How to prepare for a Financial Analyst interview

A financial analyst is a financial professional who offers guidance to individuals and businesses that are making investment decisions. Some of your primary responsibilities will include: Making recommendations for investments, both individual and collections, evaluating business and economic trends as well as historical and current financial data and examining an organization's financial statements to determine their value.

But to land one of the most desirable financial analyst positions, you'll have to be ready for more than just the basics. You may end up across the table from a hiring manager armed with an arsenal of challenging financial analyst interview questions. Although they can be intimidating, you can prepare for these questions.

Interview preparation questions

Here are a few financial analyst interview preparation questions to practice:

  1. Why do you want to work in investment banking? Or at this bank?
  2. How do you deal with risk in your personal life?
  3. Give a time where you had multiple options and explain how you arrived at your decision.
  4. Why do you want to be a financial analyst?
  5. What would you want to accomplish within your first 30 days of employment?
  6. What are the four financial statements used to monitor a company's finances?
  7. How would you define a cash flow statement?
  8. What does NVP stand for and why is it important?
  9. What financial methodologies are you familiar with for conducting an analysis?
  10. How do you value a company?
  11. If you could only choose one profitability model to forecast your projects, which would it be and why?
  12. How would you explain solvency to someone with no financial experience?
  13. How would you describe positive cash flow to upper management?


* Tips on answering these questions: align your experience to the attributes listed on the job posting and/or company culture and values

Questions to ask your interviewers:

The type of questions you may want to ask will depend on who is interviewing you, or which round of interviews you are currently in.

  1. What is your favorite thing about being a financial analyst at this firm?
  2. What can I expect in terms of company culture? 
  3. What are some of the unexpected realities of being a financial analyst ? 
  4. What common characteristics have helped people at this level quickly succeed and reach an outstanding performance? 
  5. I know financial analytics to be very dynamic. What can I expect my day-to-day to look like?

Interview follow up:

They say small kindnesses never go unnoticed and this is particularly true when it comes to interviewing.

A simple thank you email to your interviewer goes a long way to cementing you in their minds long after your interview is over. Your email could be as simple as thanking the interviewer for their time, or mentioning a particular part of the interview you enjoyed. This would also be a good opportunity to extend your interest in connecting via Linkedin.

Your interviewer will generally set the expectation for when you can expect to hear back from them. If nothing is set, a good timeframe for a follow up is two weeks after the interview.

Checklist for the day of your interview: 

  1. Get a good night’s sleep - This allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up, ready to ace your interview!
  2. Start your day with breakfast - You might find you feel a bit sluggish and struggle to focus if you don’t.  Breakfast positively affects your mental performance, including your attention, ability to concentrate and memory. Skipping the most important meal of the day can make some tasks feel harder than they normally would.
  3. Wear clothing you’re comfortable in - The dress code for financial analyst interviews can vary from business professional to business casual. With this in mind, it’s always better to overdress, rather than underdress. Comfortable clothing will also help you feel confident during your interview. 
  4. Leave your house early - Proper planning will help you arrive on time for the interview and eliminate any last minute stress.  Double-check the interview location and your best route to get there. If you’re driving there yourself, it’s a good idea to consider where you might park. 
  5. If you are having an online interview, remember to log on early and test your setup. You should check your connection, camera and microphone, as well as ensuring your background or environment is free from clutter and distractions.
  6. Follow in Superman’s footsteps - Try this right before you go into the room or join your call. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, place your hands on your hips and breathe deeply. This is the Superman pose, specifically developed to encourage your body to regulate breathing and allow your mind to clear and your nerves to calm. Plus, you’ll feel like you could leap tall buildings in a single bound - what better way to take your next steps to professional success?


Now that you’ve just taken your next steps towards succeeding in your career, be sure to take a look at the Wizco Blog for more insider tips and tricks and walk into every growth opportunity prepared.