Ensuring interview success for both interviewer and interviewee for finance roles in the membership sector offers a unique experience compared to the private sector.
In this blog post, we will explore the most important finance-related questions for finance hiring managers, HR and People professionals to ask in interviews, and for finance professionals to be ready to answer in the membership sector this year. We will delve deep into these questions to provide valuable insights and guidance for a successful interview experience.
These carefully selected questions have been gathered from recent interviews conducted by our membership-focused clients and candidates, providing valuable insight and guidance, from a wide range of types of finance roles being interviewed for.
It is important to consider that while certain questions may be technical and only applicable to roles that require specific expertise, the majority of the questions focus on competencies. Interviewees will be expected to provide measurable examples of when they have showcased particular skills and qualities.
Key factors to consider for finance-focused candidates
If you are interested in finance-focused permanent jobs in the membership sector, we highly suggest that you familiarise yourself with these types of questions and think about how you would respond to them. It is essential to remember that when answering, it is important to quantify the results you have achieved by providing concrete statistics and facts to support your accomplishments. Let's dive in....!
Senior Finance Questions
Can you showcase your ability to analyse vast amounts of data to generate meaningful management reports?
Can you walk me through a challenging situation you encountered at work and how you successfully overcame it?
Describe a scenario when you faced a complicated accounting issue and explain how you resolved it. What were the key takeaways from that experience?
Can you provide an example of how you have challenged conventional practices in your current role and discuss the outcome?
How would you demonstrate your skills as a collaborative team player?
Describe a situation where you dealt with a particularly difficult internal client and explain your approach to resolving it. (If you don't have a real example, please share your theoretical approach).
Explain your understanding of this specific role to us.
Can you talk about a non-audit finance-related project you have been involved in, such as management reporting?
Give me an example of how you have effectively partnered with key non-financial stakeholders to contribute to important business decisions.
Please detail your experience in preparing statutory accounts.
Based on your accounting expertise and experience, which two areas would you say are your strongest? Why? Are there any other specialised areas where you excel that would contribute to your success in this role?
What do you consider the purpose and function of a budget as a management tool?
Define what a forecast is and its purpose. How would you introduce forecasting as a management tool within a membership organisation?
Please share your experience in preparing statutory accounts in accordance with SORP.
For Newly Qualified or Part Qualified candidates:
- Share an example of a time when you took the initiative to improve a process.
- Explain your motivation behind transitioning out of practice.
For Manager roles
- Describe your unique management style.
- How would your team describe your managerial approach
- Reflect on the biggest mistake you've made as a manager and the valuable lessons learned.
- What do you consider your greatest strengths and weaknesses as a manager?
- Discuss your strategies for ensuring that your team achieves both departmental and individual goals.
- How do you foster a team mentality among your employees?
- Narrate a recent situation in which you successfully convinced a team member to take a specific action.
- Detail the most recent action you took to enhance performance and productivity within your team.
- Describe a situation within your team that required quick intervention to prevent escalation.
- Other questions will probe your core competencies - **for Candidates** we would advise you to come prepared with examples for as many of these as possible.
Core competency questions.
- Tell me about a time when you changed your priorities to meet others' expectations.
- Describe a time when you altered your own behaviour to fit the situation.
- Tell me about a time when you had to change your point of view or your plans to take into account new information or
Client & Stakeholder focus.
Can you share an instance where you went above and beyond to exceed a client or stakeholder's expectations? How did you determine their expectations? How did you react?
Tell me about a challenging experience you had with a client or stakeholder.
Core Competency key questions
- Share a recent situation where you successfully communicated with senior-level individuals.
- Provide an example of a challenging or sensitive decision you communicated to others.
Problem Solving and Judgment
- Discuss a recent problem you encountered and how you resolved it.
- Talk about a problem that you were unable to solve and the lessons you learned from it.
- Describe a long-term goal you set for yourself and how you achieved it.
- Explain a specific action you took to improve your performance.
- Share an example of when you failed to meet a target and how you handled it.
- Share a situation where you helped a new team member feel welcomed and included.
- Describe a scenario where you successfully fostered effective teamwork.
- Explain how you handled a conflict within a team as a team member.
Impact & Influence
- Narrate a time when you were able to change someone's mind.
- Describe a situation where you needed to change a decision that had already been made.
- Discuss a time when you took the lead role in a group to achieve a specific objective.
- Describe a situation where you led by example.
- Share an example of a situation where you inspired others to work towards a common goal.
- Give an example of a client with whom you developed a mutually beneficial relationship and explain how you built it.
- Describe a situation where you relied on someone else to help you with a work-related task or problem.
- Explain how you managed stress in a recent high-pressure situation.
- Share a time when you had to bounce back from a disappointment.
- Describe how you adapted your work in response to industry changes.
- Provide an example of a strategy you created to achieve a long-term business objective.
- Discuss a situation where you had to think strategically to make a difficult decision.
- Explain a time when you made an independent decision on how to approach a task.
- Share an example of balancing efficiency and quality in completing a job.
- Describe a situation where you expressed a concern or disagreement with a coworker.
- Share a time when someone was unhappy with your work and how you addressed it.
Planning and Organisation
- Explain how you prioritise tasks in your daily schedule.
- Describe a situation where your schedule was unexpectedly interrupted.
- Share a time when you had to take on extra work with short notice.
- Discuss a recent experience working under a tight deadline.
Typical Closing Questions
- Why are you interested in working for our organisation?
- What do you know about our company, products, and services?
- Can you provide an example of a recent deal or project we worked on/closed?
- How do you plan to contribute to our organisation's success?
As the interview comes to a close, candidates may also have the chance to ask the potential employer a question. If you sense that the interviewer still has concerns about your suitability for the finance job, you can address this by inquiring, "Are there any reservations about my fit for this position?" Take the opportunity to calmly address these concerns with specific examples.
Once the interview concludes, we will facilitate open communication between the client and the interviewee, ensuring that feedback is relayed seamlessly and guiding both parties smoothly through to the next stage.
Tamandra is our resident finance expert recruitment consultant, please click here to connect with her for expert finance-related hiring support, guidance, and career advice.