Questions to Ask at Your Internal Auditor Interview
There are many facets to working in Internal Audit and when you sit down across from a hiring manager or future employer it’s important that you fully understand what the organisation’s approach to audit is, what’s expected of you and what your Internal Audit career could look like in their hands.
With over a decade of experience in prepping candidates for Internal Audit jobs, Lee Hine, Director of APAC for KPP Search, shares his advice on what to ask. “At a basic level you want to understand things around the culture of the company and the culture of the audit function,” says Hine. “What are the values of the company and how does audit reflect them?”
To help you discover this, some of the questions you may want to ask in your internal audit job interview are:
What is the complexity of some of the audits I’d be working on?
This gives you some insight into the organisation’s audit methodology and the types of audits you’ll actually be working on.
What’s the Audit function’s reputation like with the business?
You want to understand how audit is viewed by other departments and how easy it will be for you to engage with them, collaborate on engagements with them and extract any necessary information you may need from them.
Depending on the type of audit role you’re going for, you might want to ask about the relationship between IT and Business Audit. How closely do they work? Do they run integrated audits?
You will also want to ask about audit’s interaction with risk management, both non-financial and operational. Are there any areas of compliance that they work across or they have to focus on?
What are the stakeholders generally like?
You want to understand both how the business interacts with its stakeholders and depending on the seniority of your role, what your collaboration will be with those people.
How is the business currently utilising data analytics for audits and engagements?
“This is going to inform your understanding around the maturity of their data analytics; so you could follow up with a question about how they analyse their data. Is the audit function data-driven in terms of their decision making and how they look at things.”
How are audits managed?
You want to understand how the planning and execution is done and what your role will be in that.
How many audits would I be doing per quarter?
This will help you determine the complexity of the audits you’ll be working on and how deep you’re expected to go into those particular audits.
What is the structure of the audit team?
This question will help you understand who typically leads the audits. Does the company do a blended, co-sourced arrangement for SME based audits? You can also ask about the size of the team and where you’ll fit in the existing dynamic.
What does career progression and trajectory look like in terms of the audit function?
You can dig deeper into this line of questioning and get some clarity on the business’s expectation for what the medium term goals are for someone entering. What does that career growth look like? You can ask about the more immediate possibilities of progression into the business in the medium term depending on the audit function. “Some people go and do audit for 100 years, whereas others will do audit for a couple of years and then spin into the business,” says Hine.
What areas of innovation have you looked at?
This is particularly relevant within the remit of IT, but here you want to understand how forward-thinking and progressive the company is and more importantly which tools, technological disciplines and knowledge you’re expected to bring or develop. “It could be things like Digitalisation, Transformation, Automation, AI, or it could even be going into things like emerging technology,” says Hine, “So follow up and ask how they’re utilising those things.”
From an audit perspective are there any professional certifications you like people to have? Or when people enter the business is there any kind of Professional Development you require?
For some companies they will want their auditors to complete a CIA (Certified Internal Auditor) designation, or an Accounting qualification and in some cases they might like people to attain a CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) certification.
How does the business view issues around sustainability and ethical resourcing?
A topical point, you may want to sneak this in at some point and determine how that plays into their business objectives and how they operate.