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Siemens Finance Excellence Program Interview Questions

To help you prepare for a Siemens Finance Excellence Program job interview, here are 40 interview questions and answer examples.

Siemens Finance Excellence Program was written by and published on March 4th, 2022. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 40

Tell me about a time you handled a complex project with a tight deadline that required precise data collection and analysis.

Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

They are interested in your strategic approach or if you even have one when confronting such situations. Additionally, time management is an integral part of any position. They need to assess whether a candidate can handle the most difficult, daily challenges the job has to offer.

Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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40 Siemens Finance Excellence Program Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1. Tell me about a time you handled a complex project with a tight deadline that required precise data collection and analysis.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      They are interested in your strategic approach or if you even have one when confronting such situations. Additionally, time management is an integral part of any position. They need to assess whether a candidate can handle the most difficult, daily challenges the job has to offer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Detail your strategy and approach. Break down how you manage your time, how you collect the pertinent information required, and how you distill and analyze that data. Emphasize the importance you place on this. Make your example recent and relevant to the times in an ever-changing playing field. Use topical examples and explain how you faced those challenges in a way that exemplifies your problem-solving skills.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      Siemens encourages their candidates to use their expertise to develop solutions to complex tasks or problems. Details are far less important than the presentation of analytical ability and strategic thought. Consider this when constructing your example.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I try to anticipate such situations as best I can, never turning a blind eye to them, never hoping it will go away or become someone else's problem. I've seen others take that route before. Never works out. No, I take ownership of these things when I can, even before they've been assigned to me. It's all part of being a part of a team. So I try to develop specific goals and implement systems to accomplish these goals within set time frames. I manage my time, identify and allocate the resources at my disposal, and use the organizational tools I have on hand. This leaves little room for personal failure. If my superiors have time to review where I am at and offer ways to improve upon my systems, all the better. Let's see, I think the last time I faced something like this was when..."

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

  • Behavioral

    2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      How you answer this question will give the interviewer insight into your self-awareness and how you identify your merits and growth opportunities. It's also a constant challenge for the interviewer to find out whether the person being interviewed is being forthright, or doing their best to tell them what they think they want to hear to land the job. This question tests your honesty in the interview process by gauging the consistency of your answers. Keep your answers varied but consistent. Your consistency in how you present yourself will show the interviewer that you'll be consistent in your work performance should they choose to hire you.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Provide the personal strengths you feel make you an excellent candidate. Try to align your self-perceived strengths with the merits they're looking for in a viable candidate based on the information available online. Strengths can be skills or qualities that allow you to follow through and overcome difficult circumstances or accomplish challenging tasks, such as those of the Siemens 2-year program. Talk to the interviewer about your strengths and why those will help you to be successful in this role. Frame your greatest weakness as an asset in its own right. Being a perfectionist can be a weakness. Similarly, this quality can be seen as a benefit to Siemens.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      How you perceive yourself may differ from how others perceive you, including the person interviewing you. Remain conscious of your body language throughout the interview process. Make sure your answers remain consistent with how you present yourself. There are many candidates who might divulge too much information about themselves when prompted by questions such as these. People are generally forthcoming about telling you who they are right off the bat. Sometimes lightly admitting that you have anger management issues, but framing this in a way that presents the person you're telling this to would be the exception to this rule, will only serve by offering them the exact red flag they're looking for.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I'd say my greatest strength is also my greatest weakness. I push myself to the limit and am my own worst critic as a result of it. I rarely need to be disciplined because I am harder on myself than anyone else could be. So even though I am a perfectionist and put my all in, sometimes I can push myself too hard. It's like Nietzsche said, "be careful in casting out your demons, for you may be casting out that which is greatest within you."

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

  • Behavioral

    3. Can you give me an example of a time you felt you weren't recognized for your achievements? How did you deal with it?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer is interested in hearing whether or not your unacknowledged achievements match the kind of innovation they are looking for from their candidates. Additionally, how you dealt with this in the past will offer clues as to your conduct moving forward. As stated on their website, they are looking for those with the qualities of a growth mindset, teamwork, and ambition.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When providing your answer, ensure you appropriately present the backdrop of the situation you're presenting. This simple question can open the door to a wide variety of complex answers, from what you consider an achievement to how you'd define a lack of recognition or acknowledgment. If a person's ego dictated their idea should have been prioritized above others for ego's sake, they clearly were never truly objective on the merits of the accomplishment they offer as an example. In another situation, the lack of recognition could be the result of a lack of leadership and a failure to develop an innovating mind, grooming them for success and growth.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      As stated on their web pages, they are looking for "those who have a strong character, are communicative, competent, with analytic ability." They're interested in those that are interested in "expanding on their skills and expertise, exhibiting flexibility, and a broad mind and an absolute willingness to perform. Details are far less important than the presentation of analytical ability and strategic thought, using your expertise to develop solutions to complex tasks or problems. The best talents become outstanding executives through continuous development. We use the Finance Excellence Program to build and expand your skillset. This also benefits us at Siemens, after all, we need to measure ourselves against the best and keep growing, too." Consider how you might incorporate these points into your perspective when constructing your answer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "I used to experience that when I was younger, feeling I wasn't recognized for my accomplishments. But all that equated to was my disappointment to be emotionally validated. Everyone has something going on, and one cannot expect someone to consistently be able to visualize your vision. So where I used to feel disappointed by such things, now I realize if I want recognition, I just need to be further along in my accomplishments. It's up to me to be assertive enough in my efforts to be recognized for them. This way, I ensure whatever I bring to the table is the best I could deliver on my own. If it can go further with others' assistance, that's great. If it gets shelved, I'll learn what I can from the experience and move on. Often, the sheer feeling of disappointment is the only setback, because that feeling can paralyze you, and keep you from moving forward. I like to think I'm past that, but who knows what the future holds."

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

  • Behavioral

    4. How do you define success?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer needs to gauge how your evaluation of success aligns with theirs. A repeated phrase on their webpage is "successful completion" used in various regard. So consider aligning your definition of success as the successful completion of the various goals you've set out for yourself, whether it is the pursuit of your degree or any other milestone in regard to your career goals. If you have a track record of successful completion of your goals, this might indicate you will successfully complete the program.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      You might weigh your successes by how well you're able to "expand on your skills and expertise." As Siemens also states, "We'll also expect you to bring along a high degree of flexibility, a broad mind, and an absolute willingness to perform." So consider this when describing your definition of what success means to you.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      "The successes achieved by Siemens over the years and indeed over the centuries are based on vast experience and expertise as well as a fiery ambition to find answers to questions which affect society and mankind as a whole. Only the very best candidates qualify for the Finance Excellence Program. Each year, some 20 graduates with majors in business science or finance are given the chance to prove themselves by developing solutions to a variety of business-related challenges. By meeting these demands, they are able to grow and thus prepare themselves in the best possible way for a long and successful management career."

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    5. How do you encourage ideas in others?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your answer to this question will offer the interviewer a glimpse into your leadership style. They want to know how your interpersonal skills will complement their team. A huge part of the inspiration for the Siemens Finance Excellence Program was to create future leaders and innovators from within. Should they choose you for the program and be placed in a leadership position in their company once you've completed the program, you may be grooming the future leaders of Siemens. How you encourage the ideas of their future leaders will further contribute to their success.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Think about your leadership style - whether you inspire innovation in others by assigning tasks equitably, based on skill, preference, or randomly, determine your approach and speak to its merits. Describe the methods you used to incentivize: praise and recognition, competitions, or rewards/bonuses. The ability to promote a team member's strengths and avert exploiting weaknesses is integral to effective leadership. An employee that has a general sense of accomplishment will be more effective at their job. Avoid examples of bribery (such as bringing in donuts) or micromanaging. Inspiring innovation is key.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      They will provide the chosen candidate with experience leading teams and executing complex projects in a transformational context to further strengthen your leadership abilities. Therefore, they're looking for outstanding leadership qualities with the vision to lead change.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    6. On a scale from 1 to 10, how honest are you?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      How you present yourself will offer the interviewer insight into the makeup of your personality. They want to determine if you're overconfident or modest in your answer. Take the time to consider the question before giving your answer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      This is a tricky question, as nobody is 100% honest, even when they try. But this question isn't about subjectivity or the logistics of honesty. What this question is more geared towards answering are your intentions, your integrity, and your self-perception. Like Einstein said, "The more I learn, the more I realize how little I understand." Explaining that you try to be as honest with yourself as possible, especially when confronted with emotionally confusing situations, is key.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      This question is all about what the semantics of your answer reveal about you and your intentions. Choose your words carefully. Honesty and communication go hand in hand. An effective communicator is an honest one.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    7. Tell me about a recent high-stress situation you were in. How did you manage it? What do you do to decompress?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      According to those who've been through the process, this experience can be at times be exhausting. Immersed in this crash course in high-pressured work environments, you'll deal with the everyday problems of a variety of business situations. This will put your mental flexibility to the test. What the interviewer is attempting to gauge is your ability to handle such high pressured situations on a consistent basis with full commitment to the program. To determine your fit is to determine your ability to persevere through such situations, without compromising your dedication.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Offer a recent high-stress situation comparable to what you imagine similar situations in the program's environment looking like. This will convey your understanding of what will be expected of you. Next, detail how managed that stressful situation, logistically and emotionally.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      The Goal

      Some might listen to music to help emotionally distance themselves from a stressful situation, striking a balance between productivity and maintaining a positive experience. Others might take frequent breaks to read poetry or meditate. Some might bounce a tennis ball against a wall. Describe how these tricks allow you to maintain your focus and keep the stress at bay. It's fine to have stress as long as the stress doesn't have you. Emotional balance is what you should aim to convey with your answer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    8. What type of work environment allows you to be the most productive?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This is a common behavioral question aimed at determining where you fall on the scale of being an extrovert versus an introvert. They want to ascertain whether you work well with others or prefer to work solely on your own. Most people fall somewhere in the middle between these two extremes on the scale. Additionally, anyone immersed in Siemens Finance Excellence Program will be working side by side with one of their high-level leaders. "You'll never be left alone." How you answer this question will also clue them into how well you would function in that work environment.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Exhibit your ability to be productive in any environment. Discuss your ideal environment with the interviewer customizing it to the realistic expectations of the role. Focus your answer on what it takes for you to perform at your best without focusing on how difficult it may be to maintain your focus in other environments.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      This is from their website: "Exposure to innovative, complex topics and developing experience in various business model environments, including Software as a Service (SaaS)." Dissect how these bullet points might offer the kind of work environment in which you could see yourself thrive.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    9. How do you motivate yourself during work?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This direct behavioral question is self-evident in what they're looking to learn. It will clue them in to what your partnership with Siemens would look like, as well as how your mentor might motivate you.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Give them insights as to what motivates and inspires you on a personal level, as well as how you stay motivated throughout your workday. Detail how you approach your work, regardless of whether the task is high-pressure or monotonous. Detail how you stay motivated and productive throughout your day.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Some key terms Siemens uses when describing the Siemens Finance Excellence Program are "Willpower and perseverance." They also have a motto of "Ownership is important at every stage of your career. You're in the driver's seat for your career, and only one person can set your career direction, and that's you." Consider how you might complimentarily incorporate or paraphrase these messages into what motivates your work.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Communication

    10. At Siemens, we put a lot of emphasis on clear communication between all parties, departments, and sectors of our business. Tell me about your communication style.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer is trying to assess your communication skills. One of the posted requirements for the position is detailed as business proficiency in English with strong communication skills and an influential personality.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Communication is an integral part of any business. Solid communication is a necessity to ensure all the company's systems run smoothly. If accepted into the program, you'll need to communicate proficiently on multiple levels, most likely in environments where the spoken language is not your native language. Take all these points into consideration while communicating your answer. Explain what you do proactively to ensure communication is effective between all parties. Offer an example of a time you identified a communication breakdown and describe what you did to correct it without assigning direct blame or casting anyone in a negative light.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      The message sent is not always the message received. A communication breakdown can happen anywhere in the chain. One supervisor might tell you one thing, and a different supervisor might tell you another. An employee might confirm they understand the task they're to complete but fail to communicate they've completed the task. Consistency and follow-through are integral to functional communication operations.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Direct

    11. At Siemens, we have business partners and interests all over the world. Is there anything that would restrict you from traveling for work?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Location flexibility is a prerequisite, both during and after the program. They'll offer financial support with your relocation, for you and your immediate family. Before considering investing in a viable candidate for the program, they need to know if you are eligible to travel.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Frequently advertised as "two years that will change your life. 3 rotations. Locations in 190 countries. The world is your oyster." This is framed as a positive. It hints at adventure and aims to appeal to those who are eager to have a transformative, growth experience. It's perfectly natural for a person to feel homesick or experience culture shock when spending any length of time abroad. Share your experience if you've overcome this before and frame it as something that's behind you in your life. If traveling abroad is something you haven't experienced before, and if you have reservations, best to explore your resilience in this regard prior to the interview. If you're not sure if you're cut out for it, best to explore that before the interview. Such self-doubts or reservations are likely to sneak out and come across for a red flag.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      Don't frame logistical obstacles as reasons holding you back from this opportunity. If you don't have a passport, one can be easily attained within an acceptable timeframe. Don't up that you don't have a work visa or anything of that nature. They explain on multiple web pages that they'll assist you and your family in getting all the required work visas. Using that as an excuse will only reveal you haven't done your research prior to the interview, and serve as a red flag that you really aren't interested in the opportunity.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    12. Describe your ideal job.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      How you describe your ideal job will inform the interviewer on how aligned your goals are with the opportunities Siemens Finance Excellence Program provides. Likewise, they are looking to foster innovation by grooming whomever they choose for a future position within one of Siemens' companies. They aren't motivated to provide a free educational opportunity for someone. They describe it as a partnership. How you answer might shed light on how equitable the partnership would be.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Plan two versions of your answer. Make one more generic to exhibit your flexibility, such as, "My goal is to work at the intersection of strategy, technology, and finance." Craft another version of your answer that is more specific, within a realistic range of the possibilities which Siemens offers, depending on where you want to set your emphasis. The candidate they elect will handpick their assignment from what is available, experience different functions, industries, regions, and markets. They'll have access to a broad network, the ability to select a team, or the flexibility to select which geography to explore.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      There is a wealth of material on the program available online. This opportunity is very competitive, so the more research you perform on the front end, the better your chances are of getting in. Whether you are granted the opportunity or not, putting the focus on how you'd answer these questions will only provide you with clearer direction in where you'll potentially take your career. Answering these questions for yourself, and not just for the interviewer, will go a long way in achieving your goals.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    13. How do you see your profession evolving in the future? How are you preparing yourself to stay on top of these changes?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      When asked similar questions that challenge different answers, you're being tested on your attention to detail and how well you perform under pressure. This question is designed to test your industry knowledge and is also a less obvious way of assessing how you stay up to speed with developments in your field.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      However subjective this is, your answer will provide clues to your vision and ambition. Although you don't want to reuse an answer to a similar question, you can expand on another answer and use this opportunity to flout your knowledge. This is another excellent opportunity to start a conversation and build a rapport with your interviewer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      Stay Away From

      Don't put emphasis on how you feel like you've been asked this already. Don't stammer or struggle to come up with an example either. Prepare and share your insights with enthusiasm and passion.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    14. How do you keep up to speed with the commercial developments in your field?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question is often used to determine how serious or passionate you are about your career. They want to know if you can talk the talk and walk the walk. They want to know if you pursued this career or just fell into it. It will also offer you an opportunity to show off your knowledge of your industry and how up-to-date you are.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Industries are rapidly changing and innovating. A proactive candidate that keeps up with industry changes and macro trends. Therefore it's important to demonstrate yourself as a proactive worker rather than a reactive follower. You want to exhibit a growth mindset at all times. If you take advantage of learning through continuing education credits, seminars, conferences, journals, and any other means of staying educated in your line of work, let them know.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Remember, they are specifically looking for someone with a "fiery ambition to find answers to questions which affect society and mankind as a whole." Refresh so they're fresh in your mind prior to the interview. This could branch off into excellent conversation points. Establishing a rapport with your interviewer translates to a likelihood of doing the same with the members of their team and is always a good selling point.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    15. Where do you see yourself in five years?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This question will offer insights into the level of your ambition. It'll reveal how familiar you are with Siemens. It will also reveal how familiar you are with the program and how your future aligns with the opportunity.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Create a five-year plan, further defining your goals and breaking down how you'll reach those goals in attainable steps. Outline how aligned those goals are with what Siemens Finance Excellence Program offers. The program is two years long and will potentially provide incredible opportunities from there.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Here are some of the key statements from Siemens Finance Excellence Program: "The future holds many questions. Have you got what it takes to answer them... Two short years. A lifetime of knowledge. You're climbing the mountain. The world is your oyster. The challenge: tough. The prize: huge." This branding is designed to entice your personal development, ambition, as well as your business acumen. Consider this when constructing your answer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    16. Where have you traveled abroad? If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The Siemens Finance Excellence Program requires traveling globally and working abroad. They break the program up into three 8-month training sessions. The first will most likely occur in their headquarters in Germany. The next two could be anywhere in the world, depending on the goals you set for yourself. This question helps them explore how cultured you are, and your comfort level with spending periods immersed in another culture and language. If you are not interested in working abroad or travel, you're likely not a great fit for this opportunity.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Use this as an opportunity to express your enthusiasm for traveling abroad and experiencing other cultures. Share the experiences you've had, and where you'd love to spend more time or explore next. Present yourself as culturally flexible. Remember, if you're chosen for this opportunity, you'll choose your assignments based on your personal background, interests, and prior experience. As they say repeatedly on their sites, you are in the driver's seat of your career.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid asking clarifying questions you should already know the answer to. For example, asking if you'll need a work visa or sharing that you wouldn't be able to afford to travel and live abroad would be misguided. On their website they share that they'll do most of the work in getting any visas or resident permits you might need, as well as assisting with the cost of relocation for you and your family.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    17. How do you like to spend your free time?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      How you answer this question will help them determine your fit for this opportunity and guide you towards the direction you'd like to take your career with them. Those accepted into the program will choose assignments based on their personal background, interests, and prior experience, and be given the "freedom to pick the functional role and business area for your assignments."

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      If you can align your interests with the elements of what this opportunity offers, all the better. If you enjoy foreign films, learning other languages and about other cultures, mention that. If you love to travel, enjoy international cuisine, throw that in. Find those common denominators and weave them into your answers. How you like to spend your free time shouldn't be limited to these things, but neither should your answer exclude them. Look for the commonalities and ensure they are communicated with sincerity.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      This is more than a "getting to know you chat." This is an assessment to see how well-suited you are for this role. This is a commitment on the part of both parties. It is a two-year commitment abroad, of which Siemens is footing the bill. Therefore, it is incumbent on the interviewer to ascertain whether an applicant will find the lifestyle this opportunity offers emotionally sustainable.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    18. How do you strike a harmonious balance between your working and personal life?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      They're ascertaining your natural ability to balance these two spheres. One of the core values at Siemens is "for each employee to achieve a harmonious balance between their working and personal life." An employee with a work-life balance will be able to perform well professionally over the long term of their career. In addition, the program has its drawbacks which counterbalance its benefits. As they detail it on their website, "The Challenge: Tough. The Prize: Huge."

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When relocating to another country for work, especially in a country where you know very few people nor much about the culture, you might find yourself in a situation with no separation between work and personal life. So the trick to this question is how do you strike harmony and balance when stepping away from the stresses of work. Ponder this before you answer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      According to those who've gone through similar rotational programs with an identical setup, they can, by design, be exhausting. The lineup of experiencing different functions, industries, regions, and markets are dependent on where you want to set your goals. Similar to deciding on your course load and curriculum in college, you'll be committing a fair share of your off hours to this pursuit as well. From their website: "After all, only those individuals whose personal life is happy and fulfilled will be able to perform well professionally over the long term." Consider this when you ponder what you do to reach a place of harmony in such situations.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    19. Typical "corporate culture" is something that we work to avoid here at Siemens. Tell me about your ideal workplace culture.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer is again providing another context to test how familiar you are with the company and the opportunity being presented. They'd prefer for the candidate they choose to be 100% familiar with the company as well as the rare opportunity they are offering.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Exhibit your knowledge of the company. Share not only your understanding of why this is important to Siemens, but your understanding of the culture they've built, and embrace not only why they're proud of this, but why you want to be a part of it. Talk to the interviewer about what your ideal workplace culture looks like in a way that aligns with the culture they've prided themselves on building. Share with the interviewer the factors that would make you want to stay with Siemens long-term, beyond the 2-year program.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      Within the branding of the Siemens Finance Excellence Program, they describe their company culture as the Siemens ecosystem. They pride themselves on breaking through the barriers between their companies to foster innovation in new ways. They offer the opportunity to explore diverse roles, provide a great platform to build your network with access to a broader network, look forward to interdisciplinary teamwork and a highly stimulating environment, where you'll interact with C-level executives, and select your team or the flexibility to select your location.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    20. Tell me something about yourself.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The Siemens Finance Excellence Program is very competitive opportunity, and as they scout for viable candidates, they want to get to know you first. Gaining insights into your personality will help them determine if you are a possible fit for this opportunity.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Introduce yourself, and divulge your interests, views, and values. Share the basics of who you are, why you are here, where you come from and where you're going. Describe how the experiences of your life influenced your self-awareness, growth, and continuous development. They want to know if you have a strong character, are communicative, competent, and have the analytic abilities required.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Emotional maturity, ambition, self-growth, conscientiousness, and integrity are some of the driving components they're hoping to hear from their candidate. Try not to dwell on the hardships and hurdles you've overcome. Focus on the positive takeaways from the experiences that shape your character, and exhibiting forward-thinking are some key attributes of your makeup worth sharing here.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    21. We have a few strong competitors. In your opinion, what does Siemens do to stand out from the rest?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your interviewer wants to know how familiar you are with their brand. Branding is the identity and personality of a company. It is also their culture, and they want to see how well you'll fit into their culture of contributing to a meaningful impact on society and human progress.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Focus on your answer on their buzzwords and phrases of 'digital transformation' and 'growth mindset,' as well as the 'enormous size and spectrum of one of the world's leading corporations.' it is important that you not only research Siemens before your interview but also their competitors. Describe how they're set apart. Additionally, research to see if any of their competitors offer anything like the Siemens Finance Excellence Program and if so, explore how they compare, and what Siemens is doing that separates them from their competition.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Avoid going into this interview ill-informed. Take notes and rehearse them. If it is useful, consider this interview as a test, for which you want to get a perfect score. This requires doing the full extent of your homework.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    22. What can you contribute to this company?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This is a challenging question. The interviewer is not only assessing how well you work under the pressure this question poses, but how familiar you are with what the role expects of those who are chosen to participate in the program. In other words, break down what you have to offer in a partnership with Siemens.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      In many ways, the Siemens Finance Excellence Program advertises what they can do for you. If you are actively pursuing the opportunity, it's worth exploring what you have to offer them. When you look at many of their statements for what they can do for you, there are also clues to the qualities they are looking for in a candidate: flexibility, ownership, self-awareness, growth, teamwork, ambition, along with many other keywords offering clues as to how to align your answer successfully.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      Remember To

      Remember to use your accomplishments and work applicable experiences. Frame them in a translatable way to contribute to your answer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    23. Why would you be a good candidate for the Siemens Finance Excellence Program?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      They are looking to ascertain if you may or may not possess the key qualities which would contribute to your success in this position. Additionally, how you perform in the program will determine whether they'll be able to entrust you with a leading position after your 24 months in the program. They are investing in leading innovators. This is your opportunity to exhibit yourself as a worthy investment.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Some of the questions posed in their branding for their program are if you have a strong character, communicative competence, analytic ability, flexibility, a broad mind, and an absolute willingness to perform. Spend a great deal of time studying all the statements for the demographic audience they are trying to reach with their branding. Instill those into the qualities you possess. By determining this, you'll be able to offer what makes you a viable candidate.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      Remember To

      Don't just spout off things you've read on their site verbatim. Translate them to how they apply to you, in your own words, with sincerity.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    24. Within our multi-national organization, there are many opportunities for career growth. If hired, where would you like to take your career with Siemens?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      From Siemens, "After two years of intense learning, you'll need to show us how far you've come, both professionally and personally, and whether we'll be able to entrust you with a leading position. With Siemens, you've found a company that enables you to realize your potential to the fullest. Here, you'll find future prospects of truly global dimensions. Correspondingly, however, our expectations of potential candidates for the Finance Excellence Program are very high." They repeatedly brand this as a partnership. Understanding the scope of your ambition with Siemens will offer them a deeper understanding of what that partnership looks like.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Prior to the interview, perform deep research into the company. Come up with several directions you'd like to take your career should they grant you the opportunity. You'll have three, eight-month assignments in the two-year program. Go into your interview with six choices after performing your research. Rank them according to preference. This way, you'll be more than prepared should this question present itself.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      Here are some of the statements Siemens makes on the Finance Excellence Program:

      The Finance Excellence Program is a tailored-to-fit program. You will choose assignments based on your personal background, interests, and prior experience. Freedom to pick the functional role and business area for your assignments, the access to a broad network to select your team, or the flexibility to select a geographic location that you wish to explore. This way, we make sure you have the best opportunities to develop your skills.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    25. What has been your greatest achievement to date?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Talking about your greatest accomplishments will give the interviewer a strong idea of where you place your values. It will also show the interviewer more about your personality, as well as the goals you're seeking to achieve. Your answer will reveal why you're proud of the example you provide and how it fits into your career goals, as well as what motivates you.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      It is okay to brag a little when answering this question. Show that you are proud of yourself and your accomplishments. Describe how this achievement acts as a milestone towards your goals. If you fit it into your five-year plan, what you seek to accomplish next, and how that aligns with Siemens Finance Excellence Program, all the better.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      The road to self-improvement is never-ending. Once you offer your example, offer where you hope this achievement will lead you on your path. Also from their site: Two short years. A lifetime of knowledge. You're climbing the mountain. You want to rise above yourself. Focus on the essentials: a clear goal, the right tools, and, of course, the right people at your side.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    26. Who is your role model and why?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Those who are accepted in Siemens Finance Excellent Program will be mentored by one of the Divisions CFOs. One of their core mottos is "The best results are not achieved alone." A candidate's role model, or figure of inspiration, will offer a glimpse into their personality, philosophy, and approach to life and work. They'll examine the examples offered and consider how well a candidate will work with one of their leaders. This may also help them pair them with the type of leader who best matches an applicant's inspiration, based on their ideals, helping that leader better serve as a role model for them through the experience.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Your life's inspiration can come from a book, a mentor, your family, a celebrity, an author - anyone! Talk to the interviewer about who has inspired your life and why. Be relatable and try to inspire conversation. How well you get along with your interviewer will also offer insights on how well you will get along with the mentor they place you with.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      Before answering this question, look at Siemens' website about page, and read up on their senior management. It may serve as a guideline. Think of those who inspired you. Explore if they embody some of the same qualities as Siemens' senior management. Inspirational people motivate us to keep going when we feel like giving up. They're passionate and driven, accomplishing goals that seem impossible, starting new ventures with new ideas that change the way we view the world. You can talk about a mentor, family member, or even a celebrity who has inspired you in your career.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Education

    27. Tell me about your education.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      They are looking for the best of the best. They want to learn about your strong academic record, outstanding diploma, and your ambition, which would make you an excellent candidate for the program.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Speak to your merits. Go in-depth as to why you chose the course load you have. Outline your accomplishments in detail, and what you've learned from those experiences. Go deeper and beyond the materials and lesson plans you were taught. Describe the educational pursuits you perceive as assisting you in your career. Go into the twists and turns in your course load led you to where you're at.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      It can be intimidating knowing how to go about marketing yourself in this regard. There is a fine line between sounding humble or coming off as arrogant or a braggart. Do your research. Find the commonalities between your ideals and ambitions, and the core values and mission statements of Siemens. Once you feel you have tapped into that, all you have to do is underline them in your answer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Education

    28. How many languages do you speak? Are you interested in learning a new language?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      They're not just curious if you speak more than one language, but whether you have a willingness to learn others. Part of the training program is a set of language immersion classes to help prepare you for assignments abroad. This includes German language classes at the start of the program at their headquarters in Germany.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      The languages a person chooses to speak hold clues to the cultures a person finds of interest. Sharing what languages you speak will offer insights into the cultures and languages you gravitate towards. For example, if you speak Spanish, you'll likely be more adept at learning other romance languages. If you speak German, you're off to a good start, and would likely learn other germanic languages with greater ease.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      Pro Tip

      If you don't speak any language aside from your native language, it couldn't hurt to learn a few phrases in German, and familiarize yourself with a bit of that culture prior to going into the interview. Whether through cinema or history, exhibiting a genuine interest can go a long way here.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • General

    29. Siemens puts a lot of focus on our local and global impact, so we seek to hire those with the same values. What do you know about our company values, and how do they align with your personal values?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer is assessing the extent to which you researched Siemens. They state that they're looking for those with a "fiery ambition to find answers to questions which affect society and mankind as a whole. Our technology brings together the digital and physical worlds to benefit our customers, society, and the environment. Working with us, you will have the opportunity to contribute to a meaningful impact on society and human progress while developing personally and professionally.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Dig deep and explore the full scope of the global impact Siemens tries to make. Share your knowledge with enthusiasm and parallel those with your own values.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      The Goal

      This is a very competitive opportunity and they want to ensure they pick "the very best of the best," as they state on their site. This includes choosing a candidate who truly embraces what they do with 100% sincerity. If this describes you, truly drive that message home by being fully prepared to discuss this point in full, with in-depth knowledge.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • General

    30. What are the biggest challenges and opportunities that the finance profession faces today?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This will offer insights into your industry knowledge, but also what you perceive as the bigger picture of your profession. This will help them ascertain how good of a fit you would be for this role.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      If you don't already have a quick answer to this question, before the interview jot down some thoughts of your own, and form them into a broader presentation on your thoughts on the challenges and opportunities you'll face in the industry in the days ahead. Consider how you'd tackle these, turning each challenge into an opportunity. Focus on the positives.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      As they state on their website: "You'll choose assignments based on your personal background, interests and prior experience. This way, we make sure you have the best opportunities to develop your skills while using your expertise to develop solutions to complex tasks or problems." This is important to remember when you construct your answer. They are looking for the best and brightest, with the hopes of grooming the best innovators from within.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • General

    31. What do you know about Siemens?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Siemens umbrellas multiple companies, across a wide variety of industries worldwide. Familiarizing yourself with their industries will convey that you have an active interest in their global impact. It may also serve to help you hone in on the career possibilities you could explore in partnership with them, should they elect you for the role.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Research and study their companies. Go deeper than the statements and branding they identify on their sites. Find as much as you can on the company, write down a summary in your own words, and rehearse it so you'll have no trouble recalling the information, should this question arise.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      This is one of the statements Siemens makes about itself online: At the intersection of strategy, technology and finance, the backbone of economies, manufacturing, infrastructure, and transport. Our technology brings together the digital and physical worlds to benefit our customers, society, and the environment. Working with us, you will have the opportunity to contribute to a meaningful impact on society and human progress while developing personally and professionally.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Operational

    32. Elaborate on your process for prioritizing work.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This will help them assess your approach to your work. Being singularly focused is a strength, so long as you're able to shift gears and exhibit flexibility when the need arises.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Talk about the tools and resources you used to plan your work and stay organized on the job. Exhibit strong time management skills. Exhibit your consideration of exploring what standards are used to prioritize work, and an ability to assess the timing, commercial importance, and positive externalities of other priorities. Additionally, convey your ability to follow the chain of command, and know when to tap into the resources on the job.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      Multitasking is challenging for most people. How you track your progress and pick up where you left off on a task you had to shelf when more pressing priorities took precedent is important. As Siemens states on their site: "The future holds many questions. Focus on the essentials: a clear goal, the right tools, and the right people at your side." Staying productive and preventing rework is part one of this. Your ability to exhibit sound judgment and prioritize based on the greater good for the team is of equal relevance.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Operational

    33. How do you measure the accuracy of your work?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer is probing for the various ways you handle your work with diligence and accuracy. How you answer will clue them in to the level of your skills in your given field.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      You need to convincingly explain a process for proofing your work for errors. This will come down to a combination of technical skills and aligning all the necessary facts and figures to a conclusive result.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      Items you want to touch on in your answer are your organization skills and your methodology or approach to project management, the level of your attention to detail, the standard you set for your own work. Consider this when structuring your answer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Operational

    34. Give me an example of how you keep track of things requiring your attention.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer is evaluating how effectively your system works, looking for insights into whether you focus on one or two tasks, or are a multi-tasker who needs to constantly change tasks to stay productive. They're curious how your process holds up and delivers, and if you will be thorough, consistent, and up to the tasks ahead, should you be accepted into the program.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Do your best to provide appropriate responses in a finance or business science context. Take pride in the systems you've developed for yourself, placing emphasis on your faith in your abilities, but would look forward to learning from whoever would mentor you, should they offer you the chance. Place emphasis on the growth opportunity the Siemens Finance Excellence Program would provide, and that you're really looking forward to accelerating your development in all regards.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      As stated online, what they're looking for in their candidates are, "strong analytical skills, including performance monitoring, financial modeling, data analytics, business intelligence, various finance-related functions, from an asset, risk, or liquidity management to resolving complex issues in financial statements, reporting, or in controlling units. High level of responsibility for complex tasks in day-to-day business and project work in international teams from day one." Knowing this, meditate on how you would keep track of these in your task management.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Operational

    35. How do you go about persuading others to your point of view?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The ideal candidate for the Siemens Finance Excellence Program should exhibit "outstanding leadership qualities and the vision to lead change." This interview question explores whether you possess this desired characteristic. But the core of the phrasing of this question revolves around communication. So this is less about getting others to bow to your will, and more about how you successfully communicate your vision, which might often be abstract in an effective way that persuades others to share your vision towards innovation and positive change.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      In the description for this program, they say you'll be "using your expertise to develop solutions to complex tasks or problems. Details are far less important than the presentation of analytical ability and strategic thought." So take this into consideration when communicating your answer to the interviewer, with the aim of persuading them towards your point of view. Also, remember you'll be working with several teams, so even if you're spearheading a project, any vision you have should be geared towards that common goal.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      Statements from their site: Our Finance Excellence Program shares your passion and offers everything you need for a career as a finance executive. We're looking for the most talented and ambitious finance experts who have what it takes to become the CFOs of tomorrow, expanding the boundaries of technical feasibility. The best results are achieved not alone but in collaboration with a strong team. And that's exactly what we give you: with experienced mentors selected to match your profile, and with colleagues who are just as impact-driven as you are. You can look forward to interdisciplinary teamwork and a highly-stimulating environment.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Operational

    36. Do you have a more analytical or interpersonal approach?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      This is another common behavioral question aimed at determining where you fall on the scale of being an extrovert versus an introvert. For some, an analytical approach is more of a singular task, whereas interpersonal is more collaborative and team-oriented. Ideally, you'll want to strike a balance with both. As stated on their website, they're looking for candidates with "strong analytical skills with professional experience, including performance monitoring, financial modeling, data analytics, and business intelligence." Based on this description, the goal would be someone with analytical skills who also has an interpersonal approach.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      In this opportunity, the chosen candidate will at times be able to handpick the members of their team. This will include performance monitoring which requires interpersonal and analytical skills, consistently motivating your team while monitoring results. Additionally, having both analytical skills and interpersonal skills will reveal some of the resources you might refer to when trying to solve complicated problems that fall outside of your comfort zone or your range of experience.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What NOT to Say

      Don't choose one or the other unless that is truly the case, which it rarely is in most cases. Put self-evaluative thought into your answer, rather than trying to hurry through it.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Situational

    37. What sources do you look to when solving complicated problems?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The interviewer wants to know if you think outside the box or ask for help when you are stuck with a complicated problem. It will offer them insights as to how resourceful you are as well as how self-reliant you are in your work versus asking your supervisor for help every five minutes, punting your work onto them and distracting them from their work, when it may have been something you could have handled on your own. How you answer this question will attest to your professionalism as well as how innovative you are.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Share the 'tricks of the trade' you'll lend to their organization. Where some might rely on instinct, others might explore all their resources before committing to a course of action. Try to strike a balance between being independent and resourceful, and not being afraid to ask for help when all other options have been exhausted. Whether you are one or the other, or both, should depend on the situation. Back up your claims with an example where you've put your skills to practice. Show the interviewer that you are knowledgeable and equipped to handle different types of scenarios. Offer varied examples to display your understanding of the nature of this question.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      By phrasing the question the way they have, the interviewer set up your answer to provide greater insight. How well you pick up the meanings of each question the interviewer poses the better. The easier you make the interview process for the person interviewing you, the better an interview you'll deliver.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Situational

    38. Describe a tough analysis problem you faced recently.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      They are trying to gauge your capacity to pinpoint issues and identify problems from pertinent information. Not only do they want to ensure you are a good fit for the opportunity, recruiting the best of the best, but they want to ascertain how to place you in their tailored-to-fit program.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      You'll want to present your ability to break down, organize, and analyze information successfully. Think of an example where you were successful in this regard.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      Part of what they are looking for in an ideal candidate has "strong analytical skills in the finance domain, such as business planning, performance monitoring, financial modeling, data analytics, new business model development, business intelligence, and post-merger reviews." Consider these key points in how you present your answer and yourself.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Situational

    39. Explain a time where your work led you to uncover a potential inefficiency or opportunity in the business. How did you work to communicate and implement this into commercial functions?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      They're interested in gaining deeper insights into your mindset and how adept your attention to detail is. It will also offer insights when it comes to how you try to improve efficiency and strive to go above and beyond. It also examines how you delivered your information. They'll be scrutinizing whether you announced what you uncovered to everyone, or were professional and discreet, respecting the chain of command.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When deciding on the example you want to provide, break down the overall impact of what you uncovered. Additionally, a large focus of this question is on your communication style. Professionalism is the key to the communication you should exhibit in your example.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      Some of the qualities they advertise they're looking for in their candidates are an ability "to perform professionally over the long term" and "a strong character with communicative competence." Consider how'll you'll exhibit these traits when crafting your answer.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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  • Situational

    40. Discuss a time you made a bigĀ mistake and explain your approach to findingĀ a solution.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Whomever they choose for the Finance Excellence Program will be groomed for a high-level leadership position at one of their companies in Finance or Business Science. They want to make sure the candidate has a strong sense of self-accountability, and the ability to take ownership of their mistakes and exhibit the ability to learn and grow from those setbacks. Making mistakes is human. How we deal with and remedy a mistake comes down to exercising good judgment and knowing when asking for help is appropriate. Many times, a person might feel fear of being judged for a mistake they've made. How they confront their fear, and the situation, is the true test of their character.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When you provide your example, explain the reasons behind your course of action. If you tried to fix the mistake before bringing it to the attention of your superiors, explain why. In this scenario, a good reason would be to not distract your others from important matters they were dealing with, and it was simpler and less exhaustive for you to fix the mistake yourself. If you brought the mistake to their attention, explain that it would've cost them more to have you fix it, whereas the issue could be solved by a superior in a matter of minutes.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

      What You Need to Know

      At Siemens, they state that ownership is important at every stage of your career. They aim to provide colorful impulses for self-awareness and growth and continuous development. They'll provide high levels of responsibility for complex tasks in day-to-day business and project work in international teams from day one.

      Written by Kevin Downey on March 4th, 2022

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