MockQuestions

Financial Analyst Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Financial Analyst interview, here are 33 interview questions and answer examples.

Financial Analyst was written by and updated on August 24th, 2017. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 33

How long will it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our team?

How to Answer

If you were to be the successful candidate, when do you expect to make a viable contribution to the organization? Talk to the interviewer about your plan to make a fast impact.



Written by Rachelle Enns

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33 Financial Analyst Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. How long will it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our team?

      How to Answer

      If you were to be the successful candidate, when do you expect to make a viable contribution to the organization? Talk to the interviewer about your plan to make a fast impact.



      Written by Rachelle Enns

      1st Answer Example

      "I am interested in making an impact on your organization right away and have already crafted a plan to make that happen. In addition to my stellar skills in finance, I am a very strong relationship builder. I plan to bring my existing portfolio and expand it by 15% this year. This should amount to a strong increase in clients for your firm within the first 9 months of my on boarding."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

  • 2. Walk me through your finance related education. Which courses were your favorite? Where did you struggle?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants you to bring your education to life for them. Be sure to talk about your reasoning behind your most favorite course, and also discuss how you overcame your greatest challenges.



      Written by Rachelle Enns

      1st Answer Example

      "I have a Masters' degree in Finance. I am also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). I completed my Masters' degree from Stanford University in 2006. My CFA designation was awarded to me in 2010. During my studies, my favorite course was International Business. I found it incredibly eye opening to learn about financial matters in other regions. Statistics is the area that I struggled the most. I hired a tutor for that course and completed it with strong grades."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

  • 3. The financial industry is large; however, it is close knit. Describe your reputation in our industry.

      How to Answer

      Every employer wants to know that they are hiring someone with a strong reputation in the industry. In finance, reputation means a lot because reputation equals trust. Talk to the interviewer about your reputation in the industry by drawing on compliments you have received from clients, reviews from current or previous employers, or co-workers. If you have any written references to bring with you - even better!



      Written by Rachelle Enns

      1st Answer Example

      "For me, reputation is everything. I have two written references for you from previous clients. You can also call my past 2 employers if you would like a character reference. I can best describe my reputation as honest, thorough, and invested. I want to see my clients succeed."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

  • 4. How do you evaluate the financial health of a company?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is interested in knowing what the major factor is for you to determine if a company is financially healthy or not. You should give a straight answer while maintaining a stance that, overall, many factors are required before you can truly evaluate the financial health of a company.



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  • 5. How do you like to be recognized for your accomplishments?

      How to Answer

      We all like to be recognized in some way for our accomplishments in the workplace. Share with the interviewer how you would like to be recognized for your hard work. Through gifts? Financial perks? Public recognition? Kind words? Title promotions?



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  • 6. When planning, how often do you create alternative scenarios to help you adjust to changing situations?

      How to Answer

      Being able to problem solve and think outside the box when it comes to changing situations is a very valuable skill set, especially as a Financial Analyst. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to create a variety of potential scenarios when faced with challenging situation.



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  • 7. Where do you see your finance career, five years from now?

      How to Answer

      It's impossible to know where you will be in 5 years but do assure the interviewer that, given all possible circumstances, you could see yourself as a long term fit for their position.



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  • 8. What type of manager brings out the best in you?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see that you are self-aware and understand the type of manager or employer that brings out the best in you. Some individuals prefer a close working relationship with a lot of accountability, while others prefer space and autonomy. If you are unsure of the management style of the interviewing company, try to leave your answer as open as possible. You can certainly ask the interviewer to describe their management style.



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  • 9. When entering a new job, describe how you build relationships with your new coworkers and supervisors.

      How to Answer

      Due to a wide variety of personalities, relationships can take time to form. How do you ensure that you have a strong line of communication with your co-workers and supervisors, right from the start?



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  • 10. In your opinion, what are the most important metrics when dealing with investors?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is interested in what you feel to be the most important metrics when working alongside, or communicating with, investors. There may not be a wrong answer; however, you want to ensure that your focus is on the areas that the hiring company also puts their focus on. You may be able to find clues in the company job description or the values / about us section on their website.



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  • 11. Do you think honesty is always the best policy?

      How to Answer

      Is honesty always the best policy? Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on honesty in the workplace. As a Financial Analyst you need to be well trusted so be sure your answer is clear!



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  • 12. As a Financial Analyst, accuracy is of utmost importance. How would your co-workers describe your attention to detail?

      How to Answer

      It is always best to support your reply with a real life example. Talk to the interviewer about your level of attentiveness when it comes to details on the job.



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  • 13. Tell me about yourself.

      How to Answer

      Take a few minutes to tell the interviewer a few things about yourself. You can begin with your recent education, family life, volunteer work, or talk about your travels. Bring up anything that is interesting and highlights your ability to be a responsible, reliable, and bright individual.



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  • 14. What are your salary expectations?

      How to Answer

      The best way to discuss your salary expectations are to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.



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  • 15. Describe for me a time when you made the wrong career decision. How did you correct your misstep?

      How to Answer

      Everyone has had a misstep in their career at one point or another. Perhaps you took a job with a company who was not as reputable as you originally believed. Maybe you took a role that was 'oversold' to you. Or, maybe you declined an opportunity that you now regret passing on. The key to a great answer is to discuss what you did to correct the misstep.



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  • 16. Tell me one thing about yourself that you would like to improve upon.

      How to Answer

      Self-improvement is required by everyone, no matter what stage we are in, in life and career. Talk to the interviewer about something that you would improve about yourself and what you are planning to do to achieve that.



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  • 17. What unique qualities about yourself would you bring to our company?

      How to Answer

      There are some things that your resume cannot do. Showing off your great personality is one of them, for instance! Talk to the interviewer about some of your unique qualities and be sure to tie these qualities into how they will benefit the company, should they hire you.



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  • 18. How does the current monetary policy affect your decision making?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is interested in your knowledge of our current monetary policy; however, they also want to see how knowledge of factors such as inflation will affect how you invest money. Assure the interviewer that you have sound decision making skills. Show that you trust your own judgement and that your decisions are always research based.



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  • 19. How would you explain your job as a financial analyst to someone with no financial background?

      How to Answer

      The financial world can be overwhelming to those who have no experience in it! There are terms, acronyms, and phrases that the average person may not be able to understand. Your ability to explain your job to a financial layman will show the interviewer that you are capable of meeting your clients, experienced or not, on their level of understanding.



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  • 20. What are the most important factors to consider when processing a loan application?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to be assured that you have a full understanding of the basic factors that go into loan approval. Take the interviewer through the steps that you consider to be the most important when reviewing a loan application.



      Here are some important factors to keep in mind:



      - Credit History

      - Cash Flow

      - Collateral

      - DSCR (Debt Service Coverage Ratio)



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  • 21. In your opinion, which is more beneficial: To increase price by one percent OR To increase customer base by one percent?

      How to Answer

      This question goes back to the cost of retaining customers versus acquiring new customers. It sounds more like a problem solving math question but it's actually pretty straight forward. To answer this question, explain your knowledge of customer retention and acquisition. You can share what you have learned from your clients and how you prioritize them in order to maintain relationships and give them the results they need.



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  • 22. Tell me about the process you follow to create reports.

      How to Answer

      Financial analysts are very organized and methodical. Sticking with a process in your reporting is essential to your efficiency and consistency. Your interviewer is interested in the aspects you consider in your research to prepare your reports. There is a structure most reports follow.



      Talk about the basic structure of your report to show that you know your audience. In this example, you are thinking about investors, which will affect the layout of your report and the information you include. Review one of your most recent reports to refresh yourself on your process.



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  • 23. In your opinion, what profitability models are most accurate for forecasting?

      How to Answer

      As a Financial Analyst, forecasting is a topic you need to feel confident discussing in depth. This question gives you the opportunity to share your experience and your analytical skills. Test your business market knowledge by thinking back on the research you have done for companies in the past.



      Use what you have learned to impress the interviewer by showing that you understand the different models and when to use them. Accuracy will be dependent upon if you are using the right model with the right situation. Share the factors that you take into account, such as operations, financial results, the company's position in the marketplace and the different characteristics of the current market.



      The most used profitability models are:



      - Historical Model

      - Trends Based Model

      - Analytic Model

      - Financial Model



      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 24. Tell me about a time when you presented an oral report to a client or employer. How did you ensure the information was absorbed?

      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.



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  • 25. When reviewing investment programs, how do you interpret data?

      How to Answer

      Interpreting financial data is the main responsibility of a financial analyst. Your task here is to explain your process for data interpretation so that the person interviewing you feels confident in your skills. Go into as much detail as you need to in order to prove your competency. Explain the factors you take into account.



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  • 26. Tell me about your experience with annual planning processes.

      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!



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  • 27. Accuracy is very important when making projections based on financial data. How do you ensure accuracy?

      How to Answer

      There are many factors and changing conditions that will affect financial business decisions. When you talk about your process for accuracy, show how you are consistent and precise. Attention to detail, the ability to see the big picture, and the willingness to reassess, are key skills that will aid in accuracy.



      Your steps to accuracy may include:



      - Staying current on the changing economic environment

      - Accounting for potential losses and unexpected expenses

      - Ensuring your costs/expenses are accurate

      - Looking at multiple scenarios / potential outcomes

      - Comparing the financial data of a similar project / company / situation

      - Willingness to reassess regularly



      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 28. Explain one financial concept to me.

      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.



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  • 29. What finance related magazines, newspapers, or journals do you read?

      How to Answer

      Part of your job as a financial analyst is staying up to date on the latest trends and growing in your overall knowledge. Reading up on current events and frequenting financial websites will help you to stay relevant. Show that you are knowledgeable and interested in the changing financial environment, because you know how much it affects the way you do your job. Knowing trends and understanding historical facts will make you that much better at what you do.



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  • 30. When looking at the profitability of an investment, what other factors do you consider besides Net Present Value (NPV)?

      How to Answer

      As you may have figured out by now, you will want to know terminology and formulas for your finance interview. The interviewer needs to ask these types of questions to make sure you know your stuff. NPV stands for Net Present Value, a factor that is used in assessing investments.



      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 31. 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



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  • 32. Share with me your thoughts on the recent mortgage crisis.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see that you have a pulse on major financial topics. Offer a personal analysis based on data, trends you have observed, and articles you have read. Even if you are not involved in mortgage lending, you can observe the bigger picture to make an accurate assessment, just as you would for a company or a client.



      Written by Rachelle Enns

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  • 33. When did you start following the stock market? Have you had success?

      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!



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