All of use make mistakes. But financial analysts should try their best to avoid them, because every single mistake can prove costly, especially if the managers take an incorrect decision following your analysis.
We try to learn a lot of things about you when asking this particular question:
- If you are honest, and humble (everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone can admit making them).
- How the mistakes you made affected you in job (if you struggle speaking about them, or if you see them as lessons).
- If you take responsibility for making a mistake, or if you always blame someone else.
- If you did eventually solve the problems that resulted from your mistakes.
I recall my early days in the office. I made a wrong cash flow analysis, simply because I mixed up fiscal years. I gave recommendations to my boss, the CEO of the company who was also my direct superior, and the recommendations turned out terrible. We lost a few thousand dollars. I was sad, and they were upset, but eventually I take it as a lesson, and I always double check the letterheads since then.
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 a big mistake. I made many mistakes in my personal life though, but that happens to every person, and you are probably not interested in hearing about them right now.
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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?