1. What value do internal auditors bring to organizations?

There are many values internal auditors bring. Their contributions are valuable as long as managers are happy.

2. How do you manage your stress?

The Compliance Officer's job is stressful, and top professionals need a systematic way of dealing with it. The candidates description of his or her strategies can show you whether they grasp the magnitude of what they are responsible for, and fill in some blanks regarding their lives outside of the office.

3. How can your current company's compliance program be improved?

The answer you get to this question will give you feedback regarding whether the candidate was a good communicator and made policies accessible and easy to apply. Responses may also reveal the ethical tone or culture of his or her current organization.

Will he or she be a good fit at your company? Listen closely to what they complain about it in their current position - and what, if anything, they have done to address it.

Every compliance program can be improved, so rely on this question to evaluate a professional's baseline knowledge of compliance and their ability to make it more robust.

4. Why Should We Hire You as IT Audit & Compliance Specialist?

This is your opportunity to sell yourself. Be clear about how your skills, education and experience match the requirements of the job. It is often best to back up specific skills with real-life examples. Remember to prepare a few insightful and thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer. Questions can be about the job, the company or the team you will be working with in the future.

5. Tell me about your 3 most weaknesses as an auditor?

This is not a stupid question as it may sound. Often we hear "What are your personal weaknesses?" during interviews. This is not really a good question. Smart interviewers are not really interested in your irrelevant personal weaknesses; they try to see what personal weaknesses can be obstacles to your role. So the key phrase here is not "personal weakness", it is "personal weaknesses that can have impact on your duties and work outcome". As a matter of fact, some internal audit works suffer greatly because of the negative personal characters of auditors. Personality and character are important in dealing with clients or auditees.

6. Do You Have Any Professional Compliance Certifications? Do You Plan to Get Any?

The employer is attempting to assess whether you are serious about a career as a compliance officer. Compliance is a field that attracts many people wishing to switch careers and is an attractive area for lawyers. Obtaining compliance designations and certifications shows the employer how committed you are to a profession as a compliance officer.

7. What should happen to someone who violates company's code of conduct and/or compliance policies?

This is a modified "behavioral analysis" question. The purpose of the question is to assess the ethical tone of both the individual and the organization. Generally speaking, the appropriate response should be that those who violate the company's code of conduct or compliance policies should be fired and, if their actions broke the law, criminally prosecuted. While employees may vary in the severity of the punishments they believe appropriate, a pattern of responses that overly minimizes punishments may be indicative of an ethical tone that is not consistent with the company's expectations or desires.

8. What do you believe are the greatest compliance risks facing our industry and our organization?

The ideal candidate has industry knowledge that is both wide and deep. This question will tell you what issues they follow, what sources they read, and how generally informed and inquisitive they are. An insightful response reveals drive and intelligence.

The second half of the question will tell you how prepared they are for the interview. The candidate should have done his or her homework and have something astute to say about your particular company and its place within the industry. Listen carefully.

9. Are you aware of anyone who has not complied with or is not complying with the company's code of conduct and/or compliance policies?

This question is directly associated with the compliance officer's "monitoring" efforts to detect potential criminal conduct as per ยง8B2.1(5) (A) of the USSGs. It can also test compliance by managers and supervisors with internal policies requiring that any complaints from employees concerning compliance or ethics violations be reported to the compliance officer.

10. How Would You Handle a Request by a Senior Executive to Violate a Company's Code of Conduct?

This question is an attempt to assess whether you are comfortable dealing with senior level employees. As a compliance officer, you must convince corporate boards and senior executives, including the CEO, that an effective compliance program is a priority. You must ensure that all employees, regardless of rank, are educated about the risks to the organization of not complying with laws, rules and regulations.

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