20 FINRA Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position at FINRA.

When it comes to interviews, every company has their own unique set of questions that they like to ask. And if you’re interviewing for a job at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), you can expect to be asked some pretty specific questions about the securities industry.

To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common FINRA interview questions, along with sample answers to give you an idea of what the interviewer is looking for.

So whether you’re a seasoned veteran of the securities industry or a recent college graduate just starting out, make sure you’re ready to answer these FINRA interview questions before your next big job interview.

FINRA Interview Process

The interview process at FINRA can vary depending on the position you are applying for. However, most positions will require at least one phone screening with a recruiter, followed by one or more in-person interviews. For some positions, you may also be required to complete a coding challenge or take-home test. Overall, the interview process is generally fairly straightforward and easy to manage.

1. Why are you interested in working for FINRA?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your background and why you are interested in working for FINRA. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention any specific qualifications that you have or how you learned about the job opening.

Example: “I am very passionate about securities regulation because I believe that it’s important to protect investors from fraud. In my last role as an auditor, I was able to help uncover some fraudulent activity at one of our client firms, which helped ensure that investors were protected. I would love to continue doing work like this if I’m hired by FINRA.”

2. If a firm was not complying with regulations, what would your approach be to help them comply?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the regulatory process and how you would apply it. You can use examples from past experiences where you helped a firm comply with regulations or worked within a team to help firms meet compliance standards.

Example: “In my last role, I was working on a project that required me to work with several securities firms. One of these firms had not been keeping up with their paperwork, which meant they were in violation of some important rules. My approach was to first understand why this happened and then develop a plan for them to get back into compliance. We created a system so they could keep track of all their paperwork and stay compliant going forward.”

3. How do you handle stressful situations?

The financial industry is a high-stress environment, and the interviewer may want to know how you handle stress. This question can also help them determine if your personality would fit in with their company culture.

Example: “I have found that it’s important to take time for myself when I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed. For me, this means taking a walk outside or going to the gym to clear my mind. I also find that talking through stressful situations with others helps me feel better. I try to be open about what I’m experiencing so that I can get advice from others who are more experienced.”

4. Do you have any experience working in the financial industry?

This question is a great way to show the interviewer that you have relevant experience for this role. If you do, be sure to describe your responsibilities and how they relate to the job description.

Example: “I worked as an investment advisor at my previous firm where I helped clients create financial plans and manage their portfolios. This position required me to understand client goals and recommend appropriate investments based on their risk tolerance and timeline. It also involved monitoring client accounts for any red flags and making adjustments when necessary.”

5. What kind of research projects have you worked on before?

This question is a great way to show your potential employer that you have the skills and experience necessary for this role. When answering, it can be helpful to mention any projects or assignments that are similar to what you would do in this position.

Example: “In my current role as an investment analyst, I am responsible for researching companies’ financial statements and analyzing their performance. This includes looking at how they performed over the last year and comparing them to other companies within their industry. In previous positions, I’ve also done research on company performance and compared it to industry standards.”

6. We have employees who work in offices around the U.S. Are you comfortable working remotely or traveling?

The interviewer may ask this question to determine if you have the flexibility and adaptability to work in a variety of locations. If you are interviewing for an office job, they may also want to know how you would handle working remotely or traveling frequently.

Example: “I am comfortable working from home as long as I have access to my computer and phone. I prefer to be in an office setting because it helps me focus on my work. However, I understand that sometimes we need to travel for business. In those situations, I make sure to pack everything I need so I can stay productive while away.”

7. Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision at work.

This question can help the interviewer get a better sense of your problem-solving skills and ability to make decisions under pressure. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation where you had to make a decision that was challenging or difficult but also helped achieve positive results for your company or organization.

Example: “When I first started working as an investment advisor at my previous firm, I had to decide whether or not to recommend a client purchase a particular stock. The stock was highly volatile, which made me hesitant to recommend it to my client. However, after doing some research on the company, I decided to go ahead with recommending the stock to my client because I felt confident in its long-term prospects.”

8. Have you ever managed a team?

This question is a great way to learn more about your potential supervisor’s leadership style. If you’re interviewing for a management position, it can be helpful to know how the person who will be your direct report would like to see you manage them.

Example: “I have had several opportunities to lead teams in my previous roles. I find that leading by example and being approachable are two of the most important things when managing a team. When I first started working as an investment advisor, I was nervous about delegating tasks to my team members. However, after some practice, I found that delegating responsibilities helped me focus on my own work while also helping my employees develop their skills.”

9. How would you respond if there were some tension between members of your team?

The interviewer may ask you this question to assess your interpersonal skills and ability to resolve conflict. In your answer, try to demonstrate that you can work with others and understand the importance of collaboration.

Example: “I would first make sure I understood what caused the tension between my team members. Then, I would talk to each person individually about their concerns and how we could resolve them. If there was a misunderstanding or miscommunication, I would take steps to ensure it didn’t happen again. Finally, I would hold a meeting with all team members to discuss any issues and remind everyone of our shared goals.”

10. What makes someone a good leader?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your leadership skills and how you would apply them in a new role. When answering, consider what makes someone a good leader and highlight the qualities that make you a strong leader.

Example: “A good leader is someone who can motivate others to achieve their goals while also encouraging collaboration and teamwork. I believe it’s important for leaders to be approachable so they can listen to their team members’ ideas and concerns. As a leader, I strive to create an environment where my team feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions.”

11. What is your experience with compliance and regulatory matters?

The FINRA is responsible for regulating the securities industry in the U.S., so it’s important that its employees have a strong understanding of compliance and regulatory matters. When answering this question, make sure to highlight your knowledge of current regulations and how you’ve helped your previous employers adhere to them.

Example: “I understand the importance of adhering to all applicable laws and regulations when working with clients. In my last role as an investment advisor, I was responsible for ensuring that our firm followed all SEC rules and regulations regarding client communication and financial advice. This included making sure we had policies and procedures in place to ensure compliance.”

12. What interests you about this position?

This question is a great opportunity to show the interviewer that you have done your research on the company and are genuinely interested in working for them. When answering this question, make sure to highlight aspects of the job description that appeal to you and explain why they interest you.

Example: “I am very passionate about financial regulation and believe it’s important to protect investors from predatory practices. I was impressed by the mission statement of FINRA when researching the organization and would love to be part of an organization that works to ensure fair treatment of consumers.”

13. Describe one of your more challenging work experiences and how you handled it.

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your problem-solving skills and how you handle challenges. When answering, try to focus on a time when you overcame a challenge or faced a setback and were able to overcome it.

Example: “When I first started working as an investment advisor at my previous firm, I had a client who was very unhappy with the performance of his portfolio. He wanted me to make changes immediately, but I explained that there are many factors that affect the performance of a portfolio, including market conditions and economic trends. I told him that I would do everything in my power to improve his portfolio’s performance, but he needed to be patient while I made adjustments.”

14. What drives you to excel at your job?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you better and understand what motivates you. It’s important to show that your ambition is driven by more than just monetary rewards, but also by a desire to do good work and make an impact.

Example: “I am motivated by my passion for finance and helping others succeed in their financial endeavors. I love learning about new investment strategies and sharing my knowledge with clients. I find it rewarding when I’m able to help someone achieve their goals.”

15. What do you think is the most important thing for us to focus on as an organization?

This question is a great way to see how well you know the organization and what it stands for. It also gives you an opportunity to show your knowledge of current events in the financial industry.

Example: “I think that one of the most important things FINRA can focus on as an organization is protecting investors from fraud. I’ve seen first-hand how devastating it can be when someone loses their life savings because they trusted the wrong person, so I’m passionate about making sure we’re doing everything we can to prevent these situations.”

16. The securities industry is constantly changing. How would you keep up with these changes?

The interviewer may ask this question to see if you have the ability to adapt and learn new things. Show that you are willing to take on challenges by explaining how you would keep up with changes in your industry.

Example: “I am always looking for ways to improve my knowledge of securities trading. I subscribe to several newsletters and blogs about the latest news in the industry, which helps me stay informed. I also attend seminars and webinars hosted by FINRA and other organizations. These events help me understand the most recent regulations and trends.”

17. What kinds of things interest you about the financial services industry?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you better and understand what motivates you. It also helps them determine if your interests align with their company’s goals. When preparing for this question, think about why you want to work in the financial services industry. Consider mentioning a specific goal of the FINRA or the company you’re interviewing with that you’d like to contribute to achieving.

Example: “I’m interested in working in the financial services industry because I believe everyone should have access to quality investment advice. I’ve always been passionate about helping people achieve their financial goals, so when I learned about the career opportunities at FINRA, I knew it was something I wanted to pursue.”

18. Can you describe a situation where you used data analysis to solve a problem?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your analytical skills and how you apply them in the workplace. Use examples from previous jobs where you used data analysis to solve a problem or help your team achieve its goals.

Example: “At my last job, I was tasked with creating a new report that would give our sales team insight into which products were selling well and which ones weren’t performing as expected. Using data from our company’s financial records, I created a spreadsheet that showed each product’s revenue over time. The sales team could then use this information to make better decisions about which products they should promote.”

19. Provide an example of a time when you were able to successfully convince someone to agree with your point of view.

This question can help the interviewer determine your communication skills and ability to persuade others. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide an example of a time when you were able to convince someone to change their mind or agree with your point of view.

Example: “In my previous role as a financial advisor, I had a client who was very hesitant about investing in stocks because they believed that they would lose all of their money if they invested. After explaining how stocks work and showing them some examples of companies that have done well over the years, they agreed to invest in stocks.”

20. Describe a time when you had to deal with conflicting priorities, how did you handle it?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your ability to prioritize tasks and manage time effectively. Use examples from previous work experiences where you had to balance multiple projects or meet deadlines while also managing other responsibilities.

Example: “In my current role as a compliance officer, I have to ensure that all of the firm’s employees are following regulatory guidelines for their job functions. This means that sometimes I need to address issues with an employee who is performing well but not meeting specific requirements outlined in our policies. In these situations, I try to be empathetic and explain why they’re receiving feedback so they understand the reasoning behind it.”


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