12/19/16

Hi, I just scheduled a phone interview on an ER internship, what questions should I prepare? thanks.

Comments (4)

Best Response
1/3/17

I've answered this question before elsewhere, so I'll just copy-paste that:

You'll probably start with some standard behavioral questions, e.g. "Tell me about yourself" or "Walk me through your resume." Probably also "Why equity research?" and "Why our firm?" They might also ask about your experiences "facing a challenge" or "working in a team" or something along those lines, so prepare a few well fleshed-out anecdotes beforehand. Then they'll get into technical questions.

Compared to technicals in banking interviews, equity research technical questions are much more focused on actual investing. Therefore, the most important technical question you'll get is probably a stock pitch. While you can usually get away with a half-assed one for investment banking interviews, your stock pitch is expected to be stronger for ER interviews. I recommend putting together something that's 2-5 minutes long, maybe distilled down to 3 key points. Make sure you're able to intelligently explain how the company makes money and answer detailed followup questions. Try to differentiate yourself from market consensus. Read sell-side equity research reports on the company if you can get your hands on them, and actually read the company's 10-k as well (yes seriously, read the whole 150 pages - you can skim a lot of it).

In the past, I've also gotten investing questions along the lines of "What do you think about so and so industry?," What's your investment philosophy?," and once "What investing books have you read?" These aren't "technical" questions per-say, but they follow in the same vein.

Surprisingly, I haven't found it especially important to know valuation for ER interviews. Unlike when I was interviewing for IB, literally nobody in the space has ever asked me to walk through a DCF, or explain the difference between levered or unlevered cash flows, or whatever. As long as you understand the intuition behind P/E and EV/EBITDA ratios and DCFs, you should be fine. I'd be shocked if anybody asked you a question about an M&A model or lbo model or anything like that.

In general, I suspect that ER interviews have less of an emphasis on what I call "financial trivia" than ib interviews. They just want to know that you can invest.

Financial Modeling

12/20/16

Thank you so much ! The ER associate there told me that the phone interview would be about 10 minutes. So I guess probably it will be behavioral questions. But later if I can get the onsite interview I definitely need to prepare for those technical ones. May I ask another question? This internship I applied for is ER internship in an IB. But I also notice that in WSO there's ER forum and IB forum---but there's ER in IB. I'm like, really confused. so ER and IB are totally different? Or there is actually an ER department inside an investment bank? sorry I tried to google it, but I'm just really confused.

12/21/16

So yeah, the terminology here is somewhat confusing. You're interviewing for the equity research division of an investment bank. When you work in "investment banking", you're in the investing banking division of an investment bank (that's why people sometimes use the acronym IBD instead of IB).

An investment bank can have a variety of business divisions, including investment banking, equity research, sales and trading, wealth management, investment/Asset Management, etc.

12/21/16
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