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Fintech Human Resources Manager Interview
Questions

26 Questions and Answers by
| Marcie is the principal and founder of CopyHawk, a company that offers editing, writing, and career coaching services. She loves to revamp client resumes so they can land the job of their dreams.

Question 1 of 26

Describe a time you coached someone.

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Fintech Human Resources Manager Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Describe a time you coached someone.

      Fintech HR managers are frequently approached by employees who are seeking guidance and help about various matters. Part of the role is being able to listen attentively and then give accurate and useful advice. If possible, give an example of a time when you were able to do this. Show the interviewer that you are personable, helpful, and caring.

      Marcie's Answer

      "At my last job, many times I acted as a liaison and mediator between management and the employees. This could be challenging at times because the CEO of the small fintech company I worked for wasn't always easy to please. Many times he rubbed people the wrong way. Partly because of my friendly nature and partly because I was one of the few people in the company who didn't take the CEO's actions or words personally, I became the go-to person for employees to come to when they needed to voice their worries and frustrations. Although I guarded my time diligently because I was always busy, I made sure to take the time to talk to anyone who needed it. I listened closely to their side of the story and then I tried to offer different perspectives. I balanced how they felt with the CEO's likely perspective on things. I taught several people not to take his words and actions personally, and it helped them to grow stronger as people and employees."

  2. 2.

    Talk about a time when you dealt with a complex HR issue.

      As a fintech HR manager, you will undoubtedly encounter unusual and complicated issues at times. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of thinking on your feet and effectively problem solving. Consider using the STAR (situation, task, action, result) method to talk about a situation when you successfully dealt with and resolved a problem.

      Marcie's Answer

      "When I first started within my current role at a fintech startup, it came to my attention that most employees of the company weren't being reviewed on a consistent or frequent basis by their managers, which was leading to low morale. Many of the employees didn't feel valued and felt unable to voice their feedback. The lack of consistent performance appraisals also led to an inconsistency in the delivery of raises and bonuses, which naturally frustrated the employees too. Fortunately, they felt comfortable coming to me to talk about these feelings and issues. I scheduled a few private meetings with various managers to relay the feedback I was receiving, and I encouraged them to set up a system so they would be reminded to review their employees on an annual basis. I also helped them set up a process to conduct the performance reviews that included a worksheet with standardized questions and scoring. In the end, the managers began reviewing their employees consistently, which greatly improved employee morale."

  3. 3.

    Tell me how you would handle a job termination.

      Sometimes fintech HR managers are put in the position where they have to make the decision that someone should be fired. Tell the interviewer about the steps you would take leading up to and after a termination.

      Marcie's Answer

      "Making the decision to fire someone is never easy, and there are a lot of steps that lead up to this. I think that, first of all, it's imperative that the company has an employee handbook in place with policies and procedures spelled out in it. This gives us all a place to refer to when there's a question about something. It also makes it clear when someone is violating policies. Second, when an employee's behavior and actions become questionable, it's vital to document these violations and enforce any disciplinary policies that are in place. Clear communication is key so the employee knows what is expected of them. It's also a good idea to initiate a performance improvement plan (PIP) so we can try to get the employee back on track. If this fails and it comes time to terminate the employee, it's my job to know the legal implications of doing so. Finally, I make sure to conduct an exit interview so the former employee is aware of their vacation pay and benefit statuses."

  4. 4.

    What kind of experience do you have with remote hiring processes?

      In today's world, remote hiring is more commonplace as a result of Covid-19. Most interviewers will want to feel assured that you have some knowledge and experience with remote hiring. Talk to the interviewer about how you would conduct a remote interview and also how you would ensure that a candidate has what it takes to work remotely, if needed.

      Marcie's Answer

      "Throughout my career thus far, I've primarily conducted interviews in-person; however, in more recent days, like the rest of the world, I've become more comfortable using programs like Zoom to communicate with others. Recently, I hired a new employee for a remote position and interviewed them remotely as well. The whole process went well. During the screening interview, I spoke to the candidate over the phone and determined that they should move on in the process. Later, I interviewed them, along with some of my colleagues using Zoom, and we made sure to ask remote-specific questions to gauge their ability to remain motivated and undistracted while working from home. Once they were hired, they went through the newly revamped onboarding process that is now all online/remote. So many things that I used to do in-person during the hiring process are now performed, at least temporarily, remotely, and I feel fully comfortable with this."

  5. 5.

    What is your greatest strength?

      The key thing here is to connect whatever attribute or skill you choose to discuss to the HR manager role. You want the interviewer to be able to envision you in the position, so you should highlight a strength that fits the role.

      Marcie's Answer

      "I think my greatest strength is my ability to stay organized no matter how many things fall on my lap. I don't let anything fall through the cracks. There are a lot of steps that go into overseeing and making sure payroll is error-free, ensuring employees are properly enrolled in the healthcare selections of their choice by specific dates, staying on top of PTO accrual, keeping up with multiple job candidates, and so on. If I wasn't able to stay organized, then things would be overlooked or forgotten and there would be negative consequences like an employee not being enrolled in health insurance for the upcoming year or someone being paid the wrong amount. I pride myself on staying on top of everything and being meticulous in my approach so everything is done correctly and completely."

  6. 6.

    Tell me about yourself. Why should we hire you as our HR manager?

      This question provides you with a great chance to sell yourself. Confidently talk about your professional and academic background and experience, in addition to the personality traits and skills you have that will allow you to excel in this position. Be sure to highlight your ability to lead, manage, recruit, interview, and hire.

      Marcie's Answer

      "First and foremost, I'm a person of character who has an impeccable work ethic. I always strive to be fair in all instances. In my past roles, I've gained a wide variety of experience that has made me adaptable and well-rounded. For instance, I'm knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to strategic planning, recruiting, interviewing, hiring, onboarding, and handling payroll and benefits. Being that I'm personable and friendly by nature, I enjoy acting as a liaison between management and employees, and I also enjoy and excel at leading others. I keep abreast of new employment laws and proactively adjust procedures and processes as needed. If you hire me, I will aim to impress you with my attention to detail, organizational and communication skills, and commitment."

  7. 7.

    Discuss a time when you became overwhelmed at work. How did you deal with this?

      HR managers, especially in fintech, are busy people with lots of demands and responsibilities. Inevitably, there are going to be times when you feel overwhelmed. Explain to the interviewer how you plan to remain calm and focused despite all the outside noise. Talk about the methods you use to prioritize your tasks.

      Marcie's Answer

      "I'm the type of person who thrives in fast-paced and high-pressure situations. I always aim to view stress as a positive instead of a negative. When I start to feel stressed, I take a step back for a minute in order to take a few deep breaths. I then think through all the projects and tasks on my plate and prioritize them on paper in terms of deadlines, urgency, and importance. Then I tackle them in order of priority. Instead of spreading myself thin everywhere, I handle individual areas one at a time and check them off my list. I also break down big-ticket items into smaller steps so mentally I don't feel as crazed. Many times, I feel pulled in a million directions when we're in the midst of either renewing or switching the company's health benefits. The employees need hand-holding and explanations, management wants to make sure we're making the best financial decision possible, and there are a million tasks to be handled. I just prioritize and break things down into smaller goals, in addition to sometimes working some extra hours just to make sure everything gets done in the necessary timeframe."

  8. 8.

    What are some questions you would ask me if you were the interviewer?

      If you are hired, it's very likely that one day you will sit in the interviewer's seat yourself to question candidates. Give the interviewer an idea of some of the questions you would ask if you were in this situation. Talk about the techniques and processes you like to use when conducting interviews.

      Marcie's Answer

      "I have interviewed many people before in the past, both over the phone and in-person. I enjoy getting to know the candidate and evaluating whether they would be a good fit for the position or not. When conducting interviews, I do my best to keep things standardized so it's fair between the various candidates. I create an interview scoring sheet with questions so every candidate is asked the same questions and scored according to the same standards. I like to ask some of the common interview questions like, 'what do you know about our company?' and 'why should we hire you over everyone else?' because then I can tell if a candidate is really interested in the job or not based on if they have researched the company and in how they position and sell themselves versus other candidates. I also like to ask scenario and technical questions to see how they would react in certain situations and to test their technical knowledge."

  9. 9.

    In the past, have you ever led any cost reduction efforts?

      Fintech HR managers work on a variety of different projects. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you worked on a project that resulted in reducing costs while also increasing efficiency and output. Use the STAR method (situation, task, action, result) so that you can clearly show how your actions resulted in reduced costs for the company.

      Marcie's Answer

      "I previously worked for a fintech startup that grew substantially in size over the years while I was there. Initially, when the company was small and only hired a few people a year, there wasn't any need to worry about spending money on software to streamline the onboarding process for new hires. I just used an Excel spreadsheet to record the necessary information that was gathered from the new employees when they started. But as we grew, we started to hire new employees more frequently until the responsibility of gathering and recording all the necessary documentation for each new person started to become quite cumbersome. In order to save money and time, I researched and selected a new program that streamlined this whole process for us. The new hires were then able to fill out and save their documentation online without anyone having to email back and forth with them a million times. This also made it easier to set up payroll and retirement savings accounts for them. In the end, this saved the company money because the process was made so much more efficient."

  10. 10.

    What emerging trends are you familiar with in the world of HR?

      Fintech HR managers frequently encounter change. The interviewer might use this question to gauge how well you stay up on HR trends, especially those that may impact the fintech field and their company. Take this opportunity to show that you are knowledgeable and adaptable. Make sure to explain why the trends you mention matter.

      Marcie's Answer

      "The obvious elephant in the room right now is Covid-19. Not only has it impacted how and where people work, but it has also altered the recruiting and hiring processes of companies. I think it's likely that in the coming years more and more interviewing will take place remotely as technology continues to evolve. I also anticipate AI to impact hiring more and more. Right now ATS software focuses primarily on keywords; I think in years to come, AI will refine this, allowing for more contextual connections to be made when resumes are evaluated."

  11. 11.

    What strategies have you used to boost employee retention?

      It's vital that a company be able to hold on to its good employees because high turnover is costly and bad for employee morale. Talk to the interviewer about the strategies you might employ to improve retention at their company.

      Marcie's Answer

      "To start, when I recruit new employees, I seek ones that I feel are a good cultural fit. If the fit is right, there's a much better chance the employee will want to stay with the company long-term. Also, when I interview folks, I ask questions that delve into whether or not this person is looking for a long-term position with the company or not, and I pass over those who aren't. Next, within the company itself, I strive to support internal promotions, ongoing educational opportunities for employees, and clear paths of advancement because they help keep employees happy and loyal. Finally, I also make sure that the benefits we're offering appeal to employees because things like healthcare and retirement account options, flexible work schedules, and generous PTO policies matter to them. I've seen in the past that consistently applying all of these concepts really helps to retain satisfied employees."

  12. 12.

    Tell me about a time when you led an important company initiative.

      In many ways, fintech HR managers serve as change agents. The interviewer wants to establish that you aren't afraid of leading the charge on new initiatives if they will benefit the company. If possible, give an example of a time when you pushed for a new initiative that positively impacted a company.

      Marcie's Answer

      "When I started my last role, the fintech startup I was with didn't have much structure to its hiring processes. Most notably, the company didn't really recruit new hires. Instead, it posted job ads and reactively went through applicant resumes. From prior experience that I had, I was familiar with more advanced hiring tools that would allow us to look for and select qualified candidates to proactively approach about job openings. Rather than spending a ton of time going through unqualified resumes, we could target specific folks who were highly qualified. The tool I preferred to use was LinkedIn Profinder, which isn't inexpensive. So I arranged a trial period for the company and introduced it to management. During the trial period, I was able to bring in multiple qualified candidates who interviewed well, and management started to see the benefits of using the service. Ultimately, the CEO and others gave their approval, so I was able to continue with a paid subscription to LinkedIn Profinder, and over the next quarter we filled several senior-level positions in a timely fashion using this new method."

  13. 13.

    How do you stay organized?

      One thing fintech HR managers need to be is organized because they handle so many important responsibilities. You will want to explain to the interviewer how you manage to stay on top of everything. Talk about the tools and methods you use to stay organized.

      Marcie's Answer

      "I learned early on in my career that in HR, you need to be very organized so nothing falls through the cracks. One of the key things I do to stay on top of everything is to use my online email calendar. I add all meetings to the calendar, in addition to setting alerts so I don't forget deadlines and other important tasks. I also use the calendar to invite and set up meetings with others too. Additionally, I maintain a daily and weekly routine. While unexpected things always arise, keeping to as much of a routine as possible helps me not to forget important tasks and to ensure I have time set aside for things that I need to do. I also recognize the importance of prioritizing and organizing the many emails I receive every day. I do this by flagging important emails and organizing some of them into folders. Using these methods, I'm able to remain organized and efficient."

  14. 14.

    Describe your ideal company culture.

      This question is commonly asked during interviews, no matter the position type, but in this case your answer is doubly important because it not only indicates the kind of company culture you personally prefer but also the kind of company culture you will cultivate as an HR manager. HR managers have the potential to greatly impact the company culture, helping to nurture and drive the direction of it, so the interviewer wants to see if you're a fit with their company. Be honest about your preferences.

      Marcie's Answer

      "Having worked for a number of different companies throughout my career thus far, including tiny startups and larger corporations, I view myself as adaptable and open to various company cultures. Having said that, however, my clear preference is for a culture that is agile, hardworking, fun, innovative, and driven. I generally find that this kind of company culture tends to exist at smaller companies who are able to be more nimble due to their size and structure, but I think it's also possible for medium-sized companies too. I enjoy working in an atmosphere where people share a common goal, aren't afraid to give their opinions, and work hard to exceed expectations in order to please customers. As an HR manager, I strive to inculcate this type of culture from the top down, so if you hire me, I will try to implement and drive this type of culture alongside my colleagues and management."

  15. 15.

    Why did you choose human resources as a career?

      With this question, the interviewer is looking to learn more about your background and passions. They are curious why you chose this career path, and they are trying to gauge your long-term interest in this field. Discuss the reasons why you decided to go into HR. Emphasize your desire to help others and drive the company's success.

      Marcie's Answer

      "When I was in college, I majored in business because it was broad but offered finance, accounting, and other courses of interest to me. When I landed my first job, it was for a tiny fintech startup so I gained exposure to multiple parts of the business, including marketing, customer service, bookkeeping, and human resources. I started to gravitate toward HR, finding that I enjoyed being involved with hiring (in other words, shaping the company), working with and managing the employees, and handling payroll and benefits. I decided to go back to school to earn a Master's degree in HR. The rest is history. I love my job because it allows me to help both my coworkers and management at the same time."

  16. 16.

    What HR software are you familiar with?

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  17. 17.

    What do you think are the biggest challenges of this role?

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  18. 18.

    How do you think your previous managers would describe you?

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  19. 19.

    Describe your management style.

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  20. 20.

    How do you stay abreast of new laws and regulations?

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  21. 21.

    What kind of experience do you have onboarding new hires?

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  22. 22.

    Describe a time when you had to do something that went against policy.

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  23. 23.

    Which areas of HR are you strongest and weakest in?

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  24. 24.

    How do you find great job candidates when recruiting?

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  25. 25.

    Talk about how you have successfully led a team that was comprised of diverse personalities.

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  26. 26.

    Do you consider yourself a team player?

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