Best Interview Questions for Nonprofit CFO Candidates

Best Questions for Nonprofit CFO Candidates

Best Interview Questions for Nonprofit CFO Candidates

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Looking for the best candidate in any job search can prove to be a difficult task. For nonprofits, looking for their next Chief Financial Officer can be somewhat difficult, as it is a crucial role that requires plenty of qualifying experience and a track record of success. Most organizations know exactly the type of candidate they are looking for. After implementing different recruitment strategies, you’re able to narrow your candidate pool down to a few very qualified individuals with the skills to be the financial leader of your organization. The interview process is a great way to find out more about each candidate and truly see if they fit your organization and your mission. In this article, we will share some of the best common interview questions and some of the best interview questions for nonprofit CFO candidates.

What does a CFO do for a nonprofit?

The responsibilities of a nonprofit CFO include managing the day-to-day accounting and financial operations of the organization, developing budgets and revisions as needed. They also provide a direct report on financial results and issues to the CEO or Executive Director, as well as the Board of Directors. They are the individual that oversees and reviews the preparation of all program financial reporting and the organization’s banking activity. They also make sure that all employee benefit programs are cost efficient and look at approaches to lower costs where possible.

Related | How to Prepare for your Nonprofit CFO Interview | Read Here

Best Interview Questions for Nonprofit CFO Candidates

When interviewing your candidates, you want to ask engaging questions that will help you identify their abilities and their individual skills when it comes to the position. As the interviewer, want to ask questions that will help you and the rest of the management team assess their hard and soft skills, as well as their behavioral intelligence. Here are some of the best questions to ask during the interview.

General Questions

General questions are always a great way to open up the interview process. Some of the best general questions for a nonprofit CFO interview to ask are:

  • What philanthropists do you admire or look up to?
  • What are your current goals in life at a personal and professional level?
  • What previous volunteer experiences do you have?
  • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are you doing to make the world a better place?

These questions allow you to get a good sense of the candidate’s personality, values, and their interest in the nonprofit sector based on their answers. You’ll also learn how they think, what motivates them, and whether or not they are willing to take risks and challenge themselves.

Experience & Background Questions

These questions are a way to gain a better understanding of the candidate’s career up to this point, their previous experience, their overall skills, and their qualifications for the position with your organization.

  • Can you explain how most nonprofits receive their funding?
  • Explain a typical day at your previous employer.
  • How would you describe your leadership or management style?
  • What did you enjoy the most/least about your previous role?
  • Tell me how you organize, plan, and prioritize your work.
  • What tools do you use to keep your work or projects organized?

The answers to these questions can help build you thorough understanding of how the candidate operates on a day-to-day basis, what their knowledge or experience of the nonprofit sector is, and what type of leader they would be in their role.

Related | How to Write A Job Description for a Nonprofit Executive Director | Read Here

Position Specific Questions

These interview questions are centered more around the specific responsibilities of the nonprofit CFO position. These will help determine if the candidate is capable of making crucial decisions for the organization and discuss specific scenarios where they can apply their skills.

  • When is a time you successfully organized a diverse group of people to accomplish a task?
  • What is an experience you had in which you advised management on an accounting issue with good results?
  • What is a form or manual you prepared to help benefit accounting or bookkeeping personnel?
  • What strategies would you use to motivate yourself?
  • What strategies would you use to make sure our donors our satisfied?
  • Explain the strategies you would use to help our organization secure more funding?
  • What factors do you take into account when developing a financial strategy?
  • How do you approach annual budgeting?
  • How would you communicate bad news to the Board of Directors?
  • If a direct report was not up to your performance expectations, how would you handle the situation?

Other Important Questions to Ask Your Candidate

  • How do you plan to help our organization achieve our goals/mission? Nonprofits are looking for goal-oriented and mission-driven candidates. For the nonprofit CFO, their role is extremely important to how the organization can operate and achieve their goals.
  • Give us an example of when you had to think outside the box to accomplish a task or goal. How did it help your previous employer? Find out if the candidate has strong problem-solving skills and how they can offer and execute certain strategies for your organization.

Scion Nonprofit Executive Search can help you find your next nonprofit CFO candidate!

Scion Nonprofit Executive Search is an executive search firm that has conducted thousands of executive searches for nonprofits around the globe, including for nonprofit CFOs. We have a team of nonprofit specialized consultants that help organizations and candidates find their respective perfect matches. Finding candidates in critical roles like a CFO in the nonprofit sector can be difficult. We have a thorough process to make sure our clients see qualified candidates and help them land with the right organization to change them forever. If you want to start a search today, contact one of our industry expert recruiters today and start the dialogue today!