9 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Finance Professional

Has your company reached the point of readiness to hire a full or part time finance professional with some investment banking or controller experience? If you’ve never had to hire for that kind of role before, getting the interview questions right can make the difference between a mediocre outcome, and a great one.

Read on for some great interview suggestions specifically targeted towards high-level finance roles.

1. How well do you know my market, and what relevant projects have you executed over the last 2-3 years?

No candidate can cover every market or sector equally well – there is generally some level of specialization or at least comparative strengths. How recent is their experience? If they’ve been working in the sector recently, they will be more current on things like market interest levels and valuations.

2. What do you know about our company and its competition, and of our industry as a whole?

You’ll be looking for their interest level, determined by whether they’ve done their homework on this basic question. If they don’t care about you, why should you care about them?

3. What would you bring to this role that no other applicant could provide?

This will show you whether this finance candidate truly deserves your attention. It could be their precise role-related experience, achievements within the industry, or even their unique personality. This question is also useful for testing a candidate’s overall confidence level.

4. Show me some previously created deal-related materials.

If the role requires a lot of time spent creating materials to facilitate a deal process, ask for samples. You might ask for things like management presentations for investors,  blind memorandums to elicit initial interest, Powerpoint presentations, etc.  Is their quality up to your expectations?

5. Pitch our company as you would in a sales meeting.
In many instances, finance or marketing analysts are called on to represent the company in various work-related circumstances. If they can effectively describe what your company does and how they do it, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not they can represent your business professionally.

6. Are you willing to relocate or travel?

This should be a no-brainer for candidates who are truly passionate about the role. If you’re hiring for a temporary role and it requires temporary relocation, ask the question that way.  You could also discuss travel requirements, if any.

7. How do you keep up with industry news?
Learn how this potential executive stays in touch with changes in their area of expertise. Are they on a continual journey of discovery, or are they fine with stagnation? The ways they consume knowledge can also tell you a lot about their personality.

8. Do you play any competitive sports?

If a competitive spirit is crucial for thriving in the role you’re interviewing for, this question can be a good indicator. If they’ve played competitive sports for recreation, it can indicate whether your finance candidates have a competitive nature.

Allowing prospective employees to interview you gives you the chance to see what’s important to them. It’s also a courtesy to help them decide whether it’s the right fit for them.

If you’re still in the planning stage and looking for the best sources to recruit high level finance candidates, specialized online hiring platforms like Graphite are a great place to start.

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