Investment Banking Interview Questions - 15 Answers to Land the Job

I was in your shoes about five or six years ago. I worked as an investment banking analyst at a Moelis/Houlihan/Evercore type firm in restructuring, got an offer for direct promotion to associate, passed on that to go to grad school in Europe, and have recently returned to take my associate perch in the same group. Take my word for whatever you will.

I drill my analyst interview candidates hard on technicals. Not obscure things, I just test how well they know the basics, how they think about things, and if they can apply and think on their feet a bit.

Here's a five step plan in getting you prepared from top to bottom:

Investment Banking Interview Steps

Investment Banking Interview - The 1st Impression

IB Interview Handshake

  1. The Entrance
  • A simple "Nice to meet you. Thank you guys for taking the time," is a great hello.
  • Don't flub the handshake. Stay standing until I sit down.
  • Don't come on too strong/overenthusiastic or I'll think I will be annoyed with you the first week on the job. Sit up in your chair. Don't wear weird socks. Fake smiles/laughs are a no-no. A quick joke is a gamble – it could be a plus, or I could just think you're silly.

  1. How to Carry Yourself
  • The biggest thing I am looking for is humble confidence - someone I would like to have a beer with.
  • Be punchy, brief, and learn how to end a sentence. I can't tell you how many times people have gotten into trouble by rambling off into some ass-backward irrelevant tangent. Learn to be comfortable with a little silence here and there while we absorb your answer.
  • Listen, listen, listen!!! So many mistakes come from just not listening carefully and not being in the moment.

Investment Banking Fit Questions (And Answers)

Investment Banking Interview Questions - Fit

You've reached the interview. This means that the firm believes you are smart enough for the job. At this point, the little things matter. Fit questions are a major part of the IB analyst interview. The focus of fit questions is to see who you are and how you would fit into the firm's culture.

  1. Walk Me Through Your Background/Resume

    Dial-in a cohesive 90 second resume walkthrough that focuses on the positive motivating factors behind every transition (school to job, job to better job, most recent job to grad school). E.g.

    "I went to school to design cars, but after one internship I realized I liked interacting with clients directly and pursued full-time roles with a sales bent. In that role, I develop solid sales skills as well as gaining exposure to a, b, and c. I wanted to continue honing those and branch out to focus on x, y, and z. I sought a new role/promotion which provided that opportunity..."
    Be deliberate. Every move you made should have a reason (preferably that you initiated). Don't be negative. Never say you left because you were bored or "wanted to try something new."

  2. Why Investment Banking?

    Here's a complete guide to answering the "why investment banking" question. The reality is you need to tailor the question to yourself. It varies with your background, how substantive you want to get, and what follow-up questions you want the interviewer to ask. No matter what, the answer here should be well rehearsed as well as the scenarios that could follow.

  3. "Tell me about a time when...

    Ideally, you can come up with 6-8 stories that cover the 30-40 basic questions, with only slight modifications. Don't wing it. For every potential question, map out the story using the SOAR framework. Describe the Situation (10-15 seconds), Obstacle (10-15s), Action (60-75s), and Result (15-30s). Stories for these questions should be 1.5-2 minutes long and focus only on what's important.

Technical Questions

Investment Banking Interviews<br />
- Technical

  1. What are the Three Main Financial Statements?

    The three main financial statements are the Income Statement, the Balance Sheet, and the Statement of Cash Flows. The Income Statement shows a company's revenues, costs, and expenses, which together yield net income. The Balance Sheet shows a company's assets, liabilities, and equity. The Cash Flow Statement starts with net income from the Income Statement; then it shows adjustments for non-cash expenses, non-expense purchases such as capital expenditures, changes in working capital, or debt repayment and issuance to calculate the company's ending cash balance.

  2. If you Could Use Only One Financial Statement to Evaluate the Financial State of a Company, Which Would You Choose?

    Sample Answer:

    I would want to see the Cash Flow Statement so I could see the actual liquidity position of the business and how much cash it is using and generating. The Income Statement can be misleading due to any number of non-cash expenses that may not truly be affecting the overall business. And the Balance Sheet alone just shows a snapshot of the Company at one point in time, without showing how operations are actually performing.

  3. How would a $10 increase in depreciation expense affect the three financial statements?

  4. What is WACC and how do you calculate it?

    WACC is the acronym for Weighted Average Cost of Capital. It is used as the discount rate in a discounted cash flow analysis to calculate the present value of a company's cash flows and terminal value. It reflects the overall cost of a company raising new capital, which is also a representation of the riskiness of investment in the company.

  5. Why would a company issue equity rather than debt to fund its operations?
    • If the company feels its stock price is inflated they can raise a large amount of capital compared to the percentage of ownership sold
    • If the projects the company plans to invest in with proceeds may not produce immediate or consistent cash flows to pay debt
    • If the company wants to adjust cap structure or pay down debt
    • If the owners of the company want to sell off a portion of their ownership

  6. How/Why do you lever or unlever beta?

    Unlevering beta allows one to remove the debt effect in the capital structure. This will show you the risk of a firm's equity compared to the market. Also, if you are trying to do a market comparison with a company that's not on the market (so no beta), you can take a comparable company and unlever its beta as a proxy for the unlisted company's beta.

  7. What are some ways you can value a company?

    Comparable Companies/Multiples Analysis: Most often an analyst will take the average multiple from comparable companies (based on size, industry, etc) and use that multiple with the operating metric of the company being valued.

    Market Valuation / Market Capitalization: The market value of equity is used only for publicly traded companies. It is calculated by multiplying the number of shares outstanding by the current stock price.

    Discounted Cash Flow Analysis: The sum of the present values of all those cash flows is the estimated present Enterprise Value of the from according to a discounted cash flow model.

  8. Which of the valuation methodologies will result in the highest valuation?
    highest valuation methodology

  9. Name major factors that drive M&A activity (mergers and acquisitions)?
    • Create synergies and save on costs
    • Acquire new tech or product pipelines
    • Grow share in the market by removing a competitor
    • Buying a supplier or distributor to increase supply chain pricing power
    • Improve financial metrics and numbers

  10. General Things to Remember

    Walk me through every calculation you are doing. I want to hear you think out loud. The process matters far more than your answer and gives you a chance to demonstrate a grip on the concepts. I sometimes just ask of a simple calculation, "Are you sure?" to put on a little pressure and see how you respond. I am looking here for you to take five seconds, double-check your math, and answer with a confident, "Yes, I am sure."

    Don't be afraid to say, "I don't know" to a tough technical. As an analyst, I expect you to ALWAYS tell me when you don't know something, and never BS an answer. If you give an, "I don't know" follow it with, "But here is what I am thinking. Tell me if I am on the right track." And walk me through your thoughts. This is a great analyst quality because it shows that you'll think about a problem critically before you call me and ask about it.

See the below link for more detailed technical interview questions and answers in finance:

Finance Technical Q&A

'Pitch Me A Stock'

Pitch Me a Stock Sample Answer


Many interviewers will ask you in one way or another to pitch a stock if you have any experience with trading, a private wealth management internship, a hedge fund internship, really anything that deals with market transactions. If this is you, spend 30 minutes to a couple of hours finding a stock you like and why. Even if it doesn't, better safe than sorry. Here's a good explanation for this question provided by user @BankerC159".

You have to follow the market a little bit but I think the underlying concept they are trying to get out of you is if you actually know what drives a business. What are the key drivers of the business (both revenue and cost)? Why is it a good investment? What are the potential opportunities available? What's their competitive advantage? Etc.

For more details and many examples on how to pitch a stock, you should also check out the WSO Hedge Fund Interview Course.

Investment Banking Interview - Wrapping Up

How to End an Investment Banking Interview

  • Before you ask us questions, it's nice to say "I've done lots of research on your firm and talked to a lot of people, so I know your firm pretty well. I really want to hear more about your own personal experiences here."
  • Some good questions to ask your interviewers: 1) Tell me about a recent deal you've worked on that you liked. 2) What are the next steps from here? 3) How have you liked your experience here so far? Anything surprise you, good or bad? 4) Tell me about what you guys do for fun.
  • Some questions to avoid: 1) What are the hours like here? (Get that info later from an insider that you know better.) 2) Anything related to compensation. 3) What are your plans after banking? (We can't answer that, and we'll all say we're planning on staying in the near term…duh…)
  • Don't stand up until I stand up.

Questions, disagreements, comments? Fire away. As always, if you like it, put a banana on it. Silly enough, it actually encourages me to write more. (Bravo, Patrick and Andy. Bravo!)

IB Interview Course with 7,548 Questions

The fact of the matter is you won't improve unless you practice. While this guide is a great starting point, you need to get real questions and answer them as a simulation for interviews. The WSO investment banking interview course is designed by countless professionals with real-world experience, tailored to people aspiring to break into the industry.

IB Interview Course Here

Comments (215)

 
Sep 27, 2013 - 5:20pm

I really thought this was about "how to nail an investment banking analyst"

Seriously though: Nice post! TLDR for Friday though, I'll reread Monday

Get busy living
 
Sep 27, 2013 - 7:58pm

As someone looking to break in to an analyst role, this is chock-full of good advice. It isn't anything revolutionary, but it is a nice consolidated look at the fundamentals of the interview process.
Someone else posted this link recently, but for an answer to the technicals the following is pretty solid: http://www.ibankingfaq.com/
Thanks for the post, frgna

 
Sep 28, 2013 - 9:42am

Arsene Wenger's Father:

This is gold , but

frgna:

6. Walk through the resume in 1 minute or less - I know you've had an interesting life but I don't need to hear about it now - maybe we come back to it at the end of the interview

Don't they usually say 3-5 minutes?

There's not a hard and fast rule - if you think you have an interesting story and its worth telling - just go and tell it. Now don't drone on while an interviewer clearly shows signs of no longer being interested, but for fucks sake if you've got to say something that's important to winning a 'gig then say it. For the record, my story can be as long or as short as the interviewers body language is allowing me.

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'
 
Sep 28, 2013 - 10:28am

BepBep12:

Arsene Wenger's Father:

This is gold , but

frgna:

6. Walk through the resume in 1 minute or less - I know you've had an interesting life but I don't need to hear about it now - maybe we come back to it at the end of the interview

Don't they usually say 3-5 minutes?

There's not a hard and fast rule - if you think you have an interesting story and its worth telling - just go and tell it. Now don't drone on while an interviewer clearly shows signs of no longer being interested, but for fucks sake if you've got to say something that's important to winning a 'gig then say it. For the record, my story can be as long or as short as the interviewers body language is allowing me.

Yes, not a hard and fast - depends if it is a technical or a fit interview. This is great advice to read the body language. At 21-22 the story shouldn't take an awful long time, and remember that if there are a lot of loops you don't have to share every loop - only those that will help win the job as another poster mentioned.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it
 
Sep 29, 2013 - 8:37am

Wow this list is great. I think college students tend to read many of these threads and forget half of their wisdoms when it comes to the interviews. But I urge every prospective kid to take every one of these points and own them, perfect them. I would suggest printing this list and referencing it after every mock interview to see how closely you kept to it

 
Sep 29, 2013 - 5:42pm

NYKnicks92:

Wow this list is great. I think college students tend to read many of these threads and forget half of their wisdoms when it comes to the interviews. But I urge every prospective kid to take every one of these points and own them, perfect them. I would suggest printing this list and referencing it after every mock interview to see how closely you kept to it

Yes yes yes - absolutely. Had a few w PE internship experience who couldn't explain the sources of return on an LBO. Shows a complete lack of interest/engagement in what you were doing. Even if you didn't have substantial "real work" I would have expected you to read a few wikipedia articles on LBOs.

PS they are: leverage (lower cost of capital/paying down debt over time), multiple expansion, and operational improvements (e.g. revenue synergies and cost cutting).

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it
 
Sep 29, 2013 - 10:44am

Lots of good advice in this thread. Also, don't overestimate your competition. You'd be surprised how many candidates from top 15 schools and "Investment banking" or "private equity" experience on their resume cannot walk through how the 3 financial statements connect. Know all the technicals cold and be confident. Those two things alone put you ahead of the game.

 
Sep 29, 2013 - 5:38pm

Thanks for the comments guys, hope this makes it into at least a few good hands in time for super saturdays. Anyone who uses this stuff, curious to hear how your interviews go.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it
 
Sep 30, 2013 - 9:23pm

kedwards33:

frgna:

Thanks for the comments guys, hope this makes it into at least a few good hands in time for super saturdays. Anyone who uses this stuff, curious to hear how your interviews go.

I read your post Friday night, right before my super day at a MM shop. I definitely used some of the advice and was extended the offer for FT. Thanks a lot!I

frgna, you should feel proud for this. This is a success story.

Congrats, kedwards33.

 
Sep 30, 2013 - 5:55pm

frgna:

Most candidates cannot tell me WHY we look at free cash flow in simple terms.

frgna

Could you help me on this one? I kinda know, but not well enough to explain in interview. And do you know any other questions of this type off the top of your head?

Currently going through the BIWS and WSO guides.

 
Sep 30, 2013 - 5:57pm

Fetter:

frgna:

Most candidates cannot tell me WHY we look at free cash flow in simple terms.

frgna

Could you help me on this one? I kinda know, but not well enough to explain in interview. And do you know any other questions of this type off the top of your head?

Currently going through the BIWS and WSO guides.


due to the fact that free cashflow is the value of the company's earnings attributable to all investors. Basically, this is the potential earnings for investors in this company.
 
Sep 30, 2013 - 10:51pm

Awesome post, thanks for the tips

"Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly"
 
Oct 4, 2013 - 2:53pm

Connecticut Yankee:

My secret to nailing the analyst interview was getting hammered the night before with the analysts on jag bombs and macallan 18

The social events are definitely important - if they take you to dinner/drinks, that's part of the evaluation too. Stay out until a reasonable hour. Don't say "I have to go back to study/prepare" even if you do - just say you should probably get some rest for the big day tomorrow.

Do NOT drink so much you oversleep on superday (yes sadly I have seen it happen, and to a candidate who was formerly the leading choice).

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it
 
Oct 1, 2013 - 1:23am

My question is not how to behave during the interview, but how to attract recruiter say," Hey, you look interesting, let's schedule an interview." That's the real issue for me now.

 
Oct 1, 2013 - 6:37am

christinema:

My question is not how to behave during the interview, but how to attract recruiter say," Hey, you look interesting, let's schedule an interview." That's the real issue for me now.

- Network
- Resume --> target school, relevant job experience, student associations, experiences abroad, voluntary work, special interest / hobbies?

Differentiate yourself!

 
Oct 1, 2013 - 2:55pm

SB for you, Bookmarked webpage, Great post!!

As a remorseful fresh Big 4 auditor teaching myself technicals and trying to get into banking/TAS/away from audit in general, this is great information.

"You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right." -Warren Buffett
 
Oct 1, 2013 - 2:56pm

One more thing I would add to must know technicals is how a dollar of revenue or a dollar of capex flows through the three statements.

 
Oct 1, 2013 - 6:40pm

I actually landed an FT analyst gig this summer, but this is great advice, Thanks, SB for you!

"When a defining moment comes along you define the moment or the moment defines you."
 
Oct 9, 2013 - 12:51pm

Curious to hear if anyone else has put this into action/experience etc.

Cheers

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it
 
Oct 19, 2013 - 10:56pm

Cotton Eyed Joe:

Fantastic post!! Read this over the weekend a few times before my interview on Wednesday. Refined my answers to the "short and sweet" format (they were pretty long before) and I landed the offer! Starting this January as an analyst!

Great news, glad to hear it!

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it
 
Oct 20, 2013 - 2:46am

Wow, finally something useful. Thanks for this.

“Elections are a futures market for stolen property”
 
Oct 21, 2013 - 11:57am

Great post frgna. Some people get so caught up in the interviewing process that they forget to exhibit human behavior. For example, one MD asked each interviewee at the start of the interview "What would you like to talk about?". Every single one of the interviewees rambling about DCF, comparables etc. was dinged. The advice one VP gave everyone at an informal drink was "Just be interesting. We will have to work with you until 2am sometimes, so be cool.".

Also relevant to note "what to wear". As for London a safe and sound outfit would be: Navy suit (at least made to measure, please), black (oxford) shoes and black socks. White shirt and a light blue tie is a safe bet. Don't be the guy wearing brown shoes in London, you will get killed.

DYEL
 
Oct 21, 2013 - 7:02pm

Waving Wind:

Great post frgna. Some people get so caught up in the interviewing process that they forget to exhibit human behavior. For example, one MD asked each interviewee at the start of the interview "What would you like to talk about?". Every single one of the interviewees rambling about DCF, comparables etc. was dinged. The advice one VP gave everyone at an informal drink was "Just be interesting. We will have to work with you until 2am sometimes, so be cool.".

Also relevant to note "what to wear". As for London a safe and sound outfit would be: Navy suit (at least made to measure, please), black (oxford) shoes and black socks. White shirt and a light blue tie is a safe bet. Don't be the guy wearing brown shoes in London, you will get killed.

"No brown in town" right? :) Yes, London, always wear black.

Great advice on the interview, just be yourself. Pass the airport test (imagine I'm stuck at O'Hare for 8 hours with you - time to not talk about banking / work for a bit).

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it
 
Nov 27, 2013 - 6:34pm

frgna:

Any success stories lately?

Yes sir, mine. This is long overdue as I got my offer like a month ago. I owed you a big one. Printed this off and took it with me to where I had the superday. Read it like a zillion times before my interview and followed your advice strictly. Didn't sit down on my chair when the interviewer spent 2 mins talking on his phone standing up. Put DCF and other technical questions to context while stuck to brevity. Walked interviewer through thoughts and calculations, and ended my sentences strong. Defended well my explanation instead of saying "maybe" when questioned.

Thanks and SB'd!

Nothing is true; everything is permitted.
 
Dec 27, 2013 - 4:20pm

great post! thanks a lot!

Actually I wonder whether or not interviewers would treat female candidates differently? especially minorities (Asian/African American, ect.) female candidates.... If so, what else should they pay attention to?

 
Jan 9, 2014 - 5:29pm

wannabe2015:

great post! thanks a lot!

Actually I wonder whether or not interviewers would treat female candidates differently? especially minorities (Asian/African American, ect.) female candidates.... If so, what else should they pay attention to?

Short answer no, everyone is treated the same.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it
 
Jan 1, 2014 - 8:19pm

SB'ed

I thought people gave this kind of advice only after charging for it.

@frgna could you advise me? have an ib analyst interview mid feb and would be damn glad if you could respond here:

//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/bo-to-ib-analyst-about-to-make-the-jump-requesting-advice

I am BO. Sometimes ppl don't give advice because they think everyone would know the basics. I really don't. strongly believe your advice could be a game changer for me.

Thanks for this wonderful post!

 
Jan 9, 2014 - 5:26pm

ReardenCapital:

SB'ed

I thought people gave this kind of advice only after charging for it.

@frgna could you advise me? have an ib analyst interview mid feb and would be damn glad if you could respond here:

//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/bo-to-ib-analyst-about-to-make-the-jump-requesting-advice

I am BO. Sometimes ppl don't give advice because they think everyone would know the basics. I really don't. strongly believe your advice could be a game changer for me.

Thanks for this wonderful post!

Feel free to PM me

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it
 
Jan 4, 2014 - 12:05pm

Should a investment banking summer analyst candidate be familiar with the currencies, derivatives, options, and stock sections of the WSO guide or just the valuation, M&A, accounting, and bonds sections?

 
Jan 9, 2014 - 4:29pm

Island101:

Should a investment banking summer analyst candidate be familiar with the currencies, derivatives, options, and stock sections of the WSO guide or just the valuation, M&A, accounting, and bonds sections?

Accounting and Valuation would be top priority. Stock is also a good portion to review, mostly for market and pitch me a stock question. Touch on the basic of M&A and Bonds/Debt just to be sure, unless you are gunning for M&A or LevFin group.

Nothing is true; everything is permitted.
 
Jan 9, 2014 - 5:25pm

Ezio Auditore:

Island101:

Should a investment banking summer analyst candidate be familiar with the currencies, derivatives, options, and stock sections of the WSO guide or just the valuation, M&A, accounting, and bonds sections?

Accounting and Valuation would be top priority. Stock is also a good portion to review, mostly for market and pitch me a stock question. Touch on the basic of M&A and Bonds/Debt just to be sure, unless you are gunning for M&A or LevFin group.

Yes, agree with this. For summer interns, unless you have prior experience, wouldn't expect much beyond the basic finance and accounting and valuation.

if you like it then you shoulda put a banana on it
 
Jan 9, 2014 - 12:34pm

Printed this as well, and took it with me for AC at top BB for IBD summer. Advice was golden, particularly the part with explaining the DCF in simple terms. Finishing sentences strong and in general terms being decisive is very very important as well, as you said, and I took that to heart that day.

The very same day I received an offer for the summer. Many thanks, and SB'ed!

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, your’re right. - Henry Ford
 
Jul 26, 2014 - 4:50pm

This post is gold. It is gold wrapped in golden foil. Clear. Succinct. Informative and Complete. You might as well have just handed me my 1st years salary. I will do well to memorize this post. Thank you.

Benjamin A Gilman Scholar Economics & Finance, Mandarin Chinese & Japanese Small Business VP
 
Dec 26, 2014 - 2:09pm

I find this to be excellent advise and something to keep in mind for my investment banking interview in the near future!
Thanks!!

Mordi Lati Finance Major at Baruch College
 
Dec 26, 2014 - 2:09pm

I find this to be excellent advise and something to keep in mind for my investment banking interview in the near future!
Thanks!!

Mordi Lati Finance Major at Baruch College
 
Jun 16, 2015 - 2:07am

Related interview question, kind of a random question, I'm kind of tipsy too...

I had an interview at a table with four interviewers at a boutique. What's protocol for sitting and standing if they walk in and leave roughly one-by-one over the course of three minutes or so. Stand up again as each person comes in?

Make Idaho a Semi-Target Again 2016 Not an alumnus of Idaho
 
Jul 20, 2015 - 8:04pm

i cant stop laughing after reading the comments from the guys who say: "I came here because the title of the post in sidebar said "How to nail an investment banking analyst""

LOL you know 80-90% are dudes right??? Nothing wrong with that, but be sure to check under the hood before test driving! :)

"I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing. " -GG
 
Jul 23, 2015 - 12:46pm

Hi there! Id like to start by saying this post spurned me to join the WSO community!
Anyway, i plan to pursue a career in investment banking and although these tips are sure to be useful in the future, due to my age (on my way to university next year) im yet to be formally introduced to the 'technicals' in any way.
As im someone that wants to be as ahead of the game as physically possible im wondering if anyone could point me in the direction (in the form of a web link or maybe a blog post) of anywhere i can learn these 'technicals' or even useful links that help a budding investment banker further his/her learning. I would also love any tips of setting myself apart from other candidates, in any way possible.

 
Sep 14, 2015 - 10:19am

As someone who recently recruited/interviewed candidates at a university career fair, I love the below point:

"5. Be punchy, brief, and learn how to end a sentence. Can't tell you how many times people have gotten into trouble by rambling off into some ass-backward irrelevant tangent. Learn to be comfortable with a little silence here and there while we absorb your answer"

I cannot tell you how many times a student started answering a question, or giving me a summary of a work/school/extracurricular experience, and they trail off with a "so...yeah.....". I dock major points for this seemingly small flub. There is no reason you cannot clearly and concisely provide me your point without acting like you are leaving something to be desired.

 
Mar 29, 2016 - 1:50am

This should be in a book somewhere, great information. THX

Want to Lose the body fat, keep the muscles, I can help.
 
Mar 29, 2016 - 1:51am

IB Analyst Interview Scenario Questions (Originally Posted: 10/18/2013)

Hey Everyone,

I was hoping to get some help and feedback from you guys on where to go for help with financial/accounting scenario questions that may be asked during an interview.

Most technical study guides work on defining words and concepts but hold very few "if this, then what" scenario type questions. What i mean is I may know plenty about EBITDA, valuation multiples or the 3 statements, but what if the question I am asked is something similar to "you have two companies growing in EBITDA, and X,Y,Z aspects of the income and cash flow statement of company A is (blank) and Company B is (blank), can you please explain to me why that might be or what that means in terms of their (blank) multiples?"

Essentially, if someone has little experience or practice working on many different valuations and seeing different companies and financial/valuation/accounting trends, it might be hard to identify all the various factors that are effected or impacted by these events. I think the closest thing to these questions is how does depreciation flow through the statements or maybe finding case studies of past financial events that have happened to bankrupt or growing companies.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

 
Mar 29, 2016 - 1:56am

IB Summer Analyst Interview [HELP - FISH OUT OF WATER] (Originally Posted: 01/07/2015)

Hey Everyone!

So, I have a preliminary web cam interview coming up for an IB summer analyst position at a fairly large Canadian bank. I'm really a fish out of water here (non-business background, but with some non-finance business experience), and I'm not really sure what to expect for a "preliminary interview". What exactly should I expect for something like this? Am I mainly going to get "fit" questions for an interview at this stage? Should I make sure I know all my modelling related questions?

Any help is very much appreciated!

Thanks for helping this fish out of water!

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:18pm

Ultimate hack to nailing IBD interviews (Originally Posted: 01/14/2018)

Hi everyone!

Are you looking to land an internship or full-time offer in finance?

I am one of the founders of The Investment Banking Guide, which is the first app to guide applicants through the investment banking application process for internships and full time offers. The app is created by former bankers from GS, MS and JPM who have been through the process themselves and who have sat at the other side of the table.

The app is packed with 600 common interview questions with detailed model answers and describes in a step-by-step guide how to prepare for an interview, how to write a winning CV / cover letter and explains all of the important valuation and accounting concepts that you need to know.

We have also recently launched our latest app, The Aptitude Reasoning Test Bible, which has >1,000 numerical-, logical- and verbal reasoning questions to prepare for the aptitude test that banks use to screen candidates. As a bonus, the app has all of the common guesstimates and brain teasers with explanations so that you can impress the interviewer!

The following link lets you test the apps for free:

Investment Banking Guide: http://onelink.to/3yxdpz

Aptitude Reasoning Tests Bible: http://onelink.to/yfxys6

Good luck with your application!

Best regards,
Jonathan

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:19pm

Hi Jonathannnnnn, check out these threads:

  • How do I nail an Informational Interview with head of division? Hey guys, So I have a 15-20 min informational interview coming up next week with the division head ... interview, heck even hire me for an intern if he wants (although I know that won't happen) but I just ... wanted to know if I needed to prepare anything in advance before my call. (I.E. Technicals, current ...
  • How to nail an interview dinner is an interview for you and for the bank. But really just relax. No one wants to go out with an ... able to knock the interview out of the park right? Wrong! See "The Why Credit Suisse ... beyond a certain point of knowledge the real question is do they want to invest in you. The first ...
  • Investment Banking Interview Questions- A Comprehensive Guide to get real questions and answer them as a simulation for interviews. The WSO investment banking ... the midst of investment banking interview season. I was in your shoes about five or six years ago. ... Here's a complete guide to answering the "why investment banking" question. The reality is you ...
  • IBD = Investment Banking Division " IBD " stands for "Investment Banking Division". As in- the division of a bank that ... investment banking division) a 100hr/week job?" you sound like a high school kid throwing out acronyms ... performs investment banking activities. This includes things like M&A, capital raisin
  • How to nail your MSF interview local, finance related firms that offer internships to MSF students. During your interview mention the ... a certain degree of focus, maturity and seriousness on your part to your interviewer. It signals that you ... during the interview; Blow some cash investing in the stock market. 4. Be calm, confident and dress ...
  • This is HANDS DOWN the ULTIMATE career path. Noone DARE disagree with me. a good idea. So here it is: 1. Enter the investment banking division of a bulge bracket bank, preferably ... reasoning behind why it is the "ultimate". 1. Contrary to what most people assume, getting ... to at least the VP level is quite a standard procedure. (THIS IS FOR BB BANKS, DOES NOT APPLY FOR ...
  • Why is the Investment Banking division important for the bank? Hi guys, I know what investment banking is about, but how would you explain the importance this ... division has for the bank? Why is it so important? I know it isn't only because of profits, but what ... else? This was a Goldman Sachs ' interview question for the summer analyst position in London. to ...
  • More suggestions...

Or maybe the following users have something to say: eyu Kemp Seeber @Henry-Chopra"

If those topics were completely useless, don't blame me, blame my programmers...

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:20pm

IB Interview Prep (Originally Posted: 07/24/2014)

Hello,

  1. I am a rising junior and need help preparing for the investment banking interviews. First, other than the vault guide and the WSO guide, what others are out there? Which Vault guide am I supposed to read? Do you recommend any prep guides?

  2. Also, I'm doing an internship right now and was wondering what kind of experience interviewers look for in the past internships.

  3. What kind of tone and posture do you use for the interview? Are you formal? Do you crack a joke or two? Do you sit up straight at the edge of the seat? Do you use hand gestures when talking?

Any type of advice would be appreciated!

Thank you!

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:21pm

1) The vault guides in my experience suck. I don't think they do a good job of explaining stuff. WSO was much better in that respect but those are the only two I used really.
2) Relevant experience, modeling, pitches, writing, sucking dick.
3) You need to read your interviewer and go with the flow. If they lead off with a serious interview then follow their lead. If they seem more jovial then go ahead and be less formal.

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:22pm

hey thanks richmondkey. just to clarify:
When you say vault guide, are you referring to the finance interview guide? or the vault career guide to top 50 banking?
Also, I am doing a research type of an internship right now and don't have experience with financial modeling and pitching. where do you think I can get enough information about those to prepare for interviews?

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:24pm

Interview tips for Investment Banking Analyst position (Originally Posted: 06/16/2011)

Hey everyone,

This is my first post at WS Oasis, however I am a reg here and have been monitoring the forums since long.

So I have an interview with McColl Partners for the IB analyst position. I am actually not sure if its an "interview" or just a discussion as the person calling me over the phone is an associate at the company. Is this the norm? I was expecting a conversation with a VP, ED etc

Additionally, Can any one shed light on what I should be expecting from this phone call.

I have been networking, applying to jobs and doing everything right that needs to be done in order to get a job in Wall Street. But its been really tough especially, since I am an International MBA student and a lot of BB firms are not sponsoring visas.

I would appreciate your insights on how to crack the interview as I really need this - financially and in order stay in the U.S!

Thanks guys!

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:26pm

gekko2:
they will push you hard on why boutique. and i don't mean a regular "why boutique" question, they will grind you on why boutique and more importantly...why charlotte.

are you sure they sponsor?

I am not sure. I sent my cover letter along with my resume and I definite they know I am an international student.
I have a week until i receive the phone call and am reading Vault's guide to IB but I am not sure Why Charlotte at the moment..

Also should i consider my first interview as a fit/tech or an exploratory interview, I mean will the Associate grill me as such ..or I should expect that during the superday interview

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:27pm

trust me, why charlotte is perhaps the most important question they will ask you. at least that's the sense i got.

they know a lot/most people want to go to ny and use them as a leveraging piece. why charlotte? you have family in the south, you went to school in the south.

what other reason is there to be in charlotte for banking over new york, chicago, SF/LA if you don't have family in the region or you didn't go to school there? none.

this question is even more important because you'd be an associate.

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:31pm

gekko2 - From personal experience they are not down to earth people. The operate like an elite boutique or BB Expect the 120hr/weeks and the norm and getting a pile of work a 6pm everyday. They are tough on their analysts and it's a tough shop to get into, but a very decent place as far as deal exposure, deal flow, and name.

Hugh McColl the guy who runs the place was former CEO and Board of BoA and he also runs a PE shop in CLT....

http://www.falfurriascapital.com/

Landing a MM PE gig on the east coast or a mega fund in the south east shouldn't be a problem.

The interviews can be very technical and of course have why clt and why boutique down COLD. If you haven't came up with an answer starting thinking BS stories.

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:41pm

oldmansacks:
gekko2 - From personal experience they are not down to earth people. The operate like an elite boutique or BB Expect the 120hr/weeks and the norm and getting a pile of work a 6pm everyday. They are tough on their analysts and it's a tough shop to get into, but a very decent place as far as deal exposure, deal flow, and name.

Hugh McColl the guy who runs the place was former CEO and Board of BoA and he also runs a PE shop in CLT....

http://www.falfurriascapital.com/

Landing a MM PE gig on the east coast or a mega fund in the south east shouldn't be a problem.

The interviews can be very technical and of course have why clt and why boutique down COLD. If you haven't came up with an answer starting thinking BS stories.


This is pretty bang on from my experience as well. I interviewed with McColl way back during senior year of college, and they pretty much came off as a bunch of NYC douches who thought they were an elite group of badass bankers who were too good for you. Much more an NYC feel than a Charlotte feel, although the why Charlotte and why boutique questions are critical to their evaluation of you. It's also pretty important you "fit" - which unfortunately for you means southern and white. The interviews were also more technical than your typical M&A MM/boutique like Edgeview, Stephens, Sagent, etc.

They do have pretty solid deal flow and good exit opps, especially into MM PE and especially in the southeast, though you'll have very good opportunities in New York as well.

- Capt K - "Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. If you want to make ambitious people waste their time on errands, bait the hook with prestige." - Paul Graham
 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:33pm

I have one week to prepare and I am positive, I can get my valuation concepts right + I have some modelling skills I learnt at school. I dont like to believe it is impossible especially before I have had the interview.

I am okay with working 120 hours/week if required and being an international student I have good command over english ( it is my 1st language and I use english more freq than my mother tongue)

I am just scared about brainteasers, what to expect from 1st interview and the charlotte question - which I will try to figure out as I still have one week.

But sincere thanks to all you guys!!

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:40pm

Knowing your ACC sports is probably more important than knowing your technicals...

open the conversation by saying something like "Kyrie irving what a pos for selling out like that," or "how bout those heels harrison barnes pre-season num1 you bought your tix to new orleans yet??" or "UVA lax for life baby"

this is like a secret code to demonstrate that you are not just another clueless international student with spikey hair and pointy shoes. (comb your hair so it falls over your forehead but goes swoops right just above eye level, get some cole-hann hore-bit loafers, and a Vineyard Vines tie before the interview if you can)

Fit is very important at McColl because they are so small. they dont need bodies, they need Frat-stars. I suggest bringing a bud-light with you and shotgunning it infront of the interviewer to demonstrate how frat you are.

you better LOVE charlotte. Hugh McColl built that place with his bare hands! You can talk about how you love all the great, ok well maybe not great but at least conveniently located, sports teams right in the city. Go Panthers!!! Also cost of living there is NOTHING because it is so overbuilt and the banking economy crashed so you will be eating at overpriced steak chain restaurants every night for sure.

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:42pm

deal_mkr:
Knowing your ACC sports is probably more important than knowing your technicals...

open the conversation by saying something like "Kyrie irving what a pos for selling out like that," or "how bout those heels harrison barnes pre-season num1 you bought your tix to new orleans yet??" or "UVA lax for life baby"

this is like a secret code to demonstrate that you are not just another clueless international student with spikey hair and pointy shoes. (comb your hair so it falls over your forehead but goes swoops right just above eye level, get some cole-hann hore-bit loafers, and a Vineyard Vines tie before the interview if you can)

Fit is very important at McColl because they are so small. they dont need bodies, they need Frat-stars. I suggest bringing a bud-light with you and shotgunning it infront of the interviewer to demonstrate how frat you are.

you better LOVE charlotte. Hugh McColl built that place with his bare hands! You can talk about how you love all the great, ok well maybe not great but at least conveniently located, sports teams right in the city. Go Panthers!!! Also cost of living there is NOTHING because it is so overbuilt and the banking economy crashed so you will be eating at overpriced steak chain restaurants every night for sure.

Seriously just laughed out loud at work after reading this.

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:43pm

Interview Help @ I-Bank (Originally Posted: 01/10/2008)

I have a interview for a summer controllers financial analyst program at an I-Bank. I am from a non-target school with a 3.7+GPA. Can anybody give me assistance on how to prepare for the interview. Any insight on what type of questions they would ask?

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:46pm

Investment Banking Interviews - Preparing for interviews (Originally Posted: 09/16/2008)

Are you preparing for ibd interviews?

I friend of mine has created a killer IBD interview prep blog. I just wanted to let all the future and aspiring monkeys know about it. I have found it to be incredibly.

http://investmentbankinginterviewprep.blogspot.com/

Your comments, critiques, and suggestions are welcome and encouraged.

Best,
monkeyman7

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:52pm

Interview Question - First IB interview (Originally Posted: 12/04/2010)

I was contacted two weeks ago by a recruiter from a large IB bank for a phone interview.

I was given instructions in the email requiring me to create a profile, upload a resume and submit it to the Recruiting Team online.
For two weeks after my phone conversation, my account initially showed "Diversity Tracking - Under Review" because I am a minority (hispanic). Then I logged this wednesday morning and noticed "Tracking - Under Review". But that same night as I logged in, there was nothing.
It does not make sense to me but suspect I may have been rejected. But why would that status disappear all together? Why not "Tracking - Rejected"?

Also does anyone know if the "Inactive" status means rejection, considering that I applied for another role?

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:54pm

Investment Banking Interview - Several questions (Originally Posted: 02/09/2011)

Hi, For a HS Englsih project I need to interview someone that works in the career field that I would like to peruse. With the info from the interview we are supposed to present a speech on our perspective career field. Against the wishes of my teacher who blames the financial crisis on the "wall street types" I chose to do my presentation on invermet banking. If you guys could answer my interview questions via pm or in the thread itself it will be a huge help. Thanks

What skills do you feel are necessary to succeed as an investment banker?

When firms hire new investment bankers what do they look for? What can one do to catch the eye of the top firms?

Which universities do you feel provide the best education for business education?

What does an average day entail for an investment banker entail?

Do you feel internships are beneficial?

Investment banking is known to be very stressful and time consuming, do you feel you have had to make sacrifices to achieve success?

Thank you for your time and if you have any trouble answering any of the quesitons feel free to ignore them.

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:55pm

Studiofan:
What skills do you feel are necessary to succeed as an investment banker?

You need to have strong analytical skills, the ability to explain very complex things in a way that everyone can understand, have excellent teamwork, stellar grades, work extremely well under pressure and under time restraints, the ability to multitask and you need to be personable enough that someone would want to travel with you/be stuck at an airport with you for hours.

Studiofan:
When firms hire new investment bankers what do they look for? What can one do to catch the eye of the top firms?

To catch the eye of the top firms you need to network. Networking generally means going to events, cold calling/warm calling until you get to know some people in the industry/specific firms you're looking at.

You usually come in as an intern in the summer (Summer Analyst) and from there you move on to a Full Time Analyst. After 2 years of being an analyst you are either asked to leave, or to work another year as a 3rd year Analyst, hoping to become an Associate. Getting your foot in the door is the hardest part, once you're there, if you're a good fit for the industry you will succeed.

Each investment bank is different in what they look for.

Studiofan:
Which universities do you feel provide the best education for business education?

1) Pennsylvania (Wharton School of Business)
2) Virginia (McIntire School of Business)
3) Notre Dame (Mendoza School of Business)
4) Cornell
5) A lot of people say Emory here, but I like Michigan (Ross Business School)

Studiofan:
What does an average day entail for an investment banker entail?

Studiofan:
Do you feel internships are beneficial?

Internships are both beneficial and mostly the key to landing full-time offers in such a competitive and lucrative field.

Studiofan:
Investment banking is known to be very stressful and time consuming, do you feel you have had to make sacrifices to achieve success?

Yes. A common interview question is "Your friends wedding is on Monday and you've told your team you will be out for it. You are in the wedding party. You get a call over the weekend that your client wants to meet with the deal team. What do you?" If you aren't willing to sacrifice things, you won't ever achieve at a level that it takes to make it rain.

Hope this helps.

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:56pm

Upcoming IB Interview Advice (Originally Posted: 06/29/2011)

After networking with an analyst and an associate, I got an interview opportunity at a strong regional boutique. I was told that the interview would take approximately 2 hours. Here are my Questions:

  1. I doubt I'm going to talk to one person for 2 hours. I assume that I'm put in a circuit among many bankers. Can I assume this is going to be a mini-superday? (I was told to bring a stack of resumes, which I think further indicates the above).

  2. Do questions tend to be consistent from one banker to the next or does each banker have their own unique flow. (Just answer based on personal experiences).

  3. Any other general advice? I'm completely new to this style of interview. I'm looking to take a prep interview with WSO and study the technical/fit guides.

Thanks in advance.

 
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:58pm

Preparing for IB Interviews (Originally Posted: 07/27/2013)

I'm starting get ready for fall recruitment how can i gain advantage? I have been skimming some investment books (Intelligent Investor). How can i prove to these bankers that i'm the best candidate is there anything else i can do besides read books,network ? Also could have some advice on other things to read for Investment banking or hedge funds because i'm studying Economics so i don't have much business knowledge any advice from books to general interview advice will be appreciated !

 
Jun 27, 2018 - 12:02am

Investment Banking Interview Questions (Originally Posted: 01/11/2014)

I had a first round interview with a BB for a IB Summer position, I had two questions:

Do they call/email you if you haven't made it to the second round? Or do you only hear from them if you've made it to the second round?

Is it possible to get an analyst summer position even with soft technicals? Can fit ever overcome technicals?

Thanks
LLL

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