How to prepare for a FP&A interview?

Students preparing for an FP&A interview, discussing around a conference table with laptops and documents, highlighting teamwork and diversity


Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) is an essential function within corporate finance that focuses on forecasting, budgeting, and supporting the strategic decision-making processes within an organization. FP&A professionals analyze historical data and market trends to prepare financial models and projections, which are critical in helping senior management make informed strategic decisions.

1. Research the Company, Industry & the Role:

● Deep dive into the company’s website, annual reports, & latest news articles. Understand their business model, products or services, how they make money (unit economics) & key business & financial ratios.

● Research the industry trends, competitors, and any major challenges or opportunities they
might be facing. This will help you anticipate questions as well that might be asked.

And if you’re thinking this is too much, after all “itna kon karta hai”, LOL , you’ll be surprised!

Image of a man in a 19th-century suit, raising a toast with a slight smile, symbolizing a confident candidate celebrating his thorough preparation for an FP&A interview. His expression conveys both satisfaction and a touch of humor, suggesting the smart and detailed approach required to succeed in such interviews

Coming back to our topic: 

● Research the industry trends, competitors, and any major challenges or opportunities they
might be facing. This will help you anticipate questions as well that might be asked.

For above resources, get comfortable browsing websites like:

  • Screener
  • National Stock Exchange of India
  • Moneycontrol
  • Trendlyne
  • Economic Times
  • Business Line


2. Brush up on FP&A Fundamentals:

● Refresh your knowledge on the three core financial statements: income statement,
balance sheet, & cash flow statement.

● Revisit financial modeling concepts, including building basic financial models in Excel, using various functions and formulas. Also brush up ratio analysis, trend analysis, and variance analysis.

3. Practice Interview Questions:

  • Prepare answers for common questions like:

    • “Can you explain Working capital to a 15-year-old, without using financial jargon?”
    • “What is Zero based budgeting?”
    • “Can you explain the implications of the new Lease accounting on B/S, P&L & CFS?”
  • Practice behavioral questions using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to showcase your problem-solving skills and achievements in past experiences (past job/articleship/internship experiences). Use stories & detailing to make it interesting.

  • Some interviews might involve case studies or technical assessments. These could be mock financial modeling tasks, variance analysis, or business scenario analyses. Practice case studies beforehand.

  • For technical assessments, brush up on your Excel skills, financial modeling techniques, and data analysis capabilities. Keep abreast of current events, economic trends, and changes in accounting standards or regulations that may impact FP&A practices.

  • Don’t forget to glance over any IndAS/IFRS amendments, important tax circulars, or changes etc., and their implications on companies.

  • Pro-tip: Consider giving at least 5-6 mock interviews with peers, mentors, or career coaches to simulate the interview experience and receive constructive feedback.

Scene from a Bollywood film showing three men engaged in a serious conversation with the caption 'Mast plan hai!' This reflects a moment of strategic discussion, similar to the meticulous preparation required for an FP&A interview where candidates must plan their approach to common questions, behavioral situations, and technical assessments

4. General Interviewing Tips:

  • Dress professionally and arrive on time for the interview (if it’s a physical interview). For an online interview, make sure you log in 5 minutes earlier and have your microphone & camera tested as well.

  • Be prepared to ask insightful questions about the company, the team, and the role. Remember, the more meaningful questions you ask, the better impression you leave behind.

  • Showcase your enthusiasm for FP&A and your interest in the specific company. You might be asked: “Why particularly do you want FP&A? What’s your passion?”

  • Follow up with a thank-you email to the interviewer(s) after the interview. This not only shows your gratitude but also reinforces your interest in the role.

    With these steps, you’ll be well-prepared to impress your interviewer and land your dream FP&A job!

Conclusion and Additional Resources:

Preparing for an FP&A interview requires not just knowledge and skills, but a strategic approach to showcasing your qualifications. Our Financial Planning & Analysis Masterclass is designed to provide you with comprehensive training that covers all aspects of FP&A, from fundamental concepts to advanced financial modeling techniques. This masterclass will help you build confidence and enhance your abilities to tackle even the most challenging interview questions effectively.

Ready to take your FP&A career to the next level? Enroll in our Financial Planning & Analysis Masterclass today and gain the edge you need to succeed in your next interview. Enroll Now

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