The stakes are high when hiring for financial roles, as selecting the wrong candidate can negatively impact your organization’s bottom line through costly mistakes or lack of compliance for federal regulations. In order to feel confident in your hiring choices, make the most of your interview questions to uncover the traits and skills that are most indicative of long-term success in the position.
Here are five questions to ask finance candidates in an interview:
1. Describe a time in which you had to fix a major error or solve a finance-related problem at work.
Mistakes happen in the workplace, however, how they are handled is what counts. Any candidate you pick should ideally have the ability to remain cool under pressure, gather information, and develop solutions in a strategic way.
2. How do you go about explaining technical information to clients or your boss/colleagues in a different department?
Finance professionals have specialized knowledge that may not be easily comprehended by colleagues or leadership in other areas, but could significantly affect the company’s financial performance. For a candidate to be successful if hired, they must be able to show they can clearly convey complicated or unfamiliar concepts to others.
3. Can you give me an example of a time in which you made recommendations to improve your employer’s financial state?
What sets apart a top performer from the rest is proactively utilizing their skill sets to positively contribute to their employer’s goals and objectives. By asking finance candidates for specific instances in which they used their knowledge to analyze data and suggest improvements, you can get a sense of which ones are more likely to go above and beyond if hired.
4. What factors drive you to work hard and stay motivated?
When evaluating finance candidates, in addition to technical expertise and work history, try to also get insight into what engages them in their work. Internal motivators, such as passion for the industry or feeling a strong sense of purpose by utilizing their talents, are more indicative of a committed team player than external motivators, like money or other perks.
5. What are your long-term career goals?
As the cost of turnover can be significant, it’s important to not make hiring decisions based solely on the short term. Asking candidates about their long-term career goals can not only give you insight into their level of ambition, but it can also help you determine if they are likely to have a future with your company and if it’s worth investing your time and resources into their development.
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