The tough questions you'll get during a finance job interview

During a job interview, you need to be prepared for questions that might catch you off-guard. That applies to all industries—but if you're applying to finance positions, like accounting jobs or hedge fund jobs, there's a whole set of industry-specific queries you need to be ready for. 

We've listed a few of the tougher finance-specific questions you may encounter during a job interview below. As they demonstrate, you can never tell what topic the hiring manager might broach—so just like a college exam, be sure to cram as much as possible before you go into your next finance industry job interview. 

Question: "Tell me about a client you've had."

Answer: This is a question you can expect to be asked in any finance interview. Sometime the hiring manager will want to hear about a time when you saved an account, in another case they might want to hear about the strongest relationship you've ever forged with a client. No matter your experience level or position within the finance field, you can bet on the fact that you'll be asked to relate a story that illustrates the way you interact with, and work for, your clients. So be sure to brainstorm at least a few different anecdotes you can unfurl when the topic comes up and you'll be miles ahead of your fellow interviewees from the start. 

Q: "Walk me through a cash flow statement," or another comparable technical question.

A: If you're applying for the kinds of jobs that these questions regard, then you should already know the answers. (For instance, if you're applying for accounting jobs, you surely already know how to walk someone through a cash flow statement.) Not only are you going to be asked general questions during a job interview, but the hiring manager is going to want to see that you're capable of understanding all material related to your position. So make sure you're ready and willing to do the job you've applied for, before you even sit down for the interview.

Q: "What is working capital?"

A: This is a question you may literally be asked, and we hope you know the answer already. (Working capital is a company's assets, minus all of its current liabilities, meaning that it shows how many funds a given company may be able to safely invest.) However, in listing this question, we're trying to make a bigger point. Just like you may be asked to demonstrate your technical proficiency, you may also be asked to demonstrate your more general industry knowledge. So study up on definitions, finance industry concepts and recent news reports well before you go into your next interview.

As this article illustrates, you never know which questions interviewers will use to gauge your finance industry knowledge. So keep these examples in mind and you'll already be ahead of the curve.