Have you ever wondered about all the Possible Questions to Ask a Chief Financial Officer during your interview or in general? Have you ever felt the need to push yourself or stop yourself from asking a question?
Well, say no more.
Preparing for interviews can be hard and it can act as a nightmare sometimes. But, it doesn’t have to scare or intimidate you. It can be all flowers and no thorns.
In this article, you will find everything you need to know about a Chief Financial Officer, what to ask them, how and why to ask those questions, and at last, the conclusion.
Chief Financial Officer
The Chief Financial Officer, typically, is someone who looks over and is responsible for every financial aspect of the company. The CFO is responsible, starting from- financial planning to financial reporting, and everything that comes in between. Where some people have the title of a CFO, others might also be known as CFOO, that is, Chief Financial and Operating Officer.
When we talk about who the CFO reports to, the answer is- CEO and the board of directors. The CFO of the company also usually has a seat on the board.
Apart from being responsible for the company’s finances, the CFO of the company is also the financial spokesperson for the same.
Not to forget, the COO is assisted by the CFO of the company for managing the finances, fundings, financial analysis, and budget planning.
Questions to ask the company’s CFO and why, if you are the company’s owner
- The Cash Position of your company/organisation.
- No matter how big or small your company is, there will always be ups and downs. And it is always good to have constant more ups, than downs.
- To get those ups and make a game plan, you have to know your cash position.
- It is smart of you if you engage with your CFO in terms of the cash position.
- Ask about the most important metric, your company has, in their opinion.
- Your CFO knows the ABCs of your company’s finances and it is always a good idea to ask them about the same in their opinion so that they can be transparent about it and tell you everything you need to know.
- In light of the fact stated above that every company has its share of ups and downs, and that It is always good to have more ups, it is safe to say that you should know what exactly brings you those ups.
- In every business, some key metrics bring success to the company. You should just know what that key metric is, and voila, you are good to go.
- What should we spend money on, next?
- After you have discovered your key metric, it is time that you create a game plan.
- Ask your CFO about what you should spend your capital on next so that the company runs smoothly and brings more success to it.
- What does the future of the company looks like, say, in the next 5 years?
- This helps you understand the past, present, and future of the company. It helps make your game plan and put it in motion.
- By asking this question, you get a better understanding of what and where you need to invest, your debts, loans, what to start doing, what not to do further, et cetera.
Questions to ask while interviewing a CFO and why?
- Ask them about their understanding of what the company does.
- Their understanding of the work of the company, helps you realize the amount of time they have spent on the research about the same.
- Ask them about their goals.
- You should be aware of their goals before you make them an employee in your company.
- This helps see where the candidate’s motivation and ambition lie at.
- Ask them about what they think is the key to a successful budget.
- This helps the employer(you) get an understanding of the candidate’s knowledge of the industry.
- The answer to this question also shows if the candidate will be good enough to be able to gain success for the company.
- Ask them to pitch you the same way they would, in a sales meeting.
- In most cases, candidates don’t count the possibility of getting asked such a question and it comes out as a surprise to them. So, when they are unprepared and still comes up with a great response, it shows their intellect creativity, which by the way, is very important.
- Ask them if they have ever been in a situation where they were the problem-finder and solver as well.
- This shows if they are capable enough to identify a problem and then find a solution for the same.
- If the candidate takes too much time to think about an answer, it either shows that they are slow or that they are making up a story.
- Ask them that if they could change one thing about the company, what would it be?
- It shows if they can look at the bigger picture or if they are only in for the small wins.
- It also shows if they are responsible enough to be given the title of a CFO in your company.
- Ask them about their short as well as long-term goals.
- This helps you see and get an understanding of what they desire. This shows their skills of planning too.
- You can even ask them after this about the problems they face and how they stop them to reach their goals.
- Ask them about their accomplishments so far.
- This gives you a better understanding of what the candidate is good at and if they will be an asset as a CFO in the company or not.
- Ask them why did they leave their previous company.
- This tells you what the candidate expects from the company they want to work at.
- It also tells that how serious they are about working in an environment they like.
- Ask them about how they keep up with the industry news.
- This shows if they keep up with the news or not, and how.
Questions to ask a CFO in an interview as a candidate and why?
- How has the financial status been like of the company in the past?
- Asking these questions would help you understand more specifically how well the company is in terms of its wealth and what are the chances of its acquired success.
- What is the working environment and how well does the finance team cooperate?
- This gives you an understanding of the type of team you will be working with and then you can figure out for yourself if you want to work in that particular environment or not.
- Tell them about your expectations from the company and ask if it will be able to fulfill them?
- This not only tells the CFO about your expectations but also, helps you understand from the answer you get if the company is a good fit for you or not.
Salary of a CFO
The job of a CFO is a job with many perks and an amazing reputation. Although it is a job that requires hard work and long hours of serious dedication, it serves one well.
The average salary of a CFO in the United States is $134,108 per year.
It is commonly asked whether a CEO gets paid more or a CFO, and the answer is- even though the CEO comes at a higher rank, the CFO gets paid more. According to statistics, the average salary of a CEO in the United States is $115,809 per year.
Growth as a Chief Financial Officer in the United States
The Chief Financial Officer is very important for any company, whether big or small. Without it, it is extremely difficult for a company to run smoothly.
The demand for CFOs is more than ever. With everyone starting their start-ups and the hype it has created, demand for roles like CFO, CEO, COO has also hyped up.
The CFO is one of the topmost officers acquired in a company and one of the topmost reputed too. You are lucky if you get a job as one.
Qualifications required to be a Chief Financial Officer
- Most CFOs have one of the following finance qualifications:
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Master of Science (Finance/Accounting)
- Certified Public Accountant
- Chartered Financial Analyst.
Qualities a CFO should have
- Following are some of the must-have qualities of a CFO:
- Knowing how to deliver bad news without blame games
- Knowing how to deliver good news and giving credits
- Viewing themselves as a team member
- Should know to give attention to details
What should one know about the company as a CFO
- As a CFO of the company, you should know the following about the same:
- The shareholders
- Every employee
- The customers
- The product
- The operations
- Vendors and suppliers
Pros and Cons of being a Chief Financial Officer
- Higher Salary Rate: It is no lie that CFOs get paid a good, huge amount of money for the work they do and you are lucky if you are a CFO because it not only helps you pay your rents but also helps you pay for your wants.
- Respect and Prestige: The higher your job level is, the higher level of respect you get and respect are extremely very important for anyone not only as an employee but as an individual as well.
- Higher Responsibility: As a CFO, you have a lot of responsibilities to take care of and since every financial aspect is under your watch, you need to prioritize your work and get everything done accordingly.
- Accountability: There will be times when you will have to face failure as a team, but you have to be counted accountable for that as the team leader.
Being a CFO is, without a doubt, an amazing job. It may require a lot of hard work, dedication, seriousness, et cetera, but at the end of the day- your hard work pays off.
You get to learn a lot of skills and qualities during this job and you gain experience like no other!
You grow, not only as a CFO but as an individual too. This job makes you a master of numbers and leadership.
If you aspire to be a CFO, make a mindset to be the best in the city. A CFO that every company wants and you are the ones to decide where to work.
You get truckloads of respect and people always see you as an asset. People look up to you for advice and your suggestion like you are their mentor.
Not to forget, there are a hell of lot of perks of being a CFO since it is a job at such a high level. The salary of a CFO is unparalleled and they surely deserve this huge salary. As a person with a job at such a level, you are also expected to treat others with compassion and show integrity. At this level, you can either be on everyone’s hate list, or everyone will either be head over heels in love with you. It depends on you.
Pro tip: It is always good to have people love you than hate you.
Overall, if you are lucky enough to be a Chief Financial Officer at a company, no matter how big or small, you are truly blessed and your hard work till now pay-ed off. Do not let this opportunity slip away.
And here ends your CFO guide, folks. See you next time.