3 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Director of Finance


As the linchpin of the finance department, a great Director of Finance can be critical to the success of the organization.

You need a strong leader, who can inspire a team to excellence, assist other departments in meeting their objectives and communicate effectively with upper management.

Along with traditional questions that focus on technical competency, consider asking the following 3 questions to ensure you hire the right person.

Please explain a time when you led a team through adversity to achieve an objective.

Great leaders are not only exceptional in calm waters, but can deliver excellence in times of adversity. Look for an answer that shows your candidate was able to assess the strengths of his or her individual team members and then motivate the team to deliver under tight timelines or a period of transition.

Walk me through a scenario when you had to support other functional groups to reach organizational outcomes.

Directors of Finance must be able to build business partnerships, provide strategic direction and help other departments meet their revenue goals. A unique position that requires both strategic analysis and high-level people skills, your Director of Finance must be able to maintain confidentiality, bridge the gap between management and their team and understand the overarching vision of the organization in order to be successful.

Explain how you identified and changed a process or system to create a better outcome for your organization.

Strong Directors of Finance must have superior problem-solving and critical thinking skills. To that end, a Director of Finance that can identify and then improve a process or system to produce a better result, while still ensuring the cost-effective use of financial resources, is a gold mine.

Excellent leaders, regardless of title, are great communicators and true team players. They marry strategic analysis with exceptional interpersonal skills. The three questions above, while certainly not a comprehensive list, will help you find a Director of Finance who can lead a team to greatness.