37 Questions to Ask in an Interview About Compliance (With Sample Answers)
To get a job as a compliance manager or compliance officer, you might need to know about the job and the industry and be able to talk about specific skills. Interviewers try to figure out how you might fit into their organization by asking you general questions, questions about your experience, and detailed questions about the role. Compliance can set you apart from other candidates and give hiring managers a good impression of you. This article talks about some common interview questions about compliance and gives you some sample answers that you can use to prepare for your own interview.
When hiring a compliance officer, managers often ask candidates a series of general questions. These help them learn more about you as a person and how you might fit into their organization. Some questions might include:
- What makes you the right person for this job?
- Why are you interested in working for us?
- How do you think this job will help you move your career in the direction you want to go?
- When it comes to compliance, what do you think are the most important skills?
- Could you describe your communication style?
- What do you think is your worst flaw?
- Why do you care about following rules?
- How did you hear about our company?
- Why do you think companies need compliance officers?
- How do you think a typical day will go at this job?
Questions about work and history from the past
Recruiters and people in charge of hiring often ask about your past jobs to see how you dealt with different situations. Some background and experience questions are:
- What was the most difficult thing you had to do to follow the rules?
- What did you do when someone didn’t follow the rules?
- When did you need to work with people from other parts of the company?
- How have you handled problems with privacy?
- How have you ranked the importance of tasks at your past jobs?
- How have you helped teach rules and regulations to employees?
- Have you ever had to fire someone?
- What do you know about following rules?
- Have you ever worked with people who told on others?
- How do compliance teams handle disagreements?
Interviewers may also ask detailed questions to find out how you would handle certain tasks and what you know. Here are some detailed questions you might expect:
- Could you explain the steps you would take to make sure our organization was in line?
- How would you set up a new way to keep things in check?
- How would you fire someone or tell their manager that they should be fired?
- Could you tell me what makes a good compliance system?
- How would you keep people safe who are honest?
- How would you tell people about a new rule that they need to follow?
- How do you find out about industry standards when you want to do research?
- Describe a time when you had to deal with a risk.
- How should you deal with a first offense?
- How could you do an audit to make sure everything is right?
Sample answers to questions about compliance at an interview
Here are some interview questions and sample answers that can help you get ready for your compliance interview:
1. What would the compliance program for your company look like?
Interviewers might want to know how you would set up and run a program to make sure people follow the rules. Think about mentioning what a compliance program was like at your last job, why it worked, and why it’s important.
Example: “The laws and rules we have to follow right now will be the basis for our compliance program. If we look at these carefully, we’ll know where to focus our attention. At my last job, we set up system controls to make sure we had automated compliance flags and four random compliance checks a year. We’ll also do a survey of employees to make sure that compliance measures don’t make it harder for them to do their jobs well.”
2.What did you do when you disagreed with someone about following the rules?
Interviewers may ask how you handled certain problems at previous jobs to see how you might handle them at their company. To answer this question well, talk about a time you had a disagreement, how you handled it, and what happened as a result.
Example: “At the company I used to work for, we had a very strict policy about following rules. One mistake got them a warning, and two got them fired. During an audit, I found that one employee wasn’t following our policy on customer data, so I gave them a warning. During the next audit, we found that they were still not following the rules, so I told their manager that they should be fired. Even though it’s not always easy, it’s important for legal and moral reasons to make sure people follow the rules.”
3. Have you been trained or certified in compliance?
Some jobs may require training or certification in certain areas, like finances or following the law. This is a question an interviewer might ask to find out more about any relevant training or certifications you have.
Example: “Yes. Last year, I became a CCEP, or Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional. This taught me a lot about the legal and moral rules that businesses have to follow and why they’re important. At my last job, I took a six-week course on medical compliance, which wasn’t a certification, to make sure I knew how our organization worked and what its rules were.”
4. When you got a new job in compliance, what would you do first?
Unlike more general questions about your knowledge and experience with compliance, this question can show the interviewer what specific steps you might take if you were to take on a compliance role. In your answer, tell what steps you might take and why they are important.
Example: “First, I would take a close look at how we follow the law now and what legal needs we have. This can help us figure out if there are any holes we need to fill right away or if any laws have changed that could change how we do things. Then I would think of things we could do, like system controls or manual checks, to make sure we were in compliance.”
5. What is a common problem that businesses like ours have with compliance?
When interviewers ask this question, they want to know what you know about the field and what you can bring to their company. Refer to a common problem you may have dealt with at a previous job and explain how you think companies can fix it.
Example: “I think two of the biggest problems in health care are data breaches and ransomware. Many health care facilities could save money on lawsuits and make sure our information is safe and legal if they spent money on technology that would protect patient data better.”
6.What makes you a good compliance officer?
This question is asked during an interview to learn more about you and what you think makes a good compliance officer. Talk about specific skills you have and how they will help you do well in the job to give a good answer.
Example: “I think I’m a good compliance officer because I pay close attention to every detail before making decisions about compliance rules or sending out warnings. It’s important for me to understand these small details and the company’s larger compliance goals so I can learn more about why each rule is important. I also know how the business really works, how to look at risks, and how to apply the law to the way we do things.”
7.What would you do if the boss of your company didn’t follow the rules?
Interviewers might ask how you would handle some high-profile compliance issues. In your answer, explain how everyone must follow the rules and how you make sure everyone is held accountable.
Example: “Everyone in the organization should know how important it is to follow the rules, but especially the top leaders. It’s hard to deal with if that doesn’t happen. It can be hard to hold senior management accountable, but I would tell them what they did wrong and what we should do as a result. In a similar situation at my last job, I called in other executive leaders to help make sure the person who wasn’t following the rules knew what would happen because of what they did.”