10 Mar The Best Interview Questions for Your Next F&I Manager
Interviewing for F&I managers at a dealership is a bit of a balancing act when assessing whether or not the person will be a good fit. Will they have the right personality? The right combination of experience and prior success?
How hard is it to interview and find the right fit in F&I specifically? What should you look for in that initial meeting and what questions are helpful to ask to help make your decision? This is a unique position that requires an equal skill set of salesmanship, closing ability, ethics, and attention to detail.
Best Questions to Ask?
Depending on the industry they are coming from, find out why they want to work in F&I and not in sales. This can be very telling…perhaps they have dealer experience as a salesperson, and they are ready to take the next step in their career. Find out what about the job appeals to them and what they envision the job to be like.
Next question may be how they view the role of F&I (if they have worked in a dealership before). This gives you a window into whether or not they are a team player. Big difference here…the wrong answer may mean a mercenary personality who could be prone to unethical behavior or shortcuts that can harm the dealership.
Ask if they value continuing education and training as part of their job. Successful dealerships often spend thousands for F&I training to help teach new closing skills, regulatory requirements, and best sales practices. Any new hire must be teachable and willing to learn the way your store handles F&I transactions. Someone from the industry may come from another store that does things very differently than your store does.
Potential Red Flags
Since this is a unique position, be ready to look a little deeper. If they are coming from another store in F&I, ask for numbers…you should know the penetration number for popular products, average PVR for new and used, and if there are established relationships with finance personnel at local banks or OEM finance arms. If that is not on their resume, alarm bells should be going off.
If not from the car business, be aware of the questions they may ask you. If they have little idea how a dealership works based on past experience, it’s ok but they should ask lots of questions about the environment, expectations, and training opportunities.
If they are checking their smartphone, if they show up dressed like they just woke up, if they are chewing gum, if they ask about the compensation plan within the first 10 minutes…you have the WRONG candidate.
Take the time necessary to find the right candidate, not the right NOW candidate. You’ll be glad you took the extra time.