Governance risk and compliance interview questions and answers

The concept of survival of the fittest has begun to dominate the business world. You can get your dream job, but keeping it has become more difficult. Keeping up to date has become critical in this day and age when new types of technology emerge every hour. To demonstrate your dedication to your job, you must continue to take certification courses in order to stay current. The CIS – Risk and Compliance exam validate that a successful candidate possesses the skills and knowledge required to contribute to the configuration, implementation, and maintenance of Policy and Compliance, ServiceNow Risk, and Audit Management applications. Let’s start with the Risk and Compliance Management interview questions:
Competency-based interview questions will typically begin:
  • Tell me about a time when?
  • Tell us what approach you took?
  • Describe an occasion when?
  • How did you go about?
  • Give me an example when?

COMPLIANCE INTERVIEW Questions and ANSWERS! (Compliance Officer and Manager Job Positions)

CIS-Risk and Compliance Management Interview Questions

1.What exactly is a risk matrix? Why is it significant?

A risk matrix is a methodology used to map the outcomes of a risk assessment process for proper handling. Risk treatment is typically implemented by an organization’s management for “Extreme” and “High” risks. The risk appetite of the organization is usually used to determine “medium” risks.

2. What security standards have you worked on?

Make sure you have an answer ready for this question, as it is frequently asked in compliance interviews. Make sure to mention the ones specifically mentioned in the Job Description, and go over the domains of these standards to use as keywords if asked. ISO 27001 is the most fundamental standard for information security and risk management profiles. Understanding the fundamentals of 22301, COBEC, and GDPR will also be beneficial.

3. What do you mean by Gap Analysis?

A security gap analysis identifies the gaps between your organization’s current state of information security implementation (as-is) and its ideal state (to-be). The analysis results show the areas for improvement for the organization to achieve the desired target state, and organizations can devise the necessary budget and action plan to accomplish the same.

4. What is the distinction between process, guidelines, and policies?

  • Policy: A high-level document outlining senior management’s intent on security directions.
  • Procedure: A detailed step-by-step list of tasks (SOP) that must be completed in order to achieve the desired outcome.
  • The term “guideline” refers to a list of recommendations/best practises that are optional to follow.

5. How do you reduce risk in CIS-Risk and Compliance Management?

Prioritizing risk control and reducing those that can have a significant impact on an organization is the best strategy. Risk reduction entails anticipating disasters and devising strategies to mitigate their consequences. The needs of business employees are taken into account in risk mitigation. Furthermore, risk mitigation entails identifying potential risks in the business, analyzing the impact of each risk, and ranking risks based on their impact on the business.

6. How can you ensure risk monitoring and control?

Monitoring and controlling risks entails a variety of processes such as tracking identified risks, implementing response plans, improving risk management processes, and effectively responding to new risks.

7. What is the definition of risk breakdown structure?

A risk breakdown structure, or RBS, is a hierarchical representation of risks. An RBS starts with higher-level risks and works its way down to the lowest-level risks. It is easier to streamline risks when there are different levels. Furthermore, by focusing on specific risk categories, it is easier to identify risks categorically.

8. Briefly describe the risk management process.

Although different terms are used to describe the risk management process, the main steps are as follows:

  • Identifying risk – this is the process of identifying and describing potential risks to the business.
  • Risk analysis entails the risk manager examining each identified risk to determine the magnitude of its impact on organisational goals.
  • Risk evaluation is the process by which risks are ranked based on the negative impact they have on an organisation.
  • Deal with risks – the risk manager develops preventive, contingency, and risk-mitigation strategies. You will respond based on the risks that pose a high risk to the business.
  • Risk monitoring entails tracking and reviewing risks at this stage.

9. What is the difference between risk probability and risk impact?

A risk impact is the effect or result of a risk event on project objectives. Impacts can be beneficial or detrimental to a project’s objectives. While the impact scale may vary, a five-point scale ranging from very low to very high is commonly used to indicate the level of risk.

The possibility of a risk event is referred to as risk probability. This possibility can be represented quantitatively as well as qualitatively. Risk probability is expressed qualitatively with words like rare, possible, and frequent. Frequencies, percentages, and scores are used in the numerical expression.”

10. What exactly are risk matrices?

Risk matrices will not be required in the majority of businesses. They can, however, be used to help you determine the level of risk associated with a specific issue. They accomplish this by classifying the likelihood of harm and the potential severity of the harm. This is then represented in a matrix (please see below for an example). The risk level dictates which risks should be addressed first.

A matrix can help you prioritize your actions to control risk. It is appropriate for a wide range of assessments, but it excels in more complex situations. To accurately judge the likelihood of harm, however, expertise and experience are required.

11. What are the most important risks?

Significant risks are those that are not trivial in nature and are capable of posing a genuine threat to one’s health and safety, which any reasonable person would recognize and take precautions against. What is deemed ‘insignificant’ will differ from site to site and activity to activity, depending on the circumstances.

12. What exactly is a risk assessment throughout the life cycle?

The primary goal of RA is to identify and quantify the risks associated with the release of chemicals into the environment, as well as the subsequent exposure of humans and ecosystems.

  1. The primary goal of LCA is to quantify the health and environmental impacts of products over their entire life cycle.

13. Define Risk Lifecycle in CIS-Risk and Compliance Management.

End-to-end risk identification, assessment, management, monitoring, and reporting systems and processes If such a thing exists, this is the “bread and butter” of risk management. It is the pivot around which an organization attempts to understand and manage its risks.

14. Explain Risk Scoring.

Risk scoring is the process of calculating a score that tells you how serious a risk is based on several factors. Without a standardized model for risk scoring, risk and security teams would struggle to communicate internally about how to allocate resources appropriately in order to minimize costs and business impact.

When it comes to risk scoring, there are two types of data to consider: quantitative and qualitative. These two types are easily distinguished by whether the data is numerical or not. Quantitative data is quantifiable, whereas qualitative data is more explanatory. While that is a high-level overview, let’s dig into some specifics.

15. What do you understand by GRC Entities Architecture?

Governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) is a management strategy for an organization’s overall governance, enterprise risk management, and regulatory compliance. Consider GRC to be a systematic approach to aligning IT with business goals while effectively managing risk and meeting compliance requirements.

A well-planned GRC strategy has numerous advantages, including better decision-making, more efficient IT investments, the elimination of silos, and reduced fragmentation among divisions and departments, to name a few.

16. What is GRC in CIS-Risk and Compliance Management?

GRC (for governance, risk, and compliance) is an organizational strategy for managing governance, risk management, and regulatory compliance. GRC can also refer to an integrated suite of software capabilities for implementing and managing a GRC program in an enterprise.

The GRC set of practices and processes provides a structured approach to aligning IT with business goals. GRC assists businesses in effectively managing IT and security risks, reducing costs, and meeting compliance requirements. It also improves decision-making and performance by providing an integrated view of how well a company manages its risks.

17. Explain Compliance management.

Compliance management refers to the ongoing process of monitoring and assessing systems to ensure they meet industry and security standards, as well as corporate and regulatory policies and requirements.

18. What is the definition of a derived role in GRC?

The already existing roles are referred to as derived roles. They are commonly viewed as a menu structure containing specific functions to provide services such as transactions, reports, Web-links, and so on. An existing role, on the other hand, can only inherit as a menu or function if it has never been assigned with transaction codes until now.

They have a very proper way of maintaining roles, and now those roles do not differ in functionality; such as the menus and functions provided by them. When they come into contact with people at different levels of the organization, they simply exhibit different behaviors.

19. What is the Composite role in GRC?

A composite role is a container that contains a collection of several different roles. It is also known as a role. These roles no longer deal with authorization data. So, to change the authorizations represented by the composite roles, we simply need to maintain each role separately for data maintenance, which is time-consuming.

20. Explain the application of GRC risk management.

GRC Risk Management is used to manage and control all types of risks that are currently or will be in the future. GRC Risk Management has a variety of applications. Here are a few examples:

  • The primary focus of Risk Management is on organizational alignment with regard to various factors such as risks that require immediate attention, risk mitigation, and associated thresholds.
  • Risk management systems analyze risks qualitatively and quantitatively in order to determine the level of risk and decide whether or not to accept it for the organization.
  • It also includes a variety of risk-reduction strategies.
  • Next, it identifies risks in a company.
  • It employs both preventive and investigative mitigation control methods.

Competency based interviewing GRC Governance, Risk & Compliance

Why is it so important that you understand competency-based interviewing?

Two reasons;

Firstly, HR is increasingly becoming recognised for its contribution to the business – once a discipline which many people saw as taking a back-seat, HR as a function is becoming increasingly valued.

  • Importantly HR professionals becoming increasingly business savvy, better focused on business outcomes and more influential in driving up organizational capability through more robust recruitment and selection tactics and techniques for internal and external resourcing.
  • Best practice in HR, means leveraging a competency-based interview approach; taking a more scientific approach to determining a candidate’s ability to perform in the job and this means looking for previous experience of success (competency).
  • You can expect HR executive to be interested to identify experience which is directly relevant to the specific demands of the job, the goals to be achieved and situation in which it is to be done (business drivers, market conditions / dynamics….).

Second reason; most experienced senior managers or business leaders are either aware of the merits and rationale of competency-based interviewing or are subconsciously aware of it, and therefore will often use competency-based interview questions to assess a candidate’s real ability.

In relation to their questions, the interviewer(s) will analyse your answer around ‘what you did’, in terms of your experience, knowledge and skills applied to the situation that is in question. The question is most likely to be framed in terms of direct relevance to the organization and the job being recruited for, and you should look to answer it in the same terms.

You will demonstrate the extent of your affinity to the organization’s activities. The interviewer, and certainly if they are part of HR, will want to know ‘how you did what you did’. This relates to the behavioural competencies that are relative to the values of the organization. Are you a fit with the desired culture of the organization?

For more senior roles, and particularly jobs that involve people management, apart from the technical skills and general behavioural aspects, management of people is key. However, it is increasingly common for the term leadership to be used, therefore it may help to provide some delineation between the two terms.

Management is seen as the transactional processes by which an organization is steered, and its activities are planned, directed and executed procedurally.

Leadership is considered to be a more transformational activity in which influence is created and used to bring about people performance. So, we can see fundamental differences in approach – authoritarian v. charismatic, short-term objectives v. strategic vision, doing things right v. doing the right things.

Leadership is seen as much more behaviourally driven, an innate characteristic of nature rather than learned, hence it may drive competence interview questioning that has greater focus on emotional intelligence.

Competence questions have their foundation in the premise that how a person behaves in a given situation is characteristic, rather than what they say they would theoretically do in a given situation, which may or may not be the case in the event. At the most senior levels of an organization, the criticality of leadership will feature strongly in the manner of the competence interview questions that you will be asked, as much as your focus on past business performance.

How to second guess what questions may arise.

The keys to unlocking what competency-based interview questions you may face, lie in the following clues and combinations…

Expect questions to be focused on very predictable business-critical goals for which you will be expected to be responsible, and against which your performance will most likely be measured, and by which success or failure will be determined. These are most likely to be industry-sector and job specific. Consider what matters most in the position into which the employer is hiring – the key challenges of the role, the key issues facing the business, its ambitions and objectives. Anticipate what areas you think they are most likely to probe you about. Where does your experience and achievements relate?

You should reflect on what insight you have into the opportunity from any job spec, briefing from a head-hunter, internal recruiter, job advert, inside line from someone in your network, news items or other media items including their website, then try to second guess what questions they are most likely to put to you. Consider sitting in the interviewers’ shoes and think about what questions you might ask if you were on their side of the table.

Factors most likely to influence the shape of the competency-based interview question /s!

Take a broad view of the organization itself – its size and spread geographically, its range of products and services, its operational activities, its recent market performance, emerging issues; something of a SWOT analysis.

What will be the impacts required of the role-holder – critical short-term deliverables, long term ambitions, key areas of influence, in the context of the organization.

Now, look to define the role in terms of the important attributes (experience, knowledge, skills) that will underpin delivery of job performance. You have got to the interview stage so what is it on your CV that will likely have interested them in you.

Okay, now try to prepare and plan for the interview itself. Think about the concepts raised in the above visual and consequently which competency-based questions are they most likely to put to you.

How to answer competency-based interview questions?

Answer competency-based interview questions using the STAR formula!

  • SITUATION – say where you were (employer name), what your role was and when it happened.
  • TASK – outline the challenge or nature of the project for which you were responsible and why it was important in the context of impact on the organization.
  • ACTION – explain how you approached the task and the actions you took. If your efforts were part of a team effort, focus most on what you did, and what you contributed. Avoid saying what you thought you might do – you need to focus on what you have achieved and how you achieved it.
  • RESULT – what were the outcomes? These should be substantiated with facts and figures and should show you in a positive light.

What if you can’t think of a good or recent example?

In this case you may wish to tell the interviewer that you cannot think of a directly comparable situation, but you can think of something similar, and then elaborate on how you might have approached this task if faced with it. The interviewer will normally accept this approach. The length of your answer. Expect sub questions.

Your response to any competency-based question needs to be focused but in dealing with all four points of the STAR technique in sufficient detail, it is not untypical for a response to take around five minutes to explain. If you have not covered aspects that the interviewer is looking for you to cover, they may interject or at the end of your answer give you one or more ‘prompt’ questions but it is also common for an interviewer to give you a series of sub-questions having asked the main question, to give you a steer as to what they are looking for you to cover in your response. In answering competence-based interview questions, the process you apply is important to make sure that you give the best answers you can.

Having been asked the question, give yourself some thinking time so that you identify a particularly relevant scenario for your response and to prepare and frame your response so that it is comprehensive yet focused.

  • The interviewer will expect you to take time to prepare your answer.
  • Feel free to ask for the question to be repeated – you need to be certain that you understand the question.
  • Have a pen and paper to note the salient points of the question as a reminder of what needs to be addressed if you personally feel comfortable and confident in this approach.
  • If you think you may be going off track with your answer, ask for the question to be repeated – better safe than sorry.
  • Expect the interviewer to be writing notes as you talk.


Examples of generic competency-based interview questions

Communication and presentation skills

  • Think of a time when you tried to persuade someone else to adopt your point of view. What was the situation? How did you present your views / arguments? What was the result?
  • Tell us about a major change you have experienced in your work environment.
  • Tell us about a time when you failed. Why did you fail? What did you learn from the situation?

Delivering results / results orientation

  • Tell us about a project where you have persisted in spite of obstacles.
  • Tell us about a major achievement and how you went about it.
  • Describe a time when you experienced setbacks in your work.

Interpersonal skills

  • Tell me about a time when you needed to persuade others to commit to a course of action.
  • Describe a situation where you got people to work together.
  • Can you tell me the last time you upset someone? What happened?

Use of initiative

  • Tell me about a time when you undertook a project in an area in which you had little or no experience.
  • Tell me about a time when you initiated a change on your own. How did you present this to your boss?
  • Can you give me an example of a time when you wanted to initiate a project on your own? How did you go about it?

Planning and organising

  • Tell me about a complex project you’ve been responsible for that required significant planning.
  • Tell me about a time when you didn’t meet an objective / deadline.
  • Give me an example of a time when you have had to change your plans.

Analytical thinking

Tell me about a time when you identified a new approach to a problem.

Describe a time when your analytical skills were put to the test.

Tell me about the most complex or difficult information you have had to analyse.

Strategic thinking

  • Tell me of a time when you have influenced strategy.
  • Can you tell me about a time when you implemented a plan that had long-range implications?
  • Can you give me an example of a time when you developed a mission statement?

Building relationships

  • Tell me about a time when you quickly developed a relationship with a new colleague or client.
  • Give me an example of a time when you went about building good working relationships within a team.
  • Describe a situation in which you had to develop and maintain a working relationship with someone with whom you didn’t like
  • to work. How did you do that?


  • Describe a time when you have had to change a process or methodology. How did you go about it?
  • Can you describe a time when you had to influence business decisions in a business unit not directly accountable to you?
  • Describe your recent experience of partnering with senior managers to influence commercial outcomes.

Commercial and business awareness

  • Describe a situation where you championed strategic thinking corporately.
  • Describe financial / commercial decisions that you have made / advised on.
  • Tell us about an occasion when you borrowed ideas from other industries.

Decision making – problem solving and analysis

  • Tell us about a particularly difficult decision you have had to make.
  • Describe a complex problem that you have had to deal with. What approach did you take?
  • Tell us about some of the analytical methods you have used in the past, e.g. cost / benefit analysis. How have these helped you add value?


  • Can you tell me about a time when you have had to resolve conflict between individuals?
  • Describe a time where you have had to use different approaches to deal with different personalities.
  • Can you describe a time when you worked in a team drawn from other departments / areas of your business?
  • Who is the most difficult person you have ever had to manage?

Team leading

  • Describe your approach to leadership style in your last position / s.
  • What is the best team you’ve led and why?
  • Tell me about a time when you led a dysfunctional team.
  • What techniques have you used to encourage others to contribute to the team?

How have you handled a compliance conflict in the past?

Interviewers may ask how you handled specific conflicts in previous roles to see how you might handle them with their organization. To answer this question effectively, describe a specific conflict, how you handled it and what the result was.

Example: “At my previous organization, we had a very strict compliance policy. One violation was a warning, and two meant firing. I found one employee violating our customer data policy during an audit and provided them with a warning. During the next audit, we found they were still non-compliant, so I advised their manager to fire them. It isnt always easy, but its important to enforce compliance for legal and ethical reasons.”

GRC is divided into various modules that perform a particular activity to reduce risk in any organization. Some of its modules are GRC Access Control, SAP GRC Process Control and Fraud Control Management, SAP GRC Risk Management, SAP GRC Audit Management, SAP GRC Global Trade Services and many more. Below are mostly asked GRC Interview Questions.

Process control, Risk management, and access control share the Reports and Analytics Work center. The Risk and Analytics Work Center mainly work under certain verticals like Access Dashboards, Access Risk Analytics Report, Security reports, role management reports, Audit Reports, and Superuser Management Reports. This sections perform a certain group of activities and then submit their report to the board for analysis. This body acts as a central location for displaying reports and dashboards like user analysis and various other reports.

Internal Audit Management allows a user to process the information from Risk management and from process control to use it in audit planning. The proposals of audit can be transferred to audit management for processing whenever required and the issues for reporting can be generated by using the audit items. Internal Audit Management provides the users with space where they can perform complete audit planning, create audit items, define audit universe and create and view audit reports and audit issues.

SAP GRC abbreviated as System, Applications, and Products (SAP), Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) which is an integrated body combining of various activities which unite help the organizations to regulate several policies and reduce various risks. It is made up of three different terms viz. Governance, Risk, and Compliance which has specific definitions in this field which is as follows :

To define the criteria for an organization so that risk rating can be found and ranking for risk rating can be established, Audit Risk Rating is used. As per management feedback, each audible entity is rated in Audit Risk Rating (ARR). ARR can be used to perform the tasks given below:



What questions do they ask at a compliance interview?

Compliance interview questions with sample answers
  • What would your compliance program look like in our organization? …
  • How have you handled a compliance conflict in the past? …
  • What certifications or training have you received in compliance? …
  • What would be your first steps for a new compliance assignment?

How do you answer compliance interview questions?

Tell me about your experience as a compliance officer?” Be prepared to discuss your previous compliance experience. If you do not have previous experience as a compliance officer, perhaps because you are switching careers, discuss transferable skills.

How do you answer a question in governance?

Tell me about your experience as a compliance officer?” Be prepared to discuss your previous compliance experience. If you do not have previous experience as a compliance officer, perhaps because you are switching careers, discuss transferable skills.

What should I say in a compliance interview?

Tell me about your experience as a compliance officer?” Be prepared to discuss your previous compliance experience. If you do not have previous experience as a compliance officer, perhaps because you are switching careers, discuss transferable skills.

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