10 good financial planner interview questions
- If hired, what are the biggest economic risks you would advise us on?
- What kinds of investments would you recommend to increase our revenues within the next five years?
- Is a positive cash flow enough to tell whether a company is profitable?
- We are planning to expand our business with two new stores/offices. What are your main responsibilities in this project?
- What is your client portfolio?
- How often do you evaluate the financial results for a company of our size?
- What information do you use to forecast next year’s financial status? How do you organize your data and how do you present your results?
- What financial analysis software do you use?
- What metrics do you check when reviewing a department’s budget?
- How do you ensure you’re up-to-date with finance industry developments and regulations? What resources do you follow?
Here are 10 essential interview questions and sample answers to help identify the best candidates for this role.
1. If hired, what are the biggest economic risks you would advise us on?
This question gauges the candidate’s foresight and understanding of current economic trends.
“Considering the current economic climate, I’d advise on risks related to fluctuating interest rates, potential recessions, and geopolitical uncertainties.”
2. What kinds of investments would you recommend to increase our revenues within the next five years?
This assesses the candidate’s strategic thinking and knowledge of investment opportunities.
“I’d recommend diversifying into emerging markets, considering sustainable investments, and exploring technology-driven sectors.”
3. Is a positive cash flow enough to tell whether a company is profitable?
Understanding of basic financial principles is tested here.
“No, a positive cash flow indicates liquidity but doesn’t necessarily mean profitability. It’s essential to consider other factors like expenses, debts, and investments.”
4. We are planning to expand our business with two new stores/offices. What are your main responsibilities in this project?
This question probes the candidate’s understanding of their role in business expansion.
“I’d assess the financial viability, forecast potential revenues, advise on location based on market research, and help secure funding if necessary.”
5. What is your client portfolio?
This question provides insight into the candidate’s experience and specialization.
“I’ve managed portfolios for mid-sized tech firms, startups, and individual investors, focusing on growth and sustainability.”
6. How often do you evaluate the financial results for a company of our size?
This gauges the candidate’s familiarity with businesses similar to yours.
“For a company of your size, I’d recommend quarterly evaluations to stay agile and make timely decisions.”
7. What information do you use to forecast next year’s financial status? How do you organize your data and how do you present your results?
This question assesses forecasting skills and presentation abilities.
“I use historical data, current market trends, and economic indicators. I organize data using financial software and present results through comprehensive reports and visual aids.”
8. What financial analysis software do you use?
Understanding of industry-standard tools is essential.
“I’m proficient in using Quicken, StashAway, and Microsoft Excel for financial analysis.”
9. What metrics do you check when reviewing a department’s budget?
This question tests the candidate’s attention to detail.
“I check for ROI, cost variances, projected vs. actual expenses, and future financial commitments.”
10. How do you ensure you’re up-to-date with finance industry developments and regulations? What resources do you follow?
Continuous learning is crucial in finance.
“I attend industry seminars, take online courses, and follow publications like Financial Times and Bloomberg.”
What does a good Financial Planner candidate look like?
An ideal Financial Planner is analytical, up-to-date with industry trends, possesses excellent communication skills, and has a proven track record of successful financial planning and advising.
Be cautious of candidates who lack analytical skills, don’t prioritize continuous learning, or can’t provide clear explanations of complex financial concepts.
Candidates for this role usually hold an Accounting or Finance degree and a professional licence (e.g. Series 7 and 66), along with relevant work experience. Additional certifications like CFP, although not required, could help you screen candidates. Professionals who invest time in updating their knowledge (through either formal degrees or following industry developments) indicate they’re engaged in their field.
During your interviews, look for candidates who have strong analytical skills and the ability to make objective decisions. Pose hypothetical scenarios to your candidates and test how they address finance-related issues. It’s a good sign if they ask follow-up questions to gather as much information as possible instead of jumping to quick conclusions. Opt for candidates who present their ideas with confidence, taking risks and opportunities into consideration.
Let’s summarize some of the questions and add a few more divided into specific types.