Budget managers do more than count pennies; they create, maintain and enforce budgets, so companies don't go belly up with their finances. A budget manager usually has the authority to pull back on expenditures or release more funds as necessary. When interviewing for a budget manager job, expect questions about your ability to make positive and healthy financial decisions. Without a competent budget manager, a company might struggle to keep its head above water.
Employers want to hire budget managers who provide continuous financial oversight, so there are no surprises when financial reports are released. According to the University of California, San Francisco Human Resources, you can expect interview questions, such as "How do you go about estimating expenses and budgets?" or, "What experience do you have with long- and short-term budget projections?" These questions help a hiring manager understand the methods and procedures you've applied in previous budgeting positions. Positive past experiences are a good way to estimate future success.
The interviewer will likely ask about your organizational abilities, so think through your best organizational strategies before the meeting. Budget managers must be able to combine all program and department budgets together into a consolidated organizational budget, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.The hiring manager might ask, "How do you gather and review budget proposals from various departments?" or, "How do you divide funds between departments?" Provide specific examples of how you worked with past program directors to create budgets that satisfied their needs.
Expect questions about your leadership style. Because the job includes management responsibilities, the employer will want to confirm you have the moxie to get things done. He might ask, "What are your leadership strengths and weaknesses when it comes to managing employees?" or, "Tell me about a time when you had to deny a department head's request for more funds?" These questions shouldn't trip you up as long as you answer with confidence, sincerity and humility and assure the employer you're able to effectively manage employees.
Questions about your problem-solving skills help the interviewer assess how you might handle tough budgeting decisions. Sometimes a budget manager has the difficult role of letting upper management know there aren't enough funds to go around. A budget manager helps the chief operation officer, agency head or other top managers analyze budget options and troubleshoot financial concerns when projected results are unsatisfactory, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Expect questions, such as "How do you determine what areas need to be cut?" or, "What are your fund-allocation priorities when there isn't enough money to meet all of the current demands?"
As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.