Discover how to navigate the job search and application process for a Financial Analyst position. Learn how to select the right finance career, network effectively, apply early, prepare for interviews, and negotiate salaries.

Key Insights

  • Identifying a specific career path in finance that aligns with your personality type and skills can be a helpful first step in your job search as a Financial Analyst.
  • Networking is crucial in the finance field. It can help you discover job opportunities you were unaware of and advance professionally in your current position.
  • Applying early for jobs increases your chances of landing an interview. Research suggests that applicants who apply within the first 72 hours of a job posting are more likely to be considered.
  • Preparing thoroughly for an interview is necessary to impress potential employers. This includes researching the organization, reviewing the job description, and preparing answers to commonly asked questions in the financial analytics field.
  • Negotiating your salary is an important part of the job application process. Knowing your value and understanding the pay rate for similar jobs in your area can help you negotiate successfully.
  • Noble Desktop offers a range of classes devoted to financial modeling and analysis. This includes their Financial Modeling Bootcamp and Financial Analyst Training Program.

If you’re looking for a job as a Financial Analyst, you may not be certain how to approach the job search or application process. Even though many online resources are available to help aspiring Financial Analysts find professional opportunities, it can be overwhelming to know which resources are the most useful or how to find them. The more you understand the job search process, the easier it will be to assemble a strong resume and cover letter, prepare for the interview, and negotiate a salary. Read on to learn more about the job search process in financial analytics, as well as how you can set yourself apart from other candidates.

Decide on the best finance career for your personality.

The field of finance is broad and includes many subsets, such as investment banking, accounting, private equity, corporate finance, quantitative analysis, and financial planning. These roles differ significantly and have different requirements. For example, there’s a significant difference between wishing to pursue a career as a Commercial Banking Analyst and an Equity Research analyst. This is why it makes sense to start your job search by identifying what specific focus in financial analytics is most suited to your personality type and skills. If you tend to be introverted, positions that allow you to work independently may be a good match, such as a Risk Manager or Treasurer. Extroverts, on the other hand, may be better suited for roles like Hedge Fund Fundraiser or Senior Investment Banker, which require interacting with others more than working independently.


Networking is one of the most important parts of finding a job as a Financial Analyst. Connecting with others in finance can help you learn about jobs you didn’t know were available and can also help you advance professionally within your current position. Networking can take many forms. Some aspiring Financial Analysts may network by joining an investment club. These organizations are available at many colleges and universities and also in the professional sector. They provide a great way to get to know other Financial Analysts, learn more about this profession, and learn about job openings. Alumni networks are also excellent resources for networking. You may also want to reach out to former employers or teachers to see if they can help you connect with other finance professionals. 

Apply for a job early.

Many people think that as long as a job application is open and resumes are being accepted, it’s a fine time to apply. However, your chances of landing an interview are much greater if you apply as soon as possible after a job’s been posted. Research suggests that job applicants are much more likely to be considered if they apply within the first 72 hours of a job being posted online. After this window, your chances of being considered go down significantly. In addition, some employers only consider the first half of applications that make it beyond the applicant tracking system. Even for applicants with the necessary training and skills for the job they’re applying for, it’s possible to be disqualified simply for not applying fast enough. 

This is why you must have an up-to-date resume and cover letter as you apply for Financial Analyst positions. That way, when one is posted that feels like a good match, you can revise your documents relatively easily and get your application in during that first three-day window. One way to stay on top of job openings is to receive daily job alerts or email updates from popular job search sites like Indeed. These updates also can save you time scrolling through dozens or hundreds of job openings to see which are the newest.

Prepare for your interview.

Once you make it through the application process and attract an employer’s attention, they may reach out to schedule an in-person or online interview. This is your chance to impress them with your skills and professionalism. Even if you’ve worked in finance for years, it’s essential to be well-prepared for an interview. This means doing your homework. You’ll have to read up on the organization to which you’re applying. What is their corporate culture like? How long have they been around? How many people work there? What is their mission statement? In addition to learning more about the organization, you’ll also need to be well-versed in the job description and requirements. 

The next step in preparing for an interview in financial analytics is to review common interview questions in this field. While each employer will have different interview formats, there is a good chance that they will ask you questions that cover a range of topics and are designed to learn more about the hard and soft skills you can bring to their organization. You should be ready to talk about past work experiences, what you learned from them, how they challenged you, and how they helped you grow professionally. Additionally, you’ll probably need to discuss your technical skills, such as experience working with Excel, SQL, Tableau, or other industry-relevant software and applications. Most employers will also be interested in your soft skills, such as how you communicate with coworkers, handle conflict, manage your time, and prioritize tasks. 

Preparing for an interview in financial analytics may involve drafting answers to commonly asked questions or using professional interview guides, like the FP&A Analyst/Manager Interview guidelines or Investment Banking Interview Questions and Answers. You can also have a mock interview with a friend or colleague to help ease your nervousness. The bottom line is the more prepared you are for a range of questions, the more assured you’ll be when interviewing.

Negotiate your salary.

Once you’ve impressed the Financial Analyst Recruiter at your job interview and they extend a job offer, the next step is to negotiate your starting salary. Often, employers will offer a compensation figure up-front. If the proposed salary is in keeping with your expectations, then you can accept it. However, you may want to negotiate the salary or benefits package if it’s below what you had expected. While it may seem scary to negotiate your salary as a Financial Analyst, there’s no reason not to. In fact, failing to discuss your benefits and pay rate before accepting a job may even have a negative impact on your earning potential over the course of your life. This is why it’s important to think of salary negotiation as a two-way street; the organization wants to pay you a specific amount, and you are offering the organization your skills and expertise at a price. Negotiation is a way to help these two sides meet. 

If you want to negotiate your salary before accepting a job in financial analytics, it’s important to let the employer know that you understand your own value. This means coming across as capable and confident and willing to tell them why you deserve to make more from the start. Women are often less likely to negotiate salaries than men. While the gender pay gap has decreased in recent years, women still make 17% less than men for the same job. This is one more incentive to speak up for yourself to help close the gender pay gap if you identify as a woman. 

If you want to negotiate your salary successfully, wait until the employer has formally extended you an offer. You can then ask how long you have to evaluate this figure. It’s common for employers to want an answer in a few days, but that window provides your window to make a counter-offer and defend why you think it’s appropriate. To do so, it’s imperative to know the pay rate at similar financial services jobs in the area. Sites like Payscale and Glassdoor are great resources where you can find salary ranges for your position posted by financial analytics peers. Remember that factors like your geographic location and experience will factor into the salary you can expect. 

When you are ready to make a counteroffer, you should be ready with a salary range. Your ideal salary should definitely be in this range. This way, even if the employer falls below that ideal number, they may propose a number that you find acceptable. If you ask for a number that you feel is appropriate and the employer counters with a number below the lowest number in your range, you may be selling yourself short by considering it. In addition to negotiating salary, you can also negotiate other elements such as stock options, vacation days, or equity. Most negotiations go on beyond one offer. That means you don’t have to accept the employer’s first offer. Instead, you can counter their offer as often as needed to reach your target salary. 

Get feedback.

Negotiating your salary as a Financial Analyst is an important part of the job application process. You may want to reach out to others in finance to learn about if or how they negotiated their salary before you do so. You may also want to work with a professional recruiter, such as a financial services recruitment firm. Recruiters at these agencies are trained to prepare individuals to interview and successfully negotiate salaries. It’s important to take advantage of resources such as these so you will start your new career earning the most money you can.

If you want additional guidance on how to find a job as a Financial Analyst, Noble Desktop’s FinTech Bootcamp offers one-on-one mentoring from industry experts.

Learn the Skills to Become a Financial Analyst at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop, an educational provider located in New York City, offers a range of classes devoted to financial modeling and analysis. Financial Modeling Bootcamp is a hands-on, 18-hour course that teaches students fundamental financial concepts, such as corporate valuation, accounting, and finance. Participants in this small class create their own discounted cash flow using Microsoft Excel. Over three days, expert instructors also help students develop a comprehensive financial model for an actual company. As a prerequisite to this bootcamp, students should have intermediate Excel proficiency.

Noble also has a Financial Analyst Training Program that provides expert instruction on timely corporate and financial concepts, such as making a full valuation model. Those enrolled in this intensive program receive instruction on fundamental Excel skills, such as using shortcuts and PivotTables. Advanced Excel techniques are also covered in this 30-hour program, like Goal Seek and cash flow projection tools. All learners also receive instruction on creating a three-statement financial model for a public restaurant company.

In addition to the Financial Modeling Bootcamp and Financial Analyst Training Program, Noble Desktop also has in-person and live online financial modeling training courses. The

Excel Bootcamp offers 18 hours of instruction on core business Excel skills like working with VLOOKUP, INDEX, MATCH, and What-If Analysis for Goal Seek. FinTech courses are also available, like Algorithmic Trading with Python, Python for Data Science Bootcamp, and FinTech Bootcamp. This course provides students with hands-on training from expert instructors in FinTech skills like working with Python and SQL for data analysis, creating machine learning models, and working with different data types like integers, floats, and strings. All students have the option of a free course retake for up to one year, as well as one-on-one mentoring.

Key Takeaways