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Financial Analyst Interview Questions

If you are a finance professional and have just received an interview call for the post of a financial analyst, congratulations! You are a few steps away from the position of a financial analyst. These financial analyst interview questions can definitely help you get a general idea about how the interview is taken and how to answer the questions asked by the interviewer. Banks, insurance companies, mutual funds, or hedge funds are some of the high end companies that require a top financial analyst in their team. The main reason for this requirement is that they cannot afford mistakes that would disappoint and divert their customers.

The interview for the position of a financial analyst is not an unique and entirely technical one, but it is usually very similar to most of the other interviews. Only 10-20% of the questions would be technical and the rest of the questions would be education oriented, goal related, employer related, experience related, and behavioral in nature.

To present yourself as a deserving personnel for the post of a financial analyst is the key to crack the interview. Here is a list of the most commonly asked financial analyst interview questions and their most possible answers for your reference.

Question 1: Tell me something about yourself. When did you make your first financial analysis in life?

You would surely come across this question when you appear for the financial analyst interview. To start with, introduce yourself in brief, including your educational and professional background. Try and avoid speaking about personal aspects, unless asked. Keep your introduction session very short and to the point. While answering the next question about the very first financial analysis in your life, try using your imagination. You will surely recall some financial analysis in your personal life, and explain it to the prospective employer so that it sounds interesting. Make sure that you do not tell a long story, but limit it to short time.

Question 2: Why have you chosen the career of a financial analyst? What according to you makes a good financial analyst?

Answering this question demands honesty as well as technical knowledge. You can mention your liking towards numbers and money while answering the first question. Financial analysis is a challenging job that requires performing responsible duties and thus, you can also say that you like taking on challenges to accomplish your goals. The interviewer wants to check whether you possess the analytical skills required for the job of a financial analyst. Do not forget to mention that you have the capability to find out the best within a huge amount of data and the ability to transfer it to your final decisions about what and how to buy for the company.

Question 3: Tell me some key responsibilities of a financial analyst.

Define the term 'financial analyst' first and then start enunciating the key responsibilities. Financial analysts evaluate and analyze a company's financial situation. They prepare recommendations in order to help a company invest, manage, and spend the company funds. They should have expertise in analysis of different fields such as budget, credit, investment, money market, ratings, risk, security, tax, and wall street.

Question 4: Why have you chosen our company?

Emphasize on the name, good reputation in market, challenging environment, and one or two other points about the company that you really feel would help you impress the prospective employer. It is advisable to do some homework about the company before you appear for the interview. Research thoroughly to obtain as much information as possible about that company through the Internet and other available resources.

Question 5: From your point of view, what are the key characteristics of a good financial analyst?

This depends purely on your philosophy. However, you can mention that the most important quality of an ideal financial analyst is to be able to take the right and quick decisions before others make it out. Other attributes of a typical financial analyst are the ability to read the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. Apart from these traits, a financial analyst also has to extrapolate the past performance of the company in order to estimate the future performance.

Question 6: Are you familiar with ad hoc analysis?

Ad hoc analysis is a purely technical term and thus, you should be able to answer this question confidently. Ad hoc analysis is a business intelligence process designed specially to answer a single, specific business question. The product of ad hoc analysis involves a statistical model, analytic report, or other type of data summary.

It is used to create an unique report, and go deeper into the static report, to find out more about accounts, transactions, and records. Some people also use this process to obtain more data for the already existing data covered by static reports.

Question 7: What do you consider as the biggest mistake ever when it comes to transactions in financial markets?

It would be great if you support your answer to this question with an example. While giving an example, you are supposed to focus not only on the mistake but also on what you learnt from that experience.

Question 8: What methodologies do you use while doing your financial analysis?

It is advisable to mention the three main methodologies of financial analysis here. They are horizontal analysis, vertical analysis, and ratio analysis. In horizontal analysis, you can compare a business entity over different months or defined periods within a fiscal year. Dollar analysis and percentage analysis are two ways of processing horizontal analysis. Vertical analysis involves the procedure of comparing different figures of separate entities to one specific figure of an entity for one specific period of time. Ratio analysis is the method in which the ratio between two or more variables related to the business is compared.

The list of financial analyst interview questions given above is very helpful to refer before you appear for the interview for that position. If you wish to find out even more questions similar to the topic, you can examine some investment banking interview questions or finance interview questions. All the best!.

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