Interview Questions These are the questions interviewers asked me, as far as I can remember.

These are questions from interviews over two internship recruiting seasons and one full-time recruiting season. Rothschild, mergers and acquisitions advisory, New York What business courses have you taken, and what were your grades in those courses? What do you know about Rothschild? How do you value a company? What is a discounted cash flow analysis, and walk me through how you would do one. Have you looked at any other fields besides investment banking? Why would you rather do investment banking than management consulting? Do you have any questions for me? Goldman Sachs, private wealth management, Atlanta Why should we hire you? Why Goldman Sachs? Why private wealth management? One thing that is remarkable about Goldman Sachs is that we have so many truly extraordinary people working here. For example, we have two Olympic gold medal winners here in the Atlanta office. What makes you extraordinary? Pitch me a stock. You said the P/E ratio of the stock is low in comparison with its competitors. What is the P/E ratio of the company and what are the P/E ratios of its competitors? Why did you transfer from Hamilton College to Emory? Do you like the business school? What do you like to do for fun? Tell me about a time when you worked well in a team. Tell me about your writing prizes. So you minored in physics….what is the relationship between voltage and resistance? Do you have any questions for me? Wells Fargo, commercial banking Can you name the three sections of the balance sheet? Can you quickly name three line items from the assets section of the balance sheet and three line items from the liabilities section? If you wanted to evaluate the ability of a company to meet its debt obligations, which financial statement would you look at? What are the sections of the cash flow statement? Which section of the cash flow statement would you look at to evaluate the solvency position of the company? Why? We are interviewing about fifteen highly qualified candidates here at Emory, and tomorrow we are driving to Athens, GA to interview fifteen highly qualified University of Georgia students. We are looking to hire one intern. What makes you special? Who else are you interviewing with? What makes the Wells Fargo opportunity more attractive to you than [the opportunities at JPMorgan, Bain, Houlihan Lokey, Bear Stearns, Lehman, etc.]? (I think this was the most difficult question that I was asked in the entire interview process). Do you have any questions for me?

over the summer. and you could only look at one financial statement. When I get back. Look at the “what’s news” section. what is your favorite financial statement? What is your understanding of Houlihan Lokey’s business model? What is your understanding of the day-to-day activities of an intern in the financial advisory services group at Houlihan Lokey? Why Houlihan Lokey? Tell me a stock to buy and explain why. Who is JPMorgan’s CEO? Who is the CEO of the JPMorgan Private Bank? Do you have any questions for me? Houlihan Lokey. which statement would you look at? Why? (From a different interviewer from the previous question). Why did you transfer from Hamilton College to Emory University? Why should we hire you instead of all the other great people who are interviewing here today? Tell me about your internship at Caldwell & Orkin last summer. Atlanta Can you explain the difference between the weighted average cost of capital and the internal rate of return? What are the three financial statements? Walk me through the financial statements and explain how the statements are related. New York What is the value added by an investment bank? What do you see as Bear Stearns’s place within the world of investment banking? How do you value a company? What is a discounted cash flow analysis and walk me through how you would do one. How do you estimate the terminal value in a discounted cash flow analysis? Are you familiar with what the hours are like in investment banking? What is your understanding of what the hours are like? What would drive someone to want to work 100 or more hours in a week? So I see you like to play hockey. which did you learn the most from? Why? Which fraternity are you in? How many actives are in the chapter? Do you have any questions for me? Bear Stearns. (He asked some follow-up questions to this which I had trouble with). economy? Why JPMorgan and why private banking? Tell me about your internship at Caldwell & Orkin last summer. investment banking. Of all the non-fiction finance books you have read. she will explain it to me.S. private banking. What is the last finance-related non-fiction book you read? (I had listed reading finance-related nonfiction in the “interests” section on my resume). I’m going to step out. Explain why it is interesting. Why was it “frightening” to see. will that benefit the U. a chart which showed that the vast majority of the sub-prime mortgages were not going to reset to higher interest rates until December of 2007? What do you think the Fed is going to do at its next meeting? If the Fed cuts 50 basis points as you predict. Atlanta What did you do last night after the pre-interview reception? What was the case about? What is carried interest? Actually. Here is a copy of today’s Wall Street Journal. valuation advisory.JPMorgan. Does the Hamilton hockey program ever send anyone to the NHL? Why did you transfer from Hamilton to Emory? Do you have any questions for me? . Why don’t you explain to [the HR lady] what carried interest is and the general structure of private equity partnerships. If you had to analyze the financial position of a firm. and pick out a finance-related story that looks interesting to you.

What stands out for you about the equity research division at Lehman Brothers? Where else are you interviewing? How does this position stack up against the other opportunities? Can you tell me about a time when you really took charge. in a team setting? Can you tell me about a time when you went above and beyond? Why should we hire you instead of all the other people who are interviewing with us today? Tell me about your internship at Caldwell & Orkin last summer. He was asking me how that type of error—that is. Tell me about your internship at Caldwell & Orkin last summer. How do you handle stress? Tell me a fun/interesting fact about yourself that is not on your resume. What do you know about Siemens’ competitors? What research have you done on Siemens and its competitors? Do you have any questions for me? . and you are also involved fairly extensively in extracurricular activities. If you had to pick one song that is a sound track to your life. what would you pick? Clearly. equity research. New York If you were looking into divesting a business segment. finance and operations. how would you value that segment? How would you go about doing a discounted cash flow analysis? What type of situation would result in a deferred tax liability? Is there a particular sector which you would buy. what would it be? What would be the title and subtitle of your autobiography? Do you have any questions for me? D. but then those events happened. Tell me about your writing prizes. How would you avoid making some of the mistakes that they made—particularly the mistakes related to putting too much trust into purely financial and statistical analysis? (We had been talking about how Long-Term had calculated that certain events were so unlikely that they would not happen in three histories in the universe. Shaw & Co. you’re going to have plenty of opportunities. Do you have any questions for me? Siemens Energy and Automation What do you know about Siemens? I just want to see if you did your homework. New York Can you tell me about something you’ve studied in school which you felt was particularly intellectually stimulating? It is interesting that you mention Long-Term Capital Management. Tell me about your writing prizes.E. the error of putting too much faith in statistical analyses—can be avoided). What type of assets would a financial institution have? What would cause an increase in shareholder’s equity other than an increase in assets? Why did you transfer from Hamilton to Emory? Tell me about what you learned in your operations management course.. or a particular stock which you would sell? Why? Why did you transfer from Hamilton College to Emory? Conceptually. or a particular sector which you would sell? Why? Is there a particular stock which you would buy. You have maintained a very high grade point average. with your background. why Wall Street? Why did you switch from the double major in mathematics and physics at Hamilton College to the concentration in finance at Emory University? If you had to pick a sector to cover in equity research.Lehman Brothers. that is took a strong leadership role.

what is the net effect on cash flow? What sectors would be most affected by the out come of the [2008 presidential] election? Which sectors would you want to be long if Obama wins and which sectors would you want to be short? Which sectors would you want to be long or short if McCain wins? Prudential Capital Group. and you have also been involved in extracurricular activities like sports and a fraternity. investment banking Why Macquarie? Why did you transfer from Hamilton? Tell me about your experience at D. what role do you usually take? So you have some familiarity with financial models? Well then can you sit down at this computer and fill in the missing values for the cash flow statement? The bottom cell should come out to be zero. New York If depreciation expense increases by $10. Shaw. systems and process assurance.E. equity research If accounts receivable are increasing and accounts payable are decreasing. energy and healthcare banking groups. which I unfortunately was less than optimally prepared for because I had focused on preparation for investment banking interviews. What is EBITDA and why is it used? What are the limitations of EBIDTA? So you have read some books about physics? What is the relationship between gravity and pressure? What do you like to do for fun? Where else are you interviewing? What other super-days have you had? Did you receive an offer following your previous internship? . valuation advisory.000? Duff & Phelps. Atlanta One thing we noticed on your resume is that you are familiar with Java programming? You have maintained a very high grade point average. Describe to me what has been happening in the financial markets. Macquarie. Since it looks like you have a good background in mathematics. how does that flow through the three financial statements? When you work on group projects in school. What are the three financial statements and how are they related to each other? What is EBITDA and why is it used? What are some of the limitations of EBITDA? How could a firm show positive earnings on the income statement and not generate any cash? Raymond James. Atlanta Bain’s interview was a standard case interview. Atlanta What does the treasury yield curve look like and why? How would you do a discounted cash flow analysis? What is the formula for the weighted average cost of capital? How do you get the cost of equity in the weighted average cost of capital formula? What is the CAPM equation? CIT Group.PricewaterhouseCoopers. I’m sure that you have been keeping up with the news. Atlanta Walk me through a discounted cash flow analysis.. and I was surprised that I got the interview with Bain. what is the square root of 100. consulting. How do you manage to do all of this? Bain & Co.

Why the energy group? Why the healthcare group? What questions can I answer about CIT? Given that you began college as a double major in mathematics and physics. consulting. Atlanta I’m sure you have been following the news. It began with a brief description of a hypothetical clothing company. . investment banking Why VRA? Where else have you been interviewing? Why VRA specifically over other small boutique banking firms you have interviewed with. and. Atlanta The Deloitte interview was a standard case interview. it is a bad plan? Deloitte. and TM Capital? (This was a very difficult question. The interviewer first asked: “if the company was considering international expansion. what would be some of the most important factors to consider?” VRA Partners. thus. such as Brookwood. investment banking. what led to your interest in finance? Why did you switch to the business school? RBC Capital Markets. Explain what has been happening in the financial markets? Do you think the government will ultimately profit from its investments in financial institutions? So you think the government probably won’t see a profit. investment banking Why would you use EBITDA multiples when valuing a company? What would be the numerator in an EBITDA multiple? How many burritos do you think chipotle sells in a year? SunTrust. The Atlanta boutiques all appear to be very similar to each other). Breckenridge.

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