People make mistakes. It is natural. However, in some jobs, a mistake can prove costly. Financial analyst is one of these position, so you should do your best to avoid mistakes.
Interviewers try to learn a lot of things about you when asking the question.
- If you are honest (everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone can admit it).
- How the mistakes you made influenced you (if you struggle speaking about them, or if you see them as a lesson for the future).
- If you take responsibility for your mistakes, or if you blame the others.
- If you could solve the problems that resulted from your mistakes.
They do not want to hear that you did not make mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. Try to think about your experience and recall some mistakes, elaborating on it with your way of remedy.
On the top of that, you should stress that you do your best to avoid mistakes and describe the actions you take to avoid making them. Let’s have a look at some answers.
Biggest mistake – sample answers
I recall my early days in the office, when I made a wrong cash flow analysis, simply because I mixed up fiscal years. I gave recommendations to management based on it and that nearly resulted into an improper action, because my suggestions were based on false analysis. Luckily, my supervisor found the mistake and nothing bad happened. I learned a lesson and since then I always double check the letterheads, to avoid the same mistake.
I understand that a mistake can prove costly in this job. Therefore I would double check everything and do my best to avoid mistakes. However, this is my first job application, so I do not have an experience with making big mistakes. I made many mistakes in personal life, but that happens to every person. I try to take it as a lesson, and opportunity to do things better the next time.
Think about your past working experience and try to find mistakes you made. Try to turn them to valuable lesson that helped you to become a better analyst. This is the right attitude to present in an interview.
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- Describe a situation when you had to meet a tight deadline.
- What was the best and the worst financial forecast you have made so far?