How to Answer the Top 10 Finance Interview Questions

The world of finance is fast-paced and challenging, but it’s a great way to earn an excellent living doing something that pushes you to the limits of your abilities. There are many good job opportunities in the world of finance, and it’s definitely worth pursuing a degree in that field.

If you already have your degree and are applying for a job, there are a few questions you should expect to be asked. Below are the 10 most commonly asked questions, along with advice on how to answer the questions effectively:

Why did you choose finance?

Make sure to emphasize that you love the competition and action of finance, as well as the opportunity for growth through hard work. You want to show that you are motivated, driven, and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed in the world of finance.

What have been your greatest accomplishments to date?

If you’re fresh out of college, think about stories that could illustrate how you used your intelligence and acumen to earn money doing something that few people would profit from. If you have experience, choose a story that highlights your creative and quick thinking.

What have been your greatest challenges/failures to date?

Talk about a time when you failed, as well as how you handled it and faced up to your mistakes. Best of all, highlight the lessons you learned and how you were made better by your failures.

What kind of ethical decisions have you had to make?

Integrity, trust, and ethics are three important elements of a banker/financial professional. Talk about a situation where you were faced with an ethical choice, and how you made the right choice in the end.

What risks have you taken?

There is always an element of risk in the world of finance, but how you handle your risks is important. You want to answer this question in a way that proves that you know how to take risks, but in a smart way.

How do you make tough decisions?

You will make a lot of calculated guesses in your career, and your interviewer wants to know how you will reach your decision on those guesses. Demonstrate your analytical skills, and answer this question in a way that showcases your ability to do research and find out as much as possible about your investment before making it.

Why should we hire you?

Basically, the interviewer wants to know what makes you the ideal candidate when there are so many others. Be confident with your answer, but don’t be too cocky. Know that you have value, and make sure to highlight the following abilities: drive, resourcefulness, vision, initiative, leadership, flexibility, communication, adaptability, and a willingness to learn.

Do you learn more from success or failure?

This question is meant to gauge how you handle the ups and downs of finance. Describe a notable success and/or failure in your career, and discuss what you learned from it.

What do you do during your off hours?

Companies want employees with personality, and that’s what this question is all about. Talk about any activities that involve risk-taking, reaching out to others, high energy, or recharging your batteries for another long work week.

What/how much do you read?

Every good professional in the world of finance MUST read, and the type of books, magazines, and newspapers you read say a lot about who you are. Make sure to include The Wall Street Journal on your list of reading material, as well as any trade magazines specific to finance.

There are a lot of loaded questions, but they’re not as hard to answer as you might expect! 


Image: iStock

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