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5 Things Not to Ask in Your Financial Modeling Job Interview

As an interviewee looking for your next (or first) financial modeling job, you may be trying to determine your answers to typical job interview questions. As you are preparing for your job interview, in addition to being clear on your answers and having your suit pressed, you may want to think about some key questions not to ask in your financial modeling job interview.

What will my salary be? – Though understanding your salary is important when it comes time to determine if the job is for you, it is important not to ask this question during a job interview. It indicates that you are only interested in the money, not in being a committed part of the financial modeling team.

How much vacation do I get? – Again, benefits can be a selling point for a job, but it is best to wait until you are given a job offer to ask about these extras. Asking about the benefits like vacation, especially on your first interview, is a huge turnoff to a potential employer. Be sure to wait until an appropriate time to ask about a benefits package – like after you have gotten the job.

Can I telecommute? – Unless the job specifically advertised that the position was a telecommuting position, asking about the possibly to telecommute is a no-no.  Telecommuting, if accepted at a company, is generally reserved for committed and seasoned employees, as a benefit to their commitment and good work.  This is a question better asked after you have been working for the company for a while.

When do I start? – Though being confident is a good quality in financial modeling, asking “when do I start” can be considered might presumptuous.  Some potential employers may consider this too much of an attitude and it could actually negatively affect you.  Instead of asking “when do I start,” consider asking about the next step in your interview process.  This will help you show your interest but keep the attitude in check.

What does your company do? – If you want to see how fast you can be out of the running for a job, ask them what the company does.  This will immediately show that you have not done any research on the company and indicate that you are looking for a job but this one, in particular, is not very important to you. One of the first things to do when preparing for a job interview is make certain you know what the company does.  If you do not know, and didn’t do your research, certainly don’t point it out in the interview.


4 Things Interviewers Notice in Financial Modeling Interviews

Your interview is usually your chance to make that first impression when looking for a financial modeling job. As you prepare for your interview, it is good to keep in mind the most common things that interviewers notice when you go on your financial modeling interview.

Timeliness – Being late is a definite no-no. The time you arrive will be noted and being late will be looked upon unfavorably. Avoid being late at all costs.

Dress – The way you dress for your interview is important. Even if you know that the job for which you are interviewing is a jeans and t-shirt kind of job, you still need to be dressed professionally for your interview. Showing up disheveled, sloppy, or inappropriately dressed is something that is noticed by almost every interviewer.

Communication – All financial modeling jobs require good communication skills, in one form or another. It is important to communicate clearly, effectively, and simply. Do not become chatty, do not beat around the bush, and do not mumble. These are things that an interviewer will notice and likely note as ineffective communication skills.

Preparedness – It is important to be prepared for every financial modeling job interview you attend. Research the company, the job, and any other important facts that you can highlight during your interview. Know what qualities and skills you bring to the company that will be go along with the company’s mission and vision, which you will obviously have read in preparation for your interview. Preparedness also means having items with you that you may need such as a copy of your resume, something to take notes on, a working pen, and anything else you may have been asked to provide.

The old adage “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” says a lot.  It is imperative to make a good first impression if you wish to be considered for a job.  When going on your next financial modeling job interview, ensure you are on time, properly and professionally dressed, prepared for the interview, and then communicate your skills and qualifications effectively and you will find yourself in the running for the job.


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