37 Financial Director Interview Questions (With Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 11 July 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.

A financial director is a senior professional within a company who manages the finance department, including all its accounts and budgets. When looking to recruit a financial director, employers want candidates with exceptional judgement, time management and employee management capabilities. If you'd like to become a financial director, you can prepare for the interview by learning about what questions interviewers may ask and why. In this article, we share a variety of financial director interview questions and provide some sample answers to help guide you.

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General financial director interview questions

Interviewers ask general financial director interview questions to help them understand your personality and interests and to help both parties feel comfortable at the start of the interview. The following are some examples of such questions:

  1. Describe yourself.

  2. What are your hobbies?

  3. What do you do during your free time?

  4. What are your biggest strengths?

  5. Name three key traits that most people would use to describe you.

  6. Why did you apply for this role?

  7. Why did you choose to pursue a career in finance?

  8. What motivates you at work?

  9. How do you define success?

  10. Why do you want to join our company?

  11. Why do you want to take on a leadership role?

  12. Where do you see yourself in five years' time?

Related: Guide on How to Update a Resume in 3 Steps (With Tips)

Questions about experience and background

Interviewers usually ask questions relating to your experience and background. This is to determine your capabilities and your suitability for the role of financial director. Here are some example questions pertaining to your experience and background:

  1. What challenges did you face in your previous employment, and how did you overcome them?

  2. What budget sizes have you worked with?

  3. How do you measure a company's financial success?

  4. How do you manage challenging clients?

  5. What do you think are the main factors that make a good financial plan or budget?

  6. What do you know about financial policies and regulations?

  7. Share the most significant financial project that you've worked on.

  8. Tell me about a time you've worked under pressure and describe how you overcame the stress.

  9. How do you respond to or deliver feedback professionally?

  10. What technologies and software are you familiar with for financial planning and budgeting?

In-depth questions

Asking in-depth questions helps employers to visualise how you would perform at work if you were to join the organisation. Here are some examples of in-depth interview questions:

  1. What financial statements or figures do you show to senior managers or investors who want to understand the company's current financial status?

  2. What's your leadership style?

  3. How do you ensure your team adheres to financial policies and regulations?

  4. What do you foresee your daily tasks would be as a financial director in our organisation?

  5. What strategies do you use when allocating budgets to different departments?

  6. How would you advise management when they want to make an investment? What steps would you take to ensure it's the right investment?

  7. What budgeting challenges do you foresee at our organisation?

  8. How do you react to someone challenging your leadership?

  9. How do you usually keep up to date with the latest financial news and trends?

  10. What aspects of your work do you find the most challenging?

5 interview questions with sample answers

Here are some financial director interview questions with sample answers that you can refer to as you prepare your own responses:

1. Why do you think you suit the position of financial director?

This question helps employers understand your personal goals, beliefs and character and whether you fit the role and the company culture. It's good to learn about important traits a financial director possesses and the keywords related to this position, which you can find in the job description. This helps to make your answer more convincing and impactful. If possible, include any personal experiences that inspired you to become a financial director to make your answer more sincere.

Example answer: 'I've always been meticulous, organised and highly numerate. I enjoy planning and making sense of numbers to derive meaningful insights that help the company make informed business decisions. Even in my daily life, I'm also critical of my spending and budgeting to justify every cent. Since I started my previous position as a financial manager, I've also taken pride in leading my team and mentoring them. Therefore, I'm keen to hone my leadership skills further during this financial director role.'

Related: 4 Steps to Emphasise Personal Strengths in an Interview

2. How do you manage differences of opinion in the workplace?

Employers ask such questions to evaluate your emotional intelligence when resolving problems in the workplace. As a financial director, you manage your team members, and problems may occur when there are differences of opinion or different personalities involved. It's important to display your professionalism and leadership qualities, such as problem-solving and active listening, when you're explaining your answer. Demonstrate that you care for your team members' well-being and can empathise with others easily.

Example answer: 'As a leader, I always value my team members' emotional well-being. In such situations, I would first want to know what transpired and caused the issue. I'd speak to both parties privately to hear their perspectives and let them share their feelings. I would then think of solutions to the problem and ensure both team members accepted this outcome. This is how I ensure the problem doesn't resurface and my team members can continue working together amicably and restore team morale.'

Related: What Is Conflict Resolution? (With Methods and Examples)

3. What do you understand the responsibilities of a financial director to be?

This question tests whether you're familiar with the responsibilities of a financial director. It shows you're ready for this role and independent enough to complete your tasks without guidance. In your answers, describe the responsibilities in detail to show your readiness. You can provide your answers based on your work experience or by reading the job description to note the key duties highlighted in the job listing.

Example answer: ‘As a financial director, I understand that my main duties are to oversee the financial operations of the company and manage the finance department. I expect my daily responsibilities include reviewing the company's financial plans and departmental budgets, analysing financial data and drawing meaningful insights, writing financial reports, determining new accounting policies and measures, supervising audits and coaching new members of the department. I also keep up to date with the latest financial news and regulations to stay relevant and impose changes to current accounting policies whenever necessary.'

4. How do you manage your time if you're overseeing multiple financial projects simultaneously?

As one of the company's senior managers, a financial director leads the finance department and has many responsibilities. As a result, their workload could become challenging, especially towards the end of the year with more accounts to file and plans to make for next year's budget. Therefore, time management is a highly important skill for a financial director. Employers aim to discover if you're capable of multi-tasking while still delivering quality work. In your response, detail how you'd allocate your schedule within the time constraints and provide personal examples if possible.

Example answer: 'I always use a planner to organise and prioritise my tasks and help me complete the most important ones first. When I feel overwhelmed, I ensure that I remain calm by giving myself a few seconds to collect my thoughts before proceeding with my duties. This keeps me focused. Sometimes I delegate more straightforward tasks to members of my department so that I have time to complete other more urgent duties that require my full attention. This helps me and my team work more efficiently.'

Related: Time Management Skills: Examples and Improvement Strategies

5. What steps do you take to coach and support new members of the finance department?

Employers pose such questions during interviews for senior management roles to test your leadership capabilities. A financial director leads the finance department and ensures new or underperforming team members improve on their current skills to continue contributing meaningfully to the company's financial operations. Therefore, your ability to be firm, dependable, patient, empathetic and approachable is important. In your answer, ensure that you illustrate these leadership qualities and your eagerness to improve company performance.

Example answer: 'When new members join, it's important to establish mutual trust to make them feel comfortable learning in this new environment. I would first assign a mentor to train them on the basics of accounting and financial principles. I would offer them chances to participate in bigger projects and encourage them to present during meetings. These opportunities can help them develop their skills and confidence. I would also provide monthly performance reviews to share constructive feedback. This helps them to improve where necessary and allows me to get feedback on my management style too.'

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