Compliance Job Interview Questions

Compliance Job Interview Questions


The countdown to the EU GDPR directive has now ceased with the 25 May 2018 deadline a fixture in current reality. Now more than ever companies are crying out for compliance officers. From the public to the private domain, organisations need help navigating the maze of laws and regulations, not least the new data protection initiative.

Demand may be high, but candidates looking for jobs in compliance shouldn’t become complacent. Prepare for your interview with the same rigour you plan to bring to the job itself because employers want to see your commitment as you walk through the door.

So as preparation goes, we’ve compiled a list of common questions you’re likely to be asked at your compliance job interview:

Describe your compliance experience.

This may not be the first question off the bat but it’s likely to arise as the interviewer attempts to unveil your particular skillset and whether it applies to a compliance role. If you’re moving from an existing role in compliance, practical experience is important to detail in addition to skills. However, if making a career change then be sure to tap into the transferable skills you possess which make you a suitable fit for a compliance job. Your interviewer is looking for someone with demonstratable leadership skills, clear communication skills both in person and on paper, ethical decision-making and integrity.

Address some of the compliance issues facing our company.

At this point you have the opportunity to show how thoroughly you’ve researched the company thus making a solid first impression. From there you can demonstrate your value-add as you talk about examples of key compliance and ethical challenges the company has faced within the previous 6 months to a year. This type of question also enables you to show how you remain relevant within the compliance space in keeping up with current government regulations. You can also highlight your stance on implementing corporate policies and industry code within the organisation.

What are some of the weaknesses in your current company’s compliance program?

Not an excuse to badmouth or gossip about your previous employer, this question is posed to reveal your strengths, personal contributions and accomplishments. Use this moment to show how you’ve been an asset to your current company in identifying areas of vulnerability. From there you can explain how you have been instrumental in creating a robust compliance program in order to ensure your company is making every effort to comply with all laws, rules and regulations.

Talk about a project you had to complete with limited resources and how you overcame that?

Employers in 2018 need compliance professionals who will work proactively not reactively. This question is designed to elicit an enthusiastic and positive response from you as you recall specific examples of projects you’ve worked on under challenging circumstances.

How would you handle a request by a senior executive intended to violate internal compliance policies?

The why of this question being asked is to assess your ability in dealing with all employees regardless of rank. How do you cope with stressful situations, particularly concerning senior level employees? How effective are you at influencing corporate board members, senior executives and CEOs that an effective compliance program is a priority? In answering this question, you want to demonstrate your ethical tone, your capacity for resilience and your ability to provide different strategies in any number of situations.

What would you bring to our team?

Another way of saying, why should we hire you, this question has one goal and that is finding out who you really are. Do you fit with the corporate culture? Here is where your research about the company will really serve you as you talk about the type of risks they’re currently facing and how you can help combat them once you’re part of their compliance department. Sell yourself. Talk about your education, relevant experience and every skill listed on their job description plus more. Don’t be afraid to give them some insight into your off-duty persona too. Finding common ground and interests or sparking their interest with your non-work life activities may give you the edge over other candidates.

Compliance teams thrive on individuals who have the professional insight, educational credibility and interpersonal skills to do the job to the best of their ability. Keep that in mind as you prepare your answers and nail your compliance job interview.


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