Looking for a job in the finance industry? It’s time to put you to work and start preparing for the interview with these trusty questions that every recruiter asks. Here are the ten most common questions asked by recruiters in a finance interview.
Finance interviews are supposedly the toughest as the questions asked are meant to challenge the job candidates and make them think on their feet. If you do not want a typical job interview to become the most harrowing forty minutes of your life its best to be prepared ahead of time. The recruiter will ask a variety of questions to test your passion, work ethic, and problem-solving abilities. Here are some of the most commonly asked interview questions that every candidate fancying his prospects for a finance role should know about.
What is your greatest achievement?
When the HR manager asks you this question it’s obvious that he is talking about an achievement that relates with your previous roles in finance industry and not some football tournament. For some candidates, the answer could be a particular project that they accomplished within record time or an award that they received at the previous company. Be insightful and relevant all the while. Try to connect the dots by explaining how your achievement has relevance to the current role, whether it’s of finance manager or VP finance.
How have you increased revenues in the previous companies you have worked for?
This is a tough question reserved for candidates applying to senior level such as VP finance jobs. Your answer should be thorough and inclusive of all the activities that you did at your previous company and the ways in which it helped the company. The bottom line is that interviewer wants to know how seriously you took your responsibilities and to what effect. It’s basically asking two questions in one:, what were your role at the previous company and your achievements.
What motivates you?
This question is aimed at detecting what drives you as finance professional. While money is the single most important driving factor for most, that’s exactly what the recruiter doesn’t want to hear. Always keep in mind that a passion for money doesn’t necessarily equate to passion for job. Therefore, when you answer try to explain what do you like about the industry besides money, what attracted you to it at the first place and how do you intend to keep the flame alive.
If you could choose one stock, which one it would be?
Another industry specific question that is supposed to give the recruiter a view of how well acquainted you are with the current affairs of the industry. With thousands of stocks to choose from, what makes you select a particular one? Are you a fan of Warren Buffet’s long-term investing philosophy, investing in only brands that have a straightforward business model? Or, maybe you would take some risk and bet your money on a small-cap name. Your answer will confirm to the recruiter the kind of aptitude and mindset you have and how well it bodes for his organization. This will also offer him an insight in whether you are a risk taker or you like to play it safe.
What do you understand about the current financial position of our company?
This question could make or break the entire interview. This is a multi-dimensional question and your answer should cover all aspects of it. On one hand you are being tested for your preparedness and knowledge about the company while on the other hand your knowledge and understanding of the financial concepts and industry is also being tested. If, unfortunately, you blank on this question, your application for the role will be jeopardized as no company would like to hire a candidate who applies to positions on whim without any proper research.
The finance industry is currently in a better mood to accommodate new candidates as shown by the hiring figures. According to Manpower Employment Outlook Survey India, Q3-2014 employers in the finance, insurance and real estate sector forecast a 43% increase in the staffing levels during third quarter of 2014. This means more hiring and jobs for VP finance, or finance managers. The World Economy is expected to pick up speed as the year progresses and is projected to expand by 3.4 percent in 2015 according to World Bank’s report. With positive times ahead, it is better one prepares himself/herself for facing the finance interview questions and get the most out of it.