# Finance Interview Questions

Finance interview questions shared by candidates

## Top Interview Questions

An array of 99 elements contains integers from 1 to 100 with one missing element. Find the missing element. 22 Answers100 1. calculate the sum of elements in array say SUM 2. sum of numbers 1 to 100 is(n* (n+1))/2 = 5050 when n==100 3. missing element is (5050-SUM) 100 Show More Responses The parameters of the question do not allow you to determine what element is missing. Either more information should be supplied, or all answers are equally correct. How could an array size of 99 elements contain 1 - 100? Should either be integers 1-99 or 2-100 , in either case there is no missing element. All indices are accounted for. Sum them and then subtract them from 5050. In general, if an array of size n - 1 elements has unique elements from 1 to n, then the missing element can be found by subtracting the sum of the elements in the array from sum(1 ... n) = n * (n + 1) / 2. Alternately, one could use a boolean array of length n with all values set to false and then for each value, set array[val - 1] to true. To find the missing value, scan through the array and find the index which is set to false. Return index + 1. This requires O(n) memory and two passes over an O(n) array (instead of constant memory and one pass), but has the advantage of actually allowing you to verify whether or not the input was well formed. Admittedly, this question is poorly posed; however, the answer they are looking for refers to the syntax/nomenclature of some (not all) programming languages to index arrays starting at “0.” As such the 1-100 stored values would be in entries 0-99 of the array. Read the question. Here are the steps to solve it: 1) find the sum of integers 1 to 100 2) subtract the sum of the 99 members of your set 3) the result is your missing element! Very satisfying! Sort array. While loop with an index variable with condition of next element being 1 greater than previous element. When loop breaks, return the value of the index. Doing the expected sum and subtracting the actual gives the run time of O(2n), however a bucket sort will almost always do it in less time (somewhere between O(n) and O(2n)): 1. create a 101-int (or boolean) array (to have a 100-index) 2. traverse original and for each int, assign value in bucket array to 1 or true. 3.After first traversal, traverse created array starting at one, and when value is false, print it. 100 100 coz in array it initial value starts frm 0 to 100. or else 4 further clarification u can study array chapter in c or c++ 100 Show More Responses The question: "An array of 99 elements contains integers from 1 to 100 with one missing element. Find the missing element." The information states that the integer count is 1 to 100. I take this to be inclusive of all elements in the array so that the missing inters would be subjective to their arrangement or random. In other words, I do not have enough information to say which one. 1 I need more information. 1. Are the integers unique in this array? 2. Do I have enough information to find the sum of the integers in the array (or some aggregation)? If sum is available, then, the answer is 5050-sum{integers}. Bucket Sort works and summation works. I think both are good, practical and clever solutions. I think sorting the array then searching may be unnecessary computation. Another interesting method which may be faster. SIMD computers may do this particularly quickly: Do a bitwise operation on all the elements: Result = Array[0] xor Array[1] xor ... Array[98] xor 1 xor 2 xor ... xor 100 Result = Missing number. Explanation: When you xor 2 identical numbers your result = 0. For example, 5 xor 5 -> 101 xor 101 = 000. (5 in decimal is 101 in binary). Knowing that "xoring" 2 identical numbers results in zero is useful. Now we apply this useful info to the problem. Array is Identical to a list of 1,2,3,...,100 except for one number. In other words 1,2,3,...,100 duplicates all of array's elements and adds one extra element that is missing in Array. Therefore, we now have 2 instances of each element in the Array in addition to one extra element in 1,2,3,...,100. We can see when you xor two duplicate numbers you get zero. Because we have pairs for all numbers in Array and one extra number we are essentially "xoring" the missing number with zero. When we xor the missing number with zero we get the missing number. (For example, 6 xor 0 -> 110 xor 000 = 110) The question states that one (not two or three or n) element ("value") from 1 to 100 is missing. There are 99 elements ("values") in the array. The question implies that the data is well-formed because it states that only element is missing. It doesn't ask you to find the missing value(s), but the one (singular) missing element. With the problem constrained, the solution falls out. Subtracting from 5050 is an elegant solution, but not obvious as to why it works. The array of booleans is more obvious, but doesn't scale well. I agree with one of the answers in this thread...5050-sum(elements) = missing item. Other approach that crossed my mind is something similar to binary search. Check the index of 50th element: if A(50) == 50, the missing element > 50, else if A(50) > 50, missing element <50. Do this iteratively. The number of comparisons would be log 100 = 7. 0 100 Add 1-100 to a hash of 100 elements. Then compare each element with the hash.. Answer in o(n) |

If a customer asked you how much paint we sell in a year and you had to calculate it on a napkin during a meeting, how would you do that? 4 AnswersA lot I would take the gross sales (no discounts nor returns) and divide by the average price of paint. Of course you could discuss volume/mix considerations but this would not be back of the napkin. Hope this helps. I'd dip (dunk) that napkin in my glass of wine and ask the interviewer if that was close enough to the truth... Show More Responses I don't understand why a customer would need to know this, nor is it their right/ business to know. And without knowing the cooperate policy, I would direct them to speak to a manager. (Now I'm curious what this scenario constitutes 'paint') |

In an environment of layoffs and restructuring, how do you keep your team motivated? 3 AnswersBe open and honest if their roles are in jeopardy. Understand their concerns and answer their questions as best you can. If you do not know, say so. Keep them busy, and involved in important work. If possible (ie: no lying!), do the following: Tell your best performers, in confidence, that you'll shield them as much as possible providing they continue to produce. Suggest to, or tell, the underperformers that their job may be in jeopardy due to the economy / market / their performance / etc. - they may be able to bail out before the hammer drops. For the entire team, I concur with "Interview Candidates" answer above. Stay positive, and focus on the work at hand. Keeping busy on important work helps people realize what they are doing is important. An ideal mind is the devil's.... well, you know the old saying. Be sure the physical environment is welcoming. In summer, raise the blinds, clean the common areas of papers and clutter. You will be amazed how much better things look when you take 10 short minutes a day to make the physical environment look better. The sun is out, blue skies, and maybe it's not so bad here. Let people vent. If you are not holding 1-on-1 meetings, then start. Hear people out. Be honest about what you can talk about. Don't sugar coat anything, but give those more junior to you some context and a bigger view. Sure some people will be laid off, but most will remain. Opportunity to do different things will become available. Sure you will work harder, but you will learn, growth, and build your reputation for having a level head in complex times. Lastly, have a plan. Know what you will do as a manager if you have to layoff 1,2 or 3 people. Know how the work will move around. This will allow you act quickly and decisively should things come to that. Having a manager who looks in charge because they already thought it through will go a long way. |

How important is our mission to you? Have you ever felt your work changed the financial future of the customers you served? 1 AnswerI gave the actual story of how I won my own children's admiration by having them understand how my career had served to enhance the economic circumstances of millions of families. |

### Senior Financial Analyst at Goodrich was asked...

Define the cash conversion ratio. 1 AnswerCash conversion ratio is defined as cash flow from operations less net expenditure on property, plant and equipment and other intangible assets, divided by Ordinary EBITA. |

Role play with interviewer. Interviewer calls you to invest in stock that was recommended by neighbor. 1 AnswerIt is your job to sell him on the idea of mutual funds. Ask him questions about his current situation, know the customer, understand asset allocation, understand diversification and give specific examples of why investing large amounts of money in one stock takes on a lot of risk. |

How have you used microsoft excel in to help solve a problem. 1 AnswerKept my hours when doing privated contracting. Also, kept items expenses. |

a question I remember was "With this tough economy how ccan you be successful" 1 AnswerI answered, "In a tough economy people are looking for better solutions and I can sell them" |

Why are dividends not part of the Income Statement? 1 Answerbecause dividends are shareholder income and not firm income. the income statement only contains firm income. dividends are listed under shareholder equity. |

How would you handle an irrate internal customer during a business meeting? 2 AnswersGood indication of behaviors that are common in this organization. No job is worth total humiliation. I would definetly keep my cool and act very professional and say... I understand your concerns. Please send me your issues in an email and I will make sure I set up a conference call so we can discuss them in further detail. |

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