the interviewer may ask you about general financial management topics that apply to the growth of organisations. If you're considering a career path in financial management or want to move to a new company, the hiring process may involve an interview section. In this article, we discuss 10 financial management interview questions recruiters might ask and provide sample answers to help you prepare for the interview.
10 financial management interview questions and answers
Below are some financial management interview questions and sample responses:
1. How can your knowledge and skills benefit our company?
The interviewer may wonder how you intend to apply your skills and knowledge to enhance the company's growth. In your answer, you can highlight your skills, knowledge and expertise in the field of finance. Emphasise how you intend to use these attributes and provide examples of your experience and how your skills have benefited other companies.
Example: 'Time management, transparency, communication and teamwork are some of the many principles I uphold in my career. I believe that the application of these skills can enhance the growth of the company, increase profitability and create a track record for others to refer to. For instance, in my previous role, when my team and I experienced a challenge in communicating with management, I requested a meeting to effectively deal with the communication barrier. It turned out great, as we were able to work within their specifications and record a massive increase in the company's profit'.
2. How do you secure your financial records and ensure your documentation is accurate?
A detailed record is important for the role of a financial manager because the cost associated with basic errors can be very high. The recruiter seeks to understand how much you value the importance of keeping accurate financial records and how you pay attention to detail while computing documentation. When responding to this question, share some tips on how accurate you are with documentation.
Example: 'Over time, I've realised that keeping accurate records goes beyond the organisation and also impacts my clients. Therefore, I'm committed to maintaining accuracy in all records that managers assign to me. Part of the way I achieve this is to leverage technology that ensures accuracy and detailed record-keeping, both for the individual employee and the company'.
3. How do you plan to handle a mistake made by a team member at a critical time during a project?
The recruiter may want to analyse your attitude, response and how well you can handle major projects with other team members. Sometimes little mistakes can become major challenges or defining factors to the success of a company project. In your answer, emphasise how you intend to keep a positive attitude during such occurrences and your role in finding out the causes of such happenings to ensure they don't happen again.
Example: 'To succeed in projects, I collaborate with my team members to make detailed plans while remaining open to change or new challenges. If a team member makes an error that puts the entire project at stake, I would quickly organise a meeting so we can brainstorm possible remedies to address the challenge. I ensure that other team members maintain a positive attitude, while we properly guide the individual who made the mistake to avoid the same occurrence happening again in the future'.
4. What do you consider to be the greatest challenge facing finance today?
With this question, the recruiter intends to assess your level of knowledge concerning the current finance market. It's essential to understand how the financial market works and how you can achieve success in your career. In your response, refer to particular financial market events, their importance and how they've affected your current knowledge in financial management.
Example: 'As technology keeps improving, I've discovered that one of the greatest challenges facing the finance market today is how to keep up with technological tools and use them efficiently to achieve results. These tools are constantly changing, so keeping up with current versions can be challenging. I recommend having a tech expert as a solution for every organisation, as this can help keep a company up to date with trends and changes in the finance market'.
5. Clarify the role of a cash-flow statement in evaluating a company's performance
The recruiter may want to assess your knowledge as an expert in your field by asking industry-based questions. In your response, communicate in clear terms as you try to use your in-depth knowledge of cash-flow statements to provide solutions. Go a step further by stating your task, the skills you applied and the positive outcome that resulted.
Example: 'A cash flow summarises the flow and source of funds for an organisation. One aspect of the cash-flow statement is that it doesn't include liabilities and assets. Therefore, it may not give a detailed analysis of a company's performance. In my previous role as a financial manager, my teams and I liked to use cash-flow statements to conclude the company's performance, until it proved unsuccessful. This caused a downturn in our company income until we came up with a more effective strategy to evaluate our company, which made a vast difference in the company's revenues and records'.
6. How well do you work under pressure and ensure you meet tight deadlines?
The interviewer may wonder how you remain productive in the face of challenges and still meet the demands of your position. Sometimes, the job of a financial manager can be very challenging, especially when there aren't enough employees to get the job done. In your answer, you can describe your coping mechanisms. Explain how you use your coping strategy to remain motivated and keep a positive attitude.
Example: 'Over time, I've learned how to be productive in all situations. I use certain strategies to monitor my behaviour and handle the pressures of the job. For example, I intentionally draw up a plan to keep track of every assignment or task and its delivery dates. I also break down these tasks into smaller components to aid efficiency and ensure an easier approach to work'.
7. Where do you see your career in the next 5 years?
The interviewer probably wants to know your vision and ambitions for your career and how it aligns with the company's objectives. An assessment of your motivations for choosing a career in financial management can determine your ability to stay on course. In your answer, be realistic, but ensure you communicate your value. You can give a descriptive answer by highlighting your goals and objectives.
Example: 'In the next 5 years, I intend to establish my own finance company. I intend to achieve this with reputable affiliations with the company. I'm certain to gain a wealth of experiences and skills here that I can utilise in my career path and ensure the success of each project I take on'.
8. How do you manage your time as a finance manager?
Here, the interviewer seeks to know your expertise in time management, which can impact the outcome of your projects. Time is a crucial factor in financial management and a valued skill to possess as a financial manager. In your answer, emphasise the importance of time in every project. Give a practical example of how you apply time-management skills to achieve success in every project.
Example: ' As a financial manager, I'm an advocate of time management to achieve desired results. One strategy I use as part of my time management is to keep a content calendar and to-do list and allocate timings to the success and deliveries of each project. I also leverage resource team members to get the job done on time'.
9. What tools and equipment have you previously used as a finance manager?
The interviewer is probably curious about how knowledgeable you are about digital tools and software that ensure productivity. A financial manager who's versatile in the use of financial tools has a better chance of getting more jobs done, while still recording increased growth overall. In your answer, list the tools and software you've used and demonstrate your expertise and successes when using them.
Example: 'I've used tools such as Tibeto, Microsoft SQL and Oracle. I can use these to reproduce results with ease. I also dedicate time to learning about new tools or software that can help in my workflow'.
10. What do you understand by the term 'interest rate swap'?
Your interviewer may wonder how knowledgeable you are about industry terminology. This is an opportunity to show your ability for continuous learning while pursuing a career in finance management. In your answer, professionally give insight into what the term ‘interest rate swap' means.
Example: 'An interest rate swap is a forward contract that helps companies exchange interest rate payments. A particular company may seek a variable interest rate while another company may want a fixed-rate payment. Integrated swap rates help to reduce or increase exposure to fluctuations in interest rates'.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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