Compliance officers are responsible for ensuring that the company is complying with the rules and regulations. He also checks the company’s internal policy and whether the employees are abiding by the same. Given the growing importance of laws for a company, the importance of compliance officers is increasing. Therefore it becomes important to practice for the compliance officer interview questions. We have collected a list of the most frequently asked questions in the compliance officer interview to help you boost your practice.
Most frequently asked questions in compliance officer Interview
Ques 1: Tell us about yourself.
The demand of the question: This is one of the first questions that you will be asked in whatever interview you go to. It might seem a very easy question but it is important because it casts the very first impression on the interviewer. You have to briefly tell your name, your work, qualifications, and your aspirations for this job. Be confident and try to create a very good impression on the first question itself.
Sample ans: Good morning sir (Always wish the person). My name is ABC. I am a law Graduate from XYZ University. I have worked as the compliance officer for five years and I always look forward to polishing my skills and enhancing my learning. I am passionate about the laws of the country and ensure full dedication in whatever work I do.
Ques 2: what do you know about the compliance officer job?
The demand of the question: The question is theoretical and you need to be thorough with the job and all the duties that you would be required to undertake.
Ans: Sir a compliance officer plays an important role in the company’s legal arena. He makes sure that all the laws are abided by, by the company so that the company does not face any legal action. To take up this career, a law degree is required because without a thorough knowledge of the laws, an officer can’t help the company in its legal matters.
Ques 3: What were your reasons for choosing a compliance officer as your career?
The demand of the question: This is one of the most commonly asked questions because it helps the interviewer to know about your choices and the reasons which persuade you to take up the career. While answering the question, don’t make a fake story nor say that the money drives you. Talk about the requirements of this job and how they match with your interests and how you take interest in the challenges and opportunities offered by this career.
Sample ans: Sir I always had an interest in studying laws and regulations because without complying with the laws of the land, one can’t expect the development of the country and the company. A compliance officer’s job requires in-depth research skills about law and ensuring that the company is complying with the required laws. I decided to take up this career because I get motivated by every legal document I have to check.
Ques 4: If you find an executive going against the company’s code of conduct what would be your response?
The demand of the question: This is a situation-based question. The interviewer wants to check your honesty even if the person violating the rules and norms is senior to you. You have to remain impartial and take proper actions no matter who the person is.
Sample ans: Sir, being a compliance officer, I have to ensure that the rules and regulations are always followed. Therefore any violation of the company’s code of conduct, even by a senior person, would not be entertained. I would take the action as per the policy of the company and report the matter to the concerned authorities.
Ques 5: What according to you are the most important qualities required for a compliance officer?
The demand of the question: You have to list certain skills that a compliance officer must possess. You can even take the help of the job offer letter or your prior experience in the field. Whatever qualities you mention, make sure you are giving proper reasoning for the same as to why the particular quality is important in the career.
Sample ans: Sir according to me, the most important qualities that a compliance officer must possess are
- leadership qualities (because they have to lead the legal policy of the industry),
- communication and ethical decision-making ability (because they have to be impartial and in case of the breach they have to take required action without any bias) and
- High courage and integrity (because their work is often confidential and if they easily come under the influence of the seniors they will be at disadvantage).
- Besides this, they must be able to comprehend the laws of the land properly and be able to find ways to ensure a balance between the company’s interests and the laws.
Ques 6: Why do you want to work with our company’s compliance department?
The demand of the question: Through this question, the interviewer wants to check whether you are genuinely interested in the company or applied in-impromptu. Therefore, to show your willingness to work for the company, it is crucial to read about the company in advance from its website, social media handles, newspaper articles, etc. You should list down the positive points of the company that made the place employee-friendly.
Sample ans: Sir I have researched the company’s policies and values and I found that the goals align with my values. I have always tried to find a company where the company employers are willing to give this autonomy to the employees to put forth their thoughts and your company is one of those few companies that discuss its policies with its employees and seek their opinion. Also, your company has always given primacy to loyalty and integrity which is something intrinsic to my character. Therefore I felt aligned with the company and decided to apply for this post.
Ques 7: What according to you are the criteria for evaluating the success of your compliance job?
The demand of the question: The interviewer wants to know your opinion on the kind of success that you want in this compliance job. This means that he wants to see what goals you set for yourself while working as a compliance officer which you have to achieve. You can answer this question by dividing your goals into two parts: short-term (daily goals) and long-term goals that will have an impact on overall development. You can also talk about the strategies for achieving the same.
Sample ans: Sir to evaluate the success of my work, I first keep some goals for the day, week, and month on which I can assess my performance. For instance, if my supervisors have assigned some work to me, I’ll divide it into small goals and make sure that I am achieving the same by the deadline set by me. At the end of the task, I see whether I was able to apply all the best possible methods for its performance and understand the scope for improvement.
Ques 8: Have you ever faced a situation where you had to make a decision that you think would make others unhappy, but the circumstances required that decision? How do you deal with such situations?
The demand of the question: The question wants to assess your problem-solving skills and how you try to convert even an undesirable work into desirable. You would be required to make some unpopular decisions in your career which might make others unhappy but as a compliance officer, you will do anything to prevent any non-adherence to laws. So you must be bold enough to take some unpopular decisions if they are in the interest of the firm.
Sample ans: Yes sir, there have been situations where a much-required decision for the company was not liked by all. But given the importance of that decision in the company’s welfare, I went ahead to take it. My approach was to show the positive points of that decision and how it would impact the overall growth of my fellow workers and the company. In this way, I try to ensure that every decision is complied with even if some people are not happy about that.
Ques 9: What according to you are the most overpowering weaknesses in your personality that you need to work upon?
The demand of the question: Every person has some strengths and weaknesses. So the interviewer wants to check your honesty in what you feel is your weakness. Never say that I am a perfect person and don’t have any weaknesses. You can talk about a weakness that is not related to the work or job profile as it would not lower your chances of selection.
Sample ans: Sir I am a workaholic person and until I am done with the task at hand I can’t focus on other things. Therefore I am trying to balance between my work and personal life and ensure that nothing is compromised.
Ques 10: What would be your preferable work hours? Can you work extra time, if required?
The Demand of the question: The question is asked to check your suitability for the timings of the job. You should be ready to give some extra time to your work in case of an emergency. If you have some prior commitments, you can calmly tell the interviewer your preferred working hours. If you don’t have any timing issues, you can simply say that you have flexible work hours.
Tip: Make sure that you are clear about the timings in advance. If you start making timing excuses just after joining, it will create a bad impression.
Sample ans: Sir I am flexible with the timings and willing to work at the company specified hours. If required, I can work for some extra hours.
Ques 11: Mention certain problems that according to you are encountered in the compliance officer job?
The demand of the question: Every career has some attractions and inherent problems. So through this question, the interviewer wants to check what according to you the major problems with a compliance office job are. You can mention a few from your experience so far. Never say that you had a problem with some employees and management in the previous job as it can cast a negative impression.
Sample ans: Sir according to me, the major problem for a compliance officer is to make sure that the employees are complying with the law, whether it is a senior or a junior. In the case of a senior, it might become difficult to say them to follow the required norms as they might get offended. But a good compliance officer will work out between respect to seniors and ensuring integrity at the workplace.
Ques 12: Tell me about a work that you feel is the most rewarding and memorable work in your entire journey of a compliance officer job.
The demand of the question: This is a personal question and can vary from person to person. You have to tell about an experience from previous jobs where you had accomplished something with hard work and the moment became everlasting for you. Make sure that you are telling the reason why it is so impactful for you because it will help the interviewer understand your potential.
Sample ans: one of the most memorable experiences so far was when I and my team were required to check a document that required application and understanding of several laws. The task was challenging but we divided the work and laws and set some timelines. The whole process of discussing with the teammates about the possible solutions, helping them in their part, and then celebrating the small accomplishments in the process of reviewing helped me in expanding my knowledge.
In the end, we completed the task a week before the deadline and the supervisor was very happy with the task. Given the hard work we had put in, the appreciation and the reward would always be a memorable experience for me.
Ques 13: Motivation is required for giving your best to the work. But often we see employees getting demotivated due to several reasons? So, what strategy would you observe for motivating your teammates?
The demand of the question: Through this question, the interviewer wants to check your motivating and persuasion skills. You have to show that you keep all the teammates together and try to understand any problem that they are going through that might lead to demotivation. Based on that you try to motivate them by telling them about the importance of the work at hand and how it will help in the overall growth of the company and the employees.
Sample ans: Sir I understand that demotivation can be witnessed. Therefore I set small achievable goals for the team that can give them a sense of accomplishment and they can feel motivated. My first approach is to explain to them why this project matters for the company and how it would help in their overall development.
Also, if some of my colleagues are feeling demotivated due to some personal reason, I would try to understand the same and solve the problem as much as possible. Also, I would hold interactive meetings between the teammates so that they can get motivated by the achievements of other team members.
Ques 14: Why do you think you are a suitable person for this job?
The demand of the question: This is a very important question because it gives you an important opportunity to showcase your potentials and skills that will make you a suitable candidate for the job at hand. So use this opportunity well and be familiar with the job requirements and match them with your personality.
Sample ans: Sir I think that I am a suitable candidate for this job because of the job requirements. I have experience of five years in this field which gives me a thorough knowledge of the laws and helped me develop many required skills for the job. I also possess in-depth research skills that would help me to ensure that the company is complying with all applicable laws. Also, I am a hard-working and diligent person and proved my capabilities in the previous jobs also. Therefore I can contribute to the fullest to this job.
Ques 15: Give an example of your persuasion skill.
The demand of the question: Persuasion is a very important part of this job. Therefore the interviewer might want to check your persuasion skills. You have to give an example from your previous job and tell why a need for persuasion arose and how you managed to effectively persuade the teammates or the seniors for the required task.
Sample ans: In the previous job, I had a differing opinion from my senior about a policy. The policy he was envisaging could do more harm to the company. Therefore I came up with an alternative policy. He was adamant to go with his policy but I tried to explain all the problems with that proposal and how it would lead to harm rather than improvement. After hours of negotiation and interaction, I was able to persuade him to change the policy.
Ques 16: In your compliance officer experience so far, what were your strategies for reducing the costs and time wastage of the company?
The demand of the question: Time and money management are crucial for a company and every officer is required to help the company in the same. Therefore the interviewer wants to know if you can help the company in saving costs and whether you have helped the previous institutions in the same. You have to tell the interviewer that you give importance to saving costs and time wherever possible. Try to give an example from a previous job where your plan helped the country to save costs.
Sample ans: Yes sir, I always try to take steps for saving the costs and the precious time of the company. In the previous job, the company was using a manual system for checking all the legal documents which led to heavy costs and time wastage. So I devised a strategy through which the tasks were effectively divided and this led to saving of time, costs and provided more accuracy to the whole process.
Ques 17: What do you think are the major positive points about this company that help it gain an edge over its competitors?
The demand of the question: Through this question, the interviewer wants to see whether you know enough about the company, its positive points, its competitors, and how you became interested in working with the company. So it’s advised that you read about the company’s policy and major competitors in advance.
Sample ans: Sir according to me the best part about your company which makes you better than your competitors is that you are always committed to improving the quality of your projects. Unlike your competitors who try to hide the criticism, your company works on it and tries to do well next time so that the customers can find better quality every time. This trait of your company to take into account even the criticism has helped you establish brand loyalty and make a strong customer base, which is missing in the competitors.
Ques 18: What are your salary expectations from this job?
Way of answering: This is one of the trickiest questions because quoting a high price would reduce your chances of selection and quoting a lower one can impact your salary expectations. Therefore it is always advised to keep it in a bracket say 50-60k rather than quoting a single value. Also, you should try to research the average payment given to the employees working in similar roles in the same area.
If you are still unsure of what to say, you can simply tell the interviewer that your job requirements are negotiable.
Ques 19: How can a company improve its compliance policy or code of conduct so that it is enforced in a better manner?
The demand of the question: Through this question, the interviewer wants to see whether you have some good strategies for making the legal policies of the company better. You can also give some examples from your previous job where you have helped the company in improving the code of conduct for better enforcement.
Sample ans: Sir according to me if we want to make the company’s policy more enforceable, we have to make it accessible to all the employees because unless they know the code of conduct, how would they comply with it. We can have an interactive session where these policies can be explained to the employees in an easy tone and their doubts can be entertained. Also, it is important that the violators are treated fairly and there are effective safeguards for reporting the breach of the policy.
Ques 20: Do you want to ask any questions from us?
This is often the last question but you should try to ask certain questions rather than saying that you don’t have any. This will show your interest in the company and the job and make the conversation more interactive. Also, it is a good chance to get your doubts answered. Try to avoid questions based on your pay scale, benefits of the job, posting place, etc. Some of the potential questions that you can ask from the interviewer are:
- What according to the interviewer are the most important traits of a suitable candidate for the compliance officer job?
- What opportunities does the company offer for the growth of the employees?
- What according to them would be required to grow in this role?
- What would be a typical day in this company as per their experience?
- What kind of work environment can one expect in the company? Etc.
End your answer with a ‘Thank you and try to emphasize constructive feedback from the interviewers which will help you do better in other job interviews in the future.
Compliance officer interviews are conducted to test your suitability and see whether you can have an impact on the overall legal policy of the company. You should show yourself as a confident and honest person who will ensure proper compliance with the policies of the company. Practice the questions given above to understand the kind of questions you can expect. Also, if you feel doubtful about some answer, you can take ten seconds and construct the answer in your mind. But don’t give a wrong answer in haste.
Stay calm and you will go to the interview.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Ques1: What are the approximate earnings of a compliance officer?
Ans: The average salary of a compliance officer is usually 68000 USD. It can reduce to 60k USD based on the company or go as high as 85k Usd as your experience increases.
Ques 2: What are the major themes on which compliance officer interview questions are based?
Ans: The questions are mostly aimed at testing your personality and experience. Some of the most frequently asked questions are given above. Besides them, be prepared for the questions based on your experience, qualifications, teamwork skills, tools that should be used in this job, interpersonal skills, etc.
Ques 3: What is the major benefit of taking up a compliance officer job?
Ans: a. You have a better work-life experience
b. You can coordinate with different departments and not be confined to a single area
c. You can even work from home.
d. You earn a good amount of money and you have good knowledge of laws.
Ques 4: what are some of the cons of a compliance officer job?
Ans: a. you need to have an interest in reading about laws and current developments
b. you might have a problem working overseas because different countries have different compliance rules.
c. Others might get annoyed with you because you have to constantly tell them to abide by laws.
d. chances of growth are less and the job role remains almost the same even after several years in the industry.