The role of an economist is crucial in most public and private sectors that deal with economic structures. Therefore, candidates for the role of an economist must be grilled and questioned before landing the job. Here are the top 20 such questions to gather an idea. Read on.
1. Why Are You Interested In This Role?
This is one of the most common queries thrown to the interviewee. Through this query the interviewer tries to understand what makes you interested in this role. So, answer clearly why you are looking forward to this role.
“I started my professional career as an investment analyst at a non-government organization where I learned the basics of the job role of an economist. I learned how financial planning works and how to predict the economic future of an organization. Besides that, I grew up with a constant passion for economics as a subject since my school days. The passion triggered me to pursue academic degrees in economics from some of the esteemed academic institutions.”
2. What Are The Roles Of An Economist?
By asking this question, the recruiter taps into your knowledge about the role of an economist. So, state to him/her about the various roles that an economist would play.
“The most crucial role of an economist is to structure the methods to gather and analyse socio-economic and financial data of an organization. Based on the collected data, an economist would build future economic models and predict the ways to earn profit. Besides that, an economist would analyse the current economic trends and study the gradual shifts in policies. Moreover, an economist has to structure the financial policy of an organization.”
3. What Are The Qualities That An Economist Need To Be Successful?
Here the interviewer wants to have an insight to your fine knowledge about this role, including whether you have those special qualities of an economist. Hence, state carefully the specific qualities that an economist should possess.
“The primary quality that an economist should have is the power of analytical thinking. An economist’s job is majorly data driven. Hence, a great sense of calculation would help in that job. Apart from that, he/she must have a sound knowledge on the current political and economic scenario of a nation. This would help in structuring the future goals of an organization, seamlessly. A sense of policy making and a good communication skill would further help in the job role.”
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4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
Through this crucial query the interviewing authority wants to understand how you handle critical scenarios in the professional field. So, answer this question from your past experience of facing challenges and how you got through them.
“In my last job as a financial advisor in a multinational agency, the company got hit with a major financial crisis. The reason for this was basically an ongoing stressful economic drag that the nation was going through. So, as the responsible financial advisor I jumped into finding a solution. I studied the previous patterns of the policy changes and collected all the economic data. By thorough analysis I structured the future financial model for the company which brought immense success.”
5. Describe Your Daily Routine As An Economist.
This question indicates that the recruiter wants to know how well-informed you are about the daily routines of the job role of an economist. So, answer from your knowledge about the daily roles of an economist.
“As an economist my daily job would include financial planning, studying the economic graphs on a daily basis. Apart from that, I would research on historic and present economic data and structure the economic policy of my organization. I would also work on balancing out the existing economic resources to spend them the right way so that my organization stays at profit.”
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience.
This is one popular query that interviewers throw at the candidates to know about their professional journey so far. So, state them all the professional experiences you have gathered.
“After completing my post graduate degree in business economics, I joined as an investment analyst at SSP Solutions, Kolkata. I worked there for three years and gathered most of my strategic knowledge on how to structure economic models, how to plan investment to assure profit, etc. After that I switched to playing the role of a senior financial advisor for the Brads International Pvt. Ltd. Here I worked for two years and understood the world of economics and finance in bits and pieces”
7. What Kind Of Mindset and Strategies Required For This Role?
With this question the hiring authority tests your mindset for the job role and taps into your plans and strategies as an economist. Answer tactfully about the mindsets and strategies that are suitable for the job.
“An economist’s job lies on the foundation of strategies. The primary strategy is to plan out economic structure in a way that serves profit to the organization. Apart from that, keeping all the data regarding previous and past economic years helps to predict the future. Another strategy is to study the changing market scenario according to the national economic policies. Besides these strategies, an analytical mind with sharp insights about the economy will help to go a long way.”
8. What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job?
This is another common interview question. Through this question, the hiring panel wants to understand how gracefully you handle difficult challenges and how much you have researched about the organization. So, read enough about the company before hitting the interview floor.
“A life without challenges is a life too bland. I am an eternal risk-taker and challenges are like my driving force. So, I would take up any challenge in my job role and dedicate my heart and soul to face it with grace and confidence. And I know I’ll stand like a shield in the face of difficult situations, and come out either winning or learning. However, I have done a fair amount of research about your organization. And, I’m yet to come across a challenge that seems unattainable.”
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Work?
With this query the interviewing authority wants to understand what drives you everyday to stick to what this role offers. So, tell them about your motivation factors that help you in your professional field.
“I have been passionate about economics ever since I got into my high school. The critical aspects and nuances of this subject have been fascinating me for years. So, I find myself fortunate enough to pursue my passion as my profession. That’s the reason I don’t need to motivate myself, my passion does that for me. However, there are days of doubt and uncertainties. On such days I pick up the books about my favourite personalities who made it big on their own, despite challenges and hardships. I draw my inspiration from these readings.”
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10. Describe A Time When You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learnt?
Here the recruiter board wants to understand how you perceive failure, whether you give in or you learn from your mistakes. So, answer tactfully about an experience where you had failed in your job role previously. Also emphasize on a positive learning that you earned from the failure.
“In my first job as an investment analyst, I was given my first ever responsibility to structure an investment plan for a major project. I was a new kid in the field fresh out of college and had no practical experience about financial planning. All I had was theoretical knowledge that hardly gets you anywhere on a professional ground. So, I failed miserably with the planning part and proceeded without prior knowledge of the economic crisis that was going to hit the market soon. With such a massive failure I was all set to lose my job. Then I retried and this time I studied the market thoroughly. Thankfully, my strategy came out effective and the company earned a huge profit. That experience taught me the value of researching and studying.”
11. Why Do You Feel You Are The Most Suited For This Role?
With this tricky question, the hiring authority simply asks you why they should hire you, and what special factor you have, to land the job. Answer tactfully here and highlight the points that would land you in your desired position.
“I have five long years of experience in the field of economics. Throughout these years I have seen many ups and downs, gathered practical knowledge, and experience; and learned things the hard way. Besides, I have an eternal passion for economics and everything related to policy making. I have an analytical mind and I adapt easily. Therefore, I consider myself capable enough to handle the role.”
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement.
Through this general query the interviewers’ panel wants to understand what do you consider as the greatest achievement in your professional career. So, state them from your experience, an incident that you consider the greatest achievement so far.
“In my last job as a financial advisor, I faced a massive economic crash that hit the market and stirred the national economy. During that time, my organization also suffered a huge blow where all the investors turned away and no foreign revenue was coming our way. So, I strategized the financial structure in a way that would take the organization into a buffer zone where the company wouldn’t crash economically no matter what happens to the market. Thus, we survived that downfall gracefully.”
13. What Are The Global Trends That You Think Will Shape Next Five Years?
This is easily one of the most important questions for an economist’s job interview. Here, the hiring authority checks your critical thinking skills. So, analyze the market to figure out the patterns of current global trends to determine the trends of the next five years.
“I strongly believe that one of the primary global trends that will shape our future is equality. People are getting aware of other people’s suffering and their struggle in life. For example, we humans are constantly trying to eliminate discrimination based on skin color for the past few decades. So, the next five years will play an important role in this revolution. Another global trend is climate. As the days are passing by, climate change is slowly becoming more and more prominent. So, in the upcoming years, a lot of economic planning and strategies will revolve around climate change.”
14. What Type Of Thinking Do You Prefer Analytical Or Creative?
With this question, the recruiter wants to know about your thinking process and how you approach your work in general. So, describe your thinking procedure and what type of thinking you prefer. However, we suggest you emphasize the analytical part of your thinking.
“I try to categorize myself as an analytical thinker. So, before coming up with a decision, I like to analyze the data and use the information available. It helps me to identify certain critical nuances and the underlying problem. However, in some cases, I prefer creative thinking to freshen up my thoughts and identify a different angle and unique perspective.”
15. How Do You Keep Your Update On The Latest Economics Related Topics In The Market?
Here, the hiring authority wants to understand how passionate you are about economics as a subject and how you keep yourself updated. So, mention all the strategies and techniques you prefer to keep yourself well-informed for your role.
“Ever since my college days, I started growing a huge passion for economics. Several world-renowned economists like Amartya Sen, Paul Krugman, and more have inspired me to take this subject seriously and make it my professional career choice. I read various books, journals, and magazines, related to this subject, both online and offline. Also, whenever I get free time, I attend various seminars and conferences to keep myself updated.”
16. Do You See Yourself As A Public Speaker?
This is a critical question. Here, the hiring authority wants to understand your mindset regarding public speaking. So, answer this one carefully, mention all traits that you have acquired through your professional career for public speaking and presentations.
“I generally feel confident with my appearance and expressing views on certain topics publicly. Some people get nervous and anxious while speaking in public, but I never had such a feeling about it. During my college days, I used to host a lot of cultural programs, and it was fun. Moreover, with my experience, I have acquired certain qualities like establishing a connection with the audience, passion, voice modulation, and more. So, I definitely see myself as a public speaker.”
17. What Do You Know About “The Invisible Hand” That Economists Refers To?
With this question, the hiring authority desires to know how knowledgeable you are with some primitive concepts of economics. So, answer this question carefully, describe what you understand by the term Invisible hand.
“The invisible hand is basically used as a metaphor to define an invisible force that is responsible for moving the free market economy.”
18. Can You Inform Me About Your Greatest Weakness?
This is easily one of the most common questions in interview sessions. Here, the interviewer desires to know about your greatest weakness. So, mention the traits that you consider your greatest weakness. However, only highlight your professional traits and try to bring some positive side out of them.
“I have a tendency to focus too much on minute details. However, I firmly believe that being detailed is very important to identify certain small issues. But, being too focused on minute details is also a weakness as it takes a toll on my head. Moreover, the process is time-consuming and requires a lot of concentration. However, it forces me to check my work at regular intervals, thus reducing the chance of any future mistakes.”
19. Have You Ever Considered Going For Higher Education?
This is a unique question. Here the hiring authority wants to know about your urge to study and gain knowledge as an economist. So, mention your educational qualification and your future plans regarding the higher study.
“I have done my masters with economics honors’. Whenever I get time, I continue to attend lectures and conferences to update my knowledge of the subject. I also want to do my PhD in economics; it is my dream. But I don’t want to quit my professional career for it. In fact, I believe if I get to be a part of your prestigious organization, I will learn and develop my knowledge working with you.”
20. Any Books That You Are Reading Currently?
This is a tricky question. Here, the recruiter wants to know about your reading interests. Generally, people only read something if they are interested in that topic. So, mention a book related to your field; it will help you reach a desirable position.
“I am currently reading a book called “The Prize Of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the life of John Maynard Keynes. The author of the book is Zachary D. Carter. It gives us a clear idea of democracy and money. Also, debates on inequality and how politics redefines the world order.”
These are the top 20 economist interview questions and answers. If you are an aspiring economist, have a look at these questions to frame your answers accordingly.