Risk management professionals monitor and analyze the myriad risks that a company faces, whether they are technological, operational, financial or systemwide. It's up to risk managers to assess the effectiveness of existing risk management processes and make any necessary changes. Recruiters are on the lookout for more than someone with technical know-how; they want to see risk management candidates who demonstrate an ability to deal with different personalities and work well on the fly.
Certain interview questions for risk managers are basic bread-and-butter ones involving your educational background and experience. For a risk management role, five to seven years of experience or a master's degree in business administration are preferred, according to financial career portal Efinancialcareers. Every interview can have its curve balls. For a risk management position, you don't want to be thrown off by a question that tests your knowledge of the industry. The question "What do you know about COSO?" is the interviewer's way to gauge whether you have a solid grasp of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission and the best-practices framework for assessing a company's internal controls.
The Big Picture
While an interviewer may ask you technical questions about valuation models or hedging risks in the futures markets, she is also concerned with your ability to handle situations that go outside the bounds of your job role. In this way, a recruiter may ask you to describe a time when you had to perform a task outside of your job responsibilities or how you handled a tricky personality from a different department. You should ultimately be able to communicate where your role fits into the overall scheme of the company if you are asked a question about the role of risk management in an organization.
Interview questions may ask you about things you have already done or accomplished, but they can also ask about conjectural situations. "How would you mitigate risk in Brazil?" might be one question to prepare for. In these scenarios, interviewers will want to see how you handle sensitive situations and get a sense of your management or communication style. Another question related to this assessment might be, "As a risk manager, how would you go about evaluating the risks involved in implementing new green technologies at your firm?"
Some interviewers will try to stump you with a brain teaser or esoteric puzzle, such as, “How do C and Java deal with memory?" or as career website Glassdoor writes, "Write pseudocode for reading in a string mathematical operation (2 + 3 * 6, for example) and calculate it, returning a numeric.” In these cases, getting the answer right is only part of the equation; interviewers will be looking for how you handle pressure and -- even if you do not come up with the solution -- what your problem-solving methodology is.
Timothea Xi has been writing business and finance articles since 2013. She has worked as an alternative investment adviser in Miami, specializing in managed futures. Xi has also worked as a stockbroker in New York City.