Image of airplane on ground

Unconventional Interview Questions for Finance Talent

In the financial sector, making the right hire matters more than ever. That’s why it’s so important to ask wide-ranging interview questions for finance talent.

Beyond assessing a candidate’s professional expertise and business acumen, of course, you need to know if they’d be a good fit for your company and workforce.

Communication style, interpersonal skills, and problem-solving abilities… may ultimately tip the balance when it comes to making a successful new hire. However such soft skills may not always shine through when asking standard corporate finance interview questions.

To that end, consider adding a few of these behavioral interview questions for finance professionals to your repertoire. Because sometimes, it’s the more unexpected questions that spark the most telling answers—and lead you to your ideal new hire.

1. In your eyes, what is the color of money?

This may sound like an icebreaker question—or possibly a trick one. But how your candidate responds will shed light on how they think.

While “green” is the default response, that’s only in terms of U.S. dollars. U.S. coins are silver and copper; other countries’ currency comes in a rainbow of colors. If candidates pause before answering or give you a “that depends” response, this suggests a broader, more thoughtful view of the economy.

2. If you could change any one industry or financial regulation, what would it be and why?

This corporate finance interview question yields insights into your candidate’s real-world experience and past challenges. Plus, noting who benefits from their wished-for change reveals their priorities—i.e., would it make their job easier, make the industry richer, or benefit clients?

3. Please describe a situation when you disagreed with a coworker or had to say no to a difficult client. How did you resolve it?

Conflict is inevitable in the workplace. How your would-be employee approaches conflict resolution—as well as the nature of the issue in question—speaks volumes about how they interact with others under stress.

4. Name a quality you’d bring to this job that we’re unlikely to find in other candidates.

Answers here will vary, and that’s the point. Some candidates may point to an achievement they want to bring to your attention. Others may share a personal experience that changed their outlook on life. Either way, through their answers, you’ll learn how your candidates see themselves and what qualities they value.

5. Have you ever had to operate outside your comfort zone in order to complete a project? What was it, and how did you do it?

This finance interview question reveals what tasks your candidate finds challenging—say, learning new software versus dealing with difficult people. In addition, it will give you insights regarding how they tackle their challenges—do they demonstrate a can-do attitude?

6. If you could pick any book or movie character to be your assistant in this job, who would you pick and why?

This lighthearted behavioral interview question will reveal if your candidate has a sense of humor—always a valuable quality. At the same time, it will help you gauge if they can think creatively in the moment, as well as the professional skills they believe they’ll need for this role.

7. Please name one work-related task that you never tire of doing.

Your candidate’s answers will reveal where their passions lie—and whether they’re likely to be happy in the role they’re seeking. In turn, this may forecast if they’re likely to be a long-term employee, as well as a good fit for your organization.

As your company continues to grow, so will your need for skilled financial talent. Feel free to adopt our finance technical interview questions as your own—and to consider us an industry resource. At Namely, we specialize in providing HR solutions for the finance industry. Read our latest HR guide for finance companies or learn more about the services we offer to businesses like yours.

Want to keep up with new content in our library? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Group Wateringflowers

See how Namely's flexible solution will help you streamline your HR processes by having your people, payroll, and benefits info all in on place.

Get a demo

Get the latest news from Namely about HR, Payroll, and Benefits.

CTA Image Rocket
CTA Image Mobile