Advice on Credit Suisse IB First Round Interview

Hey guys, this is my first post on WSO.

Just got notice for a first round virtual interview with CS on Tuesday. I'm interviewing for the summer analyst position.

Anyone have advice specific to virtual interview? I was thinking that since I won't meet in person it will be less fit based with more technical questions. How deep into technicals do you think it will go? Does anyone who's interviewed with CS have any advice in general?

It will be my first ib interview ever...so I'm a bit nervous.

Couldn't find this topic anywhere when I looked but if you know of another thread talking about this just post it below.

Comments (18)

Dec 4, 2014

Do not wear pants and do not get up. That should calm your nerves a bit

Dec 5, 2014

So then I should stand up at the end of the interview too right?

Dec 5, 2014

So then I should stand up at the end of the interview too right?

Dec 5, 2014

Went through the first round video interview for CS last year. Pretty regular stuff: I actually got a lot of fit questions such as why banking, why CS, etc, but also some "give me an example where ____ happened" questions as well.

Some standard echnicals like "walk me through a DCF" (broad though) and what goodwill is.

Dec 5, 2014

These questions are so difficult to answer. It is rare that a bank will have an extremely clear cut interview guide that their interviewers follow. Expect a mix of technical and behavioral. Expect them to suit the interview to you. Do you come from a finance background? They will ask you talk about that finance experience (maybe technical geared towards your curriculum or jobs, etc. With no finance background they might go a little easier on you and focus more on questions like Why Banking Why CS

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Dec 5, 2014

Really good point, forgot to mention I don't come from a finance background.

Dec 5, 2014

Thanks for the help. I actually am not from a university finance background, but am doing the econ minor and listed an investment banking class I took on my resume. I did a small wealth management internship in my hometown but it wasnt anything crazy.

How did the interviewer act in your interview NuclearPenguins? Were they like the horror story hard ass bankers that I hear about?

Dec 9, 2014

I have an interview with CS tomorrow for SA IBD as well. Good Luck!

Dec 5, 2014

How did yours go? I just finished mine a half hour ago.

Dec 10, 2014

I can't speak strictly to a first round interview, but when I was networking for the same position with my school's one alumnus in IB there it was really technical, like he was trying to test the limit of my knowledge. He asked things like how unearned revenue becomes a deferred tax liability, and other sources of deferred tax assets/liabilities. He asked about ways other than the three main ways to value a company and the strengths and limitations of each one (LBO, liquidation, that one where you use black-scholes that I know almost nothing about, etc.), and then he started asking me specific questions about building an lbo model. My talk with him was extremely technical, the only non-technical part was where I gave him my story/why investment banking. Then again, he is an extremely analytically minded guy, and I'm not in either the finance or business departments at my school. I would guess that you'll be fine if you know the general information (everything DCF, how to pick good comps, walking through the three statements, etc.). You probably want to focus much more on the fit/intangible stuff.

Dec 10, 2014

The topics you mentioned (Black-Scholes, deferred taxes, etc) arent even addressed in the guides. How does one prepare for more than the standard walk me through a DCF which is in the normal guides (including BIWS)?

Dec 10, 2014

Black-Scholes was mentioned in the Vault guide (it may have been outdated). It's some nasty stuff, partial differential equations are a bitch, but there is a plug and chug way to do it. I'd say don't bother with it. I started researching it when I saw it and found no other references to it. Honestly, I wouldn't even mention it because your interviewer may press you on it. Deferred tax assets/liabilities are in some of the guides. I don't believe they were in the vault guide (which if you haven't read it would be a good resource), but they were in the second edition (has to be second, first is good, but not great). It also includes a lot of information on LBOs, M&A, and restructuring in addition to the basic valuation stuff. Another great source I've had a lot of success with is the Rosenbaum book (Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, M&A). This book goes through everything from the 3 basic valuation methods (including projection modeling), LBO basics, actually building an lbo model, and M&A basics (you can find walkthroughs on how to build merger models online). Also it's good to know some of the "smaller" things they may ask you, like "why does COGS as a percent of revenue generally decrease when a company's revenue is growing?" (because COGS is made up of fixed costs and costs that scale up with each item manufactured, so if you make more items (thus having higher revenue) those fixed costs will be spread between more products).

I dunno, obviously it's not a science. There is no set list of what you do and do not need to know for your interviews. I'd imagine knowing as much as possible, being able to answer the fit/psychological questions really well, displaying passion, and just being a likable person will most likely get you advanced to the next round. By the way, that "400 questions" guide is really long. It'll take a few days minimum to get through it, so I suggest that if you are in a time crunch you start with accounting, enterprise/equity value, valuation, and DCF questions and then work from there, because knowing how to build an LBO model is great, but if you're missing basic questions like the enterprise value formula, it won't help you. Hell, you probably will only need to know the basics of an LBO for your interview, if that. I also recommend trying to build out models to practice these skills and really see how everything flows. I'd say value several companies using comparable companies and DCF (and precedent transactions if you want to/have a Bloomberg terminal), and then if you have time a few merger models and a few LBOs (I'm still working on this one). Finally, take everything I've just told you with a giant grain of salt. I am in the same boat as you. I'm also in the hunt for an internship this summer in IB (ideally at a BB).

Dec 10, 2014

Hey Pal!

Wanted to check in to see how the interview went.

Lots of luck!!!

your pal

Big-shot ;)

Dec 11, 2014

Had mine on Tuesday, all fit questions. Got the email yesterday that I got the superday

Dec 5, 2014
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