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With every graduate job, the interview questions you’ll be asked will differ as an employer will want to get to know if your personality, previous experience and career goals are suited to the industry and job you’re interviewing for.
If you’ve secured an interview for a graduate finance role, we’ve put together some of the top finance questions and answers you may be asked for a variety of finance roles, so you’ll feel prepared and confident heading into any graduate finance interview!
If you’re thinking about applying to graduate finance jobs, these finance questions and answers will give you a feel for the skills and characteristics employers are looking for, so you can see if a career in finance is right for you. Check out the latest graduate finance roles in London and accross the UK.
With every finance job, the interview questions you’ll be asked with differ depending on the type and seniority of the role. However, to start the interview an employer will most likely ask general finance related interview questions to find out about your personality, goals and why you want to work in the industry. Here are some of the most common general finance interview questions with example answers:
An employer may begin an interview by asking 'why do you want to work in the finance industry and in this particular role?' By asking this question, an employer wants to know that you’re interested in the job for the right reasons and that you are genuinely interested in pursuing a career in finance.
A good way to prepare for this question is to ask yourself what really drives and interests you about finance? Is it the fast-paced nature, or the challenging aspects, or working with data that really drives you, or another reason entirely?
Whatever your reasons, make sure they are relevant to the finance role you are applying to and support your answers with any previous experience that help to highlight your desire to work in finance. When answering this question, you really want to demonstrate to the interviewer that you are passionate about finance, so try and sound as enthusiastic as possible in your answer and comment on your genuine interests that drew you to a career in finance.
Why choose finance? Example answer:
“Working in finance really appeals to me for a number of reasons, one of these is the fast-paced and challenging nature of the industry. I’ve always been someone who doesn’t shy away from tasks, I like to constantly be tested as this leads to self-improvement and working in finance, there are always unexpected errors that may come up and new challenges to face each day.
I’m a sociable person and I love talking to new people, I enjoy that finance isn’t all numbers, it’s also about creating great relationships with clients and ensuring that their financial needs are met. Finance is a continually developing industry, with the rise of FinTech, it’s a really diverse industry to join and one that really excites me.”
Check out our blog post for more tips on how to answer the interview question ‘why do you want to work for us?’.
This finance interview question is designed for an employer to gain an insight into your work ethic and to see if you would be the right cultural fit for the company.
When answering this question, think about what really motivates you, is it competition with others, satisfying clients' needs or self-development? Whatever motivates you, it’s important to frame it in a way that demonstrates your interest and commitment to a role in finance.
Graduate Finance roles are some of the best paid graduate careers, whilst this may be a factor that has led you to choose a career in finance, it’s important not to mention it in your answer, but instead list another motivation that shows you're committed for (what will seem to the employer) more genuine reasons. Here’s our example answer to this interview question:
“I’m really motivated by personal growth, I’m constantly looking for new ways to self-improve, whether it’s hitting a personal best on a 5k run or developing my industry knowledge. I love learning new things and teaching myself new skills. Through this job I want to develop my skill set and learn more about the finance industry.”
Visit our blog for more example answers and tips for answering the interview question ‘what motivates you at work?’ .
As Finance Assistant roles are the most common entry-level finance jobs, employers will not expect you to know every software and technical term and ask specialised interview questions. Instead, interviewers will most likely ask generic questions related to some of the main skills and tasks Finance Assistant roles require.
Applying for Finance Assistant or Finance Associate graduate roles? We’ve put together example finance associate interview questions an employer may ask with example answers:
The finance industry is faced-paced and Finance Assistant roles require multiple tasks to be carried out with tight deadlines, from maintaining the payroll to managing different accounts to following up on invoices. By asking this finance interview question, an employer wants to know that you have the skills to be able to carry out multiple tasks under pressure and meet deadlines.
Here are some good points to include in your answer to this question:
Often find yourself procrastinating when it comes to deadlines? Check out our top tips on how to stop procrastinating.
Accuracy is essential for all graduate finance jobs. You may be handling large amounts of data so you'll need to have excellent attention to detail and be able to spot numerical errors to ensure that every figure is accurate.
Here are some good points to include in your answer to this question:
- “Once my work is complete, I will always wait a period of time and come back to it with fresh eyes to check over it again. This allows me to spot any errors I may have made, and ensure I am satisfied with my work.”
- “An important aspect of minimising errors is working at a speed that you can accurately complete the task. Whilst it may be tempting when carrying out data entry tasks to work as fast as possible, this may actually increase the number of errors.”
- “It’s also important to make use of any software that can help minimise errors, Automated Error Reports is a great software to use if you are carrying out similar data entry tasks, it will alert you if there are missing digits or other errors.”
Have an upcoming interview for a Financial Analyst role? We’ve put together some example questions an employer may ask during your interview with example answers.
This question is designed for an employer to evaluate your research and decision-making skills, which are both essential skills for Financial Analyst roles. In your answer to this question you want to comment on:
“Information is often missing when conducting financial analysis, and there are many ways to gather this information. If it is missing information from the customer, the best way is to contact them directly and ask them to politely provide the missing information and explain it is vital to finish the analysis. Another way is to scour information from the client’s transactional history using SAP and use the sorting filter to gather the data quickly”
Financial Analysts must be able to assess the value of investments, this question assesses the candidate’s financial analysis skills, and their knowledge of investments.
In your answer to this question, you want to mention return of investment and mention any successful previous experiences you’ve had evaluating prospective investments.
Here’s our example answer:
“One of the key factors to consider when evaluating prospective investments is to calculate an asset’s return on investment. When successfully evaluating prospective investments in the past, I considered the company’s current portfolio and how the investment would fit before recommending a new investment to a client.”
If you’re applying for Finance Manager roles or Finance Officer roles, the interviewer may ask specialised interview questions and competency-based interview questions which require you to draw on your previous financial experiences.
Here are some example Finance Manager and Finance Officer interview questions an employer may ask:
Describe a time where you showed initiative regarding a financial matter
Give an example of a time when you had a difficult person to manage and how you handled the situation
How do you reward innovation, initiative, teamwork?
To prepare for these finance officer interview questions, it’s important to use the STAR technique when answering. This technique is a highly effective way of answering competency-based interview questions that require you to think of an example where you demonstrated a skill or technique. First you want to introduce an employer to the situation, then describe the task you had to complete, followed by what you did and how you did it, and finish by explaining the end result.
FinTech is one of the most diverse and exciting graduate industries to join and it’s one that boasts many opportunities for graduates looking to kick-start a career in finance. If you’re interviewing for a graduate FinTech role, here are some questions an employer may ask, with tips on how to best answer them.
An interviewer will ask this question to gain an insight into your knowledge of the FinTech industry and to see if you’re interested in FinTech for the right reasons. When preparing for this question, think of the genuine reasons why you’re interested in the industry, and try to think of a previous experience that highlighted this interest.
Here’s our example answer to this question:
“A career in FinTech is hugely rewarding, one of the reasons it’s so rewarding is how fast the industry is growing. This means graduates have the chance to gain lots of responsibility and autonomy early on in their career and make a real impact to the industry. From my previous experiences and roles, I thrive in fast-paced and varied settings, and I believe that working in FinTech no day will be the same and there will be constant challenges and new developments, which really excites me!”
FinTech is a constantly changing and evolving industry and by asking this question, an interviewer wants to know that you’re able to keep up with the latest trends and that your interest in the finance goes further than just your work.
You want to assure the interviewer you are knowledgeable of the industry and like to keep up to date with new trends, whether it’s reading industry magazines, writing your own blog discussing relevant topics or networking with peers in the industry.
Want to find out more about FinTech? Check out our blog post for the complete graduate guide to FinTech. Or looking to persue a graduate career in FinTech? Check out the latest graduate FinTech jobs in London and the UK.
At the end of your interview, the employer will most likely ask if you have any questions for them. It’s important to ask the interviewer questions as it shows that you’re keen to learn more about the company and that you’re serious about the role. Here are some good finance interview questions to ask the employer:
Check out our blog for more top interview questions you should be asking the interviewer.
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Whatever type of graduate finance role you’re interviewing for, use our finance interview questions and answers to prepare for your interviews and confidently show an employer you’re the right fit for the role and company. Check out our Interview Questions Hub for more of the most common interview questions and answers.
There are many reasons why you should peruse a career in finance, check out our latest blog for some of the top reasons!
Or if you want to start applying for graduate finance roles but your CV isn’t up to scratch, visit our Student and Graduate CV hub for free CV templates and top tips for a standout CV!