MAT CFO: interview questions and task

Appointing the right chief finance officer (CFO) is key to supporting the success of your multi-academy trust. Get expert suggestions on what questions to ask at interview, and what to look for in an answer. You'll also find a suggested interview task to test candidates' skill at budget analysis and management.

Last reviewed on 21 February 2022
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 44209
Contents
  1. Desire for the role
  2. Past experience 
  3. Relationships with other groups
  4. Working with the governing board
  5. Planning for funding changes
  6. Creating reports
  7. Interview task: mock budget

Desire for the role

Question

Why do you want the job of CFO?

What to look for in an answer

You would want to see if the candidate has:

  • Thoroughly researched the MAT
  • Expressed their passion and enthusiasm for the role
  • Identified how they would be a good fit for the MAT

Past experience 

Question

What size budget(s) have you managed in the past, and what size of budget are you open to managing?

What to look for in an answer

This question is designed to invite the candidate to discuss their prior experiences and abilities, and whether they are confident in their skills to manage both the MAT budget and the budgets of individual schools.

This means the answer should demonstrate confidence in managing both small and large budgets, and display an understanding of the need to separate these.

Reflecting upon your financial and accounting experience, recall a difficult situation you encountered while

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