Corporate Development Interview

I have an invterview coming up for a Corporate Development Associate position for a public company that is in the fashion/retail industry. I come from a background in TAS at one of the Big4, so I just wanted to see what kind of things you guys would think they would potentially ask. I have already had a first round phone interview where they asked me basica questions like walking through my resume and discussing my current role. This interview will be 3-4 hours and will include and excel test. They didn't specify what the excel test would entail, so I wanted to see if anyone has an idea of the things they will test. Also, their group consists primarily of ex bankers but also has an ex big 4 TAS people. Its sounds like the position isn't too heavy on modeling as they aren't doing many acquisitions and are focusing on partnerships, JV's, and the like. Any comments on what you think I should expect would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Comments (34)

8y 
SocratesIsMortal, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Partnership/JV models may involve some sort of "shared savings" model (i.e., hitting thresholds to shift certain dollars around).

For example, I remember creating a sensitivity model that had a shared savings pool between gross margin and volume discounts past the variable expense line item on an income statement. If the volume pool was between 0-5% on revenue, we were penalized and had to create a payout table to our counterpart in the $s that we would pay out. If the volume pool was 12%+, that was money in our pockets, and modeled for vice versa.

You may not go into that much detail on the modeling, they're probably looking for competency in formulas and formulating input sheets to a quick revenue model.

Best Response
8y 
BankerC159, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hopefully I'm not too late on this.... but i thought i'd offer my insight. I've interviewed for a couple of corporate development roles and currently work in one.

I think the interview process for these types of roles are structured differently for every company so its hard to say what exactly you will be asked (not as standardized as banking/PE interviews). I've had interviews that are very fit orientated to very technical interviews. I have a similar background to yours (public accounting - valuations) so I have a pretty decent modeling background. Not sure what in TAS you did, when I think TAS i think due diligence but at EY valuations is under their TAS group.

I'd say seeing what type of background the hiring manager has will probably be a pretty key indicator of what type of interview to expect. If they were ex bankers, the interview will most likely be structured to a typical ibank interview.

A few things I would definitely be sure to know is your standard corporate finance questions. Here are a few I can think of off the top of my head that is probably going to be asked 99% of the times:

  • How to calculate Free Cash Flows
  • What is IRR and how to compare that to the company's hurdle rate
  • NPV calculations
  • Understanding IS/BS/CF and the relationships
  • Depending if the company is public maybe some questions surrounding accretion/dilution.

I'm sure there are a ton I'm missing but those are the ones I probably got asked the most off the top of my head. Just search around and I'm sure you can find basic corporate finance questions interviewers ask. My last interview (my current role) was a much more oral case study interview. The guys who interviewed me were ex Big 3 consultants/PE so it was very strategy orientated. Also keep in mind that most of the models they are using are much more operating type models, with great detail into revenue drivers, cost and expense drivers ect.

Hope this helps and good luck!

8y 
Nefarious-, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What company/City/Industry?

Do you have previous CorpDev experience?

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.
  • 1
8y 
Nefarious-, what's your opinion? Comment below:
rajzpatel:
Company's in LA metro area. I have corp strat and p/e experience.

I think this is still going to depend on the company and industry.

I am in the A&D industry and the main people that make our corp dev team are hardcore Finance guys (none of which were ever bankers) and attorney's.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.
  • 1
8y 
rajzpatel, what's your opinion? Comment below:

sorry i forgot to write the industry, it's consulting. the firm is a consulting firm in LA looking to hire into their corp strat/dev group.

8y 
Nefarious-, what's your opinion? Comment below:
rajzpatel:
sorry i forgot to write the industry, it's consulting. the firm is a consulting firm in LA looking to hire into their corp strat/dev group.

Well, this might be a dumb question for you, but is this CorpDev gig for their personal CorpDev (ie, Corp Dev for the consulting firm) or is it a type of CorpDev position to assist other firms with their CorpDev?

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.
  • 1
8y 
rajzpatel, what's your opinion? Comment below:

not a dumb question. it's to help the firm with their own corp dev duties. i would not be client facing.

8y 
Nefarious-, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Well, I do not know anything about consulting CorpDev.

I can tell you from knowing my companies CorpDev team it is heavily focused on industry knowledge and M&A. Further, because we are A&D and deal in government contracting, there is a lot of knowledge about the law and the government.

For your purposes I would assume you need to focus on whatever the company is striving to attain in the industry they are in as well as being well versed in M&A/valuation.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.
  • 1
8y 
andyinsandiego, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Don't want to hijack the thread, but Nefarious, does A&D refer to Acquisition and Divestiture?

8y 
Nefarious-, what's your opinion? Comment below:
andyinsandiego:
Don't want to hijack the thread, but Nefarious, does A&D refer to Acquisition and Divestiture?

Aerospace & Defense

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.
8y 
prospie, what's your opinion? Comment below:
andyinsandiego:
Don't want to hijack the thread, but Nefarious, does A&D refer to Acquisition and Divestiture?
yes.
8y 
midwestbiggie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Know the industry. Talk about your modeling, presentation skills and ability to communicate to higher ups. (90% of corp dev).

  • 1
8y 
Eskimo Brothers, what's your opinion? Comment below:

One suggestion I would have would be to listen to the JP Morgan Healthcare conference presentation the company gave/is giving. I've been listening to a couple of them today. I would read through a lot of the recent news/filings from the company, and read up on the competition as well.

I've seen a job posting for a corp dev role in this space recently, may be the role you are shooting for. Good luck!

  • 1
8y 
TheBuellerBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I did a summer internship this past summer in corp dev and witnessed one round of hiring. Huge emphasis on familiarity with financial statements and for us, they even had interviewees take a financial modeling test in which the candidate would be required to forecast a business over 5-10 years (three statements as well as certain industry KPI's) and provide justifications for specific line item projections. Also seemed to focus a lot on how personable you were and whether or not you fit in with everyone- hope this helps.

  • 2
8y 
5000 Meters, what's your opinion? Comment below:
ThatBankerOverThere:

I did a summer internship this past summer in corp dev and witnessed one round of hiring. Huge emphasis on familiarity with financial statements and for us, they even had interviewees take a financial modeling test in which the candidate would be required to forecast a business over 5-10 years (three statements as well as certain industry KPI's) and provide justifications for specific line item projections. Also seemed to focus a lot on how personable you were and whether or not you fit in with everyone- hope this helps.

thanks this does

8y 
BankerC159, what's your opinion? Comment below:

There is really no standard CD type role, I think the only thing that's really consistent is you will be asked about the industry you are interviewing for.

That being said, I think its helpful to look and see what background the interviewers have. For instance if they come from a banking background, most likely will be similar to an IBD type interview, if they are consulting most likely some sort of cast study.

8y 
JBanksohn, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Went from IB to Corp Dev and basically had to scrape together prep material and ideas for a bunch of different sources....

Authored by: Certified Corporate Development Professional - Director
8y 
eokpar02, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Damn, you are so freaking awesome. I would kill for a job like that. Googles corporate developers gets 104k and work 40 hours a week straight out of undergrad. The first interview will have a lot of statistics questions; but this all depends on your background. Are to a computer science/ math major or a economics/ history major? This will matter a lot.

Do you go to a top 20 school? Ivy league? Did you apply online? How are your stats?

I am not cocky, I am confident, and when you tell me I am the best it is a compliment. -Styles P
  • 1
8y 
tataxv, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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8y 
tataxv, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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