If you’re a graduate and aspire to be in any finance jobs, one of the most difficult parts is to crack the interviews as interviewers ask some of the very tricky questions whose answers are slightly difficult to get. It makes fresh graduates worry and they tend to spend a lot of time in understanding the type of questions which interviewers might be asking.
Interviewers test a candidate from various aspects and if they feel that the candidate doesn’t even fit in 1 criteria out of multiple, interviewers tend to reject them. Therefore, candidates should excel in all the criteria if they are targeting to be selected.
And, most importantly here, even after going through the Interview questions, candidates need to understand a lot of other aspects of Interviews – First, Interviewer’s expectation from the Interview and second, the type of interview since questions vary as per the type of Interview.
Here, in this blog, I have listed all the 3 aspects which are very critical for any finance interview; Interviewer’s Expectation, Type of Interviews and Type of Finance Questions.
Major Finance Questions & Topics asked in a finance interview
Given below is an almost exhaustive list of questions which can be asked in a Finance interview from a fresher:
Questions on Financial Statements:
- Structure of Statement of Profit & Loss Account, Balance Sheet and Cash Flows Statement
- Understanding working capital and calculation of working capital days
- Depreciation and its method of calculation
- Calculation of debentures redemption and maturity
- Understanding Equity structure of a company
- Understanding equity shares, preference shares and convertible equity etc.
- Goodwill and its calculation
Questions on Ratio Analysis:
- Understanding of type of ratios and the how that gives a financial overview of any company
- Meaning of ratios and their formulas – Profitability Ratios, Liquidity Ratios, Solvency Ratios etc.
Questions on Forecasting and Analysis:
- Understanding of Capital Budgeting & Forecasting
- Brief of Analysis- Like DCF Analysis, Sensitivity Analysis, Ratio Analysis etc.
- Understanding costing structure and cost analysis
- Understanding of Profitability metrics of any company
- Operational & Financial Metrics of a company
Understanding the Interviewer’s Expectations:
Read about the Company in detail
It is extremely important for any candidate to read about the company in depth before going for an interview. It helps in understanding the lines of conversation, interviewer will be having and candidate can speak in line with the interviewer. While reading about the company, you’re required to cover the following aspects:
- Website of the company
- Profile of the Founders/ Promoters
- Any latest update/ news on the company
Go through Roles and Responsibilities in depth
Candidates shouldn’t take interviewers lightly and shouldn’t commit a mistake of going for an interview without reading to the roles and responsibilities or Job description provided by the company.
In most of the interviews, Interviewers ask whether you have gone through the roles and responsibilities and documents shared earlier. Not going through the documents make a substandard impact in front of the interviewer.
Know Your Interviewer’s Profile
Another key point is to understand the profile and educational background of the interviewer. If you don’t have the details on the interviewer’s background, then you’re required to extract the same from an HR or your recruiting consultant.
It helps in a big way to understand the mindset and background of the interviewer and it also helps in predicting the mode of the interview.
Understanding Type of Interviews:
Written Test Round
This round of interview is conducted to basically assess the analytical knowledge of a candidate. These tests actually play a pivotal role in cutting the candidates strength to shorter than half. It eliminates candidates based on their IQ and Intellectual skills. Following are the type of questions usually being asked in the test round.
- Questions on Logical Reasoning
- Questions on Data Interpretation
- Psychometric questions
- Finance Questions (questions relating to Statement of Profit & Loss Account, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statement and Ratios)
Case Study Round
This round is highly likely if you’re getting into a very high profile of finance. The round consists of live case studies and scenarios which you will be dealing with while on the job. The round gives a fair idea to the interviewer about the Candidate’s thought process and candidate’s problem solving skills.
Usually companies into consulting business or Investment Banking business give case studies to the candidates in order to test them for on the job work. These case studies are majorly based upon the knowledge of Financial Modeling.
It is one of toughest rounds of an interview process. It is usually a face to face interview which can also involve more than 1 interviewer (A department dead, immediate senior etc.) and there can be several rounds on technical interview.
The round includes judging the candidate’s knowledge of finance. And, sometimes the interviewers ask tough questions on finance. Hence, it is required to grasp all the requisite graduate level knowledge of finance before going to any technical round. I have listed some of the finance topics below which are usually asked in any finance technical interview.
This round includes personal interaction with HR of the company and HR tries to understand the personality of the candidate and focuses on the following aspects:
- Personal Questions
- Family Background
- Vision/ aspirations of a candidate
- Resume questions
- Expectations from the job etc.