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Interview questions

Financial Analyst

For the interview

A positive opener to start

What do you enjoy most about your job?

What has been your journey so far?

Behavioral Questions

  • Why did you choose to become a financial analyst? What do you like most about your job?
  • Gives you some background information and shows a little about their personality. 
  • How do you usually prioritise and organise your day?
  • A good financial analyst needs to be very organised to not miss any vitally important financial data. 
  • Could you describe one of the toughest challenges you’ve faced at work?
  • Strong candidates will show resilience and perseverance when facing a challenge. Bonus points for passion and a sense of pride when delivering results.

Soft Skills

  • How do you stay up to date with new processes and laws surrounding accounting?
  • An important question, a good candidate should be passionate and proactive enough to stay aware of any changes they will need to legally implement. 
  • How would you approach explaining a complex financial situation to a team member that has little experience in the industry?
  • Should have good communication skills and be able to explain complex issues in an easy to understand way. 
  • How would you deal with a very vocally unhappy internal customer?
  • Sometimes financial analysts will have to make unpopular decisions. It’s important that they have the soft skills to diffuse a situation and keep emotions under control. 
  • Do you follow any stocks yourself? If so, could you explain why, and what metrics you focus on?
  • Any financial analyst should have an interest in the capital markets. It really doesn’t matter what sorts of stocks they’re following, it’s more about them displaying an interest for the industry.

Hard Skills

  • What accounting processes are you most familiar with?
  • Candidates should have known steps and processes, look out for implementing changes or improvements for bonus points. 
  • What technical experience do you have with accounting software tools?
  • Should know how to use a few different tools and have preferences about why they would choose those ones. Some to look out for would be FactSet, Bloomberg, or Thompson One. 
  • Do you have your accredited accounting certifications?
  • Of course this question speaks for itself, it’s vital that a financial analyst has the correct qualifications, these depend on your country of residence.

Operational / Situational Questions

  • How would you deal with a difficult situation with another team member? Maybe a discrepancy with a client, or an account that is inaccurate?
  • Should be able to stay confidential and know how best to approach sensitive financial conversations, and when best to escalate matters. 
  • What is your process when you have a lot to manage and deadlines to meet in one day?
  • Good accountants need great time management skills and an awareness of important incoming tasks. 
  • Have you been in a situation where you’ve had to meet a tight deadline? How did you deal with that and what was the outcome?
  • A good candidate will perform well under pressure while still delivering results. 
  • Could you walk me through how you would develop an investment plan for senior management?
  • This is an opportunity for the candidate to show off their organisational skills and level of experience. They should talk about how to collect data, collecting statements and who they would partner with.

Best interview questions for a Financial Analyst

Financial Analyst Interview Questions

When hiring a financial analyst you should look for:

  • Great communication skills.
  • Outstanding attention to detail, as well as time management skills and practice in prioritisation.
  • It would be beneficial for you to find a candidate that already has some years experience in the industry, or has got plenty of accredited qualifications.
  • From the questions you ask you should get a feeling that the candidate fully understands accounting processes but also has some good interpersonal skills and can communicate effectively.
  • An analyst should also have an organic interest in the industry themselves and be aware of stock. 

Interviews naturally breed nerves, so the first part of your interview should aim to make the candidate feel comfortable speaking with you, you’ll get much more information out of them and a better sense of the person they are if they feel like they can trust the environment they are in.

To do this you can ask some fun and interesting questions linked to the role, they should be open ended and encourage conversation. A good place to start is with behavioural questions. 

 

For the interview

A positive opener to start

What do you enjoy most about your job?

What has been your journey so far?

Behavioral Questions

  • Why did you choose to become a financial analyst? What do you like most about your job?
  • Gives you some background information and shows a little about their personality. 
  • How do you usually prioritise and organise your day?
  • A good financial analyst needs to be very organised to not miss any vitally important financial data. 
  • Could you describe one of the toughest challenges you’ve faced at work?
  • Strong candidates will show resilience and perseverance when facing a challenge. Bonus points for passion and a sense of pride when delivering results.

Soft Skills

  • How do you stay up to date with new processes and laws surrounding accounting?
  • An important question, a good candidate should be passionate and proactive enough to stay aware of any changes they will need to legally implement. 
  • How would you approach explaining a complex financial situation to a team member that has little experience in the industry?
  • Should have good communication skills and be able to explain complex issues in an easy to understand way. 
  • How would you deal with a very vocally unhappy internal customer?
  • Sometimes financial analysts will have to make unpopular decisions. It’s important that they have the soft skills to diffuse a situation and keep emotions under control. 
  • Do you follow any stocks yourself? If so, could you explain why, and what metrics you focus on?
  • Any financial analyst should have an interest in the capital markets. It really doesn’t matter what sorts of stocks they’re following, it’s more about them displaying an interest for the industry.

Hard Skills

  • What accounting processes are you most familiar with?
  • Candidates should have known steps and processes, look out for implementing changes or improvements for bonus points. 
  • What technical experience do you have with accounting software tools?
  • Should know how to use a few different tools and have preferences about why they would choose those ones. Some to look out for would be FactSet, Bloomberg, or Thompson One. 
  • Do you have your accredited accounting certifications?
  • Of course this question speaks for itself, it’s vital that a financial analyst has the correct qualifications, these depend on your country of residence.

Operational / Situational Questions

  • How would you deal with a difficult situation with another team member? Maybe a discrepancy with a client, or an account that is inaccurate?
  • Should be able to stay confidential and know how best to approach sensitive financial conversations, and when best to escalate matters. 
  • What is your process when you have a lot to manage and deadlines to meet in one day?
  • Good accountants need great time management skills and an awareness of important incoming tasks. 
  • Have you been in a situation where you’ve had to meet a tight deadline? How did you deal with that and what was the outcome?
  • A good candidate will perform well under pressure while still delivering results. 
  • Could you walk me through how you would develop an investment plan for senior management?
  • This is an opportunity for the candidate to show off their organisational skills and level of experience. They should talk about how to collect data, collecting statements and who they would partner with.

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