Top 20 Finance Interview Questions and Sample Answers
Updated 10 March 2023
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When applying for finance roles, you are likely to have to complete an interview with a potential employer. To clear your finance interview, consider practising how to answer interview questions to hone your critical-thinking skills and strengthen your ability to respond in a clear and concise manner. Practising common interview questions for a finance role may prepare you for an interview and help you make a good impression on the interviewer. In this article, we discuss 20 common finance interview questions and provide sample answers to some of these questions to help you prepare for your next finance interview.
Read more: How To Prepare For a Job Interview
What to expect in a finance interview
If you are appearing for a finance interview, you can expect a broad range of questions with topics ranging from your qualifications to complex mathematical problems related to finance. Interviewers might ask you questions related to the subjects you studied in college, your qualifications and your financial knowledge. You can also expect an interviewer to ask some general questions regarding topics like your past experience and your strengths and weaknesses. It is useful to prepare for a wide range of questions beforehand so that you are able to give thoughtful answers to both general and complex questions.
Related: Finance Interview Questions For Freshers (With Answers)
Finance interview questions with sample answers
Here are some common finance interview questions with explanations and example answers:
Why have you chosen to work in finance?
Interviewers are typically interested in hiring professionals who are passionate about their field, so they may ask this question to learn more about why you are passionate about working in finance. You can explain your reasons for working in finance and discuss what you enjoy most about this field.
Example: "I chose to work in finance because I love math and I enjoy solving puzzles. I like that in financial equations, there are many ways to approach a problem in order to arrive at a single solution. Sometimes, you can view a problem from a particular angle to find the solution, such as finding how to increase available funds. I find it very satisfying when I can find that approach."
Can you tell me about your biggest achievement in your financial career?
Interviewers might ask this question in order to learn about your accomplishments and determine your capability for the finance role. They may also use this question to learn about what types of accomplishments you value the most.
Example: "I believe that my biggest achievement as a financial planner was helping one of my clients eliminate Rs.50,00,000 in debt over three years and begin a college fund for his daughter's education. I feel very satisfied seeing how my services can transform people's lives."
What are your financial strengths and weaknesses?
An interviewer might ask this question to learn more about your current skill set and determine whether you are working to improve your weaknesses. In your answer, you can highlight your financial skills but also address your weaknesses honestly and explain how you are working on them to improve your work performance.
Example: "Budgeting is my financial strength. I enjoy exploring various budgeting methods and evaluating which methods can produce more accurate forecasts. My weakness is not liking routine methods of working because I enjoy taking new approaches to tasks. However, I am aware that this position may involve routine tasks and stakeholders might want reports in consistent formats, so I am working to address this area and adhere to all requirements."
Read more: Addressing Your Weaknesses in an Interview
If we purchase an asset, what would be its impact on our various financial statements?
This question can test your financial expertise in purchasing assets. Try to answer this question succinctly, using simple language for any professional to understand because your interviewer might be from areas other than finance.
Example: "The purchase will increase the assets on the balance sheet. On the year-end income statement, this asset will have depreciation. On the cash flow statement, we can count this purchase as an investment activity."
What are the advantages of funding operations by issuing equity rather than debt for a company?
The interviewer might ask this question to evaluate your funding activities handling skills. Equity financing and debt financing are various methods that a business may consider using to fund its operations.
Example: "Equity financing is less risky compared to debt financing, so a company might issue equity to reduce its risk factor. Issuing equity can help a company gain valuable stability, giving it an opportunity to plan for the future."
What are the different ways you can value a company, and how would you value ours?
This question can evaluate your knowledge of the company you are interviewing for and its industry. Your ability to assign value to a business may help the interviewer determine how you can evaluate both the company and its competitors.
Example: "You can evaluate a company using methods like viewing assets, historical earnings, discount cash flow or future maintainable earnings. Because of your longevity, I would use historical earnings for your business to assess long-term trends."
Additional finance interview questions
Here is a list of the top 20 finance interview questions that your interviewer could ask you in order to evaluate your skills and professional qualifications for a finance role:
Which financial statement would you choose to evaluate the financial health of a company and why?
What are various types of short-term financing that we can use to fulfil our cash needs?
Can you explain the difference between the clean and dirty prices of bonds?
In valuation, what are the most commonly used multiples?
What does a cash flow statement tell you and how is it organised?
What are the advantages of using a deferred tax liability?
What is the DFC method and what are its uses?
If you were the CFO of our company, what would be your top priority?
What approach would you take to explain complex financial topics to colleagues in other departments?
How are the three primary types of financial statements connected and why are they important?
Can you explain the most critical steps a company in our industry should take to improve its finances?
Can you talk about various financial challenges that are prevalent in our industry today?
What are the most significant changes that you expect over the next five to 10 years in our industry?
How do you manage high-stress situations with account holders?
Related: How To Crack a Job Interview
10 common general interview questions
Besides preparing for interview questions related to finance, you might also want to prepare for some general interview questions. Here are 10 interview questions you can practise answering:
Tell me about your past experience.
What are your qualifications?
Tell me about the most challenging project in your last organisation.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Are you a team player or a team leader?
Tell me about a time when you were able to deliver a project under a tight deadline.
How will your past experience be helpful in this role?
Can you tell me about your biggest achievement so far?
Do you think you have achieved your full working potential?
Why are you looking for a new job?
Related: 23 Interview Tips: How To Get the Job
Tips to prepare for a finance interview
To make a good impression on the interviewer and clear your finance interview, preparing beforehand may be very beneficial. Here are some tips to help you prepare for a finance interview:
Research the company: good research about the company you are interviewing for may help you customise your responses according to the needs of the company.
Research the industry: researching about the industry may help you demonstrate your industry knowledge in the interview and help you make a good impression.
Review your resume: interviewers may ask questions about your experiences and skills from your resume, so reviewing your resume before going to an interview may be beneficial.
Review the basics of finance: it is important to demonstrate your knowledge of various financial concepts, so prepare to answer questions about finance before going to an interview.
Have examples ready: interviewers might ask you for relevant examples of past projects or experiences to determine your capability, so having examples ready may help you fully address interview questions.
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