Economics Questions For An Interview (With Sample Answers)
Updated 30 September 2022
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If you want to impress recruiters and improve your chances of getting a job, it is important that you prepare for your interview. This can give you an increased sense of confidence because it gives you an idea of what questions to expect from recruiters and how to respond. Employers may ask economists similar questions, and you can review these typical questions to deliver answers that showcase your skills. In this article, we explore economics questions for an interview that recruiters may ask, offer samples of appropriate answers and discuss some tips on how to make a good impression on potential employers.
General economics questions for an interview
Recruiters often start an interview with general questions to gain a sense of who you are. This typically allows them to discover how compatible you are with the company culture, other employees and the work environment. They may also attempt to discover how well you cooperate with others and how adaptable you may be to a particular management style. Some questions a recruiter might ask are:
How do you describe your personality?
Which aspect of the company interests you most?
What's your greatest weakness?
What's your greatest strength?
What are you most passionate about in life?
Which part of the job description interests you most?
When working in a team, do you tend to take the lead?
Can you relocate, if required?
Why did you leave your last job?
How does this role align with your long-term career goals?
Related: How To Succeed In Your First Interview
Economist interview questions about experience and background
To learn more about your background in economics, employers may also ask questions about your education and experience. These help employers determine how qualified you are for the position. They may ask questions about specific elements of your CV, which you can use to help answer their inquiries. Employers may ask the following questions:
What do you think is the most valuable skill for economists to possess?
What qualifications do you hold that make you a good fit?
What were your main responsibilities in your previous role?
How many years have you worked as an economist?
What's your greatest professional achievement?
How did your education prepare you for this role?
Do you have any techniques for remaining focused while working?
How do you stay ahead of changes in the field?
Do you have any certifications that apply to this position?
Related: Types Of Graphs And Charts
In-depth interview questions for an economist
To figure out how well you handle specific tasks and to evaluate your level of skill, employers may ask more in-depth questions. This may include asking you about important terminology or economic practices. Here are examples of in-depth interview questions for an economist:
How do you communicate economic data to team members and consumers?
What books are you currently reading to learn about economic trends?
Tell us about a challenge you overcame.
How do you calculate economic risk, and what tools would you use?
What are economic indicators, and how does the Federal Reserve use them to determine interest rates?
What are causation and correlation, and how do they apply in economics?
What is quantitative easing, and can you explain its importance?
Can you tell me about an economic forecast you made, and how did the results compare to your predictions?
Can you explain how you would develop a statistical model and how to use it?
Do you use computer models to make economic forecasts?
Sample questions with answers
The following are some questions an employer may ask you during an economist interview, along with their correlating sample answers:
1. If your forecast is inaccurate, are you able to adjust your model and reinterpret the data?
To discover how well you forecast and how you approach oversights, an employer might ask this type of question. The employer is likely trying to see whether you are able to spot and rectify oversights while performing your job. To answer this question well, you may want to explain to the interviewer a situation in which you corrected an economic forecast.
Example: 'When forecasts are inaccurate, I re-evaluate my model to uncover any necessary adjustments. If there's no issue with the model, I check to see if I've interpreted the data and calculated the information correctly. This process helps me to increase the accuracy of my work and prevent future mistakes. Also, some forecasts can be inaccurate due to unpredictable economic factors, as it is sometimes impossible to include every variable'.
2. Do you have plans to advance your education, and, if so, what education would you pursue?
Pursuing further education can benefit both you and your employer because it improves your career prospects and equips you to do better work for your employer. For this reason, employers may ask about your plans for future education. To answer this question, explain how you plan to continue your education and learn new skills that can help you in the role or which you are applying. You can also discuss any certifications you plan to get.
Example: 'I'm very interested in pursuing additional certification, such as the Certified Economic Developer certification. I believe this can help me improve my problem-solving skills and forecasting abilities. I always take an annual refresher course to stay up to date with economic developments and to refresh my subject knowledge'.
Related: What Is The Role Of A Financial Manager? A Complete Guide
3. Why did you apply for this position with our company?
Employers may ask this question to make sure you are genuinely interested in the position and the business. If you want to offer an impressive answer, you may want to research the company thoroughly and tailor your answer to your own experiences.
Example: 'What attracts me most about working for this company is the flexibility it offers to its workforce. When looking for a job, I purposely sought a position that may provide a good work–life balance. I'm a friend of one of your employees, and they told me that the management here is especially thoughtful and accommodating. I also believe in your company's values surrounding inclusion and tolerance at work'.
Tips to help you prepare for your interview
Here are tips that may help you prepare for your interview and impress your potential employers:
Research the dress code
Although some employers are presently more lenient with dress codes, you may want to dress properly for your interview to make a good impression. By researching the dress code, you can select an outfit that aligns with their preferences. If the dress code is more formal, choose business formal attire. If the dress code is casual, still try to adopt an elevated style, such as smart-casual attire, as this can make you appear professional and driven. Dressing well also gives many people a confidence boost, which is helpful when trying to impress interviewers.
Related: Types Of Economists: Work Environment, Job Role And Salary
Review your CV
It is typical for employers to question you about the details of your CV, so knowing what yours contains is important. Take care to recall specifics that may help you get the job, such as specific qualifications or experiences. It is also a good idea to talk about your skills in the context of how they apply at work. For example, if you discuss your communication skills, discuss an example of how you've used these skills in a work-related situation.
Read the job description
Refreshing your memory with the job description's details is an important part of the preparation process. It is normal for employers to ask how your skills line up with the job description's requirements. For example, if one of the requirements is a certain number of years' worth of experience, let the recruiter know how long you've been working as an economist. Understanding the employers' preferences enables you to tailor your answers to what they are looking for. Some job descriptions also include preferred qualifications, which you can use to prepare some answers that show how you meet those as well.
Talk to an employee at the company
If you know anyone who works at the company to which you are applying, or if you are able to connect with them on social media, you may want to ask them for some information. You can ask them what they think the recruiter might ask or why the company is hiring. Consider inviting the person for coffee or asking if they are available for a quick phone call. Having some inside information can help demonstrate that you have the skills and experience that the business needs. If you have a good relationship with an existing employee, you can consider giving them as a reference, as businesses are more likely to trust an employee's opinion.
Practise by answering interview questions
One of the best ways to prepare for something is to practise, and this is particularly true with answering interview questions. You can build confidence and ensure you answer questions promptly, thoughtfully and effectively by practising what you might say. Reading articles such as this one and conducting further research into typical economist interview questions can help you prepare your answers, which you can then rehearse.
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