Last updated on January 23rd, 2019 at 09:51 am

Man is analyzing a budget of the company he works for.One of the typical entry level jobs for accounting graduates, budget analyst is a great start for your professional career.

You will see the numbers, understand the expenses, and you will easily learn the basics of running a business.

What is more, this jobs pays better than most entry level jobs in big corporations do, and you can get it with Bachelors degree in accounting, and no previous working experience.

Let’s have a look at the typical interview process for this position.


Screening interview – the first stage

Big corporations receive a plenty of job applications, for every single vacancy they advertise. Rarely will they invite all people for the in-person interviews, and you will typically have to pass a few rounds of interviews before signing a job contract.

The first one (called screening interview) happens often over the phone, or even online. You can expect to deal with the following questions:


Why do you want to work as a budget analyst?

Say that you enjoy working with numbers, that you have strong accounting and analytical skills, and believe that you can be useful for the employer on this position.

You can also say that you plan to become an accountant, or project manager in the future, and consider the position as a good starting point for your career.


Why do you want to work for our company?

If you apply in a big corporation (which is likely the case, since small companies do not employ budget analysts), you can refer to their reputation, vision, goals, or basically to the magnitude of the company, and what they do. Hiring managers are typically proud people. Help them to feel good in an interview with you

You can also say that you see a lot of possibilities to grow with them, or that you are looking to work in an international environment. Whatever you say, they should have the feeling that you honestly want to work for them, and not just for anyone out there…


Two young hiring managers listen to the job applicant, while he answers one of their behavioral questions.Tell us something about your education and experience in the field.

Try to keep it relevant, and focus on practical subjects/experience. You can mention all subjects that relate to the job of a budget analyst, such as Statistics, Math, Accounting, Financial Analysis, Time Row Analysis, and other.

Show some confidence. Tell them that you believe to be ready to start the job (with everything you have learned up to this point), after getting initial training. Big companies provide training for all new hires,.


How do you imagine a typical day in work?

When you apply for an entry level job of a budget analyst, you should not expect to deal with a huge cariety of duties in work. They won’t entrust you with planning of the entire budget (neither for the department, nor for the project).

But you will help the project managers with planning and reviewing the budget, and with checking the accuracy of data. What is more, job description should help you to understand what you will do in the particular job.

One way or another, try to show them that you are eager to learn and ready to work hard, and do not plan to hang around the office.


Other screening questions

  • What will motivate you in this job?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • How do you imagine a great boss?
  • How would you describe an ideal working environment?
  • Why did you leave your last job or why do you plan to leave your present job?
  • Why should we hire you, and not one of the other applicants for this position?

Special tip no. 1: Download a full list of questions in a one-page long .PDF document, and practice your interview answers anytime later:

Behavioral and technical questions – 2nd interview

Man interviews for the job, and he uses his hands to better express his opinions.Once you manage to pass the initial screening interview in the company (or over the phone), they will invite you for an in person interview.

They may repeat some questions from the first interview, but they will ask you also some behavioral and technical questions.

The first help them to understand your attitude to various situations that happen in the workplace, and the second help them to understand your knowledge of accounting and budget analysis.

Note: Big corporations won’t ask you many technical questions. They will train you to do your job, and they rely on your University degree–when you earned it, you have to know the basics of accounting (at least that’s what they believe).

When you apply for a position in a small company, however (not typical, since small companies do not hire a special person for analyzing budgets, but it can happen), you may deal with a few technical questions. Let’s have a look at both groups right now, starting with behavioral questions.

  • Describe a time you struggled with motivation in work/school. How did you overcome the crisis?
  • Tell us about a time you experienced pressure (either at work or at school). How did you handle it?
  • Describe a conflict you had with one of your colleagues.
  • What would you do if you thought that your superior was not qualified for their job?
  • Describe a time when you had to deal with an angry or upset client (customer).
  • Recall a time you had to defend a budget recommendation to a demanding executive. What was the outcome of the situation?
  • Describe a situation when you did not agree with the opinion (or decision) of your superior or supervisor, and knew that they were wrong. How did you handle that?
  • Describe a situation when you faced a particularly demanding problem or challenge in your personal life. How did that affect you in your job/studies?
  • Describe a time when you struggled to build a relationship with someone important. How did you eventually overcome that?

Special tip no.2: Check our Interview Success Package for great answers to all difficult behavioral interview questions.


Technical questions for budget analysts

  • What is the first thing you look at when asked to review a budget?
  • What are the most common mistakes people do in their financial analysis?
  • Imagine an executive tells you there’s some inconsistency between approved budget and actual expenditure at a department. What will you do?
  • When you have to cut the overall expenses, what items on the budget do you check first, while trying to find areas to save money?
  • What computer programs do you use in your work, and why?


Conclusion and next steps

People are applauding at the end of an interview. we can see two women in their thirties, and a aman in a blue shirtYou will typically have to pass a series of interviews while trying to get a job of a budget analyst. Since it is a good job, and most companies require just a Bachelor degree (and no experience), you have to count with some competition.

You won’t be the only candidate they interview for the job.

Prepare for the personal and behavioral questions, and try to make the best possible impression. Remember that the success (or failure) is not a question of luck. Do more than your competitors will do, and ace your interview.

Thank you, we wish you good luck! – Your Best Job Interview Coach since 2011.


May also interest you:

  • Interview attire special tips – Some interview attire tips for the brave, and for people who like to experiment.
  • Body language in an interview – What do your gestures and movements say about you? Can we control our non-verbal communication?
  • Accounting interview questions – Behavioral and technical questions, and the practical test of your accounting skills. Learn how the HR managers assess your readiness for the job of an accountant.

Matthew Chulaw

Matthew has been working in international recruitment since 2008. He helps job seekers from all walks of life to pursue their career goals, and to prepare for their interviews. He is the founder of website.
Matthew Chulaw

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