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Interview questions

Controller

For the interview

A positive opener to start

Why did you choose to work in this industry?

What has been your journey so far?

Behavioral Questions

  • Why did you choose to become a controller? What do you enjoy most about your job?
  • What has been your greatest achievement since becoming a controller? 
  • Both these questions give you an idea of personality and how passionate they are about their position.
  • Based on what you already know about our company, what would you say are our biggest challenges?
  • Good candidates will have done some previous research and have some ideas already. This shows initiative and proactivity. 
  • How do you stay up to date with the newest industry trends and processes?
  • Important for a financial position as it could cause a lot of issues if a new process is missed.

Soft Skills

  • Can you describe some of the controls you have implemented? What kind of impact did they have?
  • How have you dealt with and prepared for organisational change in the past?
  • Both of these questions should show time management skills and general knowledge of the industry. 
  • Could you tell me about your experience in building and maintaining business relationships?
  • What has been your experience with presenting to senior management or executives?
  • Both of these questions are designed for you to get a better idea of the candidate’s presentation and communication skills, both important for the position.

Hard Skills

  • What ERP systems have you used before?
  • What are the steps to close the monthly financial account?
  • How have you reduced expenses at a previous company?
  • What kind of reports have you developed for executive teams?
  • All of these questions are to give you a better idea of their experience level, what they know how to do well and what skills need more attention.

Operational / Situational Questions

  • Let’s say you have received confidential information that greatly impacts your team. What do you do with that information, and why?
  • This question focuses on communication and organisation of information. 
  • Could you tell me about a time that you made a mistake, and the steps you took to rectify it?
  • It’s positive to take accountability and act quickly when working within finance. 
  • Could you explain how you have used large amounts of data to solve a problem before?
  • Data management skills are great to have while working in finance, as well as having analytical thinking skills.

Best interview questions for a Controller

Controller Interview Questions

When hiring a controller you should look for:

  • Great communication skills.
  • Outstanding attention to detail.
  • Time management skills and practice in prioritisation.
  • It would be beneficial for you to find a candidate that already has some years experience in the industry, or has got plenty of accredited qualifications.
  • From the questions you ask you should get a feeling that the candidate fully understands processes but also has some good interpersonal skills.

Interviews naturally breed nerves, so the first part of your interview should aim to make the candidate feel comfortable speaking with you, you’ll get much more information out of them and a better sense of the person they are if they feel like they can trust the environment they are in.

To do this you can ask some fun and interesting questions linked to the role, they should be open ended and encourage conversation. A good place to start is with behavioural questions.

For the interview

A positive opener to start

Why did you choose to work in this industry?

What has been your journey so far?

Behavioral Questions

  • Why did you choose to become a controller? What do you enjoy most about your job?
  • What has been your greatest achievement since becoming a controller? 
  • Both these questions give you an idea of personality and how passionate they are about their position.
  • Based on what you already know about our company, what would you say are our biggest challenges?
  • Good candidates will have done some previous research and have some ideas already. This shows initiative and proactivity. 
  • How do you stay up to date with the newest industry trends and processes?
  • Important for a financial position as it could cause a lot of issues if a new process is missed.

Soft Skills

  • Can you describe some of the controls you have implemented? What kind of impact did they have?
  • How have you dealt with and prepared for organisational change in the past?
  • Both of these questions should show time management skills and general knowledge of the industry. 
  • Could you tell me about your experience in building and maintaining business relationships?
  • What has been your experience with presenting to senior management or executives?
  • Both of these questions are designed for you to get a better idea of the candidate’s presentation and communication skills, both important for the position.

Hard Skills

  • What ERP systems have you used before?
  • What are the steps to close the monthly financial account?
  • How have you reduced expenses at a previous company?
  • What kind of reports have you developed for executive teams?
  • All of these questions are to give you a better idea of their experience level, what they know how to do well and what skills need more attention.

Operational / Situational Questions

  • Let’s say you have received confidential information that greatly impacts your team. What do you do with that information, and why?
  • This question focuses on communication and organisation of information. 
  • Could you tell me about a time that you made a mistake, and the steps you took to rectify it?
  • It’s positive to take accountability and act quickly when working within finance. 
  • Could you explain how you have used large amounts of data to solve a problem before?
  • Data management skills are great to have while working in finance, as well as having analytical thinking skills.

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