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Top 10 Things NOT to Say in Your Next Financial Modeling Interview

Interviews can be a stressful time. If you are in the process of looking for your next financial modeling job, you may be preparing for that upcoming interview and wondering what you should and shouldn’t do.

Here are the top 10 things you might want to consider NOT saying during your next financial modeling interview:

10 – What a nice suit you are wearing? Don’t compliment the appearance of the interviewer. You will just appear to be a suck up and that really won’t help you at all.

9 – My biggest weakness is that I am an over-achiever. Though you may be asked about your weaknesses, don’t answer with this obviously schmoozing answer. The interviewer will know you are just trying to brown-nose.

8 – Sorry I was late. Just DON’T BE LATE. You need to punctual and show commitment not that you have poor time management and are unable to get to work on time.

7 – Do you mind if I take this call? It’s a job interview and it won’t last forever. You REALLY don’t need to be taking any calls during your interview. In fact, you really shouldn’t even have your phone out or available during the interview. TURN IT OFF and concentrate.

6 – My last boss was such a pain. Don’t complain about your last job, coworkers or boss. Even if it’s true, complaining about your last job or boss can make you sound like a complainer or someone that is not a team player.

5 – I sure am tired today having to get here so early. Don’t complain in your interview and saying you have to be up early can sound like you have trouble getting up and moving in the morning and that likely isn’t the person someone wants to hire.

4 – I just need a job. Even if you really do just “need a job” telling your interviewer this can sound way too desperate.

3 – I really don’t know. Don’t answer ANY question with “I don’t know.” This answer shows you are unprepared, unwilling to think about the question, or too concerned about something else to care about the interview.

2 – What are the perks and benefits at your company? Though it is nice to know, asking about these in the initial interview can make it seem like you only care about what YOU get not what the company does and what you can bring to the company.

And the #1 thing NOT to say in your next financial modeling job interview is….

1 – What does your company do again? This is obviously NOT a good thing to ask. You should have done your research and should definitely know what the company does that you are hoping will employ you.

5 Questions to Ask in a Financial Modeling Interview

There comes a time in every job interview when the inevitable silence will fall after the dreaded question: “Do you have any questions for us?”  Financial modeling interviewees are nervous about this part of the interview. They are typically unsure what they should ask. Finding the right question can be difficult. Here are five questions that would be good to ask in any interview.

#1- Why is this job open? What happened to the person that was doing this job?  — It is important to understand the scope of the job as well as why the opening exists. Was the person promoted within the company or was he fired? These pieces of information can tell you a lot about a job. If it is a new job, you can ask who has been performing those duties and why they feel they need to make these duties into its own position.

#2- Why do you like working here? – This is a good question to ask your interviewer. They are likely to bring their guard down a little and talk with you about the company. This is a great question to personalize the interview.

#3- What are the biggest issues that the personal you are hiring will need to tackle? – This can be a great way to get a feel for the job. The interviewer can define some job expectations as well as what management is hoping to see from a new hire.

#4- Who will I be reporting to and what are their expectations from this job? – Even if a company is a great company overall, understanding whom you will be directly working with and for is the most important aspect of the job. Anything you can find out about your direct supervisor will be helpful in understanding the job and how it will be for you should you be asked to fill the position.

#5 – What happens now? – This is the best closing question and is important to the interview. Ask the preferred way to follow-up the interview. Ask for the interviewer’s direct contact information so you can follow up with him or her specifically and when a good time to call would be for him or her. Doing this shows your interest in the job as well as your initiative in moving to the next step of the hiring process.

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