The financial analyst’s role is crucial to business operations. It is this person’s interpretation of past and present financial data that will guide executives’ decision-making processes. Without the empirical data that a financial analyst provides, companies could end up blindly operating toward a loss.
An analyst’s responsibilities include evaluating financial data, preparing financial reports, presenting them, appraising financial statements, and meeting with company executives to evaluate performance. The analytical and technical nature of the job entails hiring for specialized skills. But what are the right interview questions to ask so you can find somebody who is the best fit?
We’ve listed some of our favorite financial analyst interview questions to help you.
Financial Analyst Interview Questions to Ask Candidates
Why do you want to be a financial analyst?
This question lets you know what the candidate’s professional goals are and why they want to reach them with your company. It’s a great opportunity to discover their career passions, what led them to be in the finance industry, and what they hope to achieve.
Among your strengths, which one would you say best benefits your role as a financial analyst?
With this question, the candidate highlights one great skill related to the role and your company. This is an effective way of finding out whether their strengths are aligned with your company’s vision and mission, as well as work culture. There are many skills that the candidate could list. Nonetheless, identifying the most relevant one to the financial analyst’s role can reflect decisiveness and conciseness, which are important to the position.
Describe your processes for conducting an analysis and creating accurate reports. What financial methodologies do you use?
A large chunk of a financial analyst’s job is creating analysis reports. This question gets you vital information on the candidate’s soft and hard skills. Is the person comfortable with handling large amounts of data? Can the person provide a step-by-step account of how they perform financial analysis? Do they use specific methodologies and software? Beyond the technical know-how, other skills to watch out for include communication, collaboration, and time management.
If you have to choose one type of financial statement to make an investment decision, which would it be?
This question gives you a chance to gauge the applicant’s analytical skills. It can also tell you whether the person knows the types of financial statements the company has. The answer would depend on the type of investment decision that the applicant will use as an example, but it will show you how much they know about financial statements and how to use them.
Have you been in a situation where you found inconsistencies in a company’s financial data? How did you address this?
One of the most important financial analyst interview questions to ask is whether the person can handle errors and deal with pressure. It can also tell you a lot about the person’s sense of accountability. Ask for an example of a scenario where either they made an error in analysis or found one while assessing financial data. Mistakes are not unheard of in this role, but it’s important to know how the candidate faces them.
Describe a time when you had to present financial data to decision makers or stakeholders.
A huge chunk of a financial analyst’s job involves making presentations for Chief Finance Officers and stakeholders or third-party entities. The candidate’s answer will give you an idea of whether the person is comfortable speaking to people of different seniority levels and preparing for such presentations. Ask about a presentation they made in the past that was successful. Follow up on what they learned from the experience and if there was anything they wished they did better.
Do you have any, or are you pursuing any relevant licenses, certifications, and credentials? How do you think these can help you professionally?
This financial analyst interview question tells you a lot about the person’s commitment to being better at this role. Suppose the candidate has or is working toward any certifications or licenses. In that case, this is the perfect time to ask why they think these are relevant and to identify their key takeaways.
The applicant interview is one of the most important steps of the hiring process. These financial analyst interview questions can help you determine who is the most suited for such a specialized role.
There is a better and more efficient way to recruit — and we can help you succeed at finding the right person. If you are looking to hire a financial analyst for your company, contact Recruiterie or call us at 602-326-6820.