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Financial Analyst Interview Prep

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Feb 28, 2018 9:00:00 AM

In Interview Tips

If you're in the market for a new financial analyst position and you've been invited for an interview, you need to be prepared to answer the financial analyst interview questions.

A few basic suggestions:

  • Research the company that invited you for an interview.
  • Find out all you can about the firm. Pay attention to the latest hiring and salary trends for financial analyst positions in your area.
  • Make a list of some concrete examples of your skills in action, and be prepared to discuss them verbally.
  • Many companies hope to hire a financial analyst who will be there long term and grow with the company. Stress your loyalty to the profession.

Brush up on key industry terminology

Review standard terminology for the industry. Do a brief overview of basic financial and accounting concepts prior to the interview so that you will feel confident. Also, review the skills and strategies for financial analysts that are in demand.

List some of the most likely interview questions

Although some questions are reasonably generic, others can befuddle even the most experienced financial analyst. The interviewer will probably begin by asking about your objectives, skills, and experience.

Some simple questions that may be asked are:

  • Why should we hire you to be a financial analyst?
  • What do you see yourself accomplishing in this position?
  • Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Technical questions:

  • How do you create a financial analysis report?
  • How do you determine a company’s cash flow?
  • What method do you use in your financial analysis?
  • What credentials and certifications do you have?

Some questions are targeted to test for specific knowledge. These are borrowed from actual interviews by financial analysts interviewing with some top companies:

  • Is it better to increase a price by 2 percent or increase the customer base by 2 percent?
  • What are the three financial statements? Describe each.
  • If you invested $1000 right now and you earn a 20 percent return in your first year and then lose 20 percent in year 2, how much money would you have at the end of the second year?

Show that you are committed to the profession

Be sure to discuss your long-term goals, especially the ones that match with the future objectives of the company. Share your personal qualities, such as perseverance and trustworthiness; stress the characteristics that are important for financial analysts. Give solid examples demonstrating each quality.

Be honest about your job search

If you are asked about other companies you are talking with, give a truthful but general answer, and don’t use names. Make it clear to the interviewer that the job you are interviewing for is your first choice and tell why it is your first choice.

Develop insight about questions that appear to be easy

Managers sometimes want to make sure you will be a good match for the culture of their firm. An interviewer may ask a question that seems insignificant but actually has a covert agenda. For example, "What is the best story you read this week in the Harvard Business Review?” You will make a better impression if you shy away from the headlines and choose a story more closely related to the daily tasks of financial analysts.

Remember:

Interviewing for a financial analyst position can be challenging. To get a top financial analyst position, you will need to prepare extensively.

  • Research the company that invited you for an interview.
  • Brush up on key industry terminology
  • List some of the most likely interview questions
  • Develop insight about questions that appear to be easy

Your goal is to convince the interviewer that you love the job, that you see a meaningful purpose in it, and that you understand the connection between your personal goals and goals of the business.

When you are sitting across the table from the interviewer, you will feel more confident if you are ready to answer the most intimidating questions. By following these tips, you will be calmer and more self-assured.

When your ready to get serious about looking for a role in accounting and finance, contact ICS. We have a long track record of placing people where they actually want to work. We also take the time to prep you for your interviews. You can't go wrong with our team on your side.

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