Top 3 Interview Questions for a Controller

As someone who runs the finance department, your Controller must be a strong and capable leader.

He or she must be able to train and retain a top-performing team, be highly organized and possess an ability to excel in relationship management.

The role of Controller demands a very unique skill set in the finance world – one where superior communication skills mesh seamlessly with exceptional strategic analysis.

You need the right person for your team. Here are 3 interview questions to help you find the candidate you require.

Can you give us an example of a time when you conceptualized, planned and implemented process improvements? What was the result and how did you create buy-in with both your team and the leadership of the organization?

A great Controller can build business partnerships that create buy-in. They can identify areas where processes are in need of improvement and formulate effective solutions to increase efficiency.

What would be your priorities in your first week in the role?

If the role is open because of growth or evolution, your candidate will need to be able to work successfully in a fast-paced, changing environment. What steps do they take to organize themselves? Who do they choose to talk to in order to fully understand the company’s vision?

Explain a time that you received constructive feedback on a direction you were taking. How did you respond? What did you learn?

This question allows you to see how your candidate responds to constructive criticism. Do they learn and improve? A sign of a strong candidate is their ability to grow and to demonstrate grit and resilience.

While exceptional Excel skills and technical proficiency are part of a great Controller, so too is their ability to build business partnerships, get buy-in, and be responsive to their team and management. It is this type of candidate who will ultimately drive superior outcomes for your company and the one you want to hire.

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