Your resume and cover letter present your achievements and qualifications. During your interview, however, you will need to answer questions designed to probe your fitness for the position and to get information about your character that is not necessarily apparent from your list of credentials. You can expect your interview to include industry-specific financial services operations manager interview questions. Preparation is essential if you want to impress potential employers and get the job, giving you the confidence you need to answer questions comprehensively and without hesitation.
One of the best ways to prepare for an interview is to think of likely questions and prepare informative, well-thought-out answers. To help you get started, we have compiled some typical financial services operations manager interview questions together with sample answers, which you can use as a springboard for responses that reflect your own characteristics, knowledge and experiences.
5 Financial Services Operations Manager Interview Questions & Answers
1. Can you tell me about a time when you improved your company's organizational framework?
As a financial service operations manager, I was responsible for several departments, including finance, accounting and fundraising. I worked to eliminate inefficiencies in communications and record-keeping between departments by acting as a liaison with other departments, such as IT and Human Resources, in order to maintain accurate and consistently updated records throughout. I worked with IT to create a streamlined database that was able to cross reference with the company's other internal systems while maintaining appropriate security protocols. As a result, I discovered and was able to eliminate several sources of systemic redundancy and inefficiency.
2. What steps do you take to ensure an optimal budget?
I work with others in my company's leadership team to outline the company's financial and business goals, both for the coming year and in the long term. I base my budget on these goals as well as on the company's current financial situation and projections for short- and long-term expenditures and revenues. A large part of coming up with a suitable budget is working with all departments in order to have comprehensive and accurate information.
3. Have you ever had a serious conflict with another team member? How did you resolve it?
At one time, I had a fairly substantial disagreement with another member of the organizational team. We had conflicting views about whether a certain investment would further our company's financial goals and whether it was consistent with our long-term organizational mission. I listened carefully to her arguments and, in turn, conducted further research to determine whether my initial position was strongly supported. Eventually, we were able to reach a compromise and agree on a course of action that we could both support as being best for the company.
4. Please describe some ways in which you have worked with other departments to achieve financial goals.
One department that I often work closely with is the legal team. Making decisions that affect the business and financial operations side of our company often involves questions of legal expertise. Many business decisions fall into this category. Questions of taxation, licensing, copyrights, antitrust statutes and corporate structure often need the input of both finance experts and legal professionals. In turn, the legal department often needs further clarification in respect to the operations of particular financial instruments. By collaborating with the legal department, I minimize the risk of legal repercussions from future business and financial decisions while helping the legal team provide comprehensive and accurate legal advice.
5. As a financial services operations manager, you have supervisory authority over many employees. Do you find you are able to delegate significant portions of your workload?
As someone in a leadership position, I find that wise and efficient delegation is the best way to get the job done. I have confidence in my team members and believe that they have the expertise and good judgment needed to perform. In my position, I frequently need to rely on information generated by others and to collaborate with team members. When a leader is unable to delegate, other team members are discouraged from showing initiative and the leader ends up taking on an unrealistic workload, which inevitably leads to mistakes and systemic dysfunction. I consider my ability to delegate and utilize the strengths of my team members to be one of my greatest assets as a leader.