17 Compliance Analyst Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a compliance analyst, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

In order to maintain the integrity of the global financial system, businesses and organizations of all sizes must adhere to a variety of compliance regulations. This is where compliance analysts come in. They work with their organization’s compliance department to ensure that all employees are aware of and compliant with the latest regulations.

If you’re interviewing for a compliance analyst job, you can expect to be asked a range of questions about your understanding of compliance regulations and your experience with implementing and enforcing compliance programs. To help you prepare for your interview, we’ve put together a list of sample compliance analyst interview questions and answers.

Common Compliance Analyst Interview Questions

Are you familiar with the compliance regulations that apply to our industry?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your knowledge of the industry you’re applying for a job in. Use your answer to highlight any experience you have with compliance regulations and how it applies to the industry you’re interviewing for.

Example: “I am familiar with the compliance regulations that apply to the financial services industry, as I worked at a bank for five years. In my role there, I helped ensure our company was compliant with all federal laws and regulations regarding privacy, data security and more. This included ensuring we had proper procedures in place to protect sensitive information and prevent cyberattacks.”

What are some of the most important compliance regulations for our industry?

This question can help the interviewer determine how familiar you are with their industry’s regulations. Before your interview, research any compliance regulations that may be specific to the company or its industry. Use these regulations as examples of what you would do if hired for this role.

Example: “In my previous position, I was responsible for ensuring our organization followed all HIPAA regulations. This included maintaining a secure location for patient records and protecting them from unauthorized access. Another important regulation in healthcare is the Stark Law, which prevents physicians from referring patients to other providers they have an ownership interest in. If hired here, I would make sure to follow both of these regulations.”

How would you explain compliance to someone without a technical background?

Compliance is a complex topic, and it’s important to be able to explain the basics of compliance to non-technical people. This question helps employers understand how you can communicate with others about compliance in an easy way that anyone can understand. Use examples from your own experience explaining compliance to someone who doesn’t have a technical background.

Example: “Compliance is all about making sure we’re following rules and regulations. For example, if I’m working for a financial institution, there are many laws and regulations that apply to me as an employee. These include things like anti-money laundering laws, privacy laws and more. My job as a compliance analyst would be to make sure my company follows these rules and regulations.”

What is your process for identifying and addressing a compliance risk?

Compliance analysts must have a process for identifying and addressing compliance risks. Your answer should show the interviewer that you know how to use your skills and experience to make decisions about risk management.

Example: “I start by reviewing all of the relevant documentation, including policies, procedures and training materials. Then I assess each risk based on its severity and probability of occurrence. If it’s a high-risk situation, I’ll work with my supervisor to develop an action plan for mitigation or prevention. For low-risk situations, I may only need to provide additional training or resources to employees.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to use your persuasive skills to convince management to follow a certain compliance procedure.

This question can help the interviewer determine how persuasive you are and whether you have experience working with management. Use examples from your previous job to highlight your communication skills, ability to persuade others and willingness to take on challenging tasks.

Example: “At my last job, I noticed that our company was not following a few of the regulations outlined in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. When I brought this up to my manager, they told me that we were already doing everything required by law. However, I explained to them why it was important to follow all guidelines and provided links to relevant information. After reviewing the information, my manager agreed to change some of our procedures.”

If you discovered a violation of compliance regulations, how would you approach the situation?

Compliance violations can occur in any organization, and employers want to know how you would handle such a situation. Your answer should show that you understand the importance of compliance regulations and are willing to take action when necessary.

Example: “If I discovered a violation of compliance regulations, I would first determine whether it was an honest mistake or if there was willful disregard for the law. If it was an honest mistake, I would work with management to ensure they understood the issue and took steps to prevent future mistakes. If it was willful disregard, I would report the violation to my supervisor so we could address the issue immediately.”

What would you do if you were unsure about how to proceed with a compliance matter?

Compliance analysts often have to make decisions about how to proceed with compliance matters. Employers ask this question to see if you can think critically and solve problems on your own. In your answer, explain that you would first try to find the information you need. If you are still unsure of what to do, you would ask a supervisor or someone else for help.

Example: “If I was unsure about how to proceed with a compliance matter, I would first look at any documentation we had on the situation. If I needed more information, I would speak with my supervisor to get their advice. They may also be able to provide me with additional resources to learn more about the issue.”

How well do you understand the legal system and its relationship to compliance?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your knowledge of the legal system and how it relates to compliance. Use examples from past experiences where you had to understand or apply laws, regulations or court decisions that relate to compliance.

Example: “I have a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement with an emphasis on criminal justice. I chose this major because I wanted to learn more about the legal system and its relationship to public safety. In my last role as a compliance analyst, I worked with a team to create a policy for our company regarding police interactions with civilians. We used case studies from other companies to help us develop our policy, which we then submitted to local authorities for approval.”

Do you have any experience using compliance software or other tools to analyze data?

Compliance analysts often use software to analyze data and ensure their company is following regulations. An interviewer may ask this question to learn about your experience using compliance tools and how you used them in the past. If you have experience using compliance software, describe what type of software it was and what you did with it. If you don’t have any experience using compliance software, you can talk about other types of software that help you analyze data.

Example: “I’ve worked as a compliance analyst for five years now. In my previous role, I used a software program called Compliance Central to monitor our company’s regulatory requirements. The software helped me keep track of all the different laws we had to follow and provided reports on where we were falling short. It also allowed me to create customized reports so I could see which areas needed improvement.”

When performing an audit, what is your process for ensuring that you examine all relevant areas?

Compliance auditors must be thorough in their examinations to ensure that they are identifying all areas of noncompliance. Employers ask this question to make sure you understand the importance of being thorough and complete when performing audits. In your answer, explain how you would approach a compliance audit so that you can show the employer that you have the skills necessary for the job.

Example: “I always start by reading through the entire contract or policy to get an idea of what is expected from employees. Then I will go through each section individually to see if there are any areas where we may not be meeting expectations. If I find something, I will examine it further to determine whether it is truly a violation or just a misunderstanding on my part. After that, I will document the findings and send them back to management.”

We want to become more proactive about compliance. How would you approach this change as an employee?

This question is an opportunity to show your ability to adapt and implement change. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a situation where you implemented a new process or procedure that positively impacted the workplace.

Example: “In my previous role as a compliance analyst, I noticed we were missing some important documentation for our clients. After discussing with my supervisor, we decided to create a centralized database of all client information so we could easily access it when needed. This helped us become more proactive about compliance and saved time by eliminating the need to search for documents.”

Describe your experience working with a team of other compliance analysts to complete a project.

Compliance analysts often work in teams to complete projects. Employers ask this question to learn more about your teamwork skills and how you interact with others. In your answer, try to describe a specific example of working on a team project as a compliance analyst. Explain what the project was and what role you played in it.

Example: “In my previous position, I worked alongside two other compliance analysts to create an annual report for our company’s board of directors. We each had different responsibilities within the project. For instance, one person gathered all of the data we needed while another created the graphs and charts that accompanied the report. As the lead compliance analyst, I oversaw the entire process from start to finish.”

What makes you a good fit for our company’s compliance procedures?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you have done your research on their company and are familiar with its compliance procedures. You can answer this question by highlighting a few of the most important aspects of the company’s compliance program, such as how it handles data breaches or what types of regulatory agencies it follows.

Example: “I am passionate about privacy laws and would love to work for a company like yours that takes consumer privacy seriously. I also understand that your company has been working toward GDPR compliance since 2016, which makes me confident in my ability to help the company achieve full compliance by May 25.”

Which compliance regulations do you find the most challenging to keep up with?

This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of your compliance experience and how you’ve overcome challenges in the past. Your answer should highlight your ability to stay up-to-date on regulations, as well as your problem-solving skills.

Example: “I find it challenging to keep up with all of the changes that occur within the healthcare industry. There are so many new laws and regulations being implemented every year, which makes it difficult to remember everything. However, I have found some great resources online that allow me to access information quickly when needed. I also use my calendar to remind myself of important dates and deadlines.”

What do you think is the most important role that compliance analysts play within organizations?

This question helps employers understand your perspective on the role of a compliance analyst. They want to know that you see yourself as an important part of their team and that you value the work you do. When answering this question, it can be helpful to highlight how compliance analysts help organizations stay safe and avoid legal issues.

Example: “I think the most important role that compliance analysts play is helping organizations maintain safety and avoid legal issues. Compliance analysts are responsible for ensuring that companies have the right policies in place to protect themselves from things like data breaches or other problems. I take my job seriously because I know that if we don’t follow regulations properly, our company could end up paying large fines or even going out of business.”

How often do you perform audits in your current role?

Compliance audits are an important part of a compliance analyst’s job. Employers ask this question to learn more about your experience with performing audits and how often you do them. Before your interview, read through the job description to see if there is any information on how often the company performs audits. If there isn’t any information, ask the interviewer how often they perform audits during their conversation.

Example: “In my current role as a compliance auditor, I perform audits every six months. However, in previous roles, I have performed audits annually or quarterly depending on the organization.”

There is a compliance risk that you didn’t notice before. How do you address the situation?

This question is an opportunity to show your problem-solving skills and ability to learn from mistakes. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific situation where you noticed a compliance risk that you didn’t notice before and how you addressed the issue.

Example: “At my previous job, I was working on a project for a client who had recently acquired another company. The client wanted me to make sure they were in compliance with all regulations regarding mergers and acquisitions. While reviewing the information, I realized that the client hadn’t filed the required paperwork within the allotted time frame. I immediately informed my supervisor of the mistake and we worked together to file the paperwork as soon as possible. We also included a letter explaining why the paperwork was late. Luckily, the client wasn’t penalized for the oversight.”


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