Lateral Associate Interviews - What do bankers mean when they say they're "more technical"?

I have some lateral Associate interviews coming up. One is what the banker described as a "technical interview". Another the banker I spoke with for a networking call where he's going to get me into the process said their process is pretty technical.

What does this mean? What kind of technical questions are they going to be asking me in an interview that's "more technical"? Some theories I had:

  1. DTA/DTL - what they are, how they arise, how they are accounted for
  2. More involved merger accounting questions (full PPA walkthrough)
  3. How to value and structure earnouts
  4. How to capitalize leases
  5. How to adjust for unfunded pension liabilities
  6. More involved accounting questions with more moving parts (e.g. depreciation, a loan, sale of an asset for a process all at once in a multi-step line of questioning)
  7. More involved accretion dilution questions (multiple sources of funds, impact of PPA on accretion/dilution, etc.)
  8. Maybe some kind of process questions? SPA/APA negotiation/common reps and warranties?

What else could it be? Or am I just over thinking this?

Also, the banker described this interview as a "technical interview" does that mean they're just going to be asking me technical questions? He said there was a modeling test, too. What would that involve?

Comments (6)

Mar 2, 2018

You're over thinking it.

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Mar 2, 2018

I tend to do that, which makes me overprepared but also anxious about being underprepared haha. How am I overthinking it? Any suggestions?

Mar 2, 2018
Khayembii:

How am I overthinking it? Any suggestions?

Now you're over-thinking over-thinking it

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Best Response
Mar 2, 2018

Unfortunately, what the finance community defines as "technical" is extremely broad and subjective. Depending on how much insight you have into the firm you are interviewing with, you may be able to guess at how they structure/view deals and, in turn, prepare for the more technical aspects of the execution process. Outside of that, you are shooting in the dark in terms of trying to brainstorm what makes an interview "more" technical. I would focus on reviewing your relevant experience, look at some of the more complex transactions/situations you have had to model, and have plenty of anecdotal experience to reference. If you are lateraling to a similar firm at a similar level, I wouldn't worry too much about this.

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Mar 2, 2018
Khayembii:

I have some lateral Associate interviews coming up. One is what the banker described as a "technical interview". Another the banker I spoke with for a networking call where he's going to get me into the process said their process is pretty technical.

What does this mean? What kind of technical questions are they going to be asking me in an interview that's "more technical"? Some theories I had:

  1. DTA/DTL - what they are, how they arise, how they are accounted for [this is par for the course for any associate interview IMO]
  2. More involved merger accounting questions (full PPA walkthrough) [Seems CRAZY unlikely that they'd make you walk through the calculation of goodwill with every adjustment]
  3. How to value and structure earnouts [Maybe if it's a middle market shop that specializes in privzrs deals? I've done banking for two years and have no clue how to value an earn out]
  4. How to capitalize leases [this is par for the course for any associate interview IMO]
  5. How to adjust for unfunded pension liabilities [super unlikely lol]
  6. More involved accounting questions with more moving parts (e.g. depreciation, a loan, sale of an asset for a process all at once in a multi-step line of questioning) [maybe but it'd be too 2% most technical banking interview of all time]
  7. More involved accretion dilution questions (multiple sources of funds, impact of PPA on accretion/dilution, etc.) [maybe]
  8. Maybe some kind of process questions? [totally possible] SPA/APA negotiation/common reps and warranties? [lol are you a lawyer?]

What else could it be? Or am I just over thinking this?

Also, the banker described this interview as a "technical interview" does that mean they're just going to be asking me technical questions? He said there was a modeling test, too. What would that involve?

See above. Most of your questions are totally unlikely with the caveat that people may grill you if you prominently mention expertise with any of these concepts. Your time is much better spent nailing down your story and the most likely concepts.

I've found that if you feel especially strong on a particularly concept, you can drive the interview in that direction. Most basic technicals have numerous caveats that you can mention to score extra points. But ultimately technicals won't win you a job - at most they're just a hurdle to leap over

Mar 3, 2018
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