What are Some Good Questions to Ask the Interviewer at the End of the Interview?

Rank: Monkey | 52

I was just wondering what some good, intellectual questions would be to ask the interviewer at the end of the investment banking interview session?

I've seen in a lot of mock interviews that they always ask if we (the interviewee) have any questions for them. I heard that it is good to have at least 2-3 questions to ask.

Bank Specific Questions to Ask an Investment Banker Interviewer

  • I bet you were in my shoes a few years ago -- what initially attracted you to X bank?
  • How does your experience compare to your friends who work at other firms?
  • If it's associate who was a direct-promote: "What influenced your decision to stay with the firm for the longer term?"
  • Excluding the people you work with, tell me what you enjoy most about the job and the firm

Firm Culture Question at the End of an Interview

  • How would you describe the culture here?
  • What characteristics do you like to see in your co-workers?
  • Is there more of a team or autonomous atmosphere here?

Deal Related Questions

  • Can you talk about your role in the last [M&A, ECM, DCM] deal you worked in and what specifically you learned from it?
  • I saw the bank participated in [insert transaction.] If I was working on a similar transaction, what responsibilities would you expect me to take on, and what responsibilities would you like me to take on?

Preparing for Investment Banking 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. This guide will help you learn how to answer these questions and many, many more.

Investment Banking Interview Course Here

Comments (180)

 
Oct 31,2007

I would make questions specific to the position you are interviewing for or the firm you are interviewing for.

Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

 
Oct 31,2007

I asked something along the lines of "How would you describe the culture of your group " and since I was applying for a summer analyst position...I asked how often are SA staffed on live deals as oppose to pitches

 
Oct 31,2007

WOW,
thanks, those are some great suggestions.
I will definitely ask those types of questions when they ask me if i have any questions for them.
Thanks for the help,
J

 
Oct 31,2007

Don't ask anything you can find on the website.

 
Oct 31,2007

I actually hate the live deal vs. pitch question. Its very canned, and in my opinion is not really a good way to split things up. You can be pitching for something and putting together a very complicated model. On the other hand, you can be on a live deal and just processing memos. It is also just a stock question that you can ask anyone so it's not really that impressive.

I like questions that ask about background, but ones that are specific like jackofalltrades is talking about. Don't just ask "Can you tell me about your background?" but show that you are paying attention.

I also think asking about the credit markets or specific events at that particular investment bank (ask them about recent loan write-offs, job cuts, etc.) show that you are well informed.

If you are stuck for questions and have to go to something canned, ask about an interesting deal your interviewer worked on. This is more specific than general background, shows that you are interested in deals, and bankers love to talk about their deals so they will go on for awhile and prevent you from having to think of more questions.

 
Oct 31,2007

Ask them if they could have lunch with three people, dead or alive, who would it be???

 
Oct 31,2007

I always think trying to engage an interviewer during the process is a better way. IMO, you should have asked all the questions at the relevant points in the interview, while they are topical. It shows a level of maturity, being able to hold up the other side of a conversation in a very formal context.

If, at the end of the process, you have questions you actually want answered, go for it. But those canned/leading questions are worse than asking none at all.

 
Oct 31,2007

Ask them where they go shopping. What shirts they buy? What colors? What cut? Is brooks brothers really that pertinent today? Or does it get beaten by Pink? Are they single? Who should you date, a brunette or a blonde. etc.

********"Babies don't cost money, they MAKE money." - Jerri Blank********

********"Babies don't cost money, they MAKE money." - Jerri Blank********

 
Oct 31,2007

I've always wanted to ask if there are any disadvantages or weaknesses at Company X. It's a genuine question, but maybe too forward?

 
Jan 31,2008

A great question to ask if you are going for a sales & trading interview is...I know trading involves a lot of stree, how do people deal with that stress?

 
Best Response
Jan 31,2008

Solid questions i've heard:

Was wearing a Rolex to this interview too flashy?
Do you hair test for drug usage?
What is your funniest interview story?
What was your last bonus?
What are your thoughts on these other banks (pull out a list of competing banks at this point)?
Will having a criminal record hurt my chances?

 
Jan 31,2008

While we're on this subject, anyone got any good Sales & Trading questions to ask?

 
Jan 31,2008

Yeah, MadCatz for my Sales & Trading interview I asked: I know trading involves a lot of stress, how do people tend to manage that stress?

The response I got was people who do Sales & Trading want to be in that fast-paced, stressful environment in the first place, which is true. I also added at the end that I like that fast-paced atmosphere.

 
Jan 31,2008

Is it OK to ask somewhat technical questions at the end of the interview.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jan 31,2008
 
Jan 31,2008

Just wow.

You should probably also ask to see the group heads tax returns for the last 3 years.

 
Jan 31,2008

gonna go against the grain and say YES

 
Jan 31,2008

You don't have to say "show me a Word doc with your recent mandates and high-probability pitches," but you can ask questions that tiptoe around it.

For example, "what types of deals have you worked on recently/now?" Not really a harmful question. Asked this in interviews, bankers liked to thump their chests and glorify the deals. Doesn't seem like a big deal to ask (no pun intended).

 
Jan 31,2008

You probably don't ask for the pipeline but it is perfectly fine to talk about credentials. These days there are plenty of teams that will thump their chests about "strong pipelines" but let's face it - a pipeline alone is meaningless unless its probability weighted. No one can take creds away - but at the same time don't take everything at face value. Take note of the deals they tell you about / show you that they did and then go and do your own research. Just because a bank gets league table credit doesn't mean it actually was involved or active. The difference between the left bookrunner / glo-co vs. the passive bookrunners is tremendous in IPOs or equity deals. At the same time, in the realm of M&A - there are banks that get thrown on last minute a few days before announcement and all they did was a fairness opinion or in some cases bridge financing.

 
 
Jan 31,2008

I'd avoid it, as I would personally be annoyed if someone asked me that question. The question part is more for you to know and understand the firm. Some questions you can ask:

  1. What separates a good analyst from a great analyst? (understand your expectations at the firm)
  2. What is something you wish you knew when you first started your career that you know now (a different spin to ask for tips they expect of you, and also learn something interesting about the interviewer)
  3. How/why the interviewer choose firm x (usually applicable to seniors, you can see what attracted them to firm x, or if they stayed here long-term, you can have a good understanding of the culture)
 
Jan 31,2008

Thx for advise and the great answers

 
Jan 31,2008

Questions have to come accross as sincere.#1 & #3 aove seem canned and generic. #2 is the sort of question you want to ask that gets the interviewer talking about themselves. Also, I like your original question but might frame it different. I'd frame it in the context of, "I'm really excited abotthis opportunity above all the others I'm considering, and I'm wondering if you have any feedback for me on the topics we just discussed, things I might need to highlight or clarify better. " This shows you respect their opinion, kind of gets them rooting for you, and if done will will garner a bit of sympathy / empathy and can yield a positive impression.

 
 
Jan 31,2008

I'm assuming you interviewed at Penn this past week. I got a call at 5:30 today (fridayO.

 
Jan 31,2008

superday on friday. are you by any chance in econ236 haha i recognize your last name...

 
 
Jan 31,2008

search function, discussed here before... a lot

 
Jan 31,2008

Ask about their experiences with recent deals (or projects), the training program, next steps in the process, etc. Try to ask about something related to what you discussed in the interview. Your answers to their questions are more important.

Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

 
 
Jan 31,2008

did you do it on campus or on phone? :>

hmm i can see that as being odd that you said one thing but wrote another but maybe in your thank you letter to the interviewer you can clear that up

 
Jan 31,2008

Yeah I don't see how a clarification in a thank you letter would hurt at all...

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

 
 
Jan 31,2008

always ask something, it shows you're interested in the position/firm
if you really have nothing just ask about their background or why they like working at x firm

 
Jan 31,2008

I always prepare something specific to their firm. An old deal that is not recent shows you researched them well. Works like a charm. If not firm specific I ask them about something about themselves, e.g. why did you choose to go into bonds etc. If all else fails get them talking about themselves. You want to use every moment to connect without being obvious about kissing arse.

 
Jan 31,2008

Ask about their background, why they decided to work there (over other banks). or if they could start their position over again, whats something they would do differently, etc... just try to start a conversation with them by asking questions tailored to their background

 
Jan 31,2008

if all else fails just ask about his buddy with shrapnel in his ass

 
Jan 31,2008

Always prepare questions in advance. Check the bios of those you will be meeting, recent deals of the group and firm, rankings, and recent news about the company. In addition to your questions about the firm, individuals you are meeting, anticipated growth, etc, never leave the interview without asking "Do you have any additional questions for me?" Always make your interest in the position crystal clear prior to exiting the interview.

Individual thank you notes need to be sent to all the people you met with within 24 hours of the interview. Try to include a point specifically relevant to the discussion with the interviewer in the note to him/her.

Susan

 
Jan 31,2008

I usually asked a lot of questions during the interview already and then composed questions in the end based on the conversation.

second monekyc6 about the specific point about the conversation in the thank you note.

"too good to be true"

See my WSO Blog

 
 
Jan 31,2008

pretty basic stuff. google it.

  1. accretive. although the execution matters much more (to the firm's survival, not the banker)
  2. lower taxes etc...
  3. depends. where can u unlock value? why did u acquire it in the first place?
 
Jan 31,2008

thanks for the response. could you explain the reasoning behind your choices?

 
Jan 31,2008

That's really odd, because I am finance and economics major and didn't get a single technical question.

 
Jan 31,2008
 
Jan 31,2008

The impact of #2 isn't lower taxes, it's actually the net benefit (or detriment) on working capital (and the resulting changes to free cash flow) from deferring certain taxes, assets or liabilities.

For #3, was the proposed liquidation supposed to be an orderly liquidation of the company's assets (as opposed to a sale of the business as a going concern)? If so, the desired answer may have been the office products company, since the other two businesses appear to be relatively light on tangible assets (e.g., inventory), thus limiting the proceeds available from a straight asset liquidation.

 
Jan 31,2008

No but I am from a non-target pac 10 school.

 
Jan 31,2008

def tax assets/liabs are important because they are the diff between cash taxes and the taxes reported on the IS.

you need cash taxes to determine FCFF (you add back def taxes to NI when you determine FCFF).

there's a great explanation of def taxes in "Accounting for M&A, Equity, and Credit Analysts"
(also some techniques on how to model def tax assets/liabs)

some parts of that book are free on google books.