They say it is how that matters, not what. How well you do your job, regardless of what it is. But what about why? Why is an extremely important question–especially for you. Because you will spend third of your life at work, and unless you know why you are doing it, you will be unhappy… Job of a Financial Analyst doesn’t seem too exciting for an outsider. Spending long hours in front of a computer screen, analyzing endless financial data, and trying to come up with viable predictions of the future, and eventually help the management of the company make the right decisions. If this fascinates you, you have your answer. But what if it doesn’t? And what else can you refer to when answering this question in a job interview?
You can actually say a lot of things. How the job is a great match for your skills and personal traits. You can also refer to the impact you can have as a financial analyst, on the profit and loss of the company–and who would not want to have an impact in their job? Another option is talking about your future goals. Perhaps you want to become a head of the FP&A department one day, or a CFO of a big corp. It isn’t impossible. At the end of the day, someone always has the job, so why it couldn’t be you? But you first have to start as a financial analyst, prove your skills, work hard, and walk up the career ladder step by step.
Let’s have a look at sample answers to this question. I tried to include on my list a variety of answers, including answers for employees, fresh graduates, students, people who are changing their career, and of course some unconventional answers, such as one of a brutally honest applicant. Go through them, pick your favorite, and I wish you good luck in your next interview!
7 sample answers to “Why do you want to be a Financial Analyst” interview question
- I want to work as a Financial Analyst because I find a job a perfect match for my skills and personality. I’ve always excelled in Math, and managed to see patterns in numbers others failed to notice. I prefer working at a computer, and I am generally fascinated with the stock market, and with the cash flow of a business. Attention to detail is one of my greatest strengths, and I believe I will be able to deliver in my job, and really help the management with my analyses. Everything combined, I consider this job the best choice.
- Money is the blood of every business. You can have the best product in the world, or offer the best service. If you are operating with a loss, however, you’re gonna end up bankrupt. And that’s exactly what fascinates me about the job of a financial analyst, or a career in finance in general. The impact you can have. I’d love to have such an impact, and see the results of my work. I know it won’t necessarily be the case at the beginning–when I will work as an entry level analyst, but I will already play my role, and I am excited about it.
- Job of a financial analyst isn’t a final destination for me. I dream of spearheading the entire FP&A department here one day. And I know–it is an ambitious goal. But I believe it is important to dream, to have a vision for your career, something that drives you forward and motivates you to overcome challenges at work. Having said that, I do not consider the job of a financial analyst a mere means to an end. I like the job description, and look forward to do the job. Because I know very well that the road ahead is long, and it will take time until I can get promoted and eventually lead the entire department.
- I want to be completely honest with you–I am driven by money. Financial Analysts earn a lot, right from the entry level, and sky is the limit really if you are good in what you do. Like everyone else, I want to thrive in life. I do not want to be a mediocre individual, earning some ridiculous wage, struggling to pay my bills, fighting for survival. That’s not what I dream of. Life is a competition–sad but true–and I want to be on the winning side. Career of a financial analyst will allow me to do so, and I am glad that I studied the field, and did all I could to get ready for this day.
- I know it may look strange, considering I’ve worked in HR for the past seven years. But I feel I am stagnating in my career, and, to speak frankly, I am also a bit tired of working with people. When you need a change you know it, and I feel I have to change something, to regain motivation and enjoy my days at work again. Considering all options, as well as my education, and things I’ve learned in HR, I decided for a career of a financial analyst. You should know that I do some trading in my free time, and I’ve been always interested in the world of finance. Now it is finally a time to dive into it, and restart my professional career.
- I want to study finance because I see it as a perspective field with almost endless opportunities. And though I dream of working as a Financial Analyst one day in the future, because I like the job description and can imagine myself doing the work, I would not be left unemployed if this doesn’t pan out. With a degree from finance you can get a variety of jobs in both public and private sector, and I simply consider it a good choice for me. What’s more, I believe to have what it takes to earn my degree, because Math has always been my strength, and I’ve always been good with numbers.
- I see it as a next logical step in my professional career. I’ve just earned my degree in finance and investment, and I hope to make a career in investment banking one day. But school is just a school, and I first need to understand the corporate finance in detail, the cash flow in the business, the ins and outs of running a profitable company. Entry level job of a financial analyst is a perfect role to do so. And I’d love to have it in your company, because I heard great things about your training program, and no doubt I will learn a lot here, and hopefully also help you a lot with some excellent analyses…
Each reason is good, as long as it makes sense, and you are excited about it
Looking at the list of sample answers, we cannot say that one of them is the best, or that some reason is better than another one. Each of us has their own life journey, and different people have different reasons why they want to work as Financial Analysts. For some it is a dream job, for others a next logical step in their career journey. Some people are changing their career, and some simply want to earn big and perhaps live in luxury one day.
All reasons are good, as long as you explain them in a meaningful way in the interviews, and show some excitement for what’s ahead. Therefor I suggest you not to over-complicate things at this point. Pick one of the sample answers, adjust it slightly to your situation and career goals, and you are good to go.
Brutal honesty can sometimes win you an employment agreement
Let’s face the reality: Financial Analyst is a popular job title, and you will always compete with other people for the job. When applying with one of the most prestigious corporations, it is not unlikely to compete with dozens other applicants for a sole vacancy. In such a situation, saying the same thing everyone else says won’t do the trick. Your answer will quickly be forgotten in the echo of other similar answers.
In competitive interviews, you have to come up with something special (unless you stand out with your working experience or something else). Being completely honest with the interviewers possesses some risks, but in certain interview scenarios you have to take risks. Because it doesn’t matter much whether you end up 3rd best, 10th best, or worst applicant from twenty people they interview for the job. You try to win this, and an unconventional answer (just like no. 4 on my list) can set you apart from other candidates–if your interviewers like your attitude and honesty…
Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also sample answers to other tricky interview questions you may face:
- Entry level financial analyst interview questions – all questions with some answers.
- Why are you interested in finance?
- Financial Analyst interview – What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Describe your experience using Microsoft Excel.