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 making mistakes.
Interviewers try to learn a lot of things about you when asking this question. They want to:
- See if you are honest (everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone can admit making them).
- See how mistakes influenced you (if you are down speaking about it, or if you see them as good lessons for the future).
- See if you are strong enough to take responsibility for your mistakes, or if you blame the others for your mistakes.
- See if you can solve the problems that result from your mistakes.
Please, remember that they do not want to hear that you did not make any mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. Try to think about your experience and recall some mistakes, and elaborate on it with the remedy.
On the top of that, you should stress that you do your best to avoid making mistakes and you should describe the actions you take to avoid mistakes. 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 making 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 everyone. 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. Do not forget to be positive when speaking about them. Each mistake can serve as a valuable lesson, that’s the right attitude to present in your interview.
Special Tip: Did you like our analysis of this question? And what about brilliant answers to all twenty most common FA interview questions, practical case studies and winning interview strategies? You will find them in our Financial Analyst Interview Guide.
- 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?