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Preparing For Your Impact Finance Interview

We thought it might be useful to share some tips around interviewing for impact finance jobs. We’ve been in dozens of interviews ourselves (on both sides!) and last year we reached out to nearly 100 employers to ask them about how they conduct interviews. Although everyone conducts interviews differently, there are two overarching types of questions that are asked: behavioral and technical. In our next few newsletters we’ll be cracking the interview process so that you’re prepared for your next transition.  With that said, this week we’re diving into behavioral interviews and how to tackle them. Behavioral questions are designed to understand your background, work experience, approach to work, fit with the company, motivation to join the firm and this role in particular. You’ll be asked questions like:

  • What skills do you think you can use from your previous role in this job in this sector? (Work Experience)
  • How are you working in a team, what’s your approach when you have conflicts? (Approach to Work)
  • What type of impact investment projects do you think we need to focus on? (Your fit with and knowledge of the company)
  • What is happening in the impact space that excites you? (Your motivation to join the firm) 

It is so important that you can articulate your own personal theory of change and how to overlay it onto the particular role you are interviewing for. The interviewer wants to understand how your skills, values and experience match the role and the company and help them get excited about hiring you. 

Now let’s dive into technical interview questions. No matter what type of role you are interviewing for, there will be technical questions included in your interview. 

These technical questions are designed to test your knowledge and your critical thinking and reasoning skills. We like to break down technical questions into three different types:

  • Case Study
  • Theory
  • Strategic Thinking

Here are some examples of questions that have been asked during technical interviews:

What do you think strengths/weaknesses might be of this deal? 

  • Do you think any particular due diligence is required? What would be your initial investment hypothesis for the deal? etc. (Case Study)
  • What are the different ways to find the valuation of a company? What is the difference between the following financial instruments, i.e bonds, grants, mezzanine debt? (Finance Theory)
  • How do you measure impact? What does a good impact strategy look like? (Impact Finance Theory)
  • Where do you see the biggest opportunities in the impact finance [or a more specific sub sector] space? 
  • What challenges do you think limit growth of impact investing? (Strategic Thinking)

Interviewers asking finance and impact finance theory questions are looking to make sure you possess the technical skills to be able to complete the tasks in the role. Whereas, strategic thinking questions are designed to understand how your brain works. Case studies test both at the same time. 

I hope that is helpful! Want to learn more about how to successfully prep for an interview? Check out our Pathfinder Program.  The entire Module 3 is focused on helping you ace your interview.

Link to pathfinderLink to Pathfinder Program

Aunnie Power

Aunnie Power