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Finance Interview Prep Guide

Estimated reading time ~ 4 min
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Use this guide to help you put your best foot forward in the interview process! For easy access, download the PDF version of this guide here.


Sometimes, before speaking with an interviewer, you might be asked to complete a digital interview. Digital interviews require recorded responses to pre-set questions.


  1. Candidates access a video recording platform (e.g. HireVue or Sonru) using a unique link.
  2. Questions are presented one at a time and candidates are provided 20-30 seconds after each question to prepare a response.
  3. Candidates are given one chance to record each answer.

These interviews can be awkward, so take the time to get ready.


Before or instead of meeting in person, you may be scheduled for a series of virtual interviews. Virtual interviews are becoming more common and provide more flexibility to both candidates and interviewers since they can be conducted from anywhere. Therefore, it’s important to also be prepared for how to approach live, remote conversations.

Quick Tips - Digital and Virtual interviews

The following tips are helpful for both digital and virtual interviews. Read about typical questions and best practices for responding in the “Behavioral Interviews” section on the next page.

  • Review interview details in advance. Be on top of your emails from recruiting teams to understand the interview type, schedule, and instructions.
  • Test your technology. Make sure you know which platform the company requires for the interviews. Download it ahead of time, if necessary, and test that your video and microphone are working properly. Lastly, don’t forget to charge your computer ahead of time!
  • Prepare yourself and your space.
    • Practice answering common interview questions using the STAR method (more info below) and record yourself. Not only to rehearse your answers, but also to check your surroundings.
    • Dress like you would for an in-person interview, position your computer so your camera is eye-level, and choose a well-lit, quiet space.
  • Maintain eye contact. Look into the camera while responding as if you’re speaking face-to-face with the interviewer.
  • Be yourself. You may be tempted to prepare notes and answers to typical questions. Avoid reading directly off a piece of paper - the interview should be fluid.
    • Recorded - Enunciate and speak up, but keep it natural. Make sure you’re speaking clearly so your responses are captured, but remember to relax. Showing your personality can go a long way, just like when you do live interviews or phone calls.
    • Remote - Be Present. Give the interviewer 100% of your attention. Turn off your other devices and don’t multitask.


The purpose of behavioral interviews is to discuss how you’ve approached previous situations. Hiring teams are looking for examples of your past actions so these questions require more than a “yes-or-no”. The following method outlines how to prepare strong, clear, and concise answers.

The Opener: “Tell me about yourself.”

  1. Background: Start with one or two sentences about your background like where you grew up, your high school, or your college/university.
  2. Interest: Note the specific moment or experience that sparked your interest in finance.
  3. Passion: Share 2-3 examples of how you’re gaining relevant skills/experience to prepare for the opportunity.

The STAR Method

STAR stands for situation, task, action, and result and lays out the formula for structuring your responses to behavioral and situational questions.

  1. Situation: Provide context around the situation or challenge you faced.
  2. Task: Describe your role and goal for the situation or challenge.
  3. Action: Explain the specific steps you took to address the situation or challenge.
  4. Result: Highlight the outcome you achieved through your actions. This can also include what you learned and how you’ve grown from the experience.

For more information and examples, read through this article.

Quick Tips

  • Research and practice. Review the job description, read through the company’s website, and practice answering common interview questions. While preparing, keep in mind the required skills, the company’s values, and your professional strengths.
    • Be ready to explain why you’re interested in the company and the role!
  • Have complete, yet succinct answers. Interviewers are on a schedule and have a set of questions they need to ask. So it’s important to find a balance between providing full answers without spending too much time on one question.
  • Don’t be afraid to say “I”. The intention of an interview is to get to know you. You likely worked on a team to address challenges and accomplish goals, but using “we” too often can take away from your contributions.


As you move through the process, later-stage interviews may include “technical” questions. These questions are designed to evaluate your finance and banking knowledge. You don’t need to know how to answer every technical question perfectly, but you should do your homework to be able to demonstrate that you understand the core concepts.

How to Prepare

  • You can’t “study” for technical questions the night before an interview. Take the time to do research in advance during internship season.
  • Check in with your college/university career center for access to resources and prep materials. See if you can set up time to do practice interviews.
  • During the interview, if you’re not familiar with a topic, speak to what you do know and what you’re doing to learn more.

Potential Topics

Equity Value, Valuation Metrics, Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Analysis, Leveraged Buyout (LBO) Models, and Current events & trends in the market.

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