35 Investment Analyst Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)
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Interviewing is a crucial step in any hiring process, and it's often important for professionals to prepare for commonly asked questions that hiring managers may ask. When preparing for an investment analyst interview, it's helpful for candidates to practice highlighting their experiences and qualifications in a succinct manner. If you're interviewing for an investment analyst role, it may be helpful to learn about commonly asked questions that prospective employers may ask you.
In this article, we list general, experience-based questions and in-depth questions that hiring managers may ask during an investment analyst interview and provide sample answers that you can reference while preparing.
Related: How To Become a Financial Analyst
Hiring managers often ask general questions so they can better understand a candidate's personality and work style. These questions allow employers to determine whether you're a good fit to join their current team and culture. Here are some general questions to review when preparing for an investment analyst interview:
What's your ideal working environment?
How well do you work when you're alone?
How well do you work with a team?
How adaptable are you to change within an organization?
What professional qualities do you have that might be beneficial to an investment analyst role within our company?
What do you think might be the biggest challenges you could experience at our organization and how do you plan to address them?
Describe the personal characteristics you have that make you an ideal investment analyst for our organization?
How do you value a company?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
What are your salary requirements for this role?
Questions about experience and background
Working as an investment analyst often requires knowledge and varying levels of previous experience to perform tasks effectively, so interviewers often want to gauge your qualifications before hiring you. Below are some questions about experience and background that an interviewer may ask during an investment analyst interview:
Why do you think you're a qualified candidate for this role?
What credentials, certifications or licenses do you have that allow you to perform investment analyst tasks effectively?
How do you handle challenging situations as an investment analyst?
How well do you work with difficult clients?
What do you believe is the most rewarding part about working as an investment analyst?
What do you think is your greatest accomplishment in this industry?
Have you ever led a research and analysis process for a potential investment opportunity?
Can you describe the most challenging responsibility you've had in an investment role?
How do you handle stress while working?
What's your favorite project you've worked on in an investment role?
Related: How To Get Into Investment Banking
Employers ask in-depth questions to help them better understand how you can handle specific tasks and processes. They often want to ensure that you can manage such responsibilities as calculating the cost of equity, creating analysis reports, differentiating financial statements and more. Interviewers might ask situational questions, so consider preparing examples that help showcase your qualifications and experience. Here are some in-depth questions to reference when preparing for an investment analyst interview:
How would you handle a colleague who isn't performing to the company's standards?
How do you calculate the cost of equity?
What stock or commodity would you invest in if you wanted to offer a client medium-risk growth?
In your opinion, what's the best evaluation metric for analyzing a company's stock?
What is EBITDA, and how would you use it?
What's the difference between a revenue multiple and an EBITDA multiple?
What processes do you employ when creating a financial analysis report?
How are cash flow statements, income statements and balance sheets related?
Can you describe a time when you advised against investing in a company that a client wanted to pursue?
What are the different types of financial statements a company might produce?
Interview questions with sample answers
Below are some interview questions, along with sample answers, that employers may ask you when interviewing for an investment analyst role:
Why do you want to be an investment analyst?
When applying to any entry-level investment analyst position, employers may ask this question to gauge your interests and short- and long-term goals. When answering this question, it's important to highlight your qualifications, including your educational background and any certifications you have, as well as the reasons why you enjoy this type of role.
Example: "Starting in high school, I became interest in learning about how entrepreneurs and business leaders start their companies and how they continue to earn money from investing wisely while watching their organizations prosper. Additionally, I've always loved analyzing numbers and details. Due to this, I majored in finance and have had the great opportunity to intern at a couple of great firms that have allowed me to expand my career as an investment analyst."
Why do you want to work for our company?
A financial analyst can work in various industries, including banking, security and insurance, so it's often important to answer this question by describing why you want to work in a particular industry. You can accomplish this by researching the company to which you're applying. Then, consider discussing why working for their organization interests you and why you believe the opportunity is unique.
Example: "With banking, I like the idea of working for a national institution that contributes capital to entrepreneurs and large organizations. I'm excited about working for an organization that helps fuel economic growth. I'm also very interested in working with nonprofit firms that want to help others, and I know your bank helps these types of organizations."
Can you describe a time or specific project in which you presented financial data?
This specific question allows an interviewer to gauge the skills and experience you possess to construct a presentation. An investment analyst often presents data to management personnel and other companies. It's important for your answer to portray the fact that you know how to prepare for a presentation and that you're comfortable speaking in front of people. It may also be beneficial to include any challenges you experienced during previous presentations and how you overcame them.
Example: "**At my previous company, we wanted to acquire another organization, so I developed a presentation that showcased what the combined financial information would look like. In the presentation, I included specific details related to payroll, technology and internal services, along with an overall forecast of financials that might occur when the companies merged.
To start, I included the data that decision-makers wanted to see. Once my research was complete, I created a slideshow that highlighted the most important information and conclusions. I presented relevant statistics with examples and finished by answering any follow-up questions. In the end, they followed many of my recommendations, and I learned from those that the client altered a bit."
What profitability model might you use to gauge a project's potential success?
This question allows an interviewer to gauge how you forecast investments and the process by which you handle this task. If you can, answer this question by describing previous examples and how you fared with previous tasks.
Example: "Net present value is necessary for forecasting because it helps find the difference between the present value of cash flows and the value of cash flows over time. When a company is looking to invest in a project, it's important to include the required return, the number of periods and the cash flow arriving over time. If the answer from the accompanying equation is positive, the project is often worth completing."
Provide an example of a situation in which you analyzed something incorrectly. What did you learn?
Interviewers typically ask this question because they want to determine your ability to learn from your mistakes. When answering this question, it's helpful to describe a previous experience and what you learned from it.
Example: "A previous HR manager asked me to create a model showcasing how many new marketing experts we should hire, so I evaluated the cost of hiring and training against the potential revenue. After a nine-month review, I noticed the company wasn't earning a notable profit. After analyzing the model and receiving input from other departments, we could see where the revenue projections were wrong. Next time, I conducted more research and sought secondary opinions early to ensure that my models were accurate."
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