As we’re already seen, Product Control interview questions take a variety of forms.  The nature of the Product Control role means that a certain level of technical proficiency is expected.  The level and type of role will determine whether you are asked technical questions and how complex they will be.

For this reason it’s very difficult to give an overview of this area that fits all so we’ll break it down into 3 chunks:

  • Graduates
  • Newly qualified / part-qualified accountants
  • Those with existing Product Control experience.

The questions below are not and cannot be a fully comprehensive list but if you become comfortable with them all then you will have the tools and interview skills you need to enter any technical interview with confidence.

The one area we don’t cover here is Microsoft Excel.  As a Product Controller you will likely use Excel more than any other piece of software.  It’s unsurprising that some banks test Excel competency as part of the interview process.  You don’t need to be an expert as you will learn very quickly on the job but we do  recommend some extremely effective on-line Excel training (which caters for a range of levels) in our resources section.

 

Graduates

Graduate assessment centres tend to focus more on a general understanding of the financial markets and an interest in current events rather than any specific technical questions.  You are unlikely to get asked a question on option greeks  (although there’s no harm in understanding the basics here so do have a read through the newly qualified accountant’s questions).  Technical questions here are more aligned to general banking interview questions.

 

Newly qualified / part qualified accountants

Interviews for newly qualified or part qualified accountants will certainly include questions designed to assess the candidates technical proficiency.  As well as being expected to have an interest and understanding of the general issues and themes of the prevailing market at the time there will also be product-related technical questions.

Favourite topics invariably include basic option knowledge around calls, puts and valuation so it’s a good idea to get comfortable in this area.  Read the following:

CALL OPTIONS, PUT OPTIONS & BASIC VALUATION

OPTION GREEKS IN PLAIN ENGLISH

Note that questions at this level are designed more to understand your thought process and see how you work through a problem you may have never seen before rather than being driven by any expectation of comprehensive technical knowledge. With this in mind, if you get a question on a topic you’ve not prepared for, the most important thing is not to panic!

Take your time and talk through your thought process as you answer the question.  Demonstrate that you’re able to work through a problem logically under pressure. Getting the right answer is not always vital!

 

Product Controllers

Interviews for product controllers moving employers (usually between 2-8 years’ experience)

These are the most technically demanding interviews as you’ve had experience in Product Control and will have no doubt listed products and asset classes on your CV which are fair game for interviewers.  You MUST be able to explain any product listed on your CV including nature, risks, valuation and accounting.

If you’re a Credit Product Controller but started out in Equities 6 years ago and once controlled a Variance Swap Desk then don’t be surprised if you’re asked questions on Variance Swaps. 6 years ago or not, if it’s on your CV, it’s fair game.

More Senior Product Control roles are the exception with regard to Technical Interviews as experienced controllers with strong CV’s are assumed to have a certain level of knowledge.  Although this may be tested, the competencies for senior roles are focused very much more on leadership, driving change, adding value, building relationships and building and motivating high performing teams.

Having set the scene it’s time to move onto the questions.  Click the button below for the most common technical product control interview questions!

TECHNICAL FINANCE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

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