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Financial Manager Interview Questions

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  1. How do your degrees, certifications and experience make you an ideal candidate for a management position? See answer
  2. Do you have any experience using financial management software such as Quicken and Oracle? See answer
  3. Can you give a specific example of when you had to multitask on a tight schedule? See answer
  4. In your opinion, what is the most important quality that a financial manager should possess? See answer
  5. As a financial manager, were you ever in a situation where you had to disagree on a fiscal issue with the senior management? How did you handle it? See answer
  6. Tell me about a time where you had to deal with an under-performing employee.
  7. As a financial manager, how do you keep yourself updated on new developments in the financial sector?
  8. If you had to create a slide presentation about your firm’s financial performance, how would you go about it?
  9. Were you ever given a short deadline to prepare a financial analysis report? Were you able to manage it? How?
  10. What do you understand by ROI? How would you calculate it?
  11. What is a financial statement? Describe three types and their specific purposes.
  12. Explain the purpose of benchmarking studies. Do you have any experience with them?
  13. Define diluted normalized earnings per shares. How do you calculate it?
  14. What is free cash flow to equity? How do you calculate it? How different is it from free cash flow to the firm?
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6 Financial Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

How do your degrees, certifications and experience make you an ideal candidate for a management position?

A:

The financial manager role covers a wide range of skills, including risk assessment and credit management. Therefore, a good candidate should possess some work experience and credible qualifications such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a finance-related field. Pay attention to the skills that they have acquired through formal education such as bookkeeping, business activity reports and other relevant skills or knowledge. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience in the field in a similar capacity
  • Formal education in finance
  • Certifications and other skills such as CPA or CFA

Example:

“In addition to my master’s degree in finance, I have worked as a financial services manager for five years. My main roles included bookkeeping, forecasting and profit planning for the company.”

Q:

Do you have any experience using financial management software such as Quicken and Oracle?

A:

The modern financial manager should have relevant experience using software such as Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning to handle various tasks including budgeting, banking and investing. The ideal candidate should be well versed in utilizing more than one money-management software application. Note how they apply software solutions to lessen their workload and improve efficiency. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience with a variety of software solutions
  • Resourcefulness with tasks
  • Technical proficiency

Example:

“In my previous job, I used Moneydance to track company investments and handle all budgeting tasks. I would easily be able to learn how to use a new system because I am comfortable working with computers.”

Q:

Can you give a specific example of when you had to multitask on a tight schedule?

A:

Since a financial manager is required to take care of several tasks with varying deadlines, it is possible that their workload will occasionally need prioritizing and organizing. An ideal candidate should understand that while all work is important, critical tasks must be completed before less critical ones. Pay attention to the specific example of a scenario where they had to apply their judgement and organization skills and multitask to finish everything successfully and on schedule. What to look for in an answer:

  • Organizational and time management skills
  • Ability to delegate duties and ask for help
  • Examples of strategic planning, prioritization and good judgement

Example:

“During a late project in my previous job, I had several reports to complete on a tight schedule. I organized them in terms of priority and finished all the critical tasks on time.”

Q:

In your opinion, what is the most important quality that a financial manager should possess?

A:

Here, the candidate’s answer will give you an idea of the kind of management style they are likely to employ if hired for the role. Attention to detail and time management skills are equally important, and they should have good communication skills and patience. As a financial manager, the ability to work together toward a common objective and achieve organization goals remains perhaps the most important quality. What to look for in an answer:

  • Leadership and management skills
  • An appreciation of both technical and people skills
  • Understanding of the requirements of the financial manager position

Example:

“While skills such as cost-benefit analysis and profit planning are vital in this role, I consider leadership to be the most important trait. A leader would place a worker in their best role, whether it is analytical forecasting or budgeting, and ensure that the organization is best positioned to meet its goals.”

Q:

Tell me about a time where you had to deal with an under-performing worker.

A:

Poor management can lead employees to under-perform or even leave their jobs if matters are not resolved quickly. A good candidate understands the value of making the workplace a friendly and productive environment. Pay attention to how they approach the subject of an inefficient worker, especially their independent judgement and problem-solving skills. What to look for in an answer:

  • Interpersonal and motivational skills
  • Good verbal and non-verbal communication skills
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure

Example:

“In my previous job, I had the task of motivating a worker who was always turning in late reports. I shared positive feedback and offered my support. In the end, I was able to convince them to develop a task planner, which greatly improved their productivity.”

Q:

As a financial manager, were you ever in a situation where you had to disagree on a fiscal issue with the senior management? How did you handle it?

A:

Financial managers are responsible for a firm's financial planning, financial operations and investments, and they regularly interact with the senior management. Interviewers ask this question to find out if candidates have the self-confidence to stand by their convictions and the tact to resolve differences. A qualified financial manager should be attentive to detail and should be able to explain the reasons for the stance taken.

The candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Financial knowledge
  • Self-confidence
  • Good communication skills

A sample response would be something like this:

Example:

"Yes, there was an occasion in my previous job when I had to disagree on a financial issue with the senior manager. To resolve the problem, I arranged a meeting with the director and took documents to show that our current fiscal situation did not allow for the budget they wanted for the new project. We went back and forth for a while, and then he agreed that it just wasn't feasible at the time. Ultimately, we did go ahead with the project, but in a more limited form."

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