Finance Manager Interview Questions (With Answers And Tips)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 18 March 2023

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.

Finance managers are typically responsible for budgeting duties and assisting senior managers in developing financial plans. When interviewing prospective finance managers, the interviewer may test reporting skills on investment status and other financial operations, among other abilities. Understanding the types of finance manager interview questions can help you prepare relevant answers showing your expertise in finance. In this article, we discuss 10 commonly asked financial management interview questions and answers, along with few tips on how to answer the interviewer.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

10 Finance Manager Interview Questions And Answers

Here are 10 commonly asked finance manager interview questions to help you acquire a job in the industry:

1. What steps would you take to avoid the consequences of a conflict between two accountants who work in your team?

This question checks your problem-solving and leadership skills. The interviewer may also assess your knowledge of the regular duties of a junior or senior accountant and how to assign tasks that lead to valuable outputs for the company. You can answer this by talking about the steps you may take to resolve the issue and also improve team bonding.

Example: I would re-iterate their individual duties and point out the mistakes made by both individuals. Further, I would ask them to collaborate and come to a reasonable conclusion for their conflict. Once they clarify their disagreement, I would determine a common goal for both accountants within a set time period. This would develop accountability between them as well.

Related: What Is The Role Of A Financial Manager? A Complete Guide

2. What is your process for calculating and interpreting ROI?

This may allow the interviewer to understand your proficiency in financial formulas and how flexible your return on investment (ROI) calculation process is when accounting for varying factors in different industries. Try to answer with a mathematical approach that uses relevant financial terms to the ROI.

Example: I typically subtract the starting investment value from the final value of the investment and divide this by the net return. Finally, this number is multiplied by 100 to give a percentage value of the ROI. When interpreting the ROI, I account for approximations of expenses, areas of investment and an average value of the income generated through all sources.

3. What types of financial reports would the upper-level authorities require? What is their purpose?

Questions like these test your awareness of the responsibilities of upper-level management and why they demand financial reports. It may also test your familiarity with effective financial report types, which comprehensively explain the operations, functions and executions in the finance domain of the company. It is best to answer this with a list of financial reports and the purpose each report serves.

Example: Upper-level management typically requires financial reports in three forms, namely the balance sheet, cash flow report and the income statement. Sometimes they may require the statements of shareholders' equity. Such reports help them understand the company's present financial position, including their profitability, debt load, revenue and whether the company's financial obligations can be met.

Related: Top 20 Finance Interview Questions and Sample Answers

4. How does the cash flow statement inform us of the company's well-being?

Since the cash flow statement is a critical document to understand a company's financial performance in specific departments, the interviewer may test your observations on such financial indicators. An answer focusing on the goal and specifics of a cash flow statement can benefit.

Example: Because the cash flow statement solely focuses on the company's money, it is a valuable indicator of a company's stability. It explains a company's cash management efforts and results by summarising the cash generation statistics. Although it is not a perfect indicator to explain the cumulative financial health of a company, it yet shows the activities during the accounting period.

Related: What Is A Financial Statement? (With Importance And Types)

5. How would the financial statements change after the company bought new or upgraded existing equipment?

Your answer may show how well can you correlate the company's in-house purchases and investments for improving business functionality to the overall effect on their financial statement. Try answering in a way that the interviewer can understand your sense of accounting and budgeting awareness.

Example: The financial statements change once the purchases are reported on the balance sheets. As a balance sheet holds information on a company's liabilities and assets, the fixed assets section increases on such purchases. Further on, there may be additional enhancements to the financial statements based on maintenance of purchased equipment.

Related: How To Get An Internship In Finance: A Complete Guide

6. Give me an example of when your awareness of financial regulations helped the company make a smart decision.

Interviewers may test your knowledge of financial regulations to understand how aware are you of laws, policies and rules by regulatory bodies. Make sure to clearly state the financial regulation and link it to how you saved a company's resources or prepared them to avoid future losses.

Example: My last organisation improperly filed the documentation for a corporate social responsibility (CSR) project just before the tax filing session of the year. As financial regulators could label this as a tax evasion attempt, I re-filled and re-submitted all the documentation before our company officially filed their taxes for the financial year. This also protected our company from facing charges of money laundering and not obeying financial policies set by the government.

7. How do you prevent making mistakes while creating and analysing financial paperwork?

As finance manager roles require a thorough and error-free approach while revising paperwork and creating informative financial reports, interviewers might examine your ability to guarantee accurate submissions. Try informing them about your proofreading and fact-checking process.

Example: Besides being dedicated to double-checking and proofreading all paperwork, I have a checklist to confirm all calculations, dates, facts and reference material are up-to-date and relevant to my coworkers. If possible, I assign my subordinates to verify the information and keep a reference document ready in case of discrepancies in data.

8. Can you use Oracle to track transactional data and offer financial insights?

As Oracle allows data management and analysis for making smart financial decisions, the interviewer may ask you such software-based questions. Try to state a few key functions that finance managers generally use.

Example: Yes, I use Oracle and similar relational database management systems such as SQL to study financial data via charts, graphs and multi-dimensional reporting. In my last company, I regularly used Oracle to perform risk management, financial planning and revenue recognition.

9. Why would a finance manager use benchmark studies?

This process enables finance managers to make fact-based comparisons with competitors and suggest modifications to a business strategy. While answering this question, tell the interviewer about the critical factors which go into consideration while choosing the competitors and their business model.

Example: Finance managers use this process to generate high-value case studies of how their company's performance is compared to a group of competitors. They study the competitor's organisational architecture, employee hierarchy, services and overall business complexity in-depth to achieve greater financial success by improving their financial strategy.

10. How would you conduct a financial performance evaluation?

Amongst the interview questions for a finance manager, this specific one may test your performance evaluation skill set. You can name analytical tools and methodologies and segregate the report quarterly to offer a detailed time-specific evaluation.

Example: I would use software which simplifies calculations based on the variety of data points we input. By financial performance measures such as debt-to-equity ratio, inventory turnover, net/gross profit margin and other ratios, it becomes easier to perform a risk analysis. This risk analysis may also help in making smart investments and valuation techniques.

Related: How To Become A Finance Analyst: A Step-By-Step Guide

Tips To Answer Financial Management Interview Questions

When applying for a financial manager role, try to demonstrate your leadership and team working skills, business acumen and other qualities through your answers. These suggestions may increase your chances of getting the job:

  • Communicate your business acumen. It is best if you narrate your answers with a business-oriented approach. Try to account for other departments of the company and consider their involvement in your tasks.

  • Demonstrate your comfort with informational technology. If your answers demonstrate your comfort with different IT tools, you may create a favourable reputation since finance managers use various software. Attempt to explain your knowledge of IT tools for simplifying administrative processes like monitoring project expenditures, supervising project accounts and forecasting adventures.

  • Demonstrate your mathematical knowledge. Including quick calculations in your answers might convince the interviewer of your strong finance background. If given a chance, speak about your expertise in formulas, mathematical indicators and unique procedures for making complex financial calculations.

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