Prepare for your VP of Finance interview. Understand the required skills and qualifications, anticipate the questions you may be asked, and study well-prepared answers using our sample responses.
This question is an opportunity to show your interviewer that you have the experience necessary to fulfill the role of VP of finance. Use your answer to highlight any previous experience you have in financial management, including the type of organization you worked for and what you accomplished while there.
Answer Example: “In my last role as VP of finance for a small business, I was responsible for managing all aspects of the company’s finances. This included creating monthly budgets, monitoring expenses and revenues and making sure we stayed within our budgeting limits. I also worked closely with other departments to ensure we were spending money wisely and making smart financial decisions. For example, I helped create a new marketing strategy that increased sales by 10% within the first quarter.”
The interviewer may ask you this question to learn more about your leadership style and how you would interact with other members of the team. When answering, think about the leadership styles of other managers you’ve worked with and what worked best for you. Try to describe your style in a way that highlights your strengths while also showing that you are willing to learn new things.
Answer Example: “I believe in being a collaborative leader who encourages open communication among my team members. I try to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions, even if they differ from mine. I also think it’s important to give credit where credit is due, so I make sure to recognize the efforts of my employees when they do something well.”
Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you feel you are the best candidate for the job. Before your interview, make a list of all of your skills and experiences that relate to this position. Focus on highlighting your most relevant skills and explaining why they are important for this role.
Answer Example: “I am the best candidate for this position because I have extensive experience in finance. I’ve been working as a VP of Finance for the past five years, so I am familiar with all aspects of the job. In my previous role, I oversaw all financial decisions and managed a team of five employees. My team and I were responsible for creating budgets, forecasting revenue and expenses, and reporting on financial performance.”
This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills they’re looking for in a VP of Finance. It’s important to show that you have these skills, but it’s also helpful to explain what they are and why they’re important.
Answer Example: “I think the most important skills for a VP of Finance are financial management, budgeting and forecasting. These skills allow me to manage the company’s finances effectively, ensure we have enough money to run operations and make accurate predictions about future revenue. I also think communication skills are important because they allow me to communicate with other departments and stakeholders about our finances.”
This question can help the interviewer get a better sense of how you handle challenges in your work. Use examples from previous roles that show you can make decisions independently, are willing to challenge authority when necessary and have a track record of success when it comes to financial management.
Answer Example: “In my last role as VP of finance for a small business, we were facing some challenges with our accounting software. The vendor was no longer supporting the product, which meant we would have to switch to a new system. This would require us to re-enter all of our data into the new system, which would take months of work. I discussed the options with my manager, who decided to hire an outside contractor to help us transition to the new system.”
Interviewers ask this question to see how you handle conflict and work with others. They want to know that you can collaborate with your team members and resolve issues quickly. In your answer, explain the situation, why it was difficult and what you did to solve it.
Answer Example: “I had a colleague who was always late to meetings, which made it difficult for me to plan my agenda ahead of time. I tried talking to her about it, but she didn’t seem to understand the importance of being on time. So, I started setting an alarm on my phone five minutes before each meeting to remind myself to start it early. This helped me be ready when she arrived late. Eventually, she started arriving early too.”
This question can help the interviewer determine your level of knowledge about their company’s financial data. It’s important to show that you’ve done your research before the interview, so be sure to read through the company’s most recent annual report or financial statements before you arrive.
Answer Example: “I am very familiar with your company’s financial data. I have been working as a VP of Finance for a similar company for the past five years, so I am well-versed in all aspects of accounting and finance. In fact, I have been responsible for creating many of the company’s financial policies and procedures.”
This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your work ethic and how you plan to improve their company. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a few things that are currently lacking in the company’s finance department and explain how you plan to fix them.
Answer Example: “My first priority would be to create a better system for tracking expenses. Right now, our team has to manually enter all their spending into a spreadsheet, which is time-consuming and prone to error. I would like to implement an expense tracking software that will make reporting expenses easier for everyone. This will also allow me to better analyze our spending habits and find ways to save the company money.”
This question is a great way for the interviewer to assess your knowledge of the company’s financial situation and how you plan on improving it. Your answer should include a few steps that you plan on taking to reduce the risk of bankruptcy for this company.
Answer Example: “I believe that one of the best ways to reduce our risk of bankruptcy is by implementing an effective budgeting system. I plan on creating a budgeting team that will create a monthly budget for each department in the company. This will allow us to track our spending and make adjustments if we start to exceed our budget. Another way I plan on reducing our risk of bankruptcy is by implementing an automated accounting system. This will allow us to track our revenue and expenses more accurately, which will help us make better financial decisions.”
This is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you’ve done your research and that you’re interested in the position. It’s also an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the company or the role.
Answer Example: “I’d like to know more about the company’s culture, especially as it relates to the VP of Finance position. I’m excited about this opportunity and would like to make sure it’s a good fit for me.”
The economy is always changing, and it can have a big impact on businesses. The interviewer may ask this question to see how you think about the future and how you can help their company prepare for changes in the economy. In your answer, try to show that you are a forward-thinker who can help their company grow even when there are challenges.
Answer Example: “I think we will see some changes in the next year due to the economy. I believe that we should focus on increasing our revenue streams rather than cutting costs. This way, we can still grow our business even if there are fewer customers. I also think we should look into new marketing strategies that could help us reach new customers.”
The interviewer may ask this question to assess your ability to maintain accurate financial data. Use examples from past experiences where you implemented systems or processes that ensured the accuracy of financial reports or data.
Answer Example: “I understand the importance of having up-to-date financial data, so I will take steps to ensure that all data is accurate at all times. First, I will ensure that all accounting transactions are recorded accurately and in a timely manner. I will also make sure that all financial reports are generated on time and reflect accurate information. In addition, I will ensure that all employees are trained on how to use the system properly so they enter accurate information. Finally, I will create an internal audit team that will regularly review the company’s finances to ensure everything is in order.”
The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your leadership skills and how you plan to motivate the finance team. Use examples from past experiences where you motivated teams to achieve goals or complete projects successfully.
Answer Example: “I believe that motivation comes from within, so I try to create an environment where my team members feel valued and appreciated. I also encourage collaboration by allowing them to share their ideas and giving them the opportunity to learn from each other. In my last role, we had a goal of reducing expenses by 5% within six months, and I motivated my team by offering prizes for the person who could find the most ways to save money. This motivated them to look for ways to cut costs without affecting customer service.”
The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your ability to work under pressure. Use your answer to highlight a time when you had to complete a project quickly, manage multiple tasks or work with a tight deadline.
Answer Example: “In my last role as VP of Finance for a small startup company, I had to work in a fast-paced environment every day. We were a small team with limited resources, so I had to be creative when it came to finding ways to save money while still providing quality customer service. For example, I implemented a system where we could track our expenses by vendor so we could cut out any unnecessary spending. This helped us save thousands of dollars each month.”