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Compliance Manager Interview Questions

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  1. Compliance managers have to ensure the rules are followed. How do you handle situations with the employee when you have to tell them that they are violating rules? See answer
  2. Compliance rules are always changing. What do you do in order to stay informed of developments in your professional area? See answer
  3. What do you see as your greatest challenge being a compliance manager? How do you deal with it when it arises? See answer
  4. Our compliance manager will have to work with people in other departments. Can you give examples in which you had to work with people outside of your department in order to solve a problem? See answer
  5. What do you do when you notice that there is a new compliance requirement that needs to be implemented? See answer
  6. What’s your process for ensuring that the identities of employees who offer insight on any policy breakages remain protected and confidential?
  7. Do you have a specific procedure you follow when someone violates a section of the company policy?
  8. What would you do if a leadership member violated company policy?
  9. Have you ever implemented a company policy that helped your organization successfully avoid legal repercussions?
  10. Tell me about a time when an executive member got upset about specific policies you set in place. How did you handle this situation?
  11. Tell me about some common compliance issues you’ve come across during your time as a compliance manager.
  12. Have you ever conducted compliance training for your team members? Describe your process for this.
  13. Describe one of the most challenging ethics or compliance issues you’ve ever experienced. How did you approach and resolve this issue?
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6 Compliance Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

Compliance managers have to ensure the rules are followed. How do you handle situations with the employee when you have to tell them that they are violating rules?

A:

In many instances, the compliance manager must play the role as the proverbial “bad guy” when they need to explain to an employee that they are not following the rules. Many employees resent compliance managers because they do not like to be disciplined or reprimanded. You will want to get a sense of the candidate’s skill and tact at dealing with these types of situations since they are invariably difficult. What to look for in an answer:

  • Evidence of handling difficult situations
  • Skill in communicating regulatory issues
  • Dexterity in dealing with hostile and recalcitrant employees

Example:

“I try to see things from the employee’s point of view without looking down on them as I explain the rules. However, I know my job is to protect the integrity and reputation of the company, and I’m fully prepared to do that.”

Q:

Compliance rules are always changing. What do you do in order to stay informed of developments in your professional area?

A:

One of the major functions of a compliance manager is how well they can keep themselves informed. The regulatory landscape is continuously changing, and an ill-informed compliance manager can cost your company dearly. You will want to know that the compliance manager tries to keep abreast of new developments in order to help your company stay ahead of the curve and test them on this. What to look for in an answer:

  • Skills and interests that include research
  • Evidence of continuing education in the field
  • Application of newly gained knowledge to work

Example:

“I do not ever view my knowledge as complete and continuously look for opportunities to upgrade my knowledge and skills. I take a proactive approach and devote some time at work to tracking new developments as they arise and identifying potential issues.”

Q:

What do you see as your greatest challenge being a compliance manager? How do you deal with it when it arises?

A:

You are going to want to know how the prospective compliance manager handles thorny situations because they will always arise in this position. Compliance managers must have skills as problem solvers so they can handle their own issues without having to take the time of higher ups in the company. At the same time, it is valuable to know what causes the candidate some stress and how they handle it. What to look for in an answer:

  • Evidence of problem-solving skills applied
  • Demonstration of critical thinking skills
  • Initiative to deal with issues on their own

Example:

“It is difficult to deal with instances in which higher-ups may be breaking the rules. I make sure to tread firmly yet very carefully.

Q:

Our compliance manager will have to work with people in other departments. Can you give examples in which you had to work with people outside of your department in order to solve a problem?

A:

Compliance managers rarely work in a bubble and on their own. Instead, compliance initiatives usually work across departments and they must interact with employees in other areas. Try to gain an understanding of how the candidate deals with people in different divisions representing the compliance function. Given what compliance managers do, it often requires some sales skills to gain buy-in to the interests of the compliance department. What to look for in an answer:

  • Evidence of cross-departmental work in a company
  • Service to other areas of a company beyond compliance
  • Well-rounded job skills

Example:

“I am routinely asked to work across divisions in my company and set up team meetings. I make sure to try to be inclusive and mindful of others’ interests.”

Q:

What do you do when you notice that there is a new compliance requirement that needs to be implemented?

A:

In a company, compliance with any new law or regulation does not happen overnight. It requires a months or years-long initiative on the part of the company to get in compliance with the rules. The compliance manager is responsible for overseeing the process from start to finish. This question will give you an idea as to how they approach a new compliance initiative from the planning process through effective implementation. What to look for in an answer:

  • Examples of major rules that they implemented
  • Evidence of large-scale planning efforts
  • A sound and ordered thought process

Example:

“I have been responsible for the implementation of compliance efforts for many rules. I make sure to stay regimented and organized throughout the process and check in regularly with the various departments involved.”

Q:

What's your process for ensuring that the identities of employees who offer insight on any policy breakages remain protected and confidential?

A:

An important element needed to be a successful compliance manager is to ensure employees trust them enough to report any policy breaches. Receiving insight on potential rule breaks within the office is an effective way to catch and eliminate any misconduct occurring in the workplace. Candidates should explain their process for establishing trust with employees and ensuring that all reports are confidential to help them successfully find and stop workplace policy violations.

The candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Strategy for keeping employee information private
  • Commitment to employee confidentiality and protection
  • Trustworthiness and compassion

An answer to this question could look like this:

Example:

"I've had employees in the past witness their supervisors breaking company policy and feeling hesitant to discuss it with me out of fear that they'll be let go because they came forward. I reassured them that there are laws to protect them from receiving disciplinary action for reporting a policy violation. I've also taken the time to sit down with employees to discuss why it's important for them to tell me about policy breaches and that I'll personally ensure their name remains anonymous."

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021