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Financial Analyst Interview Questions

33 Financial Analyst Interview Questions
Question 1 of 33
If you could analyze only one type of financial statement for your clients, which financial statement would you choose?
How to Answer
The interviewer is looking for your personal preference. Technically is no right or wrong answer; however, be sure to think about the job description. You should recall if there was an expressed preference on the type(s) of financial statements they want you to be well versed in. Once you state your preference, explain why you chose that particular statement over the others.

Choose from the four main types of financial statements:

- Balance Sheets
- Income Statements
- Statement of Cash Flows
- Statement of Changes in Equity

Answer Example
"From a logic standpoint, the Statement of Cash Flows makes the most sense if you had to choose just one financial statement type to analyze. The cash flow statement would tell me the ins and outs of cash movement, current liabilities, investments, and operating needs."
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Question 2 of 33
Tell me about your experience with annual planning processes.
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How to Answer
The interviewer wants to know that you understand the process of annual planning. Giving a detailed example of a process you followed and the results you achieved will make your skills and knowledge more tangible for the interviewer. Be sure to give an example of a time when your assistance attributed to a clients' success!

Answer Example
"I was hired last year by a local software startup to create an annual corporate plan. The plan helped them to define their scope, which in turn gave them a better perspective on what customers they should be targeting. My goal was to help them increase their profitability. Over the next year their sales increased by 120%. I use an annual plan process that included considerations such as market changes over the past 12 months, what business characteristics gave them an edge over competitors, any potential threats to the business, the strengths/weaknesses of the business, as well as a SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time driven) objective."
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Question 3 of 33
When did you start following the stock market? Have you had success?
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How to Answer
The interviewer wants to understand how deep your interest goes, in the world of finance and investments. Share a bit about what initially sparked your interest in the stock market and feel free to talk about your current involvement in the stocks. Perhaps you would like to discuss a successful investment you made!

Answer Example
"I have always had an interest in the calculated risk and required patience that comes with the stock market. Many years ago, before I started a career in finance, one of my friends walked me through the stock market, taught me a bit about how it works, and he told me about a company I might want to invest in. I started following their stock prices and reading articles to understand the market better. I have made some great investments over the years including some very profitable ones with Edwards Lifesciences Corp. and Under Armour."
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Question 4 of 33
Explain one financial concept to me.
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How to Answer
As you work with your clients, you will need to be able to take complicated financial concepts and explain them in terms that are easily understood. Review industry concepts that you may not use every day so that you can confidently discuss any term the interviewer throws your way.

Here are some concepts you will want to familiarize yourself with:

- Risk/Return Tradeoff
- Asset Allocation
- Random Walk Theory
- Optimal portfolio
- Net worth
- Liquidity
- Inflation
- Risk Tolerance
- Bull Market

These are all concepts you will want to familiarize yourself with. Maybe crack open that textbook you used to study for your CFA exam and quiz yourself. As you review these concepts, take some time to write out their definitions in simple terms you would use to explain it to your client.

Answer Example
"The most common financial concept that I find myself explaining to my clients is the Random Walk Theory. Many new investors believe that the Stock Market is somehow rigged so I like to teach them that stock prices are random, and unpredictable. The Random Walk Theory is also called the Random Walk Hypothesis."
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Question 5 of 33
Tell me about a time when you presented an oral report to a client or employer. How did you ensure the information was absorbed?
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How to Answer
A good presentation tells a story. How do you make numbers interesting and relevant? If you are presenting to investment bankers, they may be interested in different information than the CEO of a startup marketing firm. Thus, it is critical that you know your audience prior to presenting. Think of a time when you did just that! Highlight for the interviewer how you presented in a way that made the data understandable and absorb-able.

Answer Example
"I worked as an in house financial analyst at a marketing firm this past year and gave a presentation on their financial forecast. I wanted to tell the story in a relevant way, so I put the information into perspective by showing them how my research would affect their business growth and help them get where they wanted to go. I hired a graphic designer to make the presentation visually engaging and also compared their brand story to one of their strongest competitors, using numbers and potential outcomes, to capture their attention."
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Author of Financial Analyst Answers and Questions

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
First written on: 02/27/2014
Last modified on: 08/30/2018

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About Financial Analyst

January 21st, 2017

A financial analyst is responsible for researching the financial health of a business and making recommendations to their clients on how they can improve their current financial strength while minimizing areas of risk.

A financial analyst should have a minimum of a Bachelor's degree although a Master's degree is often preferred. Depending on your State, license requirements will differ.

A financial analyst, securities analyst, research analyst, equity analyst, or investment analyst is a person who performs financial analysis for external or internal clients as a core part of the job.