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25 personal interview questions you’ll need to know the answer to

In the past year, we’ve published several lists of real-life interview questions asked by banks and other financial firms. Some were aimed at prospective investment bankers, others were more general, but all were quantitative in nature – questions that would test a candidate’s technical aptitude. While it’s critical to have answers to these questions, it’s equally important to have good responses to some of the softball behavioral inquiries.

Frankly, these are the questions that give you the opportunity to differentiate yourself and show your true colors. The quantitative questions are just used to weed out those who don’t have the required skillset. Here are 25 questions that are frequently asked by banks, financial firms and even technology companies that are looking for MBA graduates. They were collected by students at NYU Stern School of Business. While clearly none of them are "difficult" in nature, you should do the work upfront and have a good story to tell.

1. Tell me a little about yourself.

2. Why did you leave your last job (or why are considering leaving)?

3. Who is the worst (best) boss/subordinate/colleague you have ever worked with?

4. In your present position, what problems have you identified that were previously overlooked?

5. What kinds of people do you find it difficult to work with?

6. Describe a situation where your judgment proved to be valuable.

7. What aspects of your previous jobs have you disliked?

8. Do you work better under pressure or with time to plan and organize?

9. What is more important – completing a job on time or doing it right?

10. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

11. What are the three most important accomplishments in your career?

12. What kinds of decisions are most difficult for you?

13. What is it about your current company that you do not particularly like or agree with?

14. How would your boss describe you?

15. What three words would you choose to best describe yourself?

16. How do you go about criticizing others?

17. What type of tasks do you feel you cannot delegate?

18. Why do you consider this to be a good opportunity?

19. What kind of relationship and atmosphere do you prefer to maintain with colleagues and subordinates?

20. How do you try to develop the weaker members of your team?

21. Describe how you allocate your time and set your priorities on a typical day.

22. Could your team carry on without you? How?

23. How do you determine if a subordinate is doing a good job?

24. Are you a better planner or implementer?

25. Describe your impact on your present company.


17 Real Life Interview Questions Asked of Investment Bankers

23 Real Interview Questions Banks Ask of Ivy League MBAs

If You Want a Finance Job, Have Answers to These Questions

AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor
  • Be
    21 November 2013

    Great reminders. I've been asked some of these questions. Thank you for adding others in this easy-to-follow list!

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