17 Internal Audit Director Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from an internal audit director, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Internal auditors are the financial watchdogs of a company. They work independently from other departments to review and assess the effectiveness of a company’s financial controls, risk management processes, and governance framework.

To land a job as an internal auditor, you’ll need to be able to answer tough questions about your experience, skills, and knowledge. In this article, we’ve listed some of the most common internal auditor interview questions and answers to help you prepare for your interview.

Common Internal Audit Director Interview Questions

Are you familiar with the International Standards for Internal Audit?

The International Standards for Internal Audit (ISIA) is a set of standards that the Institute of Internal Auditors created to help internal auditors perform their jobs more effectively. The hiring manager may ask this question to see if you are familiar with these standards and how they can benefit an organization. In your answer, try to explain what ISIA is and why it’s important.

Example: “I am very familiar with the International Standards for Internal Audit because I have used them in my previous role as internal audit director. These standards provide guidelines for internal auditors to follow when performing audits. They also outline best practices for internal auditors to use when creating reports and communicating with stakeholders. Having knowledge of these standards helps me ensure that I’m always providing accurate information to management.”

What are some of the most important qualities for an effective internal auditor?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the qualities needed to succeed in this role. Internal auditors need strong analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as excellent communication abilities. You should answer this question by mentioning some of these important qualities and explaining why they are so important.

Example: “The most important quality for an effective internal auditor is attention to detail. Internal auditors must be able to notice even the smallest discrepancies or inconsistencies in a company’s financial records. Another important quality is communication. Internal auditors need to be able to clearly communicate their findings to others, including senior management and other stakeholders. This helps ensure that everyone understands the issues and how to resolve them.”

How would you go about conducting a risk assessment for an organization?

Internal auditors are responsible for assessing the risks that an organization faces. This question allows you to demonstrate your knowledge of how to conduct a risk assessment and what steps you would take when doing so.

Example: “I would first assess the internal controls in place within the company, as well as any external factors that could affect the business. I would then analyze the risks associated with these factors and determine which ones pose the greatest threat to the organization. After this, I would create a plan to mitigate or eliminate the risks that pose the most danger to the company.”

What is your process for evaluating the effectiveness of an organization’s internal controls?

The interviewer may ask you this question to learn more about your internal audit process and how it relates to the organization’s overall control environment. Your answer should include a detailed description of your evaluation process, including what steps you take when evaluating controls and how you use that information to make recommendations for improvement.

Example: “I begin my evaluation by first identifying all relevant internal controls within an organization. I then assess each control based on its effectiveness in mitigating risks and ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations. If a control is ineffective or non-existent, I recommend implementing new controls to ensure the organization has adequate safeguards against fraud and other financial irregularities.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to give critical feedback to a high-level executive.

Internal auditors often have to give feedback to high-level executives about their company’s financial practices. This question helps employers understand how you handle uncomfortable situations and whether you can be assertive when necessary. In your answer, try to show that you are confident in your abilities as an auditor and that you know how to deliver critical information professionally.

Example: “When I was working for a small accounting firm, I had to tell the CEO of a client company that they were not following proper internal controls. The CEO was very upset by this news and asked me why we hadn’t noticed it before. I explained that our team only audits the company once per year, so there is no way to catch every mistake. He understood my response and thanked me for bringing it to his attention.”

If hired, what areas would you like to focus on during your tenure as director?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your career goals and how they align with the company’s objectives. To answer this question, you can list two or three areas that are important to you and explain why these areas are meaningful to you.

Example: “I would like to focus on improving internal controls and risk management processes within our organization. I believe that by implementing a strong internal audit program, we can ensure compliance with regulations and reduce operational risks. Another area I would like to focus on is developing new talent in the internal audit department. Internal auditors have many responsibilities, so I think it’s important to provide training opportunities for employees who want to advance their careers.”

What would you do if you discovered that one of your employees was not following company policies and procedures?

Internal auditors often have to make decisions that affect the entire company. This question helps employers understand how you would handle a situation like this one and if you are able to use your critical thinking skills to solve problems. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to ensure compliance with company policies while also maintaining positive relationships with employees.

Example: “If I discovered an employee was not following company policy, I would first meet with them privately to discuss their actions. If they were aware of the violation but continued to break the rules, I would document it and send them to HR for further action. If they were unaware of the rule or procedure, I would help them understand it so they could avoid breaking it in the future.”

How well do you think you would get along with our other internal auditors?

The interviewer may ask this question to gauge your interpersonal skills and ability to work with others. Internal auditors often collaborate on projects, so the hiring manager wants to make sure you can get along with your colleagues. In your answer, try to show that you are a team player who is willing to compromise and communicate effectively with others.

Example: “I think I would get along well with our other internal auditors because I am an empathetic person who values teamwork. When working with my team, I always strive to be open-minded and collaborative. I believe that by listening to my colleagues’ ideas and opinions, we can find solutions together.”

Do you have any experience leading training sessions for other employees about best practices and procedures?

Internal auditors often need to educate employees about the importance of following company policies and procedures. This question helps employers understand how you might approach this task if it’s part of your job responsibilities. In your answer, try to explain what steps you would take when leading a training session.

Example: “I have led several internal audits where I needed to train other employees on best practices for completing their work. For example, in one situation, I had to help employees learn how to use new software that was installed by management. I started by explaining why we were using the software and then gave an overview of how to use it. Then, I broke up the training into smaller sessions so everyone could practice using the software.”

When performing an audit, what is your process for handling sensitive information?

Internal auditors often have access to sensitive information about a company’s financial records. This question helps employers understand how you will handle confidential data and whether you are comfortable with the responsibility of handling it. In your answer, explain that you would only share this information with those who need it for their job or if required by law.

Example: “I am very aware of the importance of protecting sensitive information. I always make sure my team understands our internal policies regarding confidentiality. When performing an audit, I only share information with other employees as needed. For example, if someone on my team needs to know specific details about a client’s finances in order to complete their task, I will provide them with the necessary information. However, I do not discuss any information outside of my team unless legally required.”

We want to become more sustainable as an organization. What steps would you take to increase our environmental awareness and reduce our environmental footprint?

This question can help the interviewer determine your knowledge of environmental sustainability and how you would apply it to an organization. Use examples from previous experience or explain what steps you would take to implement a more sustainable company culture.

Example: “I have worked with several organizations that are committed to reducing their carbon footprint, so I understand the importance of this initiative. In my last role, we implemented a recycling program for all paper products in the office. We also started using reusable water bottles instead of disposable ones. These small changes made a big difference in our overall carbon emissions.”

Describe your experience with using auditing software.

Internal auditors use a variety of software to complete their work. The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience with using specific types of software and how you’ve applied it in the workplace. Use your answer to highlight any relevant skills or experiences you have with using auditing software.

Example: “I’ve used several different types of auditing software throughout my career, including internal audit software, financial accounting software and forensic investigation software. I find that each type of software has its own benefits for completing certain tasks within an organization. For example, internal audit software is useful for performing risk assessments and identifying areas where improvements can be made. Forensic investigation software helps me analyze large amounts of data and perform complex calculations.”

What makes you the best candidate for this position?

This question is a great way for employers to learn more about your qualifications and why you are the best candidate for this role. When answering, it can be helpful to list out your most relevant skills and experience that make you an ideal internal auditor.

Example: “I am the best candidate for this position because of my extensive knowledge in auditing financial records. I have been working as an internal auditor for five years now, and during that time I’ve gained valuable insight into how businesses operate and what areas they need to improve on. This has helped me develop strategies for conducting audits that help companies save money and increase their revenue.”

Which industries do you have the most experience in?

This question can help the interviewer understand your background and experience. It can also help them decide if you have enough industry knowledge to be an internal audit director for their company. You should answer this question by listing industries that you’ve worked in, along with a few details about what you did there.

Example: “I’ve mostly worked in financial services, but I’ve also done some work in healthcare and retail. In my last role as an internal auditor, I was responsible for auditing all three of these industries at one point or another. I found that each industry has its own unique challenges when it comes to internal audits. For example, in healthcare, I had to make sure we were following HIPAA regulations. In retail, I had to ensure our stores were accurately reporting sales.”

What do you think is the most important role that an internal auditor can play within an organization?

This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of your understanding of internal auditing and how you might apply it to their organization. When answering this question, consider what is most important to you about being an auditor and highlight any specific skills or experiences that make you qualified for the role.

Example: “I think the most important role that an internal auditor can play within an organization is helping management understand where they can improve processes and cut costs while maintaining quality control. Internal auditors have unique insight into company operations that other employees don’t have, so I believe we should use our knowledge to help organizations achieve their goals in the most efficient way possible.”

How often do you recommend performing internal audits?

This question can help the interviewer understand your internal audit philosophy and how you apply it to a company’s needs. Your answer should show that you have experience with performing audits regularly, but also that you know when an audit is unnecessary or too frequent.

Example: “I recommend performing internal audits at least once per year, although I prefer to perform them twice per year. This allows me to ensure that all processes are being followed correctly and that any issues are addressed before they become more serious. If a company has a large number of employees or complex processes, however, I may recommend additional audits throughout the year.”

There is a risk that employees will not comply with new safety procedures you implemented. How would you address the issue?

Internal auditors are responsible for ensuring that employees comply with company policies and procedures. This question helps the interviewer assess your ability to manage people and ensure compliance. In your answer, demonstrate how you would address noncompliance in a way that is effective but also respectful of others.

Example: “I understand that implementing new safety procedures can be disruptive for employees. To help them adjust, I would first communicate the changes clearly and provide training on the new procedures. Then, I would hold regular meetings with managers to discuss any questions or concerns they have about the new procedures. Finally, I would make sure my team has the resources they need to implement the new procedures effectively.”


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