This paper concerns classical Preservation results applied to finite structures. We consider binary relations for which a strong form of preservation theorem (called strong interpolation) exists in the usual case. This includes most classical cases: embeddings, extensions, homomorphisms into and onto, sandwiches, etc. We establish necessary and sufficient syntactic conditions for the preservation theorems for sentences and for theories to hold in the restricted context of finite structures. We deduce that for all relations above, the restricted theorem for theories hold provided the language is finite. For the sentences the restricted version fails in most cases; in fact the ``homomorphism into`` case seems to be the only possible one, but the efforts to show that have failed. We hope our results may help to solve this frustrating problem; in the meantime, they are used to put a lower bound on the level of complexity of potential counterexamples. (author). 8 refs.