Interview Questions for a Budget Manager

A budget manager operates within the finance department of an organisation and typically reports to a director, or head of finance. Common duties of the budget manager include planning, management, organisation, direction, supervision, and performance of budgeting activities. Budget managers operate in the public sector working for cities, towns, and other jurisdictions. They also operate in the private sector. Interview questions for a budget manager position would be used to test your skills in these areas.

Experience

A request you are likely to hear near the start of a budget manager interview is "tell me about your experience in managing budgets." This is a non-leading general question used to determine how broad and deep your budget management experience goes. Your answer should include an overview of the major common budget processes you led or were involved with. It should also demonstrate your importance to the organisation in the process.

Projections

In its May 2009 Budget Manager Job Description, the City of Morgan Hill, California, noted the importance of the manager setting five-year revenue and expense projections. An organisation you interview is likely to want to know that you understand budget forecasting and having experience preparing formal budgets for future projections. Your answer should include specific references to budget planning processes used in your company. Where appropriate, you might note the general size of the budget (large, medium, small) to give a sense that you have that experience. Specific dollar amounts are often inappropriate and unethical.

Software

Budgeting and budget management functions are typically performed using budget management software programs in the 21st century. You are likely to hear a question about your familiarity with various software tools. Signifying the importance of this type of question, a sample budget manager resume on the Resume Sample site lists "Experience with Oracle Financial systems, Excel spreadsheets, PeopleSoft and Axess" first on the summary of qualifications. Versatile familiarity with multiple programs helps. If possible, research the company ahead of time to learn what they use. This shows strong interest and may offer insight on whether you know it, or can easily learn it.

Supervisor

You may hear a question like "What is your ideal supervisor like?" A budget manager is sometimes the highest finance position in a small business. However, medium-to-large organisations usually have a director of finance, or a head of finance. The interviewers, possibly including that person, want to see if you are a good match for their workplace. Again, researching the company and its director is advised. Otherwise, sharing your ability to maintain a strong relationship with one or more previous supervisors is a huge value.

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About the Author

Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

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