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Interview in the Financial Industry: 3 X 4 Tips for Applicants

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The financial industry has not lost in popularity despite the recent crisis in applicants - in addition to jobs at car manufacturers and management consultancies include jobs in banking and insurance unabated favorites for the Application, But how do beginners master a job interview in the financial industry? Interview in the Financial Industry: 3 X 4 Tips for Applicants

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Typical questions from personnel in the financial sector

The fact is, getting started in the finance industry is not always easy, financial companies are looking for the best talents and usually have a lot of experience in recruiting - the questions at the job interview can be correspondingly complicated.

We looked at a few questions from real interviews and give tips for good answers. Most application questions can be classified in one of the following three categories:

  • General questions / questions about the person
  • Specific questions about the job or the company
  • "Brainteaser"

1. General questions

General questions usually serve the purpose of getting to know the applicants and their appearance. Recruiters pay particular attention to how applicants present themselves and whether they can integrate into the team they are looking for. General questions include:

  1. "Tell us something about you" A classic in which applicants have the opportunity to speak freely and set accents to their strengths and relevant experiences. Be authentic and human, without being overly modest, highlight achievements and qualifications.
  2. "Tell us your strengths" Of course this is not an invitation for a minute long hymn of praise to your own person. The point is to convince the recruiter that the profile fits the requirements that are required in the position you are applying for. It is important that you do without empty words. The strengths should always be proven with examples.
  3. "Where do you see yourself in five years?" In this question, the recruiter does not expect a detailed answer - he wants to know if the applicant is pursuing a career plan, what his hopes are, or how he imagines his future life, especially with regard to the professional situation. The recruiter is looking for motivated and talented employees who want to retain their long-term loyalty to the company. The answer should therefore be worded as being part of the company and ready to develop and learn.
  4. "Why are you the right person for this job?" It is important that the applicant is not put under pressure from the side of the questioner. Applicants should refer to their qualifications and self-confidently argue that they can help the company. In addition, you can also meet the requirements - the recruiter looks for a staff member who can handle numbers well should be referred to a strength in mathematics or statistics, if the services also prove that.

2. Specific questions on the job

The second part of the job interview is then mostly about specific questions about the company and the desired job. Preparation, especially for the company, the environment and the competition are mandatory!

  1. "Tell me about [company]" A classic where HR managers want to see if the candidate is serious about the Application is. Find out about the company, the management, the economic situation and the competitive situation before talking on the Internet.
  2. "How would you invest 1 million euros?" The financial industry is simply about money. With this question, the recruiter tries to find out if you are familiar with the market environment and investment opportunities. As a rule, you can hear this question in the investment business of traditional banks or at investment banks. The best answer here is usually a consultation, because it makes a big difference whether the sum should be invested for an individual, a company or the bank itself - and, of course, what their risk preferences are.
  3. "What is the DAX forecast today?" Especially if you want to invest client or bank money in the short term, it is important that you have an overview of the markets. The question "What is the DAX forecast today?? "Not only applies to the DAX, but can also come for international markets, commodities or other asset classes. Find out the best on the morning of the conversation about the current market situation.
  4. "What are the key points in currency trading?" A very specific question specifically for traders. It is important that you deal here with risk management, technical indicators but also macro indicators such as the political environment and the economic situation of individual countries.
  5. "What's the goal behind at M & A?" M & A - "Mergers and Acquisitions" - is when one company buys another or two companies join forces. Typically, companies do this for one of the following reasons: access to new markets, access to know-how or experienced staff, access to new technologies

It is always important that the buying company hopes for synergies - it is therefore assumed that the purchase and the combination of the two companies more profit can be made than that purchase price is paid.

3. Brain Teaser

Brainteasers are a very special category of questions that are mostly impossible to answer directly. Recruiters ask these questions to see if the applicant can think analytically and act logically, especially in stressful situations. An example: The interviewee asks the question: "How many flower shops are there in Germany? " Bad would be an answer in the style of "5 million" or "I do not know".

It is important to show that you can logically approach a completely new situation. Better would be an answer in the following style:

  1. Make assumptions Approximately 80 millions of people live in Germany, of which about two per household. Every household buys a bouquet of flowers once a week. A florist ties a bouquet in about 10 minutes, works 46 weeks a year, 40 hours a week. On average, three florists work in each flower shop.
  2. Set up an invoice (80.000.000 population / 2 people per household) x 1 bouquet x 52 weeks = need for bouquets per year: 6 bouquets per hour x 40 hours x 46 weeks = 11.040 bouquets per florist per year x 3 florists per store = 33.120 bouquets per flower shop per year.
  3. Solution If supply and demand coincide accordingly, there are in Germany / 33.1200 = approx. 62.801 flower shops.
  4. Procedure Even if the bill is not quite right, it obviously depends on the procedure. Of course, it is also allowed to ask questions if the question is not 100-percent clear. And: Do not be afraid to ask if you can have a calculator for the bill (or even better: use the calculator on your phone - so you show even more self-employment).
Other popular brain teasers are:
  • How many liters of water is drunk every year in Germany
  • How many games does a Handball World Cup have?
  • How many divorces are there in the US every year?
  • They have two hourglasses: one runs seven, the other five minutes. Stop 13 minutes.
  • Why are manhole covers round?
  • How heavy is Berlin?


The job interview is and will remain a difficult situation - and that also applies to the financial industry. Who but well prepared does not need to be nervous, important is an authentic appearance and expertise for each position.

Good luck!

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