I got an interesting request for help from a student today.

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This purchasing supervisor said that he would be given the opportunity to interview two candidates for the company’s CFO position. But he wanted to know what the heck you ask candidates like these!

While I’ve never interviewed anyone for a CFO position, I’m not without my ideas! I suggested that he ask these four questions at a minimum:

1. What are your feelings about the purchasing function in an organization?

2. How do you define good purchasing department performance?

3. In what ways have you seen a purchasing department improve a company’s financial performance?

4. Can you tell me about a time that you had to consider changes to the amount of resources to be made available to a purchasing department, either from an investment perspective or a reduction perspective?

I think that these questions can quickly help an interviewer flesh out whether the candidate truly understands purchasing or is clueless; whether the candidate feels that purchasing is a cost consuming department vs. a profit improving department; and whether the candidate is more likely to downsize purchasing or invest in new supply chain technology and talent.

What would you ask a CFO candidate?

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To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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