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How to Ace Your Financial Modeling Interview

Getting the financial modeling interview is your first step to getting a financial modeling job. Shining in your interview is in your best interest in order to be considered for the job. If you want to ace your interview, you need to consider these important factors.

Research – Before any interview, it is vital to do your research. Know the company, what they do, what you can bring to the table, and what might be important to the company. Establish a few good questions to ask, which shows interest in the company, before you go to the interview. Doing your research before an interview is the best way to help make you are prepared and comfortable for your interview.

Prepare – Be sure to prepare for the interview. That means, in addition to research, you should practice answering questions, get your references and resume ready to take with you, make certain you have business cards to take, and you have proper clothing and grooming taken care of as well. The more preparation you do, the more prepared and self-confident you will feel while you are interviewing.

Rest – A mistake many people make is not getting enough rest before an interview. Having a good night’s sleep can improve your concentration, your body language, and your clarity, which are all important in an interview. Being attentive, clear, and focused are important to acing your interview.

The key to getting a financial modeling job is to ace your interview. You only have one chance to make that first impression and typically, that is your interview. Be sure to set yourself up for the best interview you can give.

3 Things Not to Say in a Financial Modeling Interview

The interview is the time for a potential employer to get to know you and hear what you have to bring to the job they are trying to fill.  It is also your time to get your questions answered. Though you can’t get a full understanding of the job or the workplace atmosphere, the interview can give both sides a quick idea of whether a potential relationship may work.  Therefore, it is important to present a good interview and remember what not to do when interviewing for a potential financial modeling job.

“I really don’t know how to do….” – When in a job interview, it is important to present a confident and professional self-image. This means that you don’t want to say “I can’t” or “I don’t.” If you truly don’t know how to do something which is perfectly acceptable and normal, be sure to phrase your answer to show self-confidence such as “I have not had direct experience with X but I am a fast learners,” or “I am a quick learner,” or “I have studied this and have had educational experience with X.” Just do not seem unsure or no confident.

“I couldn’t stand my last boss/supervisor/coworker.” – Even if you had a personality conflict with your boss, bad talking will never benefit you. Even if you are completely not at fault, keep references to him or her neutral and professional. Bad talking will look bad on you. If there was truly an issue, and the company may have called or the company needs to call your boss or supervisor, and that is who your conflict is with, you may want to address it but do so very objectively and sensitively.

“So how much money will I make and what are the benefits.” – Though this information is obviously of interest to you, asking it, without prompt from the interview, can give the wrong impression. Asking can give the interviewer the idea that you are desperate or more concerned with vacation and benefits. The caveat is that you will likely want to ask their questions before you accept a job offer but your first interview is likely not the best time.

There are other questions not to ask in an interview; however, these are a good sample of what you should think about when determining questions you want or not to ask. Just remember to always display a professional attitude and be professional and confident in your questions to leave a positive, lasting impression.

Acing Your Financial Modeling Phone Interview

In today’s job market, it is more common than ever to be asked to complete a phone interview.  Whether you are searching for your first financial modeling job, or looking for your next career step, you will want to be prepared for the possibility of a phone interview.  As a financial modeling job candidate, being prepared for a phone interview is an important part of your job search.

Though it is an interview, a phone interview must be approached in the right way in order to be successful.  In addition to preparing for the interview as you would any other interview, you need to keep a few things in mind if asked to participate in a phone interview.  Following these tips will make your phone interview a success.

  • Be on Time.  This means that if you are to call at a specific time or told you will be called by the interviewer during a particular time window, you need to be ready to make or receive the call and don’t be late. If you are the one to make the call, do not be too early.  A few minutes before the time is acceptable but you do not want to sit on hold any more than the interviewer wants to look at a blinking hold light on their phone.
  • Have Your Notes Ready.  One of the advantages of the phone interview is that you can have your notes in front of you to help you stay on track, give you key words to answer questions, or have a list of ready to go questions when you are asked if you have any questions.  Take advantage of this aspect of phone interviews and have your notes ready and legible.
  • Keep Background Noise to a Minimum.  Remember, you are on the phone and background noise can be distracting to the interviewer.  This is especially true if you plan to use a cellular phone, as cell phones tend to pick up every noise in the background.  Be sure to be in a quiet place, turn off televisions and radios, and keep family members out of the room during your interview.
  • Dress Up and Don’t Slouch.  Though you may be tempted to interview in your pajamas while lying on the couch, this can be a bad decision on your part.  You will feel more confident and therefore project that confidence and professionalism if you are dressed and sitting up straight or standing during the interview.  Don’t let something as petty as assuming a couch potato stance be the reason you don’t get a second interview.

Following these tips help you prepare for your phone interview and get you through it with flying colors.  Being prepared for any type of interview will help you feel confident and possibly help you land that next financial modeling job.

How to Prepare for Your Financial Modeling Interview

So you got the call to come in for the interview.  Now is the hard part – getting prepared.  Preparing for your interview is an important step toward getting your next financial modeling job so you will want to do it right.

First, you want to do as much research as you can about the company you will be interviewing with.  Knowing facts about the company you are interested in as well as understanding their products or services will make your interview go much smoother.  Make sure you prepare a question about the company that shows you know something about them. That way you show your knowledge and have a good question to ask during the interview.

Next you want to make sure that you are prepared personally for the interview.  That means you want to sharpen your interviewing skills, especially if it has been a while since your last interview.  You can do this by practicing answering questions in the mirror or with friends.  Another good way is to record yourself answering and speaking.  This way you can see your body language, hear if you say “um” or “ya know” too many times, and check the speed of your answers.

Lastly, ensure you have a professional suit or outfit ready for the interview.  Making sure that you look professional and put together is just as important as how you speak.  This does not mean you have to spend a lot of money on a new suit, it simply means that your suit should be clean, pressed, well-matched, and your shoes shined and in good shape.  The first impression needs to be the best impression.

It does not take a lot of time and money to prepare for your interview, but the time you invest could be very important. If you prepare properly and thoroughly for your job interview, you may find yourself well on your way to your next financial modeling job.

How to Conduct a Financial Modeling Interview

As a financial modeling professional, you will need to conduct interviews from time to time.  If you find yourself ready to do an interview for a position you have open with your company, you will want to feel comfortable with conducting an interview.

In order to feel comfortable, you will need to prepare for your interview. The best way to prepare for interviewing financial modeling applicants is to have a few questions ready for the interview and go over any resumes of those you have received prior to their arrival.  Having a few questions ready about their past experience or schooling can keep your interview flowing and the conversation relevant.

It is also good to have general questions ready as well.  Common questions for financial modeling interviews include: why do you want to work here, what are your career goals, and what are you strengths and weaknesses?  These common questions can provide an insight into the applicant and help you keep the interview moving along as it should.

Whether you are new to conducting interviews or have been doing it for years, being prepared is the key to having a smooth interview experience. Spending a few minutes to prepare for each interview can be a great way to ensure that you are prepared to ask appropriate questions and are ready to keep the conversation flowing.

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