Hiring a Contract Director of Finance? Ask These Questions in Your Interview

Unless you’re filling a maternity leave, or something you’ve had time to plan for, chances are your timeline for hiring a contract Director of Finance is an urgent one.

With this in mind understand that the pool of candidates will be smaller and that it’s unlikely you’ll be able to provide comprehensive onboarding and training.

The result: a prioritization of a candidate who can do the job well, over someone who is the perfect cultural fit.And, since the candidate will have to hit the ground running, you’ll likely need to over hire for the role.

For example, we’ve placed former VPs in Director level contract roles and Managers in Senior Analyst contract positions. Given the established constraints associated with tight timelines, here are some questions that will help you hire a contract Director of Finance who can deliver for your organization.

1) Explain the most unstructured environment you’ve worked in and how you created success.
It’s likely that your candidate will be walking into disorganization. You need someone who has a track record of bringing order out of chaos.

2) Describe a scenario where you were given little to no guidance, but were still held accountable to a very tight timeline on a deliverable. How did you drive results?
With little time for comprehensive onboarding and training, your candidate will need to ramp up quickly and deliver.

3) In an environment where there has been change, for example, sudden turnover or a leader gets sick, how would you stabilize the team and guide them through the challenges that sudden change creates?
The role will demand an ability to lead a team through troubled waters to success. Look for a candidate who has past experience building trust and getting buy-in quickly.

4) Walk me through a time when you had to perform the duties and manage the work load of one of your subordinates. How long did it last? What did you learn?
You want someone who has a willingness to operate at a granular level, to get in the trenches with their team to get the job done.

With the urgency that accompanies hiring a contract Director of Finance you need someone who can stabilize your team, succeed in unscripted scenarios and demonstrate a willingness to lead by example. That’s the kind of contractor that is a true asset to any organization.