CFO Interview Questions – Chief Financial Officers (CFO) are the heads of an establishment’s financial department. They’re usually highly experienced professionals with graduate degrees. Their role has a large scope so the best candidates should be knowledgeable in a lot of aspects of a business.
This interview guide provides a broad overview of the fundamental competency areas in which a CFO candidate should be prepared for.
50 CFO Interview Questions
What would you do if revenue forecasts for next year decreased?
If you had to decide whether a possible investment is profitable, how would you do it?
Explain the evolution of the product of your current/previous company?
Give me an example of a landmark decision that was made in the product strategy and your opinion of that decision?
What type of customer does your company sell to? Has it changed?
What is a pricing or packaging decision that the company made and what was your view on that decision?
What was the personality of the company you were just working at and did it fit you?
Give me an example of your investment strategy when funding departments during the annual budget cycle?
What do you think was key to your current/previous company’s success?
What are two metrics a CFO should always monitor?
Tell me about a time when you faced conflict with stakeholders. How did you resolve it?
Recall a time you showed excellent leadership in managing your department?
Describe your most important contribution to your current/previous company?
How do you utilize communication skills?
How do you keep up on industry news?
Explain the rationale behind each of your career moves.
Tell us 3 Likes and 3 Dislikes you have at your current job.
What 5 personal characteristics describe you the best?
What are your 3 biggest accomplishments?
What long-term plans did you make in your last job? How did you reach your long-term goals?
Teach me something I don’t already know.
What is the one thing you would change about the company today if you could?
Describe a time where you identified a problem, consider your options, and picked an effective solution.
Ask questions that determine cultural fit.
Pitch our company as you would in a sales meeting.
What is the key to a successful budget?
What are your goals?
Please tell me what we do in your own words.
What is the most challenging part of budgeting for you?
Tell me how you organize, plan, and prioritize your work.
Describe the most successful financial strategy you’ve implemented. What impact did it have?
What goes into your risk/opportunity assessment process? How do you know what is worthwhile?
As you set objectives and develop strategies, what information do you consider? What role do other department team members play in the process?
The board wants to make a risky financial move. How would you handle this situation?
How do you encourage ethical behavior in others? Provide examples.
How has your previous experience prepared you for this role?
Please describe your experience with strategy development.
What do you know already about our company’s financial success, initiatives, and business strategy/goals?
Why do you feel you are capable of accepting a role with this level of responsibility?
Please tell me about your experience with risk management.
What will you need from us to be successful in this role?
Do you have any prior experience managing employees/teams?
What is your biggest asset that you’ll bring to this role?
What has been the biggest failure in your career to date, and what did you learn from it?
Please tell me about your experience working with third parties. What would you say is the key to success in these communications?
How do you minimize the risk of errors in your work?
Are you able to simplify and explain complex financial information? (Here is an opportunity test the candidate.
Give them an example and ask them to explain it. Please allow adequate time for them to interpret the data first.)
Can you tell me about a time you helped increase efficiency/cut costs effectively?
Name a time when you identified the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions to problems. What was the impact?
- Providing leadership, direction, and management of the finance and accounting team
- Providing strategic recommendations to the CEO/president and members of the executive management team
- Managing the processes for financial forecasting and budgets, and overseeing the preparation of all financial reporting
- Advising on long-term business and financial planning
- Establishing and developing relations with senior management and external partners and stakeholders
- Reviewing all formal finance, HR and IT related procedures
- Ability to strategize and solve problems
- Strong leadership and organizational skills
- Excellent communication and people skills
- An analytical mind, comfortable with numbers
- BSc/BA in Accounting, Finance or relevant field; MSc/MBA is a plus
Interested candidates should go through theses guide over and over again and attempt answering them comfortably, without panicking.
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