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Top 30 Financial Analyst Interview Questions

If you could analyze only one type of financial statement for your clients, which financial statement would you choose?
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Question 2 of 33
Tell me about your experience with annual planning processes.
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"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."
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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Question 3 of 33
When did you start following the stock market? Have you had success?
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"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."
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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Question 4 of 33
Explain one financial concept to me.
Professional Answers Preview
"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."
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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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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Question 6 of 33
How does the current monetary policy affect your decision making?
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Question 7 of 33
In your opinion, what profitability models are most accurate for forecasting?
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Question 8 of 33
When reviewing investment programs, how do you interpret data?
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Question 9 of 33
Accuracy is very important when making projections based on financial data. How do you ensure accuracy?
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Question 10 of 33
In your opinion, which is more beneficial: To increase price by one percent OR To increase customer base by one percent?
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Question 11 of 33
Tell me about the process you follow to create reports.
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Question 12 of 33
Share with me your thoughts on the recent mortgage crisis.
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Question 13 of 33
What type of manager brings out the best in you?
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Question 14 of 33
When entering a new job, describe how you build relationships with your new coworkers and supervisors.
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Question 15 of 33
How long will it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our team?
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Question 16 of 33
Do you think honesty is always the best policy?
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Question 17 of 33
As a Financial Analyst, accuracy is of utmost importance. How would your co-workers describe your attention to detail?
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Question 18 of 33
Tell me about yourself.
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Question 19 of 33
What are your salary expectations?
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Question 20 of 33
Tell me one thing about yourself that you would like to improve upon.
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Question 21 of 33
Describe for me a time when you made the wrong career decision. How did you correct your misstep?
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Question 22 of 33
Where do you see your finance career, five years from now?
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Question 23 of 33
When planning, how often do you create alternative scenarios to help you adjust to changing situations?
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Question 24 of 33
When looking at the profitability of an investment, what other factors do you consider besides Net Present Value (NPV)?
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Question 25 of 33
What finance related magazines, newspapers, or journals do you read?
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Question 26 of 33
What are the most important factors to consider when processing a loan application?
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Question 27 of 33
How would you explain your job as a financial analyst to someone with no financial background?
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Question 28 of 33
In your opinion, what are the most important metrics when dealing with investors?
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Question 29 of 33
Walk me through your finance related education. Which courses were your favorite? Where did you struggle?
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Question 30 of 33
The financial industry is large; however, it is close knit. Describe your reputation in our industry.
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Question 31 of 33
How do you evaluate the financial health of a company?
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Question 32 of 33
How do you like to be recognized for your accomplishments?
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Question 33 of 33
What unique qualities about yourself would you bring to our company?
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User-Submitted Interview Answers

Question 1 of 33
If you could analyze only one type of financial statement for your clients, which financial statement would you choose?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
I would choose balance sheet as it will provide presice overview of all a/c balances.
2.
Cash flow statement.
3.
By using the CFS, you get the most accurate D and A numbers.
4.
Statement of Cash Flows.
5.
Statement of Cash Flows. The operations section converts the Income Statement from accrual to cash and will give you some of the information from the Balance Sheet to have an idea regarding the current (and other liquidity) ratios.
6.
Its a formal record of financial activities.
7.
Current Financial statement.
8.
Profit and Loss Statement.
9.
I choose which I have that time.
10.
What is your expectation.
11.
Income statement and cash flow.
12.
Cash flow statement because you get a real overview of how the company can manage to pay for it's operations and future growth.
13.
I have taken as a base and forecast for the next years.
14.
I have only one statement so there is no choice for me to choose any one.
15.
Income statement and other comprehensive income.
Question 2 of 33
Tell me about your experience with annual planning processes.
User-Submitted Answers
1.
Yes I have experience.
2.
Annual planning processes are entirely dependent on two factors that are past trend activities and new project. One should know the possible outcomes of the new project and reflect it in the planning reports in a rationale way. Pro-active approach is required for coordination between interdepartmental teams to plan the financials accordingly. (Nabeel Qureshi)
3.
Yes, from last three years, I was continuously the part of annual planning team in my previous employer. We planned about the Product wise sales and the measures to boost up these sales and decide the time, when to launch that scheme. We analyzed the cost of such schemes and Campaign. We also planned about Material Management, when to purchase, either import or local. For imports, what would be the benefit and cost of early purchasing etc.
4.
Yes, I am involved in monthly budgets regularly.. Also plan for annually on approximaiton.
5.
Yes, I manage the annual budget preparation process. I send out a template to each department heads requesting their budget numbers for the next fiscal year. Once I get all budget requests back, I compile the information into one document and conduct a meeting to review each budget with the CEO, CEO, director of Operations and each of the department heads. Then compile the final numbers and together with the CEO, ratify the budget.
6.
Yes, at the beginning of the year we look at the financials of the previous years to help us plan out the next year allowing for inflation and fluctuations that may occur in the year.
7.
Planning process is an integral part of any organisation and yes I have been a part of it in my previous jobs where we use to chalk out the goals as per the vision and mission of the company.
8.
I do not, however I prepared the annual reports for the National Recycling Operation and monitored their capital budget.
9.
I currently prepare annual company and project based budgets.
10.
Yes, actively participated in budgeting process.
11.
The key to annual planning processes is to follow the steps that it entails with emphasis on reality, hypothesis or assumptions, and calculation based on historical data. We have our foundation which is the Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats (SWOT), and then Key Issues Assumption and Budgets (KIAB), Strategies and Objectives (SO) and lastly our result: Financial Impact (FI). At Wells Fargo we have a similar build up for what we are to accomplish, what goal we set, what are our forseen issues (slow season, short staff), and how can attack those issues (increase of product knowledge, emphasis on customer interaction, taking advantage of pushing promotional products). And in the end reaching our results in the end and reflect how we performed. This was done on a quarterly basis.
12.
The key to annual planning processes is to follow the steps that it entails with emphasis on reality, hypothesis or assumptions, and calculation based on historical data. We have our foundation which is the Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats (SWOT), and then Key Issues Assumption and Budgets (KIAB), Strategies and Objectives (SO) and lastly our result: Financial Impact (FI). At Wells Fargo we have a similar build up for what we are to accomplish, what goal we set, what are our foreseen issues (slow season, short staff), and how can attack those issues (increase of product knowledge, emphasis on customer interaction, taking advantage of pushing promotional products). And in the end reaching our results in the end and reflect how we performed. This was done on a quarterly basis.
13.
Yes I have been apart of several annual planning processes with multiple corporations.
14.
Yes. Involve in Plan Budget too.
15.
No, but I have come up with a strategic plan when completing my capstone project.
Question 3 of 33
When did you start following the stock market? Have you had success?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
I am not good with stock market. But I have more knowledge than ordinary people. It is my hobby to invest in stock market.
2.
I first found an interest in the stock market 1 year ago. Before then, I had even bought shares in a prestigious company and I was shocked to see the share price drop after the IPO! That's when I knew that there's more to stocks than the hype that is created. That was not when I took a deep interest in following stocks though. I focused on my interest last year when I enrolled in a business course and learned the language of stock.
3.
I started back in 2007 and 2008 when the market was crashing. I heard it on the news and started doing my own research after that.
4.
When I was in college I had a project to follow certain stocks that piqued my interest.
5.
Few months back I started to learn about the stock market and I still do it.
6.
I have no interest in this.
7.
I started following the stock market when I personally became invested in the market.
8.
Age 20, recently and knowing the market seems to be very new and complicated.
9.
Since last 10 years I have been following various stocks. I basically trade based on their fundamental values.
10.
I am not currently following.
11.
I started to follow the stock market in College.
12.
When I was in my tweenty.
13.
Actually learned about it in high school, but recently started trading myself with currencies.
14.
When I was at my 7th standard.
15.
I started when I am in my degree.
Question 4 of 33
Explain one financial concept to me.
User-Submitted Answers
1.
I would like to talk about asset allocation. Its an investment technique which balances risk and diversifies assets by dividing among major categories like bonds, stocks, real estate.
2.
I would like to talk about asset allocation. Its an investment technique which balances risk and diversifies assets by dividing among major categories like bonds, stocks, real estate.
3.
Asset allocation means diversifying your money among different types of investment categories, such as stocks, bonds and cash. The goal is to help reduce risk and enhance returns.
4.
Business entity concept: in this concept business is trested as separeatd to owners. It both are different owners and busiess examples are with drawn from persnal use.
5.
1. Time value of money 2. Accrual vs cash basis3. Cost of capital. Equity vs debtCopse one and explain.
6.
Cash flow- Cash flow is the single best determining factor that one can use to figure out how a company operates and if it works.
7.
Risk versus Return Payoff, its where higher risk products yield higher rates of return. Higher risk investments could be in startup companies, or emerging markets. Taking lower risk typically yields lower rates of return. Market driven products usually have higher rate of return, whereas bonds, or other relatively guaranteed products have lower yields.
8.
Company Equity values are not growing, market fluctuations affect the company profitability.
9.
Financial concepts ranges from diversification that is not placing all your strategies in one income stream, then you have the risk/return. That is based on the risk being taken what return would be acceptable. The greater the risk the higher the return is required.
10.
Internal controls are crucial in every business to have checks and balances and not allow one person to be in control of cash and finances.
11.
The matching principle is a fundamental accounting rule for preparing an income statement. It simply states, “Match the sale with its associated costs to determine profits in a given period of time—usually a month, quarter, or year.” In other words, one of the accountants’ primary jobs is to figure out and properly record all the costs incurred in generating sales, including the cost to make and deliver the product and the sales and administrative support. Because of the matching principle, the expenses on the statement are not necessarily those things that we purchased that month, or even paid for that month.
12.
Tax payer a person who has to pay tax.
13.
Time Value of Money, it unleashes the potential of looking at the past and the present of financial analysis.
14.
Working Capital - It explains the difference between Current assets and current liabilities and helps determine the capital available to the company for day to day activities, the optimum capital again depends on the nature of business and resources used.
15.
Working capital - gives a glance into the capital available to the company for day to day activities.
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?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
I have presented a report on financial analysis of a Pharmeceutical company- Cipla when.
2.
Our workshop was running in loss due to non availability of revenue for breakeven. In this time an additional investment in to this location which results an additional depreciation per month is not recommendable.
3.
I have never presented a financial report pertaining to an actual company, however during my man last year it was a requirement for a group to visit a brewery, review their.
4.
Did not report about the specific industry in the company but about the function I work in to all the new joiners seniors or juniors.
5.
I just gave a oral report on capital structure of a bank it was well use full to me I just learned how the process of bank take places and I learned about the capital structure of the bank and it was quite use full.
6.
When I did a research on e-commerce industry.
7.
4 months ago when I was conducting a part of research on e-commerce based industries and its capital arrangements.
8.
4 months back when I explained the investment trend in e-commerce industry.
9.
During ppt at MBA course.
10.
SGL taking 10 years data of sales, analysing each product, each industry, customer class, unit wise and even customer level detailed analysis.
11.
During my final year of college, I did a case study on emotiv headsets which are thought-controlled headsets designed to control computer programs. Our roll was to devise a business plan and decide on a market to roll out this new tech,
12.
Presentation is my think. I love to give out presentations that helps people understand about what I am telling. I try to be very clear to present my ideas and I want to make sure the audience understand it. I try to make my presentations less wordy and use more picture. When I am trying to explain about and industry I try to show graphs and charts that clearly presents the demography and the environment of the industry. I elaborate the pictures with my own explanation and talk about my views and general view about the industry.
13.
Starbucks, managerial accounting.
14.
I always come prepared for all the work that I have done in the past, because I am aware that I have to present it to my seniors. I use my notes.
15.
In college Project regarding cost Control techniques.
Question 6 of 33
How does the current monetary policy affect your decision making?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
The WACC is the minimum return that a company must earn on an existing asset base to satisfy its creditors, owners, and other providers of capital, or they will invest elsewhere and general, the WACC can be calculated with the following formula[2]:where N is the number of sources of capital (securities, types of liabilities); ri is the required rate of return for security i; MVi is the market value of all outstanding securities i.
2.
First of all find out cash inflow after that discounting it by discounted factor. Whatever value we got is present value tnan deduct investment frm it.
3.
I have an interest in finance because in this everyone should be aware about the financial world.Not only that but also to gain more knowledge about stock market.How industries are running in order to keep themselves into the peak.
4.
Sometimes we end up doing hard work rather than smart work. Thats when time gets wasted. I would want to be the smart ones around.
5.
Finance is the key for running any business from planning stage to performance stage. I would like myself to be one among the best finance persons in the industry.
6.
Interest denoted the opportunity cost of the earnings which we will get if we employ the capital we invest into the business into any process.
7.
I think I possess adequate qualification and experience required for this position. I m positive that my knowledge and skill will further enhance the analytical and reporting structure of this company. Hence, I consider myself a great fit for this position.
8.
I think I possess adequate qualification and experience required for this position. I m positive that my knowledge and skill will further enhance the analytical and reporting structure of this company. Hence, I consider myself a great fit for this position.
9.
In total financial growth is not adequate, investments are not growing, everybody things Gold is the best.
10.
Most turbulent period in the history of Financial market.US stock market crash.
11.
US market shaded most of points on lieu of Greece debts crisis.
12.
I am not sure to be honest, but it is a hobby I can develop.
13.
Lets assume its 2015 and it is India. The current situation is quite volatile after the correction that it had made due to the over hyped "Modi effect".
14.
I dont know, need to review.
15.
I had to be careful on my spending and I have kept/maintain the bank account in the UK to be active for the unforeseen future undertakings.
Question 7 of 33
In your opinion, what profitability models are most accurate for forecasting?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
It depends on your nature of operation and past years results. When we analyze together we gets a reliable result.
2.
I would use profitability models such as graphs and data.
3.
Financial and trend based model to capture the finances in case of changing environment and also for certain areas where it is difficult to forecast trend will provide a better insight.
4.
Healthy working capital.
5.
Case to case basis- Historical A stable market and financial results that are changing slowly and predictably lets me use historical data to forecast profitability. Financials We can calculate interest charges or increasing material costs and add them to expenditures while projecting increasing revenue due to higher sales. Trends and Analytical model.
6.
It Tottally depends what type of forcast we are doing.... And what is the purpose I.. E if we want accurate forcast with no errors than we need to go with expert panel method and nned to analyse market senarios.. And this method also work in case there is no historical data available w. R. T a new product.. There is a General method used Trend analysis and historical Data sheets to get close to most accurate data forcast.
7.
I wish to know many models, learn from them, and modify in a much better way.
8.
It depends on your nature of operation and past years results. When we analyze together we gets a reliable result.
9.
Financial and trend model.
10.
Models are based on assumptions. So first set would be revenues these would depend on market economy and competition and management. Second set would be fixed expenses. Then comes variable expenses which would depend on revenue and excel spreadsheet analysis would capture these calculations to give an overall profitability forecast.
Question 8 of 33
When reviewing investment programs, how do you interpret data?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
How do you interpret data concerning investment programs.
2.
I would look at the data for a specific time range to determine where it has been and where it is heading.
3.
I am sorry I need to learn about this.
4.
WIth experience and due deligence.
5.
Based on historical data.
6.
Review it completely and apply.
7.
One has to look at the investment cost and the investment out come of the project.
8.
Investment programs data has to be in line with the current financial market position and interpreting it is more dependent on the macro economic factors and lesser on the competition driven factors.
9.
Well interpreting financial data is one of the main tasks of “Financial Analyst”. For interpreting data affecting investment programs one should have the deep knowledge of current trends in business practices, price, yield, stability and economic influences and have the ability to develop forecast reports, spreadsheets and statistical software packages.
Question 9 of 33
Accuracy is very important when making projections based on financial data. How do you ensure accuracy?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
I was new to a training and development team that was in the process of documenting business operational procedures for conversion to a new SAP system. I was assigned to create a presentation on the benefits of converting to the new system for the deployment Director. I was given little information on what the Director actually wanted and minimal direction on who to contact to capture details on the system. Action:I created an outline of what.
2.
I was new to a training and development team that was in the process of documenting business operational procedures for conversion to a new SAP system. I was assigned to create a presentation on the benefits of converting to the new system for the deployment Director. I was given little information on what the Director actually wanted and minimal direction on who to contact to capture details on the system. Action:I created an outline of what.
3.
I was new to a training and development team that was in the process of documenting business operational procedures for conversion to a new SAP system. I was assigned to create a presentation on the benefits of converting to the new system for the deployment Director. I was given little information on what the Director actually wanted and minimal direction on who to contact to capture details on the system. Action:I created an outline of what.
4.
Research assignment for new market. I was analysing them. GEtting data itself was challenge for new market to enter altogether.
5.
Auditing a Governance as a team Leader.
6.
Auditing a Governance as a team Leader.
7.
I have to review that Payment report and GL in one day as we will have got some notification from Oracle Tech. Team that Oracle will not work for next 3 days and after 3 days we cannot do any change in our books so I have to complete the task by that day and I am the only person who is working in that I was sole responsible or that responsibility that time.
8.
The most complex assignment would be to analyze the energy production and relating it to the over all manufacturing cost of a textile unit and presenting the data in an integrated report with short falls in electricity production and requirement of a make to order facility.
9.
To lead the project in a proper way.
10.
Double checking work, and always having a reason behind a piece of analysis.
Question 10 of 33
In your opinion, which is more beneficial: To increase price by one percent OR To increase customer base by one percent?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
Increase customer base by a percent.
2.
In a more specialized market definitely one cannot go with increase in percentage customer base one has to rely on price increase. But the fierce competition in recent past has told us that of all the competitive advantages cost efficiency is the one that can make us do wonders. Thus I would focus on cost and increase my customer base.
3.
Increase customer base by a percent.
4.
Increase customer base by percent.
5.
Increase customer base by a percent.
6.
Increase customer Base by a percent.
Question 11 of 33
Tell me about the process you follow to create reports.
User-Submitted Answers
1.
I have used both Microsoft Excel and SAS for coding. I have more experience using the excel system.
2.
In the past I have used Peachtree and I am currently using QuickBooks. I am always willing to learn a new software package.
3.
I think using Microsoft Excel coupled with Microsoft Access. They allow you to sort or create reports, which aids in looking for trends.
4.
As I said im very new I need to learn about this.
5.
Mrcosoft excell and Ms Access.
6.
Hyperion financial management.
7.
Analyzing the data, talking the data over with colleagues, and finally formatting the reports.
Question 12 of 33
Share with me your thoughts on the recent mortgage crisis.
User-Submitted Answers
1.
Its sucks..... It sucks the big one.
2.
More you lend liniently earlier you will be bankrupt.
3.
It has happened because of the gross negligence of the financial institutions and regulatory bodies, it could have been avoided.
4.
Aggressive financing, high speculations, Faulty Appraisals.
5.
Recent mortgage crisis can be avoided by using more stringent banking regulations and policies.
6.
The mortgage crisis is a product caused by financial engineering. While it is wonderful to create products for shareholders, we also need to create an environment where all stakeholders can benefit. So, the mortgage crisis pains me.
Question 13 of 33
What type of manager brings out the best in you?
Question 14 of 33
When entering a new job, describe how you build relationships with your new coworkers and supervisors.
Question 15 of 33
How long will it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our team?
Question 16 of 33
Do you think honesty is always the best policy?
Question 17 of 33
As a Financial Analyst, accuracy is of utmost importance. How would your co-workers describe your attention to detail?
Question 18 of 33
Tell me about yourself.
Question 19 of 33
What are your salary expectations?
Question 20 of 33
Tell me one thing about yourself that you would like to improve upon.
Question 21 of 33
Describe for me a time when you made the wrong career decision. How did you correct your misstep?
Question 22 of 33
Where do you see your finance career, five years from now?
Question 23 of 33
When planning, how often do you create alternative scenarios to help you adjust to changing situations?
Question 24 of 33
When looking at the profitability of an investment, what other factors do you consider besides Net Present Value (NPV)?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
Benefit cost ratio is another option.
2.
We consider the project at more than npv.
3.
Period of project, incoming fund flow and cash out flow, market condition, work certification procedure and payment period, client reputation, forex flatuation chances, etc.
4.
Detailed study about the project.
5.
ROI, IRR, Cost benefit analysis and ratio .
6.
The commercial viability, alignment with company goals, incremental cost of the project.
Question 25 of 33
What finance related magazines, newspapers, or journals do you read?
User-Submitted Answers
1.
Investopedia. It give complete glossary about finance.
2.
Investopedia which has very useful information about finance topics.
3.
I read business times of different news paper to understand the current economic trend and money market trent.
4.
In my spare time, I like to read articles on how to make myself more efficient. And I spend time reading the bible.
5.
Cash flow, fund flow, income statements and balance sheet.
6.
Bloomberg and Financialexpress. Com.
7.
Moneycontrol, Daily news paper.
8.
Spare time is mostly concerned with geo polictics and sports journals.
Question 26 of 33
What are the most important factors to consider when processing a loan application?
Question 27 of 33
How would you explain your job as a financial analyst to someone with no financial background?
Question 28 of 33
In your opinion, what are the most important metrics when dealing with investors?
Question 29 of 33
Walk me through your finance related education. Which courses were your favorite? Where did you struggle?
Question 30 of 33
The financial industry is large; however, it is close knit. Describe your reputation in our industry.
Question 31 of 33
How do you evaluate the financial health of a company?
Question 32 of 33
How do you like to be recognized for your accomplishments?
Question 33 of 33
What unique qualities about yourself would you bring to our company?

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.

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