15 Restructuring Interview Questions With 4 Sample Answers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 2 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A financial professional plays a crucial role in limiting companies' financial risks when they declare bankruptcy or experience financial hardship. Candidates who express an interest in this role typically experience an intensive interview that reviews their technical ability, personality and educational and employment background. Understanding the questions that employers may ask can help you provide coherent and structured answers to improve your chances of securing a role substantially. In this article, we discuss what a restructuring interview is, list general, common experience and background and technical interview questions and provide four questions with sample answers.

What are restructuring interview questions?

Financial professionals design restructuring interview questions to measure whether candidates have the skills and experience necessary for a restructuring role. An interview typically includes a combination of targeted questions about the candidate's experiences and background to measure their ability. It may also include general questions to decide whether a candidate's personality is compatible with the role. Employers may ask questions about the candidate's approach to hard work, how they value working as part of a team and where they see themselves in their future professional life.

Related: Different Types of Finance Jobs (With Duties and Salaries)

5 general restructuring interview questions

Employers typically design general restructuring questions to measure your personality type and how compatible you are with the company's culture. These questions involve asking you about their professional goals and how you approach work in a fast-paced environment. Employers may ask you about your attitude towards working with other professionals and how you see your future professional career. This gives the employer a good indication of whether you're fit for the role in terms of character and work ethic. Here are some examples of general restructuring interview questions:

  1. What motivates you to fill this role?

  2. Where do you think this role could take you in 10 years?

  3. What are your main professional goals and how do you plan to meet them?

  4. What is your approach to teamwork?

  5. Do you enjoy working closely with clients?

Related: 25 Careers in Economics (With Duties and Salaries)

5 questions about experience and background

Employers expect a candidate to reference their employment history and educational background during an interview. These indicate whether the candidate has previously used the necessary skills and how many skills they have developed. This is important for roles that require a certain amount of experience to do.

When answering these questions, you can typically draw on prominent anecdotes from your professional or academic life as evidence of your skills and knowledge. Referencing experiences can instil confidence in the interviewer and increase your chances of success. Here are some examples of questions about experience and background:

  1. How has your previous experience prepared you for this role?

  2. Do you have any experience in mergers and acquisitions?

  3. Do you have any certifications relevant to this role and how do you think this has prepared you for the role?

  4. Has there been an instance in your previous role where you made a mistake? If so, how did you rectify it?

  5. What do you think this role can do for you in terms of skills and knowledge?

5 questions about industry-specific ability

Industry-specific ability refers to a candidate's ability to fulfil the primary responsibilities outlined in the advertisement. This typically includes knowledge of industry-specific tasks such as financial analysis, industry terms such as EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) and common tactics that can limit financial risk. These questions measure whether you're knowledgeable enough to work to a high standard, which helps the employer decide how much training you require. This prompts you to describe how you approach specific problems and how you use certain financial techniques thoroughly.

Additionally, you may encounter questions about how you might respond to a client if they were facing a difficult situation such as bankruptcy. From this, employers can understand whether you can perform at the expected level. When answering, it's useful to refer to any previous academic or employment experience to provide examples of where you learned particular methods or when you helped a client using industry-specific tools. This reassures the interviewer that you thoroughly understand the profession. Here are some example questions about technical ability:

  1. How would you personally approach a financial analysis for a client? Where would you start?

  2. What skills do you think are critical to a restructuring role?

  3. Can you reference a time in your previous role when your analysis made a tangible difference to a company?

  4. Can you explain what EBITDA is?

  5. Can you describe what a company might do before they declare bankruptcy during a financial struggle?

4 interview questions with sample answers

To help you answer interview questions, here are some example answers along with an explanation of each question:

1. What are the common signs that a company is in financial distress?

Here, employers are typically asking you about your technical knowledge, so it's important to give an accurate answer without diverting from the core topic. In your response, list common signs of financial distress and reference a scenario in which you witnessed them. It's important to begin your response with a strong opening statement. Here's an example:

Example: 'Depending on the size and scale of the business, financial difficulty may manifest itself in different ways. One of the most common signs of financial distress, and one that I witnessed in my previous role, is when a company falls short on their invoices or can't pay building rent, utility bills and sometimes even staff wages. Another common sign that I have witnessed is high-interest payments. I also noticed that increasing overhead costs and a significant decrease in sales numbers indicate financial distress.'

2. Why do you think you're the ideal candidate for this role?

This is a general question that seeks to assess your qualities and compatibility for the role. You can answer this question by referring to the qualities outlined in the job advertisement. You may also draw on previous experiences where you have demonstrated these characteristics. This increases your chances of convincing the employer that you're ideal for the role. Here's an example of how to answer this question:

Example: 'When I picture the ideal candidate for a restructuring role, I see a professional who isn't afraid of hard work or extending themselves for their clients. I also picture a candidate who can conduct thorough financial analysis efficiently so they can help their client. I have personally embodied this previously when I handled multiple clients and quickly conducted intensive analyses to begin brainstorming ways of helping their financial situation. I have also worked overtime repeatedly to ensure I can meet deadlines and minimise stress for the client.'

3. How do you manage stress at work?

Employers ask this question to identify how you achieve a healthy work–life relationship and whether you can maintain stamina whilst working under stress. Here, it's important to list comprehensive ways of managing stress to convince the employer. Explain how you think your stress management skills help you at work to increase your chances of success. Here's an example of how to answer this:

Example: 'I do this by ensuring I utilise my time in the morning and the evening to look after both my mental and physical health. I find a short morning gym session helps me focus when I start work and allows me to remain positive throughout the day, no matter how stressful the situation. During the day, I use the Pomodoro method to ensure I incorporate regular breaks into my work. I also limit the amount of overtime I do to give my brain adequate time to decompress. By doing this, I'm more resilient to stress at work.'

Related: Using the Pomodoro Technique to Master Time Management

4. How would you start to guide a company which is in a significant amount of debt?

This question is about technical ability and seeks to understand your method of client interaction. To answer this, it's important to provide structured steps that clearly outline how and why you conduct yourself in this way. Include lots of industry-specific information to convince an interviewer that you have sufficient technical ability successfully. Here's how you may answer this question:

Example: 'When initiating contact with a client, I first ask them what their primary financial concerns are. From this, I then conduct a thorough financial analysis, assessing changes in their cost of operation, their interest payments and their overhead costs to identify primary signs of financial failure. I then identify several areas where they can limit spending and suggest how the business can limit financial risks such as investment.'

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