Finance Interview Questions (And the BEST Answers)

Preparing well for an interview is the best way to make yourself stand out from the pack. Here are some common questions you will see in a finance job interview, and the best answers to these questions. If you want to land a finance career, prepare for these interview questions! And don’t say that your only weakness is that you are a perfectionist…

When you’re interviewing for a new job preparation for that interview beforehand is arguably the most important aspect of the interview interview prep though is really underrated and the people who are doing it and doing it well are the people who are landing the best job so if you’re serious about landing a certain role and you really want to differentiate

Yourself from others who might be interviewing for that same job preparing for the interview beforehand is one of the best ways to make a big difference during an interview for almost any position in the finance industry you’re going to get some finance related questions but you’ll certainly also see all the regular generic questions that get asked in every type

Of interview no matter what the industry is so you should be prepared for both here are some of the most common ones and the potential best answers to those common interview questions that you’ll see in a finance interview near the beginning of the interview you’re almost always going to hear something like tell me what you know about this company why do you want

This job why do you want to work for this company they’re all different ways to phrase the same question general tip here is to think about what the interviewer is trying to figure out about you and them asking that question especially when this question gets phrased as why do you want this job probably the worst answer out there but one that unsurprisingly gets

Used relatively often is well because of the salary you know i need an income i need a job so that i can work to live i’m a big fan of money i like it i use it i have a little the interviewer is already going to know this when you’re coming into a job interview everyone out there who has a job or 99.9 of the people out there have a job are doing that job because

It provides them with a salary and they need an income to fund their life so when you think about that question and more importantly think about why the interview is asking that question what they’re trying to learn about you is it that they’re trying to learn that you want a salary like the other six candidates who are interviewing the same position no you’re

All in the same boat there you all want to earn a salary what they’re probably trying to learn about you is how you got to the place where you decided that you were interested in the duties of that job what led you to be in the position where you’re right now where you’re interested in doing something like that that kind of leads into another general tip which is

That telling a story with your answers to the questions that that are being thrown at you is going to be a good way to articulate your answers rather than just giving quick one to three word answers if you tell a story give a description explain a little bit about the question that was just asked of you your answers are going to sound a lot better a lot of people

Will say your interview answer should be anywhere between 30 seconds to three minutes so if you tell a story keep it to a one to two minute story i think is a good time for him to think of then other really common ones like tell me about yourself or what are your strengths and weaknesses those are arguably also two different forms of the same exact question they

Could both be asked of you because they’re a little bit different but still think about what the interviewer is trying to get at with that question for tell me about yourself again using a story is a little bit more engaging than like a bullet point list of fight characteristics about yourself you know two to three minutes but your education the beginning of your

Professional career and what type of things influenced where you’re now and where you want to be hopefully in that job that answer is a little bit different than the answer to what are your strengths and weaknesses which is why it could be two separate questions strengths and weaknesses i think is trying to get at are you honest with yourself and are you also

Really cheesy you should certainly always prepare for the strengths and weaknesses question before any interview because there’s a high likelihood it’s going to come up and you’re going to sound a lot better if you don’t have to spend 10 seconds sitting there in silence which isn’t a terrible thing to do but if you already have something prepared you’re just going

To sound more articulate more intelligent and you probably won’t end up saying something stupid because you’ll have prepared for it read it maybe practice it out loud to someone else and gotten a little bit of feedback on your answers of course saying my only weakness is that i’m a perfectionist is a stupid answer and if you don’t prepare for these questions

Beforehand that might be what comes out of your mouth during the interview and you want to avoid that well pan no my name is pam in the finance industry you might see some mathematic or arithmetic type questions here’s a pretty fun one that i’ll remember forever because i got it dead wrong in an interview once the question was if it’s 9 30 pm what angle do the

Hands on an analog clock form first of all you need to know how to tell time with an analog clock which to be honest with you i was not very familiar with i used a digital wristwatch from the time that i was like eight years old until i don’t know maybe 18 or something like that and then after age 18 i really didn’t look at analog clocks even hanging on the wall

All that often i would just check my computer or cell phone so i know how to read them but certainly not quickly but that’s not why i got the question wrong i got the question wrong because i didn’t think about the math right in my head and you know it’s it’s in an interview environment you’re a little bit nervous you have to think on your feet quickly so that

Adds to some of the pressure but i certainly should have gotten this right basically you need to think about the 360 degrees to a circle that a clock exists in and the fact that there are 12 hours 360 divided by 12 gives you 30 degree pies for each hour i did that method i think i ended up doing like 360 divided by 10 in my head for some reason and then ended up

Coming to the wrong answer but if you have 30 degrees for each hour you have to think about where the hands are at for 9 30. okay you have a quarter of the clock maybe you could have figured it out more easily they’re like 90 degrees but then also importantly factor that the 9 would have moved halfway to the 10 if the minute hand is around to 30 so one half is

Fifth another interesting one that i’ve seen which i think could be answered in several really cool ways is if you were given the options to invest in a stock and earn five times your money or take that investment and start your own business which would you choose this is such a good question so that means preparing for it could give you a real advantage because

You might come up with a really good answer i don’t think there’s one right answer here i mean you could go a hundred different ways like short-term potential greed you know short-term profits versus trying to build something that has some significance to support a community help a community support a certain cause that the business is operating in whatever you

Could talk about risk and return characteristics of a guaranteed five times return which theoretically has a zero percent risk whereas starting the uh your own business certainly would carry some risk you can compare the two from an analytical standpoint you could share some information that the difficulties that a business owner which that interviewer may be

Sitting right across the table from you to emphasize with them and talk about how owning your own business can come with several other stresses and how you might take a work smarter not harder mentality i think there are a lot of good ways you can spend an answer to this question so think about a good answer to it spend an hour write it down someday if you’re

Preparing for an interview or will be in the future you know it’s not a wasted hour even if this question doesn’t come up in the interview because your thoughts that you put together in preparing for your potential answer to this could very well apply to a potential answer to another similar-ish question in that interview in a similar vein to that question i’ve

Heard of interviews for equity research positions in which the interviewer asked if you were given 10 million today or 1 million dollars today or 100 million what would you invested in maybe not as dynamic as the last example because you’re not comparing two separate things but still the interviewer can learn a lot about you do you want to make a quick buck do

You want to invest in something that has some significance to you maybe that will also show that you have emotional biases i don’t know maybe you do maybe you don’t way that you articulate your answer would probably influence the interviewer’s thinking on that you could talk about literally if you know of some great investment or funds that you really like you

Could just speak specifically to those and tell about why you like them there are a lot of good ways and probably a lot of bad ways to answer the same question too i think it’s a good one i mentioned that clock question you might also just get some regular arithmetic regular old-fashioned fifth grade division multiplication addition subtraction things like that

I did have this in an interview only once but there were a string of maybe 10 questions they were all double digit integer addition and subtraction questions like what’s 53 minus 37 things like that just by nature i’ve always been really good at arithmetic so i was really lucky to get that question it was easy for me to rattle off some answers and i think that

Voted fairly well as long as you don’t come off as like being really cocky it usually will come off pretty well with the interviewer if you’re good at arithmetic if you’re not no big deal i think the best way to approach these questions is slowly and methodically even if it takes you more time it’s going to show the interviewer that certain things that you’re

Not the best in the world at that’s fine realistically everyone has a calculator anyway so it’s not like you have to know arithmetic but if you’re good at it it can lend pretty well to having a potentially higher iq so answer it quickly if you can and answer it slowly and accurately if you can’t do it quickly this next one could be a little bit borderline between

An entry level like sales or service finance position versus like a mid-level associate or vp role but nonetheless it gets asked relatively often someone could throw something at you like discuss the cap m model how it’s calculated and what are some of its strengths and weaknesses you know the cap-m is something like risk-free press the beta times excess return but

There are a lot of different short valuation model similar to this that you could be asked about in an interview if you’ve gone through the cfa exams you should know the answer to this at least relatively quickly or if you can’t think of it right away i would just like articulate the fact oh man i knew this i did it 100 times during the cfa program and that is maybe

A really humble way to say yeah i i did i knew this when i was studying for those very difficult exams but hopefully you just know it whatever model they’re asking you about and if you can come up with a articulate answer relatively quickly i think that could show some some really promising attributes for you i’ve never actually seen this one in any interviews

I’ve been the interviewee in or in interviews that i’ve seen other people asking interviewees questions in but you still could get the sell me this pen thing i gotta be honest here i have no idea the best way to answer this question i think it gets argued relatively often i know there are certain sides that say you should just like connect with the person on a

Personal level unrelated to the pen and then at the end of the conversation selling the pen right like make them like you first i’ve heard arguments that you need to explain how the pen is something that they literally need they can’t live without and then they feel like they have to buy it whatever i have no idea which is best go read some blogs or maybe their

Entire books written about this one topic you’re going to get a lot more information from those things than i can give you if you’re interviewing for anything above an entry level role you’re likely to get some fairly technical finance related questions as well these will certainly depend on the specific industry or sector in the finance industry the specific role

That you’re trying to get into you might get questions about the differences between things like conventional private equity funds versus search funds or if it’s a financial analysis or accounting type role how does issuing private debt or how does issuing equity affect the income statement it’s a modeling type role like in investment banking and private equity

Walk me through a dcf a discounted cash flow statement and highlight some of the major points tell me how to get free cash flow ebitda those types of things maybe tell me how to calculate the enterprise value of a company or pitch a stock to me which is a kind of a similar version of sell me this pen all those more technical questions are certainly going to come

Up in the non-entry level positions middle level certainly upper level job and i don’t actually think you need to really prepare for these too much number one because they’re relatively specific so you could spend hours and hours and hours preparing for certain types of the ants and then they not come up in the interview and that time will have been wasted and

Number two hopefully if you’re interviewing for a mid-level job all the experience or a lot of the experience you had in your earlier stage career jobs are going to have given you the information necessary to be able to do that type of job in that industry that you’re hoping to get into so you should be relatively familiar with some of the more technical aspects

Of that role here’s a question i really didn’t like i was asking an interview once they asked me if you’re at a business dinner and you order steak medium rare and it came out well done what would you do i partly don’t like this question because after i answered it the interviewer said do you know why i asked you that question and then i proceeded to answer that

I said something like oh i think you might be trying to get at what my interpersonal communication skills are like i don’t remember exactly what i said but then the interviewer kind of just smirked at me so i don’t know if my answer to the second question was way off or my answer to the first question was way off it’s a tough one because it’s certainly not about

Food right they don’t care about your preference in cooked meat but i couldn’t tell exactly what they were trying to ask and i honestly do in interviews most of the time try to phrase my questions in the mindset of what the interviewer is trying to learn about me like i mentioned earlier and i really couldn’t engage that one so maybe it’s just a stupid interview

Question in general i wouldn’t ask it if i was interviewing someone else i just mentioned it here to say that you might get some really obscure stuff like that too to wrap it up here if i could provide one general tip i think it will just be to relax in that interview relaxing during interview is maybe even more important than doing all the preparation for that

Interview before you even step into the conference room i know relaxing can be extremely tough to do for a lot of people so what you need to do then is practice run through some mock interviews with friends have them put together 20 even if they’re just 20 random interview questions that’s okay and then maybe someone who you’re less familiar with because that’ll

Better simulate what the interview environment might be like just practice it over and over until you start to feel a little more and more comfortable you’re not going to feel perfectly comfortable in the interview and that’s okay but you’re going to feel a little bit more comfortable than being totally nervous and if you’re totally nervous you’re not going to

Be able to answer the questions well you’re not going to look like yourself you won’t act like yourself and you won’t be able to communicate verbally and through your body language what type of employee you’d be for the firm being yourself and being able to relax interviews probably the most important thing only way to get there is by practicing if you’ve gotten

To this point in the video i appreciate that very much the youtube algorithm loves long watch time in terms of percentage the video and in terms of total minutes spent if you could also like this video and subscribe both of those things also help me out pretty much i appreciate them as always thanks for watching

Transcribed from video
Finance Interview Questions (And the BEST Answers) By Straight Talks – AJ Srmek