Describe a situation when you had to meet a tight deadline

* Side-note: We receive plenty of traffic to this particular page, from people who apply for all kinds of jobs (and face a question about meeting deadlines, or dealing with pressure).

If you are one of them, if you apply for another position, not for financial analyst, we recommend the following article: for great answer to this question, and to many other difficult questions you will face in your interview.

If you apply for a position of a financial analyst, however, please continue reading the lines below:

Financial analyst is not a stand alone unit in the company

Female job applicant answering the questions of the interviewers

Other people will work with your analysis and study your reports. You will have to deliver them on time, and sometimes the deadline will be tight.

Asking you this question, we try to see if you understand every aspect of your job, if you panic under pressure, if you actually know how to handle the situation.

Describe your effort to achieve the goal in time, and how it helped other employees.  The following questions should help you with composing your interview answer:

  • Did you engage your co-workers in a process of meeting the deadline?
  • Have you worked overtime to prepare your reports in time?
  • Did you work at home to meet the deadline?

HR managers love to hire people who do not mind working overtime, and who are ready to sacrifice something for their job. It doesn’t matter if you really belong to this group of job seekers–you should try to convince us that you belong there.

Sample answers

Example of financial analysis, graphs and spredsheets, illustration Working as a cost accountant, I was responsible for preparing customized financial reports for the weekly meetings of financial management. They asked me to prepare specific reports just few hours or one day before the actual meeting, and they did it most weeks. But I did not panic. I always tried to keep my things organized, to waste no time, and I stayed in work longer the day before the meeting, if it was necessary. Except of one time I always managed to prepare the reports for the meetings.

In my previous job in sales I had to meet various targets every month. In February 2016, seven days to go, I reached only 40% of targeted sales volume. I decided to work overtime, to push myself to the limit, simply give it a best shot. Finally I reached 90% of the target volume, so I failed, but taking into account all that had happened during the month, the result was surprisingly good. And I learned that everything is possible, if you are willing to sacrifice your time.

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