Head of Finance Interview

Ace Your Head of Finance Interview: Questions and Answers

Competing for a head of finance or CFO role requires confidence, strategic thinking, and the ability to communicate your value. Preparing for the interview questions can help you stand out amongst qualified candidates. This guide covers examples of the top finance interview questions with tips for nailing your responses.

Common Interview Questions for Head of Finance Candidates

Finance leader roles require a balance of technical expertise and leadership abilities. Interviewers want to assess both your functional competencies as well as your strategic vision.

Questions About Your Experience

  • Walk me through your experience leading finance organizations. What size teams have you managed and what were your key responsibilities? Focus on the scope of leadership experience managing finance teams as well as your oversight across core finance functions – accounting, FP&A, compliance etc.
  • What experience do you have with financial planning, modelling, and analysis? Describe a situation where your analysis influenced or drove strategic decisions. Highlight your FP&A skills with an example of using data to guide strategy.
  • Tell me about your experience with accounting and financial reporting. What processes or improvements have you implemented in this area? Emphasize your accounting qualifications and the impact of any process improvements you’ve driven.
  • Describe your experience with budgeting, forecasting, and performance management. How have you enhanced these processes? Share examples of improving budgeting accuracy, upgrading forecasting capabilities, and implementing performance measurement.

“An insightful CFO does not just look at the numbers, but understands what is behind them and constantly seeks to improve them.” – John Goff, CFO of Rustic Canyon Partners

In my most recent role as VP of Finance, I instituted a new automated forecasting system that increased our cash flow prediction accuracy by 20%. This gave leadership significantly better visibility into future capital needs.

Questions About Your Leadership Approach

  • How would you describe your leadership and management style? Provide an example of a time you led a major cross-functional initiative. Share how you empower and motivate teams and how you can lead major projects across departments.
  • What experience do you have driving process improvement initiatives? How did you identify areas for improvement and measure success? Talk about how you’ve optimized finance operations, reporting, etc. through process changes and KPI measurement.
  • How have you aligned finance strategy with overall corporate objectives in your career? How do you support strategy in your role? Demonstrate you understand the strategic CFO role and share examples of partnering with the executive team.
  • Tell me about a time you influenced or shaped an important business decision. How did you provide financial advice and guidance? Financial insights should guide decisions – share an example of strategically advising leaders.

In 2021, I presented a data-backed business case to expand to a new market which was approved and increased profits by 50% in the first year.

Questions About Technical Skills

  • What accounting standards and principles are you experienced with? How have you maintained compliance? Showcase your technical accounting qualifications and commitment to compliance.
  • What enterprise financial systems are you familiar with? What selection and implementation experience do you have? Discuss your knowledge of major ERPs and highlight any experience with systems upgrades or rollouts.
  • What experience do you have raising capital, whether through debt, equity, or other means? How would you evaluate various financing options? Demonstrate your experience with capital management and ability to strategically assess financing methods.
  • How do you stay current on the latest trends and issues in finance? What emerging issues most interest you? Emphasize you are continuously building knowledge and share hot topic areas that intrigue you.

Tips for Acing the Head of Finance Interview

  • Demonstrate leadership skills – Share examples of managing teams, leading major initiatives, and influencing strategy.
  • Showcase technical capabilities- Discuss your experience across budgeting, forecasting, analysis, compliance, and reporting.
  • Balance tactical and strategic – Give specific examples but also tie it back to big-picture impact.
  • Ask thoughtful questions – Inquire about challenges, goals, culture, and expectations for the role.
  • Convey your value – Emphasize how your background aligns with their needs and what unique value you offer.

Similar Posts:

Scroll to Top