May 11, 2012
When it comes to CFO interview questions, you can never be too careful.
A CFO is an integral part of the business, so you want to be absolutely sure that the person you hire is able to meet your needs down to the last.
But finding that candidate who fits the role perfectly can be a daunting task.
Let’s take a look at the following guide about hiring a CFO and you’ll get an idea for some strong CFO interview questions and how they can help you narrow down your search.
Like hiring any other kind of employee, bringing a CFO into your organization needs to involve looking at several key areas that involve the work that person will be expected to do.
When looking at those areas, you need to craft questions that are as investigative as possible so that they elicit strong questions.
The three main areas you want to explore include:
It makes sense to start with this area, as it’s the one that will give you the greatest insight into what your potential hire will be able to do for you.
When you need a CFO for your business, strong experience can relate to how long that person has been in finance as well as the types of environments he or she has worked in.
As a new and/or small business, you will specifically want to look for an experienced finance professional who has worked with businesses that have had limited resources.
The answer that you get will not only show you how the person will be able to use what you have to help you thrive, but make operations concerning your finances more efficient in general.
Likewise, any questions that you ask regarding the person’s experience should be able to reflect successful management of day to day activities as well as solving of more complex issues.
This can range from organizing the company’s financial statement to being able to make sure the company meets all of its obligations come tax time.
Like many other professional jobs, a CFO’s education serves as the foundation for his or her experience, so you will want to look at that as well.
Your CFO interview questions should go beyond looking at basic education like where the candidate received his or her Bachelor’s or Master’s in a finance related field from. You want to look at additional education that might be relevant to what you do.
Say, for instance, your company operates in the medical field. A strong potential CFO might have some relevant education or certifications in different aspects of the industry that can complement his or her training in finance.
If you have a prospective CFO whose resume displays relevant coursework that applies to your business, then that candidate will likely have an easier time becoming familiar with the way your business operates. This means that their work will be able to affect your bottom line sooner.
In any business environment, interactions are important. Whether it’s with management, employees, or customers, you want to make sure that anyone you bring into the organization works well with others and will represent your company as strongly as possible.
In that respect, your CFO interview questions should have the candidate telling you about how they related to past colleagues and how they would work with employees within your own organization should they get the job.
The questioning can also involve how the CFO would work with lenders and other businesses to make sure mutually beneficial deals are being created and that your company will thrive as a result.
Depending on the organizational structure of your business, your CFO could also end up working with other experts in finance, so your CFO interview questions might involve exploring that person’s leadership qualities as well.
Ask them questions about situations in which they had to manage others or work in teams to solve the issues facing the business.
The response that you get will give you an indication about what to expect should you make that person a part of your team.
Exploring these key areas during the interview process will ensure that you get someone who is right for the job, whether you need the role filled on a full-time or part-time basis.
When asking CFO interview questions, weigh the responses that you get very carefully against your company’s needs and culture. Once you do, you’ll have an easier time finding a financial officer who is a strong fit and will be able to help you approach your goals as a company.
Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated. Keep it simple!
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