How to Prepare For Unexpected Finance Interview Questions

Can you just give us some example of an unexpected question? Something maybe most candidates wouldn’t be prepared for.

Let me give you 2 examples. 2 different examples.

Go ahead.

One example is you being asked to calculate how many lampposts are in the United States. Unless you have any specific background in reading in the subject matter, you will not know the answer.


There are ways to answer those questions and most likely the interviewer asking the question wouldn’t know the answer either. How do you go about answering that question? How do you go about answering that question? Well, you know you can take either a top down approach or a bottom up approach. A top down approach would be perhaps starting by saying that there are 300 million inhabitants in the US. Then you know roughly that say maybe 60 % of the roads have public lighting. Therefore, you can assume say that there is 10 kilometers of road per inhabitant and so on and so forth. So the key thing here is as you go through the top down approach, make sure every single step in your reasoning is A: Logical and B: you say it out loud. So that the interviewer can…

Can follow up with you?

Can follow with you and can ensure that your approach is logical and sensible. The second example is for example, you being asked what is the square root of 77 just out of the top of your head. You obviously don’t have access to calculator, most likely you will not be allowed to take pen and paper either. Once again there the key is not to get caught in panic and just start rambling things. you know for example, they compose the square root of 77, as you know 8 times V for example, I’m really thinking loud here, you can come up with like quite a few different things, you could approximate it by square root of 81 you know is 9 and so on and so forth, so that gives an upper bound, that you can come with a lower bound, etc, etc.

Source by Agustin Valecillos