Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.

edu)
Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801

Investment Banking Interview Prep Pack:
Behavioral Interview Guide
Preparation for Finance Interviews
Fifth Edition

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Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu)
Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801

TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS ................................................................................................................................. 2
BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEWS ...................................................................................................................... 13
GENERAL TIPS .......................................................................................................................................................................................13
PREPARATION .......................................................................................................................................................................................15

THE APPLICATION/INTERVIEW PROCESS .............................................................................................. 20
THE ONE QUESTION YOU WILL GET...GUARANTEED ....................................................................... 22
TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF. .................................................................................................................... 22
VARIATION: WALK ME THROUGH YOUR RESUME. ................................................................................... 22
WALK ME THROUGH YOUR RESUME..................................................................................................................................................23

INDUSTRY QUESTIONS ............................................................................................................................ 24
WHY INVESTMENT BANKING/SALES AND TRADING? .............................................................................. 24
VARIATION: WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST ABOUT THIS JOB? ....................................... 24
INVESTMENT BANKING OR SALES & TRADING: WHICH IS RIGHT FOR YOU? .................................................................................25

WHAT DO INVESTMENT BANKERS DO? ................................................................................................... 25
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INVESTMENT BANKING AND COMMERCIAL BANKING? ................. 26
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE DOING ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS AS AN ANALYST? ........................ 26
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT RECRUITING STRATEGIES ......................................................................................................................27

WHAT DO BANKERS DO DURING A SELL-SIDE M&A DEAL? .................................................................... 27
WHAT DO BANKERS DO DURING A BUY-SIDE M&A DEAL? ..................................................................... 28
WHAT DO BANKERS DO DURING AN INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING (IPO)? ............................................... 28
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EQUITY CAPITAL MARKETS AND DEBT CAPITAL MARKETS AND
OTHER GROUPS LIKE INDUSTRY GROUPS OR M&A? ............................................................................... 28
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Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu)
Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801

WHY THIS FIRM?..................................................................................................................................... 29
WORKING FOR A MIDDLE MARKET INVESTMENT BANK ..................................................................................................................30

WE WORK MOSTLY WITH COMPANIES IN XXX INDUSTRY; CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT A RECENT INDUSTRY
TREND? ................................................................................................................................................... 30
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT OUR FIRM? ............................................................................................... 30
ESSENTIAL INTERVIEWING & NETWORKING STRATEGIES ...............................................................................................................31

WHO HAVE YOU SPOKEN WITH AT OUR FIRM? ........................................................................................ 31
VARIATION: WHAT CONTACTS DO YOU HAVE AT THIS FIRM? .................................................................. 31
WHY NOT FIRM X INSTEAD? ................................................................................................................... 32
WHY WOULD WE HIRE YOU WITH NO FINANCE EXPERIENCE? ................................................................. 32
WHAT ARE YOU DOING RIGHT NOW? ...................................................................................................... 32
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTERESTED IN FINANCE? ............................................................................... 33
WHICH OF OUR GROUPS INTERESTS YOU?............................................................................................... 33
WHAT DEPARTMENT/GROUP DO YOU WANT TO WORK FOR IN INVESTMENT BANKING AND WHY? .......................................34

WHAT DEPARTMENTS ARE YOU INTERESTED IN? .................................................................................... 34
WHY DO COMPANIES PURSUE M&A?................................................................................................................................................35

CAN YOU HANDLE THE GRUNT WORK? .................................................................................................... 36
VARIATION 1: ARE YOU READY TO BE A REAL SLAVE TO THIS JOB FOR TWO YEARS? .............................. 36
VARIATION 2: HOW DO YOU HANDLE GRUNT WORK?............................................................................. 36
VARIATION 3: DESCRIBE A SITUATION IN WHICH YOU HAVE MOTIVATED YOURSELF TO COMPLETE AN
ASSIGNMENT OR TASK YOU DIDN’T WANT TO DO. .................................................................................... 36
WHAT IS ONE CONCERN YOU HAVE ABOUT A CAREER IN FINANCE? ......................................................... 36
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CHARACTERISTIC FOR THIS JOB? ................................. 36

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...............................................................................37 IF YOU WERE RUNNING THIS FIRM...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 38 VARIATION: IF YOU WERE CEO OF OUR BANK........... 43 WHAT DO YOU SEE YOURSELF CONTRIBUTING TO OUR FIRM IN BOTH THE SHORT TERM AND THE LONG TERM? ................... 41 NON-TARGET SCHOOL TO BULGE BRACKET INVESTMENT BANKING ........Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory............................................................................................................................................................ 40 VARIATION 2: SHOW ME YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO MANAGE THE QUANTITATIVE ASPECTS OF THIS JOB......................... 41 WHAT IS YOUR SKILL LEVEL IN POWERPOINT? ............................................. 39 WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR STRENGTHS? ............................................................... 40 VARIATION 1: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT FINANCE?..................... 41 VARIATION 1: HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT FROM YOUR PEERS?....edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 VARIATION: WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL ANALYST?................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 40 WHAT MOTIVATES YOU? .......................... 38 CAN ETHICAL REQUIREMENTS IN A FIRM BE TOO HIGH? ...................................................................................................... 42 WHAT’S THE SINGLE MOST IMPRESSIVE EXPERIENCE THAT IS ON YOUR RESUME? ....................................................................................... 39 DISCUSS YOUR MATHEMATICAL AND QUANTITATIVE SKILLS RELATIVE TO WHAT A JOB IN FINANCE REQUIRES........................................ 41 VARIATION 2: WHY SHOULD WE CHOOSE YOU OVER ANY OF THE OTHER CANDIDATES?... ................................................................................................ 36 MIDDLE MARKET M&A PROCESS AND THE ROLE OF THE JUNIOR BANKER ............................................................................................................................... IN WHAT DIRECTION WOULD YOU TAKE IT? ...................................... WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?....................... 41 WHAT MAKES YOU SPECIAL? ...................... 38 PERSONAL QUESTIONS....................................................................................................................................... 40 WHAT IS YOUR SKILL LEVEL IN EXCEL? ..................................................................................................................................................................42 WHY DO YOU THINK YOU WILL BE A GOOD ANALYST? .......... 43 Page 4 ..................

........................ PRESSURE............................................................................................ .............. 44 VARIATION: WHAT SEPARATES YOU FROM THE LAST PERSON WITH YOUR GPA FROM YOUR SCHOOL? ................................................................................................ 45 WHAT SERVES AS YOUR BIGGEST MOTIVATION?.......................................................................................................... 48 VARIATION: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MOST IMPORTANT TO SUCCESS IN THE WORKPLACE ON THIS JOB? ............ 47 DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL WORK ENVIRONMENT........................................................................................................................................................................................... 44 VARIATION 1: WHAT IS THE GREATEST THING YOU HAVE DONE IN YOUR LIFE? .......................... .............................................. AND LONG HOURS OF A CAREER IN FINANCE? ..... 46 HOW ARE YOU GOING TO HANDLE THE FINANCE LIFESTYLE AND ITS EFFECT ON YOUR PERSONAL LIFE AND HEALTH? ......................................................... 46 WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU CAN PUT UP WITH THE STRESS........Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory............................................................... 43 WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT? ................................................................................ 45 VARIATION: TELL ME THREE REASONS WHY WE SHOULD HIRE YOU........... 44 WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE THING YOUR RESUME WON’T TELL ME THAT I SHOULD KNOW? .................................................................................................................................................... WHAT ARE THREE THINGS ABOUT YOU THAT I SHOULD TAKE WITH ME?............. 46 HOW HARD DO YOU WORK TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS? .............................. 45 WHAT FEEDBACK DID YOU RECEIVE FROM YOUR LAST JOB/INTERNSHIP? ............................................................................. 44 WHAT IS ONE WORD THAT DESCRIBES YOU BEST? ........ 44 COMING OUT OF THIS INTERVIEW.................................................................................................... 45 VARIATION: WHAT IS IT THAT KEEPS YOU GOING WHEN TIMES GET TOUGH? .................................................................................................... 47 WHAT IS THE MOST INTELLECTUALLY CHALLENGING THING YOU HAVE DONE? ..........edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN THIS JOB? ......................................... 44 VARIATION 2: WHAT ARE YOUR THREE GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS? ............ 48 Page 5 .....

..................50 WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE SCHOOL YOU ATTEND(ED)? .. 53 WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE CLASS IN COLLEGE AND WHAT WAS YOUR GRADE? ..................................................................................................................................................................... 53 WHAT ELSE DO/DID YOU DO AT SCHOOL BESIDES STUDY? ......... 48 VARIATION 1: HOW DID YOUR JOB LAST SUMMER PREPARE YOU FOR A CAREER IN FINANCE? ...................................................................... ...... 51 CAN YOU EXPLAIN A CONCEPT TO ME THAT YOU LEARNED IN ONE OF YOUR CLASSES IN 60 SECONDS?........ 52 WHY DO YOU WANT TO GO INTO FINANCE RATHER THAN ENTERING SOME OTHER INDUSTRY OR STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS? .................................... 52 HOW DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR MAJOR? .................................................................................... 50 VARIATION: WHERE ELSE DID YOU APPLY AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR SCHOOL?...................................................................edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU GOT OUT OF YOUR JOB LAST SUMMER? ............................................................................... 49 HOW WOULD YOUR BEST FRIENDS DESCRIBE YOU? ................................ 54 TELL ME ABOUT YOUR COLLEGE EXPERIENCE................ 54 WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR LEAST FAVORITE CLASS IN COLLEGE AND WHAT WAS YOUR GRADE? .................................. 53 VARIATION: I SEE YOU HAVE [SPORT/ACTIVITY/HOBBY] ON YOUR RESUME.............................................. 50 TELL ME ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE STUDYING ABROAD................................... 50 WHAT WOULD YOUR TEAM CRITICIZE MOST ABOUT YOU? ....... ....................................................... 54 DO YOU REGRET CHOOSING THE SCHOOL YOU CHOSE?......................49 WHAT WOULD YOUR LAST BOSS TELL ME ABOUT YOU? ............. 55 Page 6 ............................................Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory........................................................................................................... ................................................................ 53 VARIATION: WHAT DO/DID YOU DO AT SCHOOL TO HAVE FUN AND RELAX? ................ 48 VARIATION 2: WHAT SKILLS DID YOU GAIN AT YOUR JOB LAST SUMMER?....... 48 INVESTMENT BANKING INTERNSHIP SURVIVAL .............................................. TELL ME ABOUT IT...........................................................................................................................

.... 59 HOW DO YOU MANAGE STRESS IN YOUR LIFE? ........................................................................................... 59 WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO IF YOU DON’T GET A JOB IN INVESTMENT BANKING THIS YEAR? .................................................................................... 57 HOW WOULD YOU COMPARE YOUR WRITING SKILLS TO YOUR ORAL SKILLS?.......................................................................................................................................... AND HAVE THEY BEEN WORTHWHILE?................................................................................................................................................. 60 IF YOU HAD A MILLION DOLLARS THAT YOU WEREN’T ALLOWED TO INVEST......................................... 61 WHAT WAS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE JOB? ..................................... 61 WHAT ROLE DO YOU LIKE TO TAKE IN A TEAM SITUATION? ................................................ 57 WHAT IS THE TOUGHEST DECISION YOU HAVE EVER HAD TO MAKE? ....................... 58 VARIATION: WHAT DO YOU DO ON THE WEEKENDS FOR FUN? ............................................................................................ 58 WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR A LIVING IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MONEY? ......................................................................... 58 WHAT COMPETITIVE ACTIVITIES HAVE YOU PARTICIPATED IN.... 56 WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE OR CHALLENGE YOU HAVE FACED AND OVERCOME IN YOUR LIFE? ............................................................................................................... 61 Page 7 ........................ 60 WHAT ARE YOU INTERESTED IN? ................................. HOW WOULD YOU SPEND IT? ............Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.............................................. 61 VARIATION: WOULD YOU RATHER TAKE THE LEAD IN A TEAM OR FOLLOW A LEADER? ........................................................................................... 61 DESCRIBE TO ME YOUR IDEAL WORK ENVIRONMENT ................................edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 WHY DO YOU WANT A JOB THAT IS SO MUCH MORE DEMANDING THAN THE WORK YOU HAVE DONE IN THE PAST?.............................................................................................................................................. 59 WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WEBSITE? ..... 61 WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE JOB YOU HAVE HAD? .................. 56 WHAT IS AN EXAMPLE OF A BIG RISK YOU HAVE TAKEN IN YOUR LIFE? ............. 58 WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?.

.................................................................................. 64 DOES THE LEADER OF A TEAM MAKE THE TEAM? ..Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory........ ........................... 67 TALK ABOUT A TIME WHEN YOU HAD TO DEAL WITH A VERY UPSET TEAMMATE OR CO-WORKER.... TELL ME ABOUT A TIME WHEN YOU WERE IN A GROUP WITH SOMEONE WHO LIKED TO WORK VERY DIFFERENTLY FROM YOU.... .................................................... 65 DESCRIBE HOW YOU HAVE DEALT WITH CONFLICT IN A TEAM SITUATION.................... ........................................................................................ 64 VARIATION 1........................................................ 62 SITUATIONAL QUESTIONS .................... OR TEAMMATE? .............................................................. 66 DESCRIBE WHAT YOU DID IN A GROUP WHERE SOMEONE WASN’T CONTRIBUTING............... WHAT LEADERSHIP POSITIONS HAVE YOU HELD?. 68 IF YOUR BOSS IS WRONG.......................................................................................... 68 VARIATION 1.69 Page 8 ............ ........................................ 62 HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT PREPARING FOR YOUR INTERVIEWS? ......................................................... 64 VARIATION 2.................. ................................................................ 67 WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU FOUND YOUR COMPANY DOING SOMETHING ILLEGAL? ................................................... 64 DESCRIBE A TIME WHEN YOU WORKED AS PART OF A TEAM....... CO-WORKER........................................................................................ DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE................. HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO WORK TOGETHER EFFECTIVELY? ......................................... 64 DESCRIBE A TIME WHEN YOU TOOK A LEADERSHIP ROLE IN A TEAM SITUATION.................................... 68 HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO DEAL SUCCESSFULLY WITH A DIFFICULT BOSS..... 66 TELL ME ABOUT A TIME WHEN YOU HAD TO WORK LONG HOURS TO ACCOMPLISH A TASK OR PROJECT.... 68 VARIATION 2....... HOW WOULD YOU HANDLE THE SITUATION?......... ...... .......... TELL ME ABOUT A TIME YOU HAD TO CONFORM TO A POLICY YOU DIDN’T AGREE WITH................... .......... 65 TELL ME ABOUT A TIME WHEN YOU ACTED AS A LEADER EVEN WHEN YOU WERE NOT IN AN OFFICIAL LEADERSHIP POSITION.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 DO YOU FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE WORKING IN A GROUP OR BY YOURSELF? ........................................ 65 DESCRIBE WHAT YOU DID WHEN YOU OR YOUR GROUP RISKED MISSING A DEADLINE....

................ 75 GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF A TIME WHEN YOU HAD TO MAKE A SPLIT SECOND DECISION................ 73 WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE YOU EVER MADE SO FAR IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE? .................................................................................... 72 GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF A TIME WHEN YOU PERSUADED OTHERS TO DO SOMETHING OR CONVINCED SOMEONE TO SEE YOUR POINT OF VIEW.................................. 72 GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND WHAT WAS EXPECTED OF YOU............................................. FORMATTING OR OTHER MISTAKES? ...... .................................................... 72 GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH MULTITASKING................................................ ................................................................... ...................................................................edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 TELL ME ABOUT A TIME WHEN YOU MOTIVATED OTHERS........................................................................ 70 TELL ME ABOUT A TIME WHEN YOU SUBMITTED A PROJECT WITH GRAMMATICAL............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 75 TELL ME ABOUT A TIME WHEN YOU ANTICIPATED POTENTIAL PROBLEMS AND TOOK MEASURES TO PREVENT THEM.............. .............. .................. ........................... 75 Page 9 . ...................................................................... ............................................. 73 GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF A TIME WHEN YOU WERE REQUIRED TO PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO DETAIL..Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.......... 74 WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN WORK CONFLICTS WITH YOUR PERSONAL LIFE? ............................ 74 TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCES AND WALK ME THROUGH A PROJECT FROM YOUR WORK............... 70 VARIATION: TELL ME ABOUT A COMPLEX PROJECT YOU WORKED ON......................... ............ 70 GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF A PROJECT YOU ENJOYED WORKING ON.............................. 71 GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF A GOAL YOU SET AND HOW YOU ACHIEVED IT........................................... DESCRIBE THE PROCESS............................................... 74 VARIATION: GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF A BAD DECISION YOU MADE AND WHAT YOU LEARNED FROM IT........... 71 HAVE YOU EVER HAD TO WORK ON A PROJECT OR PRESENTATION THAT WAS DISTRIBUTED OR PRESENTED TO A LARGE GROUP? ............................................... ............. 69 GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF A PROJECT THAT REQUIRED YOU TO THINK QUANTITATIVELY AND ANALYTICALLY....................

............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 85 TELL ME A (CLEAN) JOKE.................................................................... WOULD YOU SIGN IT? ............................................ 84 BUILDING A RESILIENT CAREER ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 80 YOU WORKED AT BANK X LAST YEAR... 83 IF I GAVE YOU AN OFFER RIGHT NOW.........................78 WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST FAILURE? ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 76 TELL ME ABOUT A TIME YOU DEALT WITH A MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT AND TURNED IT INTO A LEARNING EXPERIENCE.............................................................84 OTHER QUESTIONS ...................................... 78 GIVE ME 3 WEAKNESSES AND 3 STRENGTHS ..........................................82 WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 2-5 YEARS? .................................... 78 VARIATION: WHY WOULD WE DECIDE NOT TO GIVE YOU AN OFFER TODAY? .............. YOU DON’T GET A FULL TIME OFFER...... WHY WOULDN’T YOU GO BACK THERE TO WORK FULL TIME?.......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 78 WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST WEAKNESS? ............................................................................................................................. ... 79 WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE BIGGEST NEGATIVE ABOUT THIS JOB? .............. 85 WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU HAVE READ IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL LATELY? .................................................................................................................................................. 79 WHY IS YOUR GPA SO LOW? ................................................................ 80 AT THE END OF THE SUMMER INTERNSHIP. 76 TRICKY QUESTIONS .Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.. 85 Page 10 ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 83 IF YOU RECEIVED AN OFFER FROM A PE FIRM OR HEDGE FUND BEFORE YOUR TWO-YEAR CONTRACT IS UP WOULD YOU TAKE IT? ......................................................82 WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5-10 YEARS? ..................................................... WHAT COULD CAUSE THIS TO HAPPEN? ............................................... 81 MY EXPERIENCE AS AN ANALYST AT GOLDMAN SACHS................................................................................ 81 WHERE ELSE ARE YOU APPLYING?........edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 TELL ME ABOUT A TIME WHEN YOU LEARNED SOMETHING NEW IN A VERY SHORT TIME.

.......................... 119 BMO ................................ 92 BANK OF AMERICA MERRILL LYNCH ............................................................................................. 87 WHY ARE YOU SO OLD? ................................................ MORGAN ................................................................................................................................................................................. 109 J...........................P.................. 113 MORGAN STANLEY ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................89 NON-SUBSTANTIVE ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................97 CITI ................................................................................ WHAT WENT WRONG? .......................................................................................................... 87 YOUR QUESTIONS ................ 87 WHY DID YOU QUIT YOUR JOB AT XXXX? YOU SEEMED TO HAVE BEEN MOVING UP THE RANKS AND PERFORMING WELL................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 87 WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE/LEAST FAVORITE PART OF YOUR CURRENT JOB? ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 122 CIBC .................................................................................... .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 89 FINANCIAL ....... 129 HOULIHAN LOKEY ........ 132 JEFFERIES ..............................91 INVESTMENT BANKING RECRUITING IN INDIA ...... 125 EVERCORE............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 86 TELL ME THE FULL NAMES OF THE PEOPLE WHO INTERVIEWED YOU BEFORE ME................................................................................................................................................................................... 100 CREDIT SUISSE ...................................................................... 103 DEUTSCHE BANK ..................edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES OF A SUCCESSFUL LEADER? ......... ........................................................ 86 WHAT ARE YOUR DAY TO DAY RESPONSIBILITIES? .......................................................................................................................................................................................................91 WALL STREET OASIS FIRM INTERVIEW INSIGHTS .............90 INVESTMENT BANKING RECRUITING IN GERMANY .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................89 FIRM/LIFESTYLE .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 133 Page 11 ................ WHAT KIND OF VEGETABLE WOULD YOU BE? ............................... 86 WHY ARE YOU LOOKING TO SWITCH JOBS? ...................................................................................................... 116 UBS ............................................................................................... 124 DUFF & PHELPS ...........................................................................................................................................................................................Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................93 BARCLAYS ........................................................................................................................................................................ 106 GOLDMAN SACHS ................................................... 123 COWEN GROUP ................................. 87 IF YOU WERE A VEGETABLE....................................................... 126 GREENHILL .................................... 128 HARRIS WILLIAMS & CO......................................................................... 130 HSBC ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

......................................................................................................................................................... 140 RBC ............................................................................................................................ 145 STIFEL NICOLAUS................................................................................................. 136 NOMURA ................ 135 MOELIS & CO............................................................................................................................................ 141 ROBERT W............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 134 MACQUARIE .. 151 OUTCOME OF PROCESS CHART ................................... 148 LEVEL INTERVIEWING FOR CHART ............................................................... 147 BULGE BRACKET SUMMARY STATISTICS ............................................................................................................... 143 ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND...............edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 LAZARD/LAZARD MIDDLE MARKET ......................... 144 SCOTIABANK ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... BAIRD ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 153 OVERALL IMPRESSION CHART .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 138 PIPER JAFFRAY ....................................................... 142 ROTHSCHILD ............................................................................ 154 Page 12 .Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory..................... 150 LENGTH OF PROCESS CHART ........................................................ 139 RAYMOND JAMES ........................... 152 LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY CHART .................................................................................. 146 WELLS FARGO ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 137 PERELLA WEINBERG .............................................................................................................................................

Chances are that if you show up late you will be automatically rejected. it cautions you about how to avoid disgracing yourself. Your second step is confident presentation.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. but you could answer every technical question perfectly and not guarantee yourself the job. walk through the door. and that requires that you not be late. they are evaluating whether they will be comfortable with you for the next couple of years and whether you will be able to handle the job’s demands. the firm is going put you through rigorous training.com/guide-to-finance-interviews. however. Once you accept an offer. there is no reason to be late. First impressions are crucial. and try to appear relaxed (but not casual). A successful interview will demonstrate solid technical ability. you’ll lose the job. Right now. However. make sure you immediately notify your contact at the firm. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare thoroughly for the technical components of the interview. GENERAL TIPS Most candidates facing finance interviews agonize over the technical questions. before making the offer. Displaying technical skills is desirable. Plan on getting to the interview location at least half an hour before your scheduled time and finding a coffee shop nearby where you can to relax and do your final prep. give your interviewer a firm handshake (but not a bone-crusher).edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEWS This section introduces you to the principles of behavioral interviewing and advises you how to prepare for your interview. car accident on the freeway). you can have the best personality in the world and connect with your interviewer on every level. The interviewer knows the company is not looking to hire the next finance wizard or CFO. proving that they will enjoy being around you is far more important than proving that you can work your way through a discounted cash flow model. Without passion in your voice or conviction in your Page 13 . which you can find (along with flashcards!) at http://www. Unless you are already at another job and a project pops up. Because analysts may spend 80+ hours per week with their colleagues. Your interviewer has 30 minutes to determine whether you are fit to work at the firm for the next two years (three months if you’re applying for an internship). and strong answers to behavioral questions. Once in the office. Of course. exceptional enthusiasm. Try to turn nervousness into positive energy that can be projected as enthusiasm—your most important quality. It includes valuable tips for how to think about the interview and what to expect. Your first step is to be punctual. and—most important— it provides a roadmap for preparation that will help you distinguish yourself from your competition. an inarticulate or inappropriate response to a behavioral question will hurt far more than missing a technical question. Your interviewer may be facing 16 kids in an eight-hour stretch.wallstreetoasis. we recommend that you spend as much time as necessary with the Wall Street Oasis Technical Questions Interview Guide. make sure you smile. but if you don’t know what DCF stands for. he or she has seen your resume and understands the extent of your finance knowledge and experience. If for some reason you are late (flight delayed. How do you make sure that yours is a successful interview? Let’s examine that one step at a time.

Your examples don’t even have to be related to business or finance. personal. No matter how smart you are. Besides general enthusiasm and energy. Unlike the Wall Street Oasis Technical Guide. Every story you tell should demonstrate that you have the skills to succeed: intellectual curiosity. it can give you no definitive answers. even) the physical and mental demands this job entails. leadership experience. Appetite for work – Back-to-back all-nighters during workweeks of 80.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. These situations are not mythical. you need to emphasize three main traits: 1. Keep that in mind and make it clear that you “get it.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 speech. and if you aren’t careful. They also must be carefully framed so that they don’t tell your interviewers about your fine qualities. you must make three other impressions on your interviewer. To be sure that the stories you tell are all focused. you will look just like the rest of them. Even a first-year analyst with only three months on the job has learned more in those three months than you did in four years as an undergraduate business major. positive attitude. Show that you are well rounded and not just a superstar student.T. Anyone can say he or she is a hard worker. and be an enjoyable person to be around. A news story broke two days before printing.” 2. According to the NYC head of HR at a prominent international investment bank. This industry is as far from 9–5 as you can get. A non-business major who wants to learn everything is more attractive than a Wharton graduate who thinks there’s nothing left to learn. and 100+ hours are commonplace in this industry. Great attitude and personality – Finance professionals spend countless hours together.R. 3. What you have to do is show your interviewer what you can do by using detailed examples from your past. Maybe you were the editor of your school newspaper. and natural—and they must sound spontaneous. Behavioral answers must be unique. you can use the S. Emphasize work ethic. they already know your GPA. and told efficiently (remember: thirty minutes isn’t enough time to ramble!). At your interview. 90. Page 14 . you need to make it clear that you view this job as a learning opportunity. Burning desire to learn – The banker sitting across the table knows more than you do. You will spend hours on end some nights just waiting for your VP to make one last markup to a presentation. and clubs you started. Now is your opportunity to let them see that you have the intangible qualities they want in their employees. and you led your team through a coordinated crash effort to get the whole story into the paper with no mistakes. Try to guide the conversation where you want it to go (where you look best) and adapt the stories you are comfortable with to fit the questions you are asked. If you are being interviewed. This is not the time to blend into the crowd. and capacity for hard work. Many interviewers actually prefer candidates who are open to speaking about other parts of their lives. willing to do mindless tasks like reformatting pitch books until 3 a. they are not going to want to hire and work with you. technique. If you cannot maintain a positive attitude in the workplace. varsity sports. you have 30 minutes to convince a stranger that you are willing to work with a smile for as long as it takes to finish a task perfectly in a high-pressure situation. With those points in mind. Show that you understand and accept (relish.m. this guide will coach you for answering effectively the behavioral questions you are most likely to encounter in a finance interview. you risk boring your interviewer. for a week straight.A.

it is important to be able to articulate these differences. You must know specifically why you want to work at that firm in that position. model until you are sure not to miss any crucial points. stories and. If you can. learn the following information prior to your interview date. by studying the examples and advice in the rest of this guide. To prepare for answering these kinds of questions. you certainly should know what it says! You also should know in depth about the firm where you are interviewing. However. Practice several of your favorite stories that you can mold to fit different types of questions. as well as your fluency. Showing the initiative to dig deeper and do more research than just visiting their website shows that you are genuinely interested in that specific firm. Therefore. Candidates have reported being quizzed on facts like number and locations of company offices.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 S – Describe the SITUATION. R – Describe the RESULTS.. Know what differentiates it from the competition.A. history. A good way to disqualify yourself is to demonstrate ignorance about the firm where you want to work. CNBC. stock ticker symbol.R. You must have enough of a general background in current events to hold an intelligent conversation with your interviewer. etc. allowing you to present yourself positively. you will not get a job in it. etc. of course. and summary or high points of market history. the best firm for you will depend on fit and culture. you need to know about the industry. ticker symbol. just practice walking through them using the S. Don’t memorize these stories.R. Read up on the latest financial news at wallstreetjournal. A – Describe the ACTION. here are some general topics you should review in preparation for each and every interview. Name of company Address of headquarters Locations of other offices/number of offices Public or private (If public.com or the websites of Business Week.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. stock price. If you cannot answer basic questions about the industry.) Page 15 . T – Describe the TASK.A. Because many firms are very similar and will require you to produce similar work product. This is a given. First. First. This will increase your comfort and confidence. make sure you are aware of what’s going on in the industry around the time of your interview. Do you need to know exactly which story is on the 13th page of The Wall Street Journal? No. mention something about the company that not everyone would know.T. If possible.T. PREPARATION You can prepare for your behavioral interviews by practicing your S. however. use your alumni or other network to do some research with employees at the firm. if the lead story in today’s paper was about the CEO of the firm you are interviewing with.

If this is a first-round phone interview. (See Walk me through your resume. Come up with stories that emphasize your strengths. Look professional. don’t be a know-it-all. identifying your strengths and weaknesses. you must prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Year established and brief development history Revenues/income Number of employees Major news stories and milestones Before you interview. 3. Show. 12. More information about that. wear business formal attire unless there’s a compelling reason to wear something else. Be courteous to everyone you meet. When you ask questions. 4. 5. connect your experiences to this job. 6. Smile! It will improve the way you communicate and the way you are perceived. Be confident about what you know. exude confidence but not arrogance. 9. and figure out how to explain their contributions to your career in finance.) 10. then incorporate that answer into your next-round interview when you are asked why you want to work at Bank X. 2. don’t try to wing it once you get there. listen for information you can use in later interviews. these personnel will be very important to your comfort and career success. 1. You should have at least three strengths and three weaknesses. 7. don’t fake it. Finally. If you end up getting the job. especially receptionists and assistants. Page 16 . Create a great first impression. don’t drift off. Pay attention to what the interviewer has to say. Here are some tips to follow during your interviews. Be yourself. Study the company before your interview. and think of some that show how you are making progress to improve in the areas of weakness. Prove that you want this job more than anything. you can use the Q&A to ask the interviewer’s opinion of Bank X as an employer. along with sample questions. Know what your resume says. spend some time in self-evaluation.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. 8. 11. A smile conveys a positive attitude. for example. don’t tell. With every answer. Body language is important. is in the last section of this guide.

Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. you will see a question. First. Ask meaningful questions at the end of the interview. b. Be self-confident in your achievements.R. You should have a number of stories in mind that you can adapt to a variety of questions.A. The remainder of this guide is an examination of specific questions you are likely to encounter. a sample answer will be presented in italics to serve as a model for your own.) 14.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 13. to everyone who participates in your interview(s). and send thank-you emails within 24 hours. (Saying anything sounds desperate. in which you will use personal information and facts unique to your history and personality. story that suits the purpose. Describe what you have been able to do. You have a burning desire to learn. and let your interviewer ask follow up questions. These variations require nearly identical answers. c. not anything.com/guide/wso-networking-guide. and on point. Be sure to keep your answers short and sweet—between 30 seconds and two minutes. Page 17 .wallstreetoasis. You have an insatiable appetite for work. and networking. Say that you will do everything that is asked of you. they are offered here to give you a sense of other forms in which questions may come on game day. For more information on follow-up. Interviewers will always be coming up with new questions and twists on traditional concepts. take a deep breath (subtly). and allow your interviewer to reach his or her own conclusions. 16. see the Wall Street Oasis Networking Guide at http://www. thank you notes. If you get a question you aren’t prepared for. Do not brag. Of course. including HR. 15. and organize your thoughts so that you can formulate a coherent answer. Instead of rambling on and becoming a bore. but show appropriate modesty when discussing your accomplishments. Say thank you. keep it brief. A good approach is to select a S. You have a great personality and attitude.T. Finally. followed by any variations you are likely to encounter. you cannot prepare for everything an interview may include. Next will appear a bulleted list of points to remember in formulating your answer. The three main points your interview should make are these: a.

In order to watch the videos or access the Company Database you need to follow these 3 steps: 1. how they are valued and why they usually go up Best Practices for Technical Interviews transaction advisory Working for a middle market investment bank • How to decide between whether IB or S&T is right for you • • • Page 18 . Don’t forget to take advantage of all of the other videos in our WSO Video Library which continues to add new videos every single week! Here is a partial list of some of the webinars included: Investment Banking + Sales & Trading Webinars: • • • • • • • Transitioning from Investment Banking to Private Equity Banking Fit Interviews Banking Technical Interviews 3 Secrets to Breaking into S&T Leveraged Loans Market Mastering the Sales & Trading Interview Fixed Income Sales and Trading .Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Make sure you are logged into your WSO account 2. simply click here and get $760 worth of access for just $100. you also will have access to the videos included throughout this guide as well as the hundreds of others in the WSO Video Library for a full year after purchase ($400 value) as well as the WSO Company Database for 1 year ($360 value). Make sure your account has been given access to the WSO Video Library and WSO Company Database (email Ivy@wallstreetoasis.com your username and you should have access within 24hrs) 3. Please do not share this link since it is only valid to those customers that have purchased the IB Interview Prep Pack and access will not be granted otherwise.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 VIDEO ACCESS: If you purchased the IB Interview Prep Pack PLUS ($199 Version). You are only given this massive discount since you have already purchased all or part of the IB Interview Prep Pack.Products and Markets • Breaking in / Working in S&T IPO's: How they are sold. Click on the videos and enjoy! To upgrade to the IB Prep Pack PLUS. UPGRADE BY CLICKING HERE WSO VIDEO LIBRARY This guide includes screenshots and links to short Q&A videos as well as a few longer webinars related to investment banking and sales & trading interviews and careers.

and foreigners working in India Surviving a summer IBD internship and how to go about treating return offers How a Middle Market M&A Process Works and a Junior Banker's Role Deciding between S&T.going from engineering to banking .Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 • • • • • • • • • • • • • My Experience as an Analyst at Goldman Sachs Non-Target School to Bulge Bracket IB Career switching . networking. I Banking and Capital Markets + Who is capital markets right for? Mid Market PE & M&A in Toronto/Canada Former Goldman intern program manager discusses how to make the most of your summer internship + more! Page 19 .my story Technical Interview Prep Recruiting for IB in Germany MBA and your IB / PE Career IB in India: Recruiting. lateraling.

c. 2. Never lie about other offers though. The Associate sitting next to you is probably working 100 hours a week and this is the first time eating a meal away from his desk in four days.Preferably submit your resume through a contact. both fit and technical. Around 1-2 out of every 10 superday interviewees will end up receive an immediate offer. because it’s their ass if you make a mistake while you are working under them. You will get all sorts of questions. etc). and try and find a way to weave it into every one of your interviews. or over the phone if you are at a non-target. if you are over 21 you can have a drink or two. or alumni if at all possible. Go through a first round of interviews. the last thing he or she wants to talk about is how good you are at building a DCF model. one associate. If not you can submit a resume online. more senior bankers will be more focused on fit and your background. 5. and take you to a superday dinner either the night before or the night after the interviews. You can bring them news of other offers you have received. Only switch to the phone if you don’t receive a response to an email after a few attempts and try and communicate through your HR contact as much as possible. You want to prove you can be social. but that should be a last resort as it is much more difficult to have your resume chosen for an interview.” A superday is typically held at the office you are interviewing at and is a series of 6-12 ~30 minute interviews. Page 20 . If all of those you interviewed with like you. but not that you are the beer drinking king of TKE. since that is basically your only leverage throughout the entire process. 3. a. so find something that can help you stand out.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 THE APPLICATION/INTERVIEW PROCESS The interview process in the US is relatively similar across most banks: 1. they may put you on hold and wait to see if their top choices accept or reject their offers.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. If you make it through the first round of interviews. If you don’t hear anything back after a week or two. In nearly every interview though you will get the “walk me through your resume” or “tell me about yourself” so have that answer down 1000%. During the superday process you will likely meet with people at various levels including typically at least one analyst. Enjoy the superday dinner. Also. this will come back and bite you in the ass. As a general rule. but DON’T GET DRUNK. train. you will get an offer. you should follow up via email and continue to express your enthusiasm. d. you will typically be brought in for a “superday. one VP and one MD. put you up at a hotel. If you are middle of the pack. Larger firms tend to conduct more interviews than smaller firms so you can expect longer days. Submit your resume . possibly the same day as the interviews. don’t always focus the conversation on work. b. 4. while junior bankers may like to grill you on the technicals. Most interviewees are “OK” and don’t stand out in either a good way or a bad way. If you are selected for a superday the firm will typically transport you into the city (fly. This will typically be in person on-campus if you are at a target school.

The same concepts discussed in answering the questions in the WallStreetOasis Behavioral Interview Guide apply to answering these competency questions. presentations. Instead of the Superday of interviews. you will be brought into an “assessment center” where you will be evaluated based on case studies.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Outside of the US. along with a cover letter you will also complete “competency questions” which are just written answers to the behavioral questions you will be asked in your interviews. 2. group exercises. etc. quantitative and reasoning written tests are also more common overseas than in the US Page 21 . When you submit your resume online. Verbal. interviews.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. the hiring process is slightly different: 1. 3.

Try to explain how you first got interested in finance. Imagine the interviewer’s reaction to your inability to elaborate on something in your resume.GUARANTEED Tell me about yourself. Highlight points that show your aptitude to learn quickly and your genuine interest in this job. and explaining any gaps or contradictions. Here is your opportunity to choose your own focus and introduce strengths and experiences that you may be able to expand upon later in the interview. saved money or saved time through your actions at a prior job. chronological fashion but not by reading your resume. Anything else you include is at your discretion. as well as a few that show you are well rounded and not just a bookworm or workaholic. including what you have accomplished and how that led you to this job. You should have three entries that are most impressive and you can talk about in depth. be responsive without losing your train of thought. remove it. Move though your story in a logical. Avoid long tangents.. club. You will be asked this question in some form at every interview. You don’t need to discuss every bullet point on your resume. Your answer to this question can be a story about your life. and so forth. where you went/go to school. etc. Variation: Walk me through your resume. What you have to say about your work as a waiter at Pizza Hut will depend on circumstances like what you learned from the job.to five-minute story about yourself. what it says about you. If you are interrupted.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 THE ONE QUESTION YOU WILL GET.. and any extracurricular activities in which you exercise leadership. elaborating on the highlights of your resume. Make sure to call attention not just to the parts of your resume you're most proud of but especially to those most relevant to the position you are seeking. Think about ways that you improved results. unless you want to hear. By now. If you can’t. for example. focus on the ones you feel are important.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Make sure you mention where you grew up. your work experience and what you have done during breaks. “NEXT!” before your seat gets warm. You will probably want to talk about your involvement in the investment club at school. Page 22 . Don’t let that happen. why it was important to your future career (if it was). You should be able to explain every bullet point on your resume and how it has contributed to your preparation for the job at hand. try to keep your response relevant to the job you are applying for but without forcing it. your major (and why you chose it). Your answer should be a three. you should know it nearly word-for-word and be ready to speak in depth about anything it includes.

and confident (as well as knowledgeable!) about your resume. so make sure you are able to make your pitch smoothly. your mirror. Don’t apologize for anything. Make every point interesting—you never know what you and your interviewer may have in common. keep it under 5 minutes. enthusiastic. Prepare your story.com. PRACTICE! Practice telling your story to yourself. It should sound fluent and natural. and you should make sure it flows in a chronological order. You have had all the time you needed to prep for this. Make bullet points and practice using them rather than memorizing word for word… but practice. not scripted. your parents. Anything important enough to be on your resume or to be included in your story is important enough to get excited about. You can even sign up for mock interviews on WallStreetOasis. Be positive. Decide what points you want to make and practice making them coherently.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 This question tests whether you can speak clearly and concisely for about five minutes. Finally. practice. Anyone who wants to hear more will ask. and anyone else who will listen. an important skill for your career. If you didn’t do an internship but worked at a fast-food restaurant to pay your tuition. WALK ME THROUGH YOUR RESUME Page 23 . talk about what you took from the experience and what skills you will be able to transfer to this job. your dog.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.

even at a junior level. This kind of response can be effective if delivered properly. or demanding. You will learn more in two years on this job than you can imagine. and say that you would rather work 80 hours a week at a job you enjoy than work 40 hours per week at a job that bores you. at least it’s relatively safe. pressure-filled. o Tell them you are excited about a job where you can take on significant responsibility at a junior level. o Emphasize your interest in learning. not just getting coffee and donuts while trying to work your way up. o Say you work best in high-pressure. o Finally. (Be ready to list those skill sets and their origins! See the What are your strengths? question for more details. If this is a boring option. You can count on little to no social life and expect times when you want to quit after back-to-back all nighters finishing a pitch book that ends up not being used. and your willingness to make sacrifices to get through difficult times. o Recognize that the hours are harsh. This is an especially important trait for a potential trader. your resume showed the intellectual capacity the job requires.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. You will never have a job more time consuming.) Page 24 .year stint as an analyst (especially in banking) will likely be the most physically and mentally grueling period of your life. explain that you want a job where you can put to use immediately all the skill sets you have acquired throughout your education and life experience. enjoyed your finance classes. o Explain that finance is a field where you are evaluated based on performance. Now your focus should be on demonstrating your stellar attitude. your unrelenting drive. you need to prove that you know what you are signing up for and that you have what it takes to persevere. Here are some suggestions for responding to this very common question: o Say you have always been interested in finance.or three. o Talk about the analysts you know and how positively they speak about their experience in one of the few jobs almost everyone says is an invaluable learning experience. and want a job where you can gain practical financial experience at a junior level. will prepare you for anything you want to do later. whether it turns into a career or not. If you are being interviewed.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 INDUSTRY QUESTIONS Why investment banking/sales and trading? Variation: What are you looking forward to most about this job? A two. fast-paced situations. During your interview. Explain that you know your time at this job. so you look forward to being well rewarded for working hard and performing well (which you will).

Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu)
Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801

DO NOT say you are in it for the money. Everyone knows you are doing it at least partly for the money,
but that shouldn’t be your answer.
Response Example. After talking to a number of people in the industry, I find two aspects of this job especially
attractive. First, I see it as an incredible learning experience. I know that with the number of hours I will be
working, I will essentially be gaining four years of work experience in only two years. I will learn so much, so
fast, and this job will prepare me for anything I decide to do for the rest of my life. Additionally, I expect to
thrive in an environment where I am rewarded for my performance, rather than for just showing up. I look
forward to having the chance to take on responsibility at an entry level and prove my value through the quality
of my work. I know this job can be extremely difficult both physically and mentally, but I am ready for the
challenge.

INVESTMENT BANKING OR SALES & TRADING: WHICH IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

What do investment bankers do?
Investment bankers do a lot of things:
o They raise capital for companies through debt or equity offerings.
o They provide advice to companies on mergers, acquisitions, restructurings, refinancing, etc.
o They evaluate companies and pitch the bank’s expertise to companies looking for help.
o At junior and middle levels, bankers are focused on executing services at the highest possible
level of quality to ensure repeat business.
o At senior levels, investment bankers are more focused on clients and building relationships that
will generate deal flow.

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Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu)
Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801

Some smaller firms may specialize in one area or industry, while others may perform multiple functions.
Be sure you know the specialty of the firm where you are interviewing. If it’s a larger firm that offers a
variety of services, know what your particular interest is. The Wall Street Oasis forums and Company
Database are excellent resources for finding this information.
Response Example. Investment bankers do a variety of work. Some specialize in raising capital for companies
through debt or equity offerings. Others focus on providing advice and valuation services to companies
involved in mergers and acquisitions. The area that interests me the most, especially here at Firm X and in this
market, is financial restructuring. The deal flow in this group, in this economy, should be steady and I would
get a lot of exposure.

What is the difference between investment banking and commercial banking?
Investment banks offer advisory services in M&A and help connect investors and companies in need of
capital.
Commercial banks work more on the monetary/transactional side, where they take deposits from clients
and lend money to individuals and institutions.

What do you think you would be doing on a day-to-day basis as an analyst?
The interviewer wants to make sure you know what you are signing up for. While your annual salary
will be healthy, with a nice bonus potential, your hourly rate may not even be competitive with that of
an SAT tutor or fast-food employee.
On a day-to-day basis, an analyst is responsible for financial modeling, comparable company analysis
and precedent transaction analysis in Excel, preparing pitch books and other presentations for clients in
PowerPoint, and the grunt work needed to get deals done.
Analysts conduct industry research and gather financial information.
An analyst is usually first in and last out of the office.
You can hope to be staffed on some live deals. If you are good and lucky, you will be given more
responsibility, which is a blessing and a curse. As you will discover quickly on the job, all the work you
do as an analyst needs to be perfect. But wait, we are all human and make mistakes occasionally, right?
Sure, but that doesn’t make it OK. An associate at a bulge bracket bank once said: “Your work needs to
be 100% perfect, 100% of the time.” As an analyst, your associate wants to be able to trust your work
and not have to waste time checking it.
Being detail oriented and a whiz at PowerPoint and Excel are among the most important tangible skills
you can bring to the table as a junior finance professional.

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Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu)
Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801

Response Example. Well, I have done a lot of research, talking to alumni contacts at different banks, to find out
what I will really be doing on this job. My understanding is that I will be responsible on a day-to-day basis for
a lot of financial modeling, comparable company analysis and precedent transaction analysis in Excel,
preparing pitch books and other PowerPoint presentations for clients, and any other grunt work the firm needs.
I know I can expect to be the first one in and the last one out of the office. I know what I am signing up for, and
will make sure everything that is asked of me is done perfectly.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT RECRUITING STRATEGIES

What do bankers do during a sell-side M&A deal?
Response Example. In a sell-side deal, the bank will market a company to potential buyers and then helps both
sides negotiate the deal and complete the sale process. There are four main steps. First, the bank will meet with
the company and put together informational documents such as an offering memorandum, which will help
market the company for sale to potential buyers. Next, the bank will create a list of potential buyers and send
out an executive summary to measure interest in the deal, following up with additional information if requested.
Next, the bank will set a deadline for prospective buyers to submit and indication of interest, which narrows
down the group. The bank will select the prospective buyers who submit acceptable indications of interest, and
continue to send them additional information. Finally, the bank will work with the company to maximize the
purchase price, select the winning bidder and help to negotiate the terms, finalize documentation and then
announce the deal.

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First. company overview. customer data. What do bankers do during an Initial Public Offering (IPO)? You can’t go into a tremendous amount of detail here because there is just so much that goes into this process. but also want to be more involved in doing deals (IPOs. Then you will meet with lawyers to draft the company’s registration documents (called an S-1 in the US). ECM and DCM have a little bit of both investment banking and sales and trading. Finally. to potential investors. Response Example. which details the business. you will cut the list down based on their feedback and decide which targets to approach about being purchased. Focus on hitting the main. There are four main steps. In a buy-side deal. the bank will go out and search for potential companies for their client to acquire and negotiate the deal to obtain the lowest price possible. therefore raising the most money for the lowest possible ownership percentage of the company. etc. high-level steps and you will be just fine. After the roadshow.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 What do bankers do during a buy-side M&A deal? Response Example.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. you work with the client to select the final target and work to negotiate and structure the deal and announce the transaction. etc. and after the company has raised the capital from the institutional investors the shares of the stock will begin trading on one of the public exchanges. M&A. its financials. mutual funds. you will meet with the client to gather information like historical financials. etc.) to support the client’s share price once the company lists its stock on the public exchange. This goes through many revisions working with the lawyers and the SEC until all parties accept it. its operations. In ECM and DCM you are much more focused on the markets and trends while assisting the industry groups in building the materials they need for their offerings and financings.) than those in pure sales and trading roles. What is the difference between Equity Capital Markets and Debt Capital Markets and other groups like industry groups or M&A? Response Example. The first will be to do a lot of research on a very large number of potential acquisition targets based on what the client has represented that they are looking for. After having meetings with each of them. Those in these groups like following the markets. etc. Financings. After sharing the initial list with the client. Page 28 . industry information. The bankers then take the client on a “road show” where the company is presented to institutional investors in different cities around the country (or globe). The purpose of an IPO is to issue the least number of shares possible for the highest price per share. You do this by selling shares of the company at an attractive valuation and recruiting institutional investors (hedge funds. you decide which to pursue further based on how open they are to the idea of an acquisition. its customers. The third step is to do further due diligence on each of the targets which are open to acquisition while further narrowing down the list and coming up with an offer price for each of the targets.

If you are interviewing at a bulge bracket. What if you were bashing Jefferies and your interviewer happened to have come from there? Remember. You should also browse company websites and take note of core values and mission statements. ask what they feel sets the firm apart culturally. I get the sense that your culture is what really distinguishes it from its competitors. For each firm you interview with. Reach out to alumni. This question is checking to see if you have done your homework. This allows for smaller deal teams. While this firm provides top-notch service and competes with all the major firms. The best way to get this kind of information is to talk to someone who works there.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Why this firm? You will nearly always get this question in your interviews. In talking to a number of people at your bank. which will give me more responsibility and—I hope—more exposure to live deals. During a first round phone interview. I think one of the most important things is to get along with your colleagues.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. its values and its culture. You could even start a topic on Wall Street Oasis and ask for some insider help! The Company Database can also be a helpful tool. and its answer is one you can definitely formulate ahead of time. take notes on answers you can reuse in later interviews. and use that in your interview. Search the forums of WallStreetOasis. If you are interviewing at a boutique. never disparage another firm. it’s a small world. Show that you have looked into the culture of the firm and know something about it and its values. talk about how you are interested in working on big-name deals that you read about in the paper or that you are excited about specializing in a specific group you find interesting. Additionally. An answer like “because Goldman is the number one investment bank in the world” is not acceptable. Even if it is not your first choice. Make it clear that this is the firm for you. You can also ask your early-round interviewers why they enjoy working at the firm. say it is if asked. staying positive is more attractive. The interviewer wants to know whether there is a fit between you and the firm. those I have spoken with say it maintains a boutique feel. Finally. Page 29 . Response Example. Banks don’t like being turned down. Besides. especially which divisions or product groups are particularly strong at the specific company. and use those answers in your later rounds. as many hours as are worked in finance.com to find specifics about individual firms. All those I spoke with here said they respect their colleagues and are friends with them both in and out of the office. talk about how you feel you will get greater deal exposure and more responsibility in the smaller environment with smaller teams. You want your interviewer to believe you would accept an offer. know at least a few details that especially appeal to you.

restructuring. Most of this information can be easily found on the firm’s website. I have actually done a lot of research on Lazard. Asset Management and Financial Advisory. lean deal teams. and you are one of the most respected players in the M&A world. While you are a smaller firm. What do you know about our firm? Here’s another question that allows you to demonstrate that you have done your homework and know that this is the firm where you want to work. with small. etc. which will give you something to talk about.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. or international offices.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 WORKING FOR A MIDDLE MARKET INVESTMENT BANK We work mostly with companies in XXX industry. branches. which provides great experience for analysts. whether it is public or private. It was founded in 1848 and was a private company until 2005. its areas of specialization (M&A. you still maintain a strong global presence. If the firm does have a specialty. Talk a bit about the firm’s history. You have two main divisions. According to my alumni contacts. Response Example. If possible. but also requires you to be up to speed on current events in that industry. mention some deals they have been working on. you maintain a boutique feel.). try and find some industry reports or read up on some recent articles in the Wall Street Journal. Page 30 . can you tell me about a recent industry trend? This requires you to not only know if the firm you are interviewing at specializes in a specific industry. but you still compete for the largest M&A clients.

Maybe no alumni work there and you have no other contacts. Page 31 . She is an MD in consumer products and was nice enough to meet me for lunch a few weeks ago to talk about her experience here. I actually know a number of people here. speak about your findings from other research you have done to learn about why this firm is the one for you. but at least explaining this shows you put forth an effort. Name alumni or contacts you have spoken with and maybe quickly mention positive things they had to say about working there and why this appeals to you. If you haven’t spoken with anyone at the firm.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 ESSENTIAL INTERVIEWING & NETWORKING STRATEGIES Who have you spoken with at our firm? Variation: What contacts do you have at this firm? This is another opportunity to prove you have done your research on the firm. My fraternity brother Michael Riley and a friend from my finance class. both graduated last year and are analysts in your natural resources group. If you don’t have any contacts at the firm. Luckily.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. or they didn’t respond to your emails. Response Example. I also found the name of Andrea Krigman in our alumni directory. I spoke to them a few times to try and get a feel for the firm. Scott Stevens. The interviewer may go to those you name and ask them what they think. you should be prepared to offer a reason why not. so make sure your contacts will speak well of you.

emphasizing that since this is the place you want to be. I know that everything is learned on the job. The thing that separates you from them in my mind is size.T. simply reiterate what you find so appealing about the firm you are interviewing with. Page 32 . and I have the intellectual ability to perform this job at a high level. Why would we hire you with no finance experience? This is similar to the strengths question. Talk about your qualities and characteristics (backed up by S. They primarily are interested in what kinds of tasks you are responsible or activities you are involved in that are related to the job you are applying for. While there is nothing wrong with working at a firm of that size. What are you doing right now? The interviewer is just looking to know what you are doing right now.R. I hope this will allow me to gain a lot of experience learning from my superiors on deals. stories) that will make it clear that you are going to be a great performer. which is something I have developed in my time as a college athlete. it isn’t the kind of environment where I feel I fit best.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Why not Firm X instead? Ideally. rather than being one of 15 analysts staffed on a deal where my MD doesn’t even know my name. you know something about Firm X. While I may not have direct finance experience. Be sure to spin your most impressive attributes or job functions into things that are related.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. This is a much more common question for an experienced hire than an intern or first year applicant. you haven’t done much research elsewhere.A. so you can draw a coherent comparison. I prefer your smaller. Response Example. If not. Response Example. I am incredibly hard working and dedicated. The important thing is that I have the intangibles that will allow me to be successful. close-knit deal teams where everyone knows one another and works effectively together. either as a job or at school.

and that is what led me to pursue this career. that won’t go over well. Page 33 . that the most important thing is to be working at this firm. Response Example. he really enjoys the work he does. During my senior year in high school. I had a great experience. have in mind a few that you think you may be interested in. Who inspired you? Was it a specific event? Just don’t say that you became interested in it because all the rich people you know are in finance. and is getting a lot of exposure to live deals. Groups vary from firm to firm. the natural resources group would involve deals that affect the everyday lives of so many people. as long as I am working at this firm I would work in any group. Two of your groups really pique my interest. I have a good friend who is an analyst in that group. The other group that interests me is consumer retail. Which of our groups interests you? This is another question sometimes used to see if you are serious enough to have done your due diligence. Make sure they know you are open to working in any group. I think working on headline deals with companies I know would be extremely rewarding. I had to complete an internship in order to graduate. I had no experience in finance but figured it would be a good opportunity to test the waters and see if it was something that interested me. Response Example.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 How did you first get interested in finance? This is a pretty straightforward question. so do some research. If there are different groups.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. A family friend who ran a small hedge fund offered to let me work for him for a few months. and he says the culture and people there are great. However. along with good reasons for your interest. First.

Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Page 34 . You want to be focused on one department. Leveraged Finance. The main groups within an investment bank include Sales and Trading. and Research because they are three very different jobs. Research. Leveraged Finance. and Debt Capital Markets. Equity Capital Markets.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 WHAT DEPARTMENT/GROUP DO YOU WANT TO WORK FOR IN INVESTMENT BANKING AND WHY? What departments are you interested in? This is another opportunity for the interviewer to see how much you know about investment banking and to see if you have thought about what department you prefer. M&A. You don’t want to say you are interested in Sales and Trading.

In addition. want to learn about a lot of different types of financial instruments. Response Example. etc. Sales if you enjoy working with people. As in a leveraged finance role. I feel like in that role you get to know a lot about different companies. structuring and syndicating IPOs. This is good for someone who wants to learn about a lot of different companies in a lot of different industries. and is heavy in valuation. etc. bond offerings. You want this group if you are interested in structuring. I think my ideal job would be in the equity capital markets group. A lot of leveraged finance transactions will involve PE firms. different industries.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 WHY DO COMPANIES PURSUE M&A? You want to say Trading if you enjoy the markets. I think working with a company on their IPO would be really exciting. You also will be in a role where you will be working with both the Company to structure the deal as well as the traders to sell the deal. etc. financial instruments. Page 35 . The idea of working with companies to help them raise capital in the public markets is exciting to me. etc. and want to help companies access private debt. ECM and DCM groups help companies access the public markets. you will want to be interested in learning about different companies and industries. and different capital structures.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. are good at selling. The M&A group buys and sells companies on behalf of the firm's clients. Leveraged finance allows companies to access private debt financing.

but it won’t be anything new.A. talk about a real concern you have (long hours. Offer a story of a time when you used such an assignment for learning or an example that demonstrates that you recognize the significance of such assignments to the larger goal. stories ready to roll. I feel that crunching numbers and formatting presentations is a small price to pay for the learning opportunity this job will provide. and a positive attitude. enthusiasm. While it was tedious beyond belief. I feel I am as prepared as anyone is for this work. A positive attitude and the proper perspective. What do you think is the most important characteristic for this job? Variation: What makes a successful analyst? Choose one of the following (or something similar) and be ready to explain why it’s most important or how it makes a successful analyst. There is a steep learning curve in finance and you must make it clear that you are ready to take it on. we went door to door across our entire campus collecting nearly 3. To get what we needed. the results were invaluable. my team and I were writing our business plan. Have your S. attention to detail. etc) but talk about how and why you are sure you can handle the challenge and succeed. but excited to learn. o Positive attitude Page 36 . Response Example. YES! Show them that your college experience and past jobs involved a lot of grunt work. Once. Show them you are comfortable doing the work and look forward to being in a position to do it. Show them you that have performed tasks in the past that were bland and boring and you did them well with drive.R. realizing that it has to get done and it better be done right. determination. I had to do a lot of grunt work in college.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Can you handle the grunt work? Variation 1: Are you ready to be a real slave to this job for two years? Variation 2: How do you handle grunt work? Variation 3: Describe a situation in which you have motivated yourself to complete an assignment or task you didn’t want to do. can make even the most boring work feel like it’s worth doing. Show them you are well aware of the grunt work. Have a story ready that shows you can put your personal life and leisure second to job demands. What is one concern you have about a career in finance? For this. we needed to conduct market research on college students.T.500 surveys in a week.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. I know this job involves a ton of grunt work.

A person with this mentality gets the job done and is going to be easier to work with in team situations. Response Example. What I think makes a great analyst is someone smart who can also stay positive when the job becomes demanding. Show that you will bring a positive attitude when you walk through the door every morning and will get the job done right with a smile on your face. There are a lot of traits that make a successful analyst. but the one that really stands out in my mind is positive attitude. You will spend so much time staring at a computer screen that your vision will most likely deteriorate during your first year. MIDDLE MARKET M&A PROCESS AND THE ROLE OF THE JUNIOR BANKER Page 37 .Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. According to the analysts I’ve talked to. the most difficult aspect of finance is the day-to-day grind and long hours. You will be doing relatively menial tasks that take a long time and can be boring. Most of the candidates you’re interviewing are probably smart enough to do a good job. which seem to be common in finance. I will be successful. I think if I keep my head up and maintain a positive attitude while getting my work done. no matter what.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 o Drive and determination o Willingness to learn o Capacity for work o Efficient time management o Communication ability o Teamwork skills o Detail orientation Finance is not rocket science at the junior levels.

Can ethical requirements in a firm be too high? Time to break out the tightrope. put a foot wrong either way here and you’ll crash without a net. don’t focus on fixing something that has not been going well. exploration of alternative business models.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. I think I would create a group that specializes in alternative energy and aim to become the industry leader. Higher ethical standards might have lessened the stress now confronting financial firms and maybe prevented the Madoff scandal. this could become the next bubble. This is a tough debate. Focus on something the bank could do to improve business. I believe a firm having own high ethical requirements are not just good for business. but a necessity to survive. As a newcomer to the field. posing a threat to product development. Response Example. If I were at the helm. With billions of dollars being injected into research and exploration of alternative energy sources. and flexible client relationships. Too-heavy regulation may slow growth and limit profitability. there was evidently insufficient regulation. At the same time. in what direction would you take it? Variation: If you were CEO of our bank. rules and regulations that are too strict can inhibit creativity. Be careful not to bash the bank for anything they may have been doing “wrong. A firm must have high ethical requirements to ensure moral business operations and avoid legal trouble. but right now what’s on everybody’s mind is how too-loose regulation can drive even a hugely successful firm into the ground— practically overnight in Lehman’s case.” Response Example.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 If you were running this firm. Page 38 . One thing I believe most firms can improve upon is their attention to alternative energy. what would you do differently? Think about how the firm has been performing recently and what types of moves they have been making. With what has gone on in the past few years on Wall Street. I am by no means qualified to give the answer. With the general public and corporate clients viewing Wall Street with suspicion and regulatory standards still inadequate.

communicate. I knew my boss didn’t have time to hold my hand through the process so I had to teach myself. team player. The strength you describe must be a quality that will help you become a great junior employee.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. At my internship last summer. You can list anything here.” The person across from you knows way more than you do and knows you don’t know as much as you think you do. Don’t dance around the answer. Reiterate that you are a highly motivated. “I am a finance guru. if you have performed in concert or theater all your life. you should have your three top strengths in mind and a story ready to go for each of them. My boss was amazed at the quality of the model. Anyone can claim a skill. just make sure the strength you discuss backs up those characteristics for success that are listed in the introduction. When you answer this question. “For example. When you mention a strength. I bought a book and used Internet resources to learn how to rebuild the model to my boss’s specifications. etc. in a very short amount of time. Response Example. no training. As you can probably tell from my resume. However. make sure you identify your greatest strength and make very clear what it is. detail-oriented. For example.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 PERSONAL QUESTIONS What are some of your strengths? Going into the interview. I had no previous modeling experience. At the time. I have strong quantitative skills and performed well in school. and told to go rebuild the model from scratch. given an old version of an Excel model and a list of variables he wanted to be able to tweak. Page 39 . that may be a good strength to share. and no idea what I was doing. learning to be poised in front of strangers and/or large groups.” so you can back up your claim with a story. your stories must demonstrate that you really own it. and work until your fingers bleed. and it is now being used for his analysis and in presentations to clients. Bragging is an invitation to try to bust you with the most difficult technical questions in their arsenal. You need all these skills to be successful. pay close attention to details. Do not say something like.. and that you can provide vivid examples in support. I was brought into the office by my boss. bring up a strength that doesn’t appear on your resume but could catch attention. great multi-tasker. That is my ability to learn quickly. Give examples of experiences that prove you have the analytical skills needed as well as the qualitative intangibles—ability to learn on the fly. there was a time when. and fluent communicator with a high level of endurance. I think one of my greatest strengths is vital for finance but not necessarily something that can be documented. all with a smile on your face.. If you can. it should be followed by.

Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. a liberal arts degree with a nonquantitative major concentration. You will need to be comfortable with numbers and you must be able to generate formulas and perform calculations using Excel. Variation 1: What have you done to learn more about finance? Variation 2: Show me you have what it takes to manage the quantitative aspects of this job. or seeing the direct results of something that you are created. I have had an independent interest in the financial markets since I did an internship at a hedge fund as a high school senior.T.A. Although I majored in English. or learning. etc. What motivates you? Whatever you say. investing in companies that I view as safe. Page 40 . long-term growth plays through simple fundamental analysis. I have managed my own portfolio of limited savings. Response Example.R. I have achieved an average annual return of 15% on my portfolio over the past four years. successfully completed a self-study modeling course. As we mentioned. Have one or more specific S. You need to say you are motivated by success. My assignment was to analyze a surgical technology company and build a simple revenue model in Excel. or work experience only in a nonquantitative field or occupation. taken the finance or economics courses offered at your school. you don’t need an IQ of 170 to perform the day–to–day tasks. stories or examples at the ready to demonstrate your command of the quantitative skills necessary for the job.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 If you have a non-quantitative background. don’t say money. Ever since I completed that project. Everyone in finance knows they are in finance at least partially for the money. you may get questions like this: Discuss your mathematical and quantitative skills relative to what a job in finance requires. finance at the junior level is not rocket science. Talk about how you have managed your own portfolio.

I cold-called and wrote letters to all the alumni I could find. I couldn’t just drop my resume. I got in touch with Jim Stevens. banking analysts and associates are expected to be wizards in PowerPoint. want to learn. looking for someone to speak with me. enrolling in those classes would be a good idea. I will show the same level of dedication to this job. Finally. etc. What is your skill level in PowerPoint? Similar to Excel. Concentrate on the three main bullets highlighted in the introduction.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 What is your skill level in Excel? As an analyst or an associate in finance you will likely be living in Excel. What makes you special? Variation 1: How are you different from your peers? Variation 2: Why should we choose you over any of the other candidates? This is similar to the What are your strengths? question. Response Example. Page 41 . and he offered to help get me an interview. Have a concise 30-second pitch prepared. had an informal lunch to talk about the industry. You can be sure that if I am hired. A good portion of your day if you are staffed on a live deal or a pitch may be focused on creating and formatting perfect PowerPoint pitchbooks. and identify three of your traits that manifest those qualities. your firm doesn’t recruit on our campus. Make sure you take only 20-30 seconds and speak with confidence. I had to work to get here — an accomplishment I am proud of.com. looking for challenge. In order to get here. If your school has any classes that are focused on Excel. it will likely save your managing analyst or associate a lot of headache in the future. but make sure to avoid arrogance. never give up. Examples include things like extremely driven. If you are feeling motivated.wallstreetprep. Something that differentiates me from other candidates you may be interviewing is my dedication. check out some of the online courses such as those offered by www.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. If you are able to say you already have strong experience in the program. Having strong background in Excel will give you a big leg up on the competition. Because I’m from a non-target.

but I think three characteristics are probably most important: maintaining a positive attitude. No single quality makes a good analyst. Page 42 . with a smile Response Example.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 NON-TARGET SCHOOL TO BULGE BRACKET INVESTMENT BANKING Why do you think you will be a good analyst? Highlight three to four of the following points: o Work ethic o Positive attitude o Quantitative and analytical skills o Team spirit o Communication ability o Eagerness to learn o Appetite for work o Efficiency of organization o Detail orientation o Ability to get everything done.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. being extremely hard working. To be a successful analyst you really have to be well rounded. and knowing how to be a strong team player.

I was considered an integral part of the team and was expected to work long. Emphasize the appeal of a great learning experience that you would be unable to get in any other job straight out of school. while making it clear that you are ready to take on the challenge. and what most analysts get out of the experience.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 What’s the single most impressive experience that is on your resume? Have one experience in mind that you feel is your most impressive to the position you are applying for and talk about it in depth. intense hours which gave me a feel of what I should be expecting as I enter the workforce. You should acknowledge the long hours and the heavy workload. Response Example. Explain how you relish the prospect of pushing yourself and being challenged to do your best work in this job. Response Example: “The most impressive experience on my resume was my experience last year as an intern at a hedge fund after my sophomore year. etc. I know that most of the skills I need will be acquired on the job. I took on tasks such as some basic modeling of a company’s projected revenues based on different drivers. Even though I was just an unpaid intern. Longer-term goals can be things such as learning to lead and manage a team. As the only intern at the firm.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. while learning as much as you possibly can during your first few years.” What do you see yourself contributing to our firm in both the short term and the long term? Short-term goal should just be to accomplish everything that you are given quickly and correctly. I know these skills will prepare me for anything I want to do later in my career. and qualitative analysis of a few different industries. I was able to effectively manage multiple tasks from multiple bosses and learned over the course of the summer how to accomplish everything asked of me efficiently and accurately. While my undergraduate studies prepared me for business. What are you looking for in this job? The interviewer wants to make sure you are aware of what this job entails. and I want to work incredibly hard to gain real world experience that isn’t available in any other profession at this stage in my career. Everyone I have spoken with in the industry tells me you learn everything on the job. Page 43 . Explain the important facets of the experience and how they relate to the job you are applying for. bring in new business. and working with and learning from some very successful people. I am going into this as an unparalleled learning experience. I understand the hours and the workload. putting together PowerPoint presentations for the senior members of the team.

humble. and got an A. All good options along those lines. which can be seen in GPA or SAT scores. If you want to relate it to personal life. teamwork skills. If you want it to be related to education. I consider my greatest accomplishment to be the balance I have been able to achieve between keeping my grades up while being captain of the hockey team. Once you decide on the quality you want to present. Leading our varsity team through fall and spring workouts. talk about something you are proud of in your family life.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. This has allowed me to develop a comfort speaking in public situations. make sure you spin it to demonstrate one or more of the qualities especially valued in finance—willingness to learn.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? Variation 1: What is the greatest thing you have done in your life? Variation 2: What are your three greatest accomplishments? Your answer to this can go any direction. struggled through it. What is the number one thing your resume won’t tell me that I should know? Variation: What separates you from the last person with your GPA from your school? Talk about a skill that is unique to you (something that makes you memorable) and that cannot be documented on a resume. etc…not your math skills. in addition to playing the entire season has required time management skills that are invaluable. driven. considering everything else that you’ve done at school (as long as you have a solid list of extracurricular activities). illustrate it with a story from your life. Just have an example to back up whatever word you chose. and determination. efficient. Think about things like your communication skills. I also wouldn’t trade the friendships I made for anything. Personally. and with people I don’t know or have just met. smart. You can even relate it to athletic success. I have loved to perform. Response Example. Response Example. I think that this Page 44 . You can use this question to demonstrate balance in your life. drive. I was in the musical each year of high school. positive attitude. especially if your resume is short on classroom excellence. talk about how you worked on a given project that you didn’t understand at first. Whatever you choose to address. Explain that you are very proud of your less-than-perfect GPA. Ever since my freshman year of high school. recovery from illness. What is one word that describes you best? Motivated. or community service. and have had a lead role in a play each year in college.

discuss a few areas that your superiors mentioned you could improve upon. such as drive. on the phone. attention to detail. As an example. Rather than just saying what motivates you.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. and (3) that your firm is my number one choice and I would be thrilled to come to work here every day. What feedback did you receive from your last job/internship? Whatever you do. What serves as your biggest motivation? Almost all those in finance are in it at least partly for the money. what are three things about you that I should take with me? Variation: Tell me three reasons why we should hire you. maybe they said your Excel skills need to be improved.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 will be an extremely valuable skill in finance. Discuss very specific examples of what you did well first. have a story prepared that shows you are motivated by whatever you answer. so you signed up for an Excel course your next semester at school. speaking with clients. and the steps you have taken to better yourself in your areas of weakness. what you have room for improvement on. Page 45 . and when presenting my work to my coworkers. but do not say that to the interviewer. your interviewer wants to hear what else motivates you.” Your interviewer is looking for specific examples of what you are good at. (2) that I have great communication skills and a positive attitude. The three biggest things that I would like you to take from this interview are (1) that I am extremely hard working and will bust my tail every day on the job. Then. you are in it for the money. Of course. Choose three traits you have that would (a) make you a good banker and (b) show that you are unique and memorable compared to other candidates. teamwork skills or the ability to work on your own and figure out what needs to get done. Talk about real weaknesses (you should have these from your three strengths and three weaknesses preparation) and then talk about how since then you have taken steps to improve your skills. don’t give a generic answer like “I performed well and everyone liked me. Response Example. Coming out of this interview.

and earning that kind of respect is what keeps me going. Response Example. Every day I was up at 7:30 for classes that ran from 8:15 until 1:00. Make sure to explain that you know your past experience has not been as intense as what you will face as a finance professional but you feel as well prepared as anyone. are all acceptable answers. I wanted to make a positive impression so I worked almost around the clock. Page 46 .Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. work. and you are 100% dedicated to succeeding. I feel I am as prepared as anyone else coming out of college to handle the long hours. and long hours of a career in finance? Tell a story of a time in your life where you managed a lot of different tasks and worked long hours. I was the sole intern responsible for building a model for a client. hitting deadlines. explosive temper. In my job last summer. and still going to soccer practice. alcoholism. which didn’t get me back until 5:00. Insomnia. gave me the specifications and told me when he needed it. are all observed in junior bankers. I feel my experience has left me well prepared. My boss. when you add up all the time I spent doing all my different activities. finalizing the school newspaper. maximizing efficiency. which usually wasn’t until pretty late at night or into the morning. respect from your peers. etc. heart palpitations. This allowed me time to sit down and go through it with Mike before it was actually needed. school hours were almost as long.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Variation: What is it that keeps you going when times get tough? Outperforming expectations. Then I would grab dinner. The story can be from school. whatever it takes. and work in either my room or the library until I was done. while studying for two exams. home. learning. and still get it edited well before the deadline. While I know it isn’t the same stress and time commitment as finance requires. including time at home. How are you going to handle the finance lifestyle and its effect on your personal life and health? Recent studies have shown that working in finance/investment banking can actually be dangerous to your health. I would grab lunch and then go to golf practice. After class. What makes you think you can put up with the stress. etc. eating disorders. pressure. to get it built in only three days. Maybe during finals week you wrote three papers. My biggest motivation is earning the respect of my peers and boss. Response Example. or a combination of all of them. In fact. Mike. Mike respected me for getting it done early.

How hard do you work to achieve your goals? The interviewer is checking to make sure that you are a hard worker. Page 47 .A. encouraging regular consumption of inherently unhealthy foods. is important to handling the mental stress. going above and beyond your assigned role. etc. I know that in finance. I have been able to raise this concern with a lot of junior-level people I know and ask their advice. To me. essentially eliminating their social lives. What is the most intellectually challenging thing you have done? Talk about a project or a thesis. I am going to try to walk to work. I will work as long and hard as necessary. and made sure it was ready for my group meeting the next morning. helping to add value to your company or group. I think staying in touch with friends and family. Response Example. As I worked through it. applying formulas. story that backs it up. When I started. I worked until 4:00 a. and avoid bad habits. even if only electronically. and over the course of about a week. I taught myself to automate the entire process whenever new data became available. or use a story that shows you as a problem solver. But if it is something that needs to get done. I figured out more efficient ways to do it.m. you must accomplish your objective no matter how hard you have to work to get there. In my internship last year. The free meals provided in the office when working late make things worse. I know that the finance lifestyle can have an adverse impact on personal life and health. even if it means going early before work. A few things they recommended are eating healthy and trying to get to the gym a couple of times a week. In one of my finance classes this past year. it had to be done. the analysts on the team had been doing the aggregating.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.R. It seemed like they were wasting a lot of time. It was great that as a summer intern I was able to implement a system that is still saving time today. manually collecting all the data. so I did it. just to get in a little bit of cardio. While it was one of the most boring tasks I have ever seen. I had a little bit of experience with VBA. Response Example. control my weight. I was responsible for aggregating data my company collected and summarizing it using Microsoft Excel.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 On average. I was assigned the task of pulling data from CapIQ for 30 different stocks for a project. Response Example. the bankers in the study worked between 80 and 120 hours per week. there are going to be times when I feel like I just don’t want to do what I have to do.T. Present your personal drive through a S.

and I was completely at ease in front of the group. Page 48 . though.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Describe your ideal work environment. make sure it transfers to the finance world. Response Example. Of all I learned last summer. one that will allow you to grow professionally and intellectually. When working side-by-side for countless hours per week. We had to put together a PowerPoint and a 10-minute summary of what we had accomplished during the week. the environment will be difficult. Probably the most important thing about your work environment. By the end of the ten weeks. and hard working as you are. What was the most important thing you got out of your job last summer? Variation 1: How did your job last summer prepare you for a career in finance? Variation 2: What skills did you gain at your job last summer? Talk about something you learned in your job that cannot be learned in a classroom. at least in finance. Response Example. we didn’t know how to use PowerPoint and honestly. where you are evaluated and rewarded based on your performance. Whatever skill or concept you discuss. as part of the internship program.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. for years. At the end of each week. where everyone can rely on one another to get tasks done efficiently. The first few presentations. works hard. Maybe you learned how to build a basic model (be careful with this and do not exaggerate what you have done unless you are comfortable describing it in detail on the spot). Talk about the fact that you want to be in an environment with others who are all as dedicated. is the people that you work with. especially in an industry like finance where you spend so many hours together. I had built a pretty solid foundation in PowerPoint. or maybe you gained a lot of experience presenting so you got more comfortable with public speaking. perhaps most important was how to make effective presentations to my superiors. In my mind. and trusts each other to get the job done right and on time—and then the team is evaluated and rewarded based on performance. I was nervous standing in front of our boss and all the other interns. the most important aspect of the working environment is the people you are working with. Variation: What do you think is most important to success in the workplace on this job? Say you excel in an environment with great communication and teamwork. driven. if you do not enjoy the company of your colleagues. My ideal workplace is one where everyone communicates well. we were each required to make a presentation to our boss.

or you’re a great leader who gets the best from every team member. even if it would have been OK with my boss. that was the biggest compliment he had to give me—that I was so dedicated. Tell a story about a time when your boss praised you for a job you performed especially well. I guess I just didn’t want to leave anything unfinished. with strong analytical and quantitative skills. and hard working. He would actually tell me to go home when it was getting late and I was still at my desk. and that you are a good team player. Page 49 . Since I really wanted to get the most out of my time there. At the end of the summer. Talk about a quality your boss observed that is not clearly represented on your resume…Maybe you can put clients at ease upon meeting them.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 INVESTMENT BANKING INTERNSHIP SURVIVAL What would your last boss tell me about you? You hope your last boss would say that you are highly motivated.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. he would remind me it was just a summer internship. Response Example. My boss from last summer would say I worked exceptionally hard with minimal supervision and maximum dedication.

I think they would say I have a good sense of humor. and that I enjoy spending time with them but also prioritize my work. and right now in our careers. My friends are extremely important to me. Page 50 . someone who is enjoyable to be around. I think they also would say that we all share the same work ethic. loyal.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. If you go to a very small school and are interviewing at a boutique. Remember. WHAT WOULD YOUR TEAM CRITICIZE MOST ABOUT YOU? Why did you choose the school you attend(ed)? Variation: Where else did you apply and why did you choose your school? This question is very personal. They know I try to get my work done efficiently so we can have a good time together when possible. Response Example. your interviewer is looking for someone who is not only smart but also a pleasure to know. it’s not all about the fun. Connect the culture of your school to the culture of the firm. I would hope that first and foremost they would say that I am a good person. and someone that they can rely on if they need me.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 How would your best friends describe you? You can use this question to show that you are well rounded and to shed some light on your personality. I love to have a good time. You want to be able to say that your friends would describe you as someone who works very hard but still likes to have a good time. talk about how you feel you learn and work best in a more intimate environment where you know all those around you.

cultural experiences. but that isn’t what the interviewer wants to hear. The analysts I have spoken to talk about its boutique feel and smaller deal teams. claiming that the MD on your deal will always know you personally. Explain that your choice was guided by your belief that though it was exciting for a while to swim in a larger pond. If your interview is at a larger firm. I tried to focus on growing both academically and as a human being. I enjoy getting to know my teachers and peers. You can use this as an opportunity to emphasize extracurricular activities and/or particular classes your school offered that you found helpful (and that will pay off for your employer). what you did academically while you were abroad to enhance your business/finance skills. friends. Academically. This is part of what draws me to your firm. Tell me about your experience studying abroad. My largest class has been only 60 students. Page 51 . so my professors actually knew my name and face. Second. now you’re ready for a smaller environment where you know all those around you. adjust your answer accordingly. I graduated from a high school class of just 80 students and did well there. I was fortunate enough to take advantage of the finance and economics courses offered at the London School of Economics and the amazing faculty teaching them. For me. what experiences you had that helped you grow as a person (think travel. I took advantage of how easy it was to travel around the European Union and managed to get to 13 cities in 7 countries over the course of my three months abroad. I was looking at two choices: the one I chose and School X. whether I was present. If you went to a specific school on an athletic scholarship or were recruited to play a varsity sport. make sure you emphasize that! Your actual response to this question doesn’t matter as much as your reasoning and the quality of the story that backs it up and connects it to your application. I went for the one I felt fit me best culturally. Response Example. and how I was doing.). reverse the previous answer and talk about how you like the diversity a bigger firm offers. a smaller environment is the best way to learn. While I knew both schools would provide me with an excellent education. Culturally. Response Example. having the opportunity to learn from working closely with experienced bankers is going to be vital to my career development. It was an amazing experience to see the stark contrast between living situations both country to country and even city to city. In my opinion. First.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 If you’re in a large school and interviewing at a boutique. You should focus your answer on two things. etc. Coming out of high school. While I was abroad.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. We know you partied a lot while you studied abroad.

likely from a finance. I chose economics to give me a broad perspective on the issues and ideas that shape the financial world. First. make sure it’s in plain English and you aren’t throwing around acronyms that the average person wouldn’t understand. that’s fine too. However. The reasoning behind this. and I like solving problems in teams. if you have a dollar today. math. Response Example. But. First. class. in layman’s terms. Since my school didn’t offer a finance major. If you can explain something that maybe the interviewer doesn’t already know. Emphasize that some relevant skills may not be demonstrated on your resume: problem solving. Second. How did you choose your major? This is another question intended to explore your decision-making process. My second reason for choosing economics was that I like an intellectual challenge. accounting. Page 52 . is two fold. that may be more engaging. Typically the interviewer is looking for something that’s quantitative. during my sophomore year I realized that finance was what interested me. I managed to supplement my econ degree by taking the two finance courses my school does offer. as long as you have thought about it at least a little bit in advance of your interview. engineering.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. you can invest that dollar and it will appreciate in value. in its simplest form. teaching. so I feel as prepared as I can be for the transition to a career in finance. you should be able to come up with a pretty good response. etc. the dollar today is worth more than a dollar in X years because it can buy more goods. if you are more comfortable explaining a financial or accounting topic. This theory says basically that a dollar in hand today is worth more than a dollar in hand in the future. Use this answer to emphasize attributes and skills you learned from your major that will allow you to be successful on the job. Response Example. writing. or research. and intensive analysis. due to inflation. Let’s take the theory of time value of money. presentation. teamwork. if you are explaining something from engineering or biochemistry.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Can you explain a concept to me that you learned in one of your classes in 60 seconds? While this may seem a bit daunting. My school’s economics program emphasizes group work. so I thought it would be a good fit for my interests and personality. I chose economics for a few reasons.

Emphasize that you always put schoolwork first while still having fun (partly because you like to work). tell me about it. Taking on greater and greater responsibility through the years has taught me how to lead a team and improve my time management skills. Starting freshman year. I learned the most efficient ways to complete all of my work. Talk about time spent with your friends. especially with no track record. or starting a new venture. Page 53 . Name the extracurricular activities you take part in at school. Starting a business is difficult.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Why do you want to go into finance rather than entering some other industry or starting your own business? Talk about the learning experience banking will provide. allowing me to effectively lead the SGA and still have some time for a social life. I know that this is the best step to building my career coming out of college. I concentrated in finance because I knew I wanted to get experience before ever trying to start something on my own. However. I cherish my time with friends these last years in school since our chances to get together once we start working may be few and far between. Your interviewer wants to know your experience has prepared you for the stress you will encounter on the job. Response Example. going back to school. working in finance will teach you the skills and give you the experience to help make that happen. Acknowledge that the idea of starting your own business someday sounds exciting. As a result. You want to show your human side. My school was focused on entrepreneurship and that is definitely something that appeals to me.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. What else do/did you do at school besides study? Variation: What do/did you do at school to have fun and relax? Variation: I see you have [sport/activity/hobby] on your resume. but at this point. If you hold a leadership role in one or two of them. Discuss activities that put you under pressure (sports?). allowing me to have a solid foundation for anything that I would want to do. Response Example. These activities can include anything from student organizations to athletic teams to community service. you can complete everything you need to accomplish much more efficiently than if you had not been so busy. emphasize that. you don't even know what it takes for a business to succeed. At school. I knew that getting into finance would give me exposure to a lot of different businesses and how they really work. whether staying in finance. Describe how doing many different extracurricular activities developed your time management skills. I worked my way up and am now the president of my school’s student government association. my biggest time commitment other than academics has been student government.

I got an A in the class and the relationship I built with my professor has allowed me to turn to him throughout the application process to help answer a lot of my questions. pushed myself. Freshman year there are some required courses you are not able to choose. Here’s another opportunity to show that you are well rounded and work hard. Response Example. Nonetheless. I started taking finance classes at school. So. my Security Valuation class was the one I found most interesting and most useful. why are you looking to go into finance? Why do they want you? Response Example.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Page 54 . working a part time job. I had no interest whatsoever in vampires. Worse yet. You can say something like. Through the class. Tell me about your college experience. What has been your least favorite class in college and what was your grade? With this question. as well as perform comparable company analysis and precedent company analysis in a case study where we tried to determine the appropriate sale price of a company. I knew it was a class I had to take and slacking off wouldn’t make it any better. This class was my introduction to finance. I told myself I had to work even harder. Be positive about your college experience and confident in what you have accomplished. During my junior year. which meant we spent the entire semester reading and writing vampire novels and short stories.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 What has been your favorite class in college and what was your grade? The course you name should have something to do with business/finance/economics. Talk about the time you were taking six classes. If you say your favorite class was African Tribal Dance. and enjoyed and learned a lot from them all. My professor was “an expert” in the field of vampires. playing on the golf team. but I pushed myself to work that much harder and received an A in the class. and the grade you report should be a good one. we learned brief overviews of a number of different valuation techniques on stocks. We learned how to build a basic DCF. You will have to do this in finance. One of the best parts of this class was that my professor spent eight years as an investment banker before coming to teach so he had first-hand experience. While I took three finance courses over the two semesters. and still managing to enjoy the little bit of time you had to hang out with your friends. and companies. but also are personable. and managed to get an A.” This shows that you are willing to do your best even at something you do not enjoy. your best bet is to pick a class you did not enjoy but still aced. “I really wasn’t passionate about the material. bonds. There was one class in my college years that I truly hated. I found this professor uninteresting.in a class I had no interest in taking. The general literature courses at my school were a bit strange in that your professor was at liberty to choose the curriculum rather than having something set by the school.

speak about how you got a great education. Fortunately. While I believe I would have been able to get interviews through networking. I’ve had to work since freshman year. If you are not coming from a top tier school. such as the current interview.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. My college experience has been difficult financially. You can use the answer to this question to talk about things you were able to do at your school. experiences. Finally. etc. I have developed a great group of friends that I know I will be close with throughout my life.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Take advantage of this invitation to discuss the qualities. My friends at other schools have been having a tough time getting interviews because firms do not come to their campuses. start). Now I work at one of the highest rated restaurants in the city. Working at the restaurant five times a week. and it has not disappointed me. My professors have been top notch and actually care that I understand the material. Coming into college. the social life there has been great. Not at all. My university has been amazing and I have loved my time there for so many reasons. I’ve had a great college experience and I’ve made a good group of friends. which is very important to me. and coming from a non-target made you work that much harder to get to where you are today. While it is tough to balance classes. and manage a schedule efficiently. in Boston. particularly when compared with the other candidates this interviewer is considering. Second. the education has been great. my career center has been helpful throughout the process. First and foremost. I’ve paid off most of my student loans and have learned to focus. be confident about your school and speak to how it prepared you for a career in finance. Page 55 . interviewing at X bank. I chose University X partially for its reputation in the business world. coming out of a top-tier school like University X has made the job search process easier. Whatever your story. My coursework has been a great basic preparation for a career in finance. and work and still have some time with my friends. Use it as a chance to show something unique. extracurricular activities. I come from a family that couldn’t help with my expenses. talk about how great the education has been and how it has created great opportunities for you. These can be academic courses you would not have been able to take at other schools. If you are at a top tier school. and interests that make you unique. even in tough economic times. as I have at some other firms. you can make good money waiting tables. Do you regret choosing the school you chose? Never bash your own school. so I have been paying for school entirely on my own. Response Example. the effort has definitely been worthwhile. Our career center works endlessly to ensure that as many firms as possible interview on our campus. a sport you were able to play. prioritize. In order to keep down my student loans. I started out at a lower end restaurant because I had no experience. a club you were able to join (or even better. rather than just lecturing aimlessly. Response Example.

I could still possibly make par and halve. Successfully completing the “crash course” I would receive in investment banking would set me up for any career path I may chose. What is an example of a big risk you have taken in your life? This question is asking whether you follow a sound thought process in making important decisions. and won the match and the championship for my team. Page 56 .). Even on the downside. and I knew that if I executed. trust my game. Tell how you weighed the positives and negatives of all the alternative scenarios. Talk about how you found the work in your last job to be relatively boring. and if I lost the hole. chances were good that I would win or halve the hole and win the match. etc. whether that is continuing a career in banking. and go for the win. if I didn’t hit the shot. Did you ever travel abroad or afar alone at a young age? Have you ever started a small business? Have you ever made a risky financial investment? Response Example. performing menial tasks (data entry. I drove the ball a little offline and ended up partially blocked by a tree. Even though a career in investment banking may be extremely time consuming and challenging. halved the hole. I had to decide whether to try to hit a riskier shot that could result in a big number. It was a shot I had hit before. I pulled it off beautifully. Then discuss and evaluate the outcome of that risk and what you learned from the experience. One of the biggest risks I have taken was during the final match of my conference golf tournament last spring. I believe that there is much to be learned through hard work while I am young. or onto other professions. Also talk about the fact that you are looking for a job where you will have a great learning experience. While my past work experience has been rewarding in many ways. focus on the issues you had with your prior experiences and how a new job in finance would give you the opportunity to address those issues. made my par. we would go into a playoff. or play it safe. Response Example. Here are some questions to help generate other ideas. We were on the 18th hole and I was 1-up playing match play. and I knew he was going to make par at worst. Think of the biggest risk you ever took in your life and describe the thought process you went through when deciding to take the risk.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. My opponent was in great shape. try to make par. and that you are looking for a job in which you will be performing tasks that actually have an impact. I decided to take the risk. I feel as though there is much more I can learn. I weighed my options. and hope my opponent didn’t make birdie. administrative.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Why do you want a job that is so much more demanding than the work you have done in the past? With this question.

and got it done right. I knew that second semester is normally when you apply for internships. but in order to take advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity. and I missed it. making your decision worth thousands of dollars? Response Example. I took out student loans. and I now work at a very popular restaurant. minimizing the risk as much as possible. letterhead. If you can come up with a situation that relates to school or to a job you had. I have been able to earn extra money developing logos. but I really wanted to spend a semester abroad. but then I began paying my tuition in cash and paying off some of my student debt early. I went for it.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. I am so glad that I did. and your prospective employer wants to hear about your ability to reason and think through a decision when the heat’s on. leaving in the first semester wasn’t an option. I managed to do it in a combination of ways. I’ve waited tables several nights a week throughout all my college years. You will face high-pressure situations frequently in finance. The toughest decision of my life was choosing to study abroad second semester of junior year. Initially. This exemplifies your desire/willingness to learn. Response Example. Explain the thought process you used to make that decision. and presentations for student start-ups as well as some local businesses. When I began my business education. I would have hated to miss out on either my semester in South Africa or the internship. business cards. I networked and interviewed right up to the day I left for South Africa. However. that is great. To help you generate ideas of your own… Has your education or career required you to move away from your family and friends? Have you been at the final table of a major poker tournament heads-up with an open-ended straight flush draw and your opponent puts you all-in. figured it out for yourself. as well as your initiative and determination.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 What is the biggest obstacle or challenge you have faced and overcome in your life? Describe any challenge you are comfortable discussing which you overcame after facing the challenge head on. What is the toughest decision you have ever had to make? Give an example of a time that you had to make a difficult decision under pressure. In high school. what I have most enjoyed doing to support myself is graphic design. Since I play soccer in the fall. A useful story might be one about a time when you were instructed to do something you did not fully understand. All of this extra work has helped me to pay for a good portion of my college costs. However. I didn’t have time for those types of classes. I knew I would be risking not getting that “essential” internship. I was into art and photography and my graphic design skills are pretty strong. The biggest obstacle I have had to overcome was paying for college. Page 57 . which pays me pretty well on a consistent basis. and I did secure an internship. which you hope will turn into full-time offers.

so we just watch games in our apartment or maybe go out to a restaurant or sports bar. be yourself.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. In my free time at school. I took several classes that relied heavily on writing skills. so I spend some of my free time in the gym. Firms are always competing for business and colleagues can even be competitive with one another (although most won’t admit it). You cannot say that one skill is stronger than the other is. I don’t think one skill is stronger than the other is. pick-up basketball.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 How would you compare your writing skills to your oral skills? This is a bit of a trick question. Prove that you are a fun person. photography. Honestly. Response Example. You need to show that you are comfortable in competitive situations. because they are both vital in finance. Remember. What do you like to do in your free time? Variation: What do you do on the weekends for fun? Be honest. Both are vital to a successful career in finance. You must convince your interviewer that both your written and oral skills are strong. cooking. Any response that says one skill is stronger than the other is not acceptable. Nearly every business course I took required both individual and group presentations. Don’t be the guy who says you like to sit around and watch CNBC all day. Page 58 . and discuss what you like to do for fun. and I’ve paid attention to developing both. golfing. We will even go to a game live if we can get tickets. concerts. etc. which allowed me to learn to make oral presentations and interact with others in conversation or debate. Some ideas to spark your imagination could include sporting events. unless you actually are that guy. and have they been worthwhile? Finance is competitive. I like to do things that allow me to spend time with my closest friends. which allowed me to improve. someone they could potentially end up being friends with outside the office. Throughout college. What competitive activities have you participated in. especially as you move up. I also try to stay healthy. going to the gym. Response Example. trying new restaurants. I am a huge sports fan. they want to know if you are someone they can stand being around during those all nighters. but still are able to act with class and show respect.

How do you manage stress in your life? Talk about your time management practices. say that you would be in finance anyway simply because you love it. if I don’t end up with an offer from your firm. However. corporate finance. hockey. In college. maybe you want to coach high school football.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Response Example. Talk about how you have offers or options (hopefully) in other finance-related jobs like accounting. Working with my teammates to accomplish a common goal and beat the competition was an amazing experience. Response Example. Your task management strategies (how you stay very organized. I would love to coach high school football. If you enjoy music. (This response is not recommended because most likely your interviewer just will not believe you). I will likely look to go to the Big 4 accounting firm where I already have an offer. I played varsity hockey. During my freshman year. Coming into college. I really miss football and the camaraderie that comes with it. Two of my four years. without having to worry about money. I was a tri-sport athlete. and lacrosse. Maintain a level of modest optimism by stating that you know you may not receive offers. really exhilarating. etc. What would you do for a living if you didn’t have to worry about money? What is your favorite thing to do? If you love football. I think teaching kids the lessons I learned in my years as a football player would be fun and rewarding. maybe you would be a musician. If you genuinely love finance. and how you avoid procrastinating while things pile up) are vital in banking. I repeatedly dislocated my shoulder. your self-management methods. leading to a torn labrum that knocked me out for good. My ultimate goal is to end up with a job in banking. In high school. I was recruited for football and planned on playing at my school. Not even surgery would help. Response Example. That’s legitimate question since this process is so competitive. Page 59 . unfortunately. but I believe I have positioned myself well to obtain an offer from your firm.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. playing football. so I think that going and getting some solid accounting experience under my belt for a year will help me tremendously when I re-apply next year. valuation. What are you going to do if you don’t get a job in investment banking this year? The one thing that you don’t want to do here is say that you will go into a job in a completely different industry. If I could do anything for a living. we won our conference and went to the NCAA tournament. but that you feel you have prepared yourself well and are in a good position to break in.

WallStreetOasis. One piece of advice you should heed is to be aware of your surroundings and think about the type of person your interviewer is. Note: this answer is not memorable and you better be ready to discuss what’s been in the news lately. Second. the ad revenue generated by the site is distributed among users based on how many points they have earned. you can mention things that you are interested in that are job related like keeping up with current events. First. etc. I try to follow a regular schedule throughout the week that assures I won’t let things go. and avoid surprises.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Response Example.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. music. Pick a site like wallstreetjournal. If you want to take a more conservative approach. say ESPN. I have found that if I don’t allow tasks to pile up. They post content in any form. using the planner on my phone to keep track of what is due when. I create less stress for myself to manage. people can earn money for posting the same quality content they have been posting on other websites. and maintaining a folder or binder for each task. Between taking five classes a semester and participating in a few extracurricular activities. studying for the CFA.com… Jokes aside. videos. Whatever answer you give.com if you are able to back it up with conversation about sports. maybe a site with a unique business model you expect to become very successful. make sure nothing gets lost or neglected. this is self-explanatory. Response Example. Page 60 . I managed stress by staying organized. What is your favorite website? Duh. including photos.com that one of my college roommates is working on. It is a social network for connecting users who are interested in similar topics. by all means.com and explain that you like to keep up with the financial news. Another option is to pick a site that you find particularly interesting. Actually. Essentially. Hint: If you know the names of your interviewer you can do a little research beforehand and see if you can find any common interests so you can push the convo in that direction. I have had a lot of tasks and assignments to keep track of. This organization allows me to make sure I space out my work on projects that are due around the same time. and they are rewarded by other users for quality content. my favorite site is a start-up called Zaang. etc. Once a month. If the office you are in is littered with sports memorabilia and you are a sports fanatic. be ready to back it up with a reason why it is your favorite site. you can speak about your hobbies and your interests outside of work. art. What are you interested in? There are two ways that you can answer this question properly and you may want to explore both in your answer. and explain to your interviewer why it intrigues you. keep your answers finance related. The latter works great if you happen to share an interest with your interviewer.

or think critically. If you have never volunteered in your life.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 If you had a million dollars that you weren’t allowed to invest. Talk about your teamwork skills (communication.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. None of those things will be the case in finance so they won’t be an issue. You don’t want to walk into a firm that has massive deal teams where you don’t know you your VP and say that you really thrive in small. I’m comfortable leading a team or taking instructions from another leader. collaboration. Describe to me your ideal work environment This requires a little bit of background research on the company you are applying to. When the leadership isn’t appointed. and make sure that whatever you are spending it on can cost roughly a million dollars. This is important because you will need to be able to do both. Have it relate to something you are interested in. or not busy. In one of my Page 61 . What was your least favorite job? Talk about a job where you were bored. Talk about past projects that show you being successful in each role. I think it’s useful to consider my teammates’ concerns and preferences. What was your favorite job you have had? If possible. because those are all skills you will need in finance. close knit environments where you have direct interaction with the most senior people at the firm. Talk about how you were forced to learn on the fly. What role do you like to take in a team situation? Variation: Would you rather take the lead in a team or follow a leader? It is important to show that you are comfortable taking a leadership role or working under the leadership of someone else. how would you spend it? Make sure your background backs up whatever answer you give. or not challenged. pick a job that requires similar skills to the job for which you are applying and explain why those skills or requirements made it your favorite. don’t say you’re going to donate your money to a non-profit and go work for them.) and how those skills are effective when you are the leader and when you are supporting someone else’s leadership. Response Example. or multitask. etc. Craft your answer here based on what you know about the firm.

Think of two S. one that shows you contributing to a successful team and one that shows you performing successfully on an individual assignment. at WSJ.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. the answer to this question has to be that you feel entirely comfortable in either situation. I was one of the VPs in our business.A.R. and most important of all is the quality of the team’s work. much of our work was done in teams. where one student was insisting on taking charge. Do you feel more comfortable working in a group or by yourself? Again. so I stepped up to coordinate the group’s assignments. Describe how you researched the firm on the website. There will be times when you will be working independently to perform tasks that contribute to a group’s end project.com. In another group situation. Talk about how you made flash cards to review technical questions (or bought the Wall Street Oasis Technical Guide with Flash Cards). so they all kind of shied away from taking responsibility.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 classes last year. Response Example.T. Tell them that talking to alumni and bankers who are currently at the firm gave you a good idea of what will be required of you as an analyst and what to expect during your interview. Make sure your enthusiasm for finance and for their firm comes across! Page 62 . How did you go about preparing for your interviews? Your answer to this needs to demonstrate how much you want this job. one of my freshman classes actually had us starting our own businesses in teams of 30. At school. did mock interviews with your friends. which allowed the rest of us to deliver our tasks on time with high quality.com. I thought I could help by taking initiative. and I’m comfortable with both. I was placed in a group where nobody was confident about the subject matter. and through alumni contacts. He was able to communicate his ideas and organize a plan. In that particular group. I think the quality of leadership is more important than who provides it. how you practiced walking through your resume in front of your dog. In fact. it’s important to read those personalities and identify how you best fit into the group dynamic. and how systematically you have prepared. on wallstreetoasis. how determined you are. since you will have to do both in finance. so I was reporting to our CEO but still had several people working for me. I was in charge of planning and organizing work assignments to make sure we completed the jobs our CEO requested. Give strong evidence that you thrive in either set of circumstances. Since every situation presents a unique set of personalities. I know that finance will include both group and individual assignments. Overall. and reviewed your personal history with your family. I was happy to support him. stories.

com helped me out with that. They also had some useful information that helped me narrow down the firms where I most wanted to work. I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time during my interviews. I sought out employees from those firms who helped me understand their firms better and briefed me about what I could expect during interviews.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Response Example. over half of them were gracious enough to talk to me about what goes into the analyst’s job. so I tried to be careful in my selections and preparations. I reached out to nearly twenty alumni and asked if they would speak with me. I used your website and studied your annual report to become more familiar with your firm. Then I made sure that I was ready to discuss technical questions: WallStreetOasis. I did mock interviews at my career center to become comfortable with the interview format and with telling my story. Finally. Page 63 .

while creating a very detailed outline of each section together before we began writing on our own. make decisions. I coordinate practice carpools and tournament transportation. since everyone has an individual writing style. or a community service project in which you collaborated with others to accomplish more than you could have done alone. Explain why you took the lead. a project a previous job. follower). and how the team process played out. and another member scheduled the revision sessions. Talk about a situation in which you worked within a team and decided to take the lead. This worked very efficiently and smoothly. We all agreed that group papers could be difficult to organize. Be sure to show a situation that demonstrates your ability to take on responsibility. our final project was a paper to be prepared in a group of five. What leadership positions have you held? Variation 2. Make sure you are able to describe clearly your role within the team (leader. communicate clearly. a sports experience. you have to make sure everyone knows what’s going on. Response Example. and submission. allowing us to produce a cohesive paper. Be sure to use an example where the team worked successfully together to produce a positive result. We then came back together and revised it as a group. and you Page 64 . Describe a time when you took a leadership role in a team situation. to be effective. Last year in one of my classes. and what you learned from the situation. binding. It’s tough to write a paper that sounds fluent if different people write different sections. The result was a paper with coherent organization.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. while a third member took care of the final printing. You can discuss a group project at school. We solved this by dividing the paper into five sections. This assured good communication of all our ideas and information within the team. and registration. Variation 1. consistent style. I took responsibility for collecting and circulating and assembling the sections. What I learned about leadership was that. I was voted captain of my varsity golf team this year. and delegate tasks effectively. Describe your leadership style. Response Example. you have to pay constant attention to organizing. I think perhaps because we all sort of came up with the idea together and agreed to it before we started. I had been close with my previous captains but didn’t have any idea how much work was involved in the job.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 SITUATIONAL QUESTIONS Describe a time when you worked as part of a team. how the project worked out. and logical flow. food.

make sure you discuss how you stepped back to evaluate the conflict before taking action. Describe how you have dealt with conflict in a team situation. and you stepped up to take control and successfully lead your team across the finish line. what you decided was the best course of action and why. Page 65 . but he can’t do everything. Does the leader of a team make the team? No. The VP was great. This does not have to be a business situation. there was one time when I was on a team last year during my internship and I was working with my favorite VP. Tell me about a time when you acted as a leader even when you were not in an official leadership position. in fact. Response Example. The leader has to be sure all the details are covered and all the dots are connected.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. a couple members of the team didn’t complete their tasks on time.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 have to take care of your people. he or she will not be able to complete all of the work assigned for the entire group and therefore the work product will suffer. and the outcome. Explain what happened. You need to show your interviewer that you are able to recognize when you SHOULD be a leader. and therefore the project didn’t get done. Maybe you had a conflict with a coach on a sports team or a member of a group was slacking off during a project. it’s vital that everyone on the team pulls their own weight. This is a tough one. because if a leader is paired with a weak team. Think of a team situation where there was a very serious problem. While a great leader will provide his or her team with direction and mentoring. A leader needs to be able to trust their team to get their individual tasks completed in order for the team as a whole to succeed. but we were assigned a research project and at the end of the day. or the leader was slacking. For example. The leader doesn’t “make” the team. the leader of a team doesn’t make the team. not when you are a member of a team that is overzealous and tries to take control of a situation that they shouldn’t. You also want to get across that you are not afraid of confrontation and you are able to approach conflicts with maturity. many interviewers prefer to hear about a candidate’s experience outside school or business. Whatever the situation. I learned to delegate some of my tasks to the junior who will probably be captain next year. Pick a situation where you had a conflict and you were the one who defused it. It’s critical that every member of the team is able to effectively pull his/her own weight. Consider also explaining what you learned. while the leadership and direction was there and the jobs were very clearly outlined.

Instead of getting prizes. in addition to my classes and homework. I realized that all the graphs I had pulled into my PowerPoint were from an earlier Excel file. For my management class last semester.. I was the lead in my school’s play. Page 66 . 70. so be prepared with a good example. I spent several weeks preparing my final presentation and producing a lot of data and graphs.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Response Example. Tell me about a time when you had to work long hours to accomplish a task or project. In the spring of last year. They could play those chips and use their winnings to purchase items in the auction at the end of casino night.. I wanted it to be right. raising over $10.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. My professor commended the accuracy of my data and gave me an A on the project. and the event ended up being a great success. while the other half wanted a casino night. worked endlessly to meet it. Describe what you did when you or your group risked missing a deadline. constant work for the newspaper. Talk about a situation where you were force to work hours similar to that which you will encounter in finance… weeks of 60. there was disagreement within the SGA over what we should do for our spring fundraiser. I proposed a solution that included both. This is one of the more common situational questions since your interviewer wants to be sure you can cope with the long hours.” Talk about a time you were at risk of missing a deadline. I deal with conflicts every day. and taking a full course load. We decided we would have a casino night. Response Example.000 for student activities. In the months leading up to the play. Last year. Still. Response Example. editor of the school paper. Since neither side was willing to give up its own idea. First. I would have known and after all the work I had put into the project. I was almost certain I could have presented those graphs. As president of the Student Government Association. so it wasn’t the final data set and the numbers were slightly off. This should be a situation where you had to work long hours for a relatively extended period of time. not “we forgot about the project until Sunday night and it was due at noon on Monday. As I was reviewing it one last time on the night before it was due. Half the SGA was set on an auction. I had almost no free time and was working from 8am until midnight every single day. we were at a standstill. Both sides were happy with the solution. I would have 3 hours of rehearsals per day. and nobody ever would have noticed. changing the data in 47 graphs to show my actual findings. offer a good reason for cutting it too close to the deadline. During that time. 80+ hours. even many weekends. Neither side was willing to budge. I stayed up all night. not just a day or two. I made the presentation on Red Bull and coffee but it went great. guests were able to bid on what they wanted. and still finished it with successful results. I called a meeting to discuss some viable options. where people would get a number of chips based on the size of their donations.

You need to show that you have the ability to be a good leader. and explaining to my other teammate that he really had to pull himself together. and discussed the best way to remedy the situation. they both got the message. Luckily. We were firm. Do not say you went to your boss or professor to complain. Show that you can be empathetic but at the same time evaluate the legitimacy of your teammate or coworker’s feelings. letting him understand how we saw his behavior and how it affected the rest of the team. so I tried to defuse the situation by calming down my upset teammate. we sat him down and expressed our concern about the situation with an intervention style approach. There was a time last year when I was a member of a three-person team. he stepped up and we worked great as a team for the rest of the summer. expressed your concerns maturely. but not overly critical. my other partner had had enough and really went to town on the kid. and we figured our boss probably didn’t want to hear about it. We emphasized that we didn’t want to punish him. After the third time. Talk about a time when you had to deal with a very upset teammate or co-worker. We didn’t feel right simply throwing him under the bus. about how irresponsible and lazy he was being. Response Example. One of my two partners was consistently missing deadlines. Response Example. we just wanted a solution. He actually was extremely apologetic and said he hadn’t realized he wasn’t pulling his weight.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Describe what you did in a group where someone wasn’t contributing. After that conversation. After this became an obvious pattern. Think of a situation where this happened to you either in school or at the workplace and how you addressed the situation. resolving the situation. I realized that yelling and insulting him weren’t going to help. after that. because we would be working together throughout the summer.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Show how you brought the team together. One member of our group never seemed to take on the same level of responsibility as the rest of us but still took full credit whenever our team did well. Page 67 . with you taking the initiative. we all got along and did our jobs. and moving forward with your group in an effective manner. I have encountered this a few times. Your story should end positively. Your answer should reflect that you sat the person down. listened to their complaints. and managed to move on successfully to complete the project. had a group conversation with the person that was not pulling their weight. One example comes to mind from my job last summer.

at the same time. I would feel some sense of loyalty to them and would not want to report them. you become guilty as well.” He respected me for handling the situation this way. This would be a tough situation for me. you have to report to Compliance in writing. co-worker. However. Response Example. but we managed to make it work when it mattered. keeping a copy of all the evidence in order to protect yourself and your own reputation. try to give what the other person needs as well. Tell me about a time you had to conform to a policy you didn’t agree with. reporting the crime could save the firm a lot of headaches. let’s put everything aside while we are working together in this class. “Look. you must report it.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 What would you do if you found your company doing something illegal? This is a tough question to respond to. therefore. I said something like. Luckily. we put our past disagreements aside and worked effectively together. While I may feel like a traitor to those particular individuals. so I just laid it out at the beginning. you could put yourself into a bad situation. communication and perception is the key. However. but there is only one right answer. He was a pretty good student. Tell me about a time when you were in a group with someone who liked to work very differently from you. In resolving conflict. we still don’t really get along.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. but for both of our sakes. After working with the people supposedly involved in the alleged crime. I haven’t had too many tough situations with classmates or co-workers. without proper evidence. or teammate? Variation 1. How do you manage to deal successfully with a difficult boss. and I knew he was concerned with grades. Page 68 . I joined a course late and was assigned to a group with a student I didn’t particularly get along with for a variety of reasons. I would try to get everything in writing and have copies of everything relating to what I had observed. By observing a crime and not reporting it. If it is something that you overheard. I can think of one time when a teammate and I didn’t get along. and not let it affect our grades. In dealing with a difficult person that you must work with. Response Example. not reporting the issue makes me guilty as well. so I would have no real choice but to report the crime to Compliance. I know we don’t really get along. get through it with our best work. While you may feel like a snitch or traitor. There should be open discussion and compromise between you and the person in question in order to allow effective teamwork. You must command respect but at the same time be willing to make compromises in order to interact effectively. Since the class has ended. tread lightly. ensure that you get what you need to work effectively. How did you manage to work together effectively? Variation 2.

and effectively motivated your team/group to step up and produce results. School and work situations are most common. Page 69 . ordered some pizzas and gave a little speech to get the rest of the group to spend a few more hours with me perfecting the project. and we placed out of the final. The rest of my team members were satisfied with the project and were about to call it a night. by all means use the story of the time you huddled them up and gave a “win one for the Gipper” speech. My group finished the project hoping that we would place out of the exam.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 IF YOUR BOSS IS WRONG. This is another question about leadership. but if you captained a varsity sport at your school. In one of my finance classes last year. but I wasn’t 100% convinced. I needed a way to motivate my team to put in a few more hours and decided the best way to do that was through their stomachs.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Response Example. the exam would be optional. I called up Domino’s. I wanted to guarantee that I wouldn’t have to take the final. It worked. HOW WOULD YOU HANDLE THE SITUATION? Tell me about a time when you motivated others. Tell a story about a time you acted as a leader (see the What makes a good leader? question for those qualities). I had an A in the class and didn’t want to risk bringing down my grade. The professor made a deal that if we did well on the final project. we had a final project and a final exam.

and recommend adjustments the company should make to its balance sheet to increase shareholder value. Since the company was nearly 100% equity financed.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Give an example of a project that required you to think quantitatively and analytically. because that’s just not a realistic answer. For some reason it just seems much easier to catch mistakes when something is on paper in front of you than on a computer screen. proceed to explain how you learned from your mistake and never made that mistake again. and the strengths you need in finance. The project doesn’t necessarily have to be business or education related.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Variation: Tell me about a complex project you worked on. Then. Response Example. compare them to their competitors’. our final project was to analyze a company’s financials. I realized that I had mislabeled one of the statistics as the mean when in reality it was the median. formatting or other mistakes? Don’t say that you have never done that. We did a valuation of the company using a basic DCF and wanted to look at ways we could lower their WACC in order to increase the valuation. as well as keeping some as a buffer against an economic downturn. but in the end I decided to just mention it quickly to my professor during the next class. In my corporate financial management class. Since then. After realizing the mistake. that was successful. look at their balance sheet. Tell me about a time when you submitted a project with grammatical. Explain the situation to your interviewer and what your mistake was. just make sure it emphasizes your personal strengths. we recommended they issue bonds and repurchase stock with that new cash. and that shows you have quantitative skills as well as the ability to analyze a situation or problem effectively and come up with a solution. Everyone has made mistakes. which contained a lot of market data about the private aviation industry. Response Example: Last year in my marketing class we had to hand in a presentation. I have learned to always print out my presentations before handing them in and edit them with a pen in hand. Describe the process. I considered not saying anything since it was such a minor error. Page 70 . After turning in the report. Pick a project you can speak confidently about.

Response Example. If you had a task at a previous job or internship where a boss asked you to create a PowerPoint for a group of investors. It took a lot of teamwork and communication to get the plan written. You could even talk about your experience as the lead in the theater program in which you were required to be on stage in front of hundreds of people. but I enjoyed the people on my team and loved the project as a whole. Page 71 . If a number of your classes emphasized team situations in which you were required to present to the rest of the class. we had to present our results to the whole class.” I was responsible for presenting a portion of the week’s results and took responsibility for creating the PowerPoint that was shown during the meeting. As a “VP. At my school.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Give an example of a project you enjoyed working on. Eventually. Looking back on my college experience. Response Example. and teamwork skills through a story of a successful project. you should pick a situation that shows you have both. I found that writing a business plan takes an incredible amount of work. they really tried to emphasize group work and presenting since they know it is an important skill to have in the working world. analytical. you can talk about that. Here’s another opportunity to highlight your quantitative. We actually took road trips to colleges as far as six hours away to do focus groups and collect data. First. which requires attention to detail and proper preparation. each responsible for running a business. the interviewer is looking for a few things. we were broken up into groups and required to pitch ideas to start a business. that is a great one to discuss. they are looking to see whether you have the poise to present what you have created to a large group clearly and effectively. Each week. Then we worked together to compile the data we collected and make projections based on that information. With this question. they are looking to make sure you have presented to large groups in the past. communication. If possible. The final product was something I was extremely proud to present to my professor since I knew how hard we had worked on it together. We did hours of market research about our product and how popular it might be on campuses across the country. the project I most enjoyed was working with my team on a business plan my junior year.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. In my freshman year class. Second. Have you ever had to work on a project or presentation that was distributed or presented to a large group? Here you want to focus on any experience you have had that required you to produce something that was widely distributed. the 60 person class had two teams.

I am a competitive person and hated not being on the traveling team and going to tournaments. etc. Give a situation where you challenged yourself to achieve something that you hadn’t previously accomplished. convincing them that your firm is the best one to handle a job. You need to be persuasive. sports. I made sure that when I had time focus on my work. That summer. This should be something impressive and challenging. I do a lot of multitasking at school with all my different activities. do not feel as though you have to force it towards finance. It does not matter what the topic is. a situation that demonstrates that you have the skills needed to succeed in finance. Give an example of a time when you persuaded others to do something or convinced someone to see your point of view. I was able to get everything done only by doing a few things at once. At the senior level. Give an example of your experience with multitasking. allowing me to concentrate completely. so I could make the top five. Response Example. and traveled to every tournament. and I had to attend basketball practice or games every day. etc. so we were going to start selling chicken sandwiches Page 72 . Come up with a situation where you persuaded someone to do what you wanted. I was near the bottom of the roster on the golf team.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Give an example of a goal you set and how you achieved it. an action. A specific instance that stands out in my mind would be finals week this past semester. I edited photos on my laptop on the bus to away games. Tell a story of a time where you had to manage a lot of different tasks and work long hours. you will be making pitches to companies. I studied and edited papers on the treadmill during workouts. All my hard work paid off. I had final exams in three of my classes and papers due in the other two. You should present this in the form of a conflict. I spent either at the range or on the course practicing. maintaining relationships. This can be from your personal life. Last year I launched a small business at school with two of my classmates. We all enjoyed cooking and had a contact at a local meat wholesaler. school. just like your other stories. where I am the lead photographer. I got my handicap down to a 2.3. was number three on the team in the fall. and a resolution. After my freshman year. Response Example. I set a goal for myself to get my handicap from a 9 down to a 3. allowing me to travel. Every daylight hour that I wasn’t working. Response Example.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. I made the most of it by hiding on the quiet floor of the library. I also was working on finishing the winter edition of the school newspaper.

that’s even better. so you need to prove to your interviewer that you have the ability to produce perfect work. Give an example of going above and beyond what was expected of you. I thought it would be better if we cooked all the chicken the same way and just offered different sauces. and our professor commented on how professional the presentation looked. then showed them how expensive it would be to have excess and how it would be almost impossible to avoid excess doing it their way. Maybe talk about a time you had to pull an all-nighter at your summer internship last year. that way we wouldn’t have leftovers of flavors that didn’t sell. A few months back. Response Example. making sure the formatting was perfect. it will be expected that the pitch book you finished at 3:00 a.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. and produced a flawless result.m. Any error in a formula or variable in these models could have a drastic impact on the financial projections. I was responsible for building some models for my boss to use in generating fund projections. My team was stunned and very appreciative the next morning when they saw the work I had done. Choose a situation where you were assigned a task and decided to do more than what was asked of you. still managed to pay close attention to the details of your project. I had built several satisfactory models and gained the trust of my boss. I thought about what would change my mind if I were in their shoes.m. There is no acceptable excuse for error. If you have an example that ended with your efforts being officially commended by a boss or professor. which he would present to senior management and prospective clients. so everything I produced needed to be error-free or it could really make my boss and me look bad. Last summer at my internship. After we broke up. or if you caught a mistake in a presentation just before it was too late. then continued working on the task to take it above and beyond. I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to presentations. They agreed with me. Honestly. Give an example of a time when you were required to pay close attention to detail. By the end of the summer. This should be a time when you have been under the stress of a deadline. I worked until 3:00 a. Response Example. In finance. Talk about a time when you completed a task to the requirements.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 from our house at night. Page 73 . My two partners wanted to marinate three different flavors and offer a selection. and we decided to go with the sauces model. is flawless when it is presented to a prospective client the following morning. redoing all of the graphics. I worked on a project that my group had finished. but some of the formatting was a bit off.

talk about a mistake you made the first week on the job in pulling data from a certain source (i. Response Example. and producing perfect results under pressure. it was a great experience and gave me some insight into what I hope I will be doing on the job this summer and in the future. we had enough time to make corrections before he presented it to clients. he caught the mistake and was naturally upset. thinking analytically. Spin what you did do to sound positive. You want to come up with a circumstance that was clearly a mistake but doesn’t make you look hopeless. The nice thing about having an internship at a small firm was that even as a rising junior. Speak clearly and succinctly about the responsibilities you had at your last job.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. I was even lucky enough to work with another analyst building a model from scratch. I made the mistake of pulling numbers from a company’s 2007 annual report rather than from the 2008 version. Page 74 . tight deadlines. You can say you immediately learned to triplecheck your work before handing it in. I got a lot of experience doing things that a full time analyst would have to do. Talk about long hours. While I only did it once.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 What is the biggest mistake you ever made so far in your professional life? Variation: Give an example of a bad decision you made and what you learned from it. but do not mislead. even impressive. You do not want to invite your interviewer to call your bluff or test you with the most complex technical questions. I felt terrible. These duties and projects should exhibit the qualities and skills required for success in finance. Tell me about your previous work experiences and walk me through a project from your work. If you have had a summer internship. Bloomberg terminal). This is similar to the What is your greatest failure? question discussed later. at least with the simpler tasks. At the beginning of my internship last year. Do not exaggerate. I put the information into a PowerPoint for my boss and handed it in. Show you were willing to go above and beyond what was asked of you. Do not say you built an LBO model if you are not prepared to build one from scratch on the spot. As he was looking it over. Last year I was able to network my way into an internship with a boutique investment bank. Response Example.e. Luckily. and I always remember to now triple-check my work and haven’t done anything like that since. like building PowerPoint presentations and editing pitch books. Make sure you emphasize what you learned from this mistake and how you have avoided repeating it. I worked as an analyst.

edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 What do you do when work conflicts with your personal life? Here’s an example…You are supposed to be meeting a close friend for dinner but something comes up and you have to stay late. If the project hadn’t even been started. Make it clear that you understand that this is a normal occurrence in finance. Give an example of a time when you had to make a split second decision. If you have experienced a situation like this in the past. or whether I should dump it and take a little loss from when I bought it. I know these occurrences happen a lot in finance and I expect to make sacrifices in my personal life. I knew their stock was going to take a hit. I would look at the project. and I believed in its fundamentals.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Give an example where you showed the ability to see a storm brewing and made adjustments to mitigate or avoid the damage. anticipating problems can save billions of dollars. that these are sacrifices you expect to make. use it as an example. This is a question about attitude. and see how far along in the process it was. I would cancel dinner and get started on it right away. Response Example. consider when it was due. the stock had been flat until last quarter when they announced earnings that were below the estimates. not a day trade. After I bought it. because it has recovered from that one day and is now up 35% from where I bought it! Tell me about a time when you anticipated potential problems and took measures to prevent them. However. Response Example. and had to be finished the next morning. In finance. if it was already in progress and I was sure it would only take another hour or two to complete. I am prepared to make those sorts of changes. there will be times when you need to make a quick decision without much information. What would you do? Talk about a similar conflict you actually have experienced. First. Show that you will be dedicated to the job. Prove this ability to your interviewer by talking about a time when you had to make a very quick decision and mention that you quickly analyzed the information you did have and made a decision that made sense based on that information. I decided that since I bought the stock as a long-term investment. In finance. and I had to decide whether I believed in holding onto the stock and letting it weather the storm. I should hold onto it. Last fall I bought some shares of Stock X in my personal account online. How you acted in the past is evidence of how you will act in the future. I would ask my boss if I could go to dinner and come back to the office to finish it. Page 75 . I’m glad I did.

they later had to revoke their offer. feet to the fire. As leader of the team. Try a situation where your professor assigned a quantitative project without really explaining how to do it. Tell me about a time when you learned something new in a very short time. I took a job outside of finance and continued networking for another finance-related internship. and it was too late for me to re-interview elsewhere.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Though initially disappointed. You will be thrown in. Due to the economic situation. which ended up being one of the best experiences of my life and turned into a full time offer. I was able to secure an internship at an investment management company. Finally. Response Example. You would be best served here by an answer that is finance related. I was able to network with a few firms to get early interviews for summer internships. but she gave us no guidance on how to use the program. There was one time when I was working in a group last semester. Pick a time when you were disappointed but then worked hard to recover and learned something worthwhile in the process. Choose a time in your past where you achieved something only to have it taken away from you unexpectedly. Demonstrate that you can grasp new topics quickly and put your new skills to good use. I wanted to make sure this didn’t become a problem. to make the most of a bad break.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Response Example. Before studying abroad. I could see that one of the team members. Response Example. Tim. She assigned us a project that required us to put together a portfolio of securities and calculate a number of statistics on the portfolio by running an optimizer program. The biggest disappointment I ever experienced occurred last winter. You took it upon yourself to do research in the library and on the Internet and taught yourself the skills you needed. The learning curve in finance is so steep it is more like a cliff than a curve. He studied up on what he didn’t understand and ended up producing great work. In one of my finance courses last year. I accepted an offer from Firm X since they were able to extend me one before I left the country. my professor wasn’t great at explaining new concepts in class. I carefully approached Tim and worked with him to get the resources he needed to be able to complete the project. and expected to perform from day one (even more so at a smaller firm with no formal training program). However. I Page 76 . I managed to complete the project by doing research on the Internet and learning on my own how to use the program. was not particularly strong in a skill that we needed on the project. Tell me about a time you dealt with a major disappointment and turned it into a learning experience.

Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu)
Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801

learned that if you have a passion for something, you can persevere through the tough times until you
accomplish your objective.

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Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu)
Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801

TRICKY QUESTIONS
What is your biggest weakness?
Variation: Why would we decide not to give you an offer today?
This is a tough question. With practice it is an easy one to answer “correctly," but many candidates still
manage to blow it.
First, do not say that you don’t have any weakness. This will make you sound arrogant, and it is false.
Second, do not say something stupid like “kryptonite.” It is not likely to amuse your interviewer.
Third, do not be obvious with say something like, “I work too hard.” Describe a real weakness here, or
your interviewer will end up rolling his eyes.
The key to answering this question is to pick a “flaw” that you can flip to make it into an area for
improvement. Take something that could be seen as a weakness, and turn it into a positive.
Response Example. In the past, I found myself taking on too much of the responsibility in team situations
because I haven’t trusted others to produce work I would be comfortable with. Over the past few semesters, I
have worked on allowing others to do their fair share, but also encouraging multiple drafts so we can all review
the work before the final submission. I am also learning to listen more and not be so controlling. I am confident
this will be especially valuable in finance where I will be surrounded by others who have the same drive and
high standards I have.

GIVE ME 3 WEAKNESSES AND 3 STRENGTHS

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Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu)
Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801

What do you consider your greatest failure?
Here’s another trick question. The interviewer wants to hear about a failure but wants even more to see
what you learned from that failure.
Do not discount your ability in a skill-set that is critical to finance. You never want to say something
like, “I failed my corporate finance course last semester,” since it is very hard to spin that in a positive
way.
Allow the story of the failure to be the shortest part of your response, and then turn the question around
to focus on how you turned the failure into a positive experience.
If you are debating between two failures, pick the one that is farther in the past, because it gives you
more of a chance to have changed since the failure. If you pick a failure that happened last week, you
will have a difficult time convincing anyone that you have succeeded in similar situations since then.
For both the greatest weakness and the greatest failure questions, some things to keep in mind are:
o Do not pick a failure that was costly to your employer’s finances or reputation.
o Do not pick an example that doesn’t allow you to show how you have improved or how you
succeeded as a result.
Response Example. I consider not getting an internship last year to be my biggest failure. I know that the
hiring situation was difficult, but I feel like I let down my family and myself by not getting an internship after
having the opportunity to study at a school like The University of X. I went through the traditional channels and
applied through my career center and websites. When that didn’t work, I realized that networking is essential.
This year I reached out to almost everyone I know and now have interviews at a lot of great firms like this one.

What do you consider the biggest negative about this job?
Your interviewer is giving you a chance to give a “negative” about the job and explain why you don’t
really see it as a negative.
The overwhelmingly popular response to this question is the lack of work-life balance, long hours, very
unpredictable schedule, etc.
Quickly mention the negative and then move onto why it doesn’t bother you.
Response Example. I have been fortunate enough to have a lot of contacts who work in finance, and their usual
response to this question is the long hours. However, every single person I have spoken with has said that they
enjoy their job and they think the hours are worth it. This job will give me 4-5 years of work experience in only
two years. It’s an opportunity I crave and a learning experience I don’t want to miss. I am ready for the
challenges and I want to show that I can handle them.

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Response Example. I really don’t see that happening but if I had to guess. do not admit that your GPA is low or apologize for whatever it is. With my commitment to the hockey team as well as the student government association. so I don’t expect that to be a problem. you don’t get a full time offer.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Why is your GPA so low? This is a stress-test question. I think my GPA is actually at a solid level. since I don’t know the people in my group.0 doing nothing except going to class and studying. Show you are well rounded and you know you will have very little or no time for a social life once you get into finance. Do not make excuses unless something EXTREMELY drastic happened that dropped your GPA one semester (parent dying. you are happy that you had fun while you could and are confident you have the skills to be a great employee now. You understand the demands of the job. fit is crucial since you will be spending most of your waking hours in the office. Well. major surgery. I know about the long hours and I’m completely prepared for them. etc. I am more satisfied with the combination of my GPA and my variety of extracurricular activities than if I had a 4. I do not consider my GPA especially low. but you are up to the challenge. say that after talking to friends and alumni in the industry. You can also say that you might not have succeeded in receiving a full time offer because you didn’t feel 100% comfortable with the people you were working with. Page 80 . Whatever you do. Response Example. Show you have done your research. What could cause this to happen? Make sure you tell them you plan on working so hard that you do not see it happening. That being said. and in this industry. I think the most likely reason would be that I was not comfortable with my colleagues.). Working 80+ hours per week with a group you don’t mesh with can be difficult and I suppose that could impact me receiving an offer. so while maybe your GPA isn’t a 4.0. At the end of the summer internship. Be confident but not cocky. Personally. you understand that the biggest cause of burnout seems to be the long hours.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. I cannot predict how we will interact. However.

edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 You worked at Bank X last year. I think the environment here suits me much better. While most interviewers are aware that you are probably applying everywhere. This is because they may assume you will turn them down if you get an offer from Goldman. Similar to the question above. “I am in contact with a number of different firms. the group I was working in at Bank X was very slow while I was there last summer.e. I feel as though not receiving the offer may have been a blessing in disguise since I wasn’t crazy about the culture at that firm. you may not want to mention the BB’s to the boutiques or vice versa. poor performance of the group as a whole leading to them not hiring many/any interns to return full time. Response Example. Page 81 . make sure the interviewer knows that banking is your first choice and the others are fallbacks due to the tough job market. If you are lucky enough to get interviews with a number of bulge brackets and a number of boutiques. etc. Sales and Trading.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. if you didn’t actually receive an offer to return full time. You want to appear highly focused on Investment Banking. or whatever your current interview is for. If you are interviewing at a boutique and tell them you have a final round at Goldman coming up. Why wouldn’t you go back there to work full time? This question is probing to see if you failed to receive a return offer. The bottom line is that you should name firms that are similar to the one you are currently interviewing with.” If they push. they may actually be less likely to extend an offer. However. If you do not have interviews lined up with other firms. While I received strong performance reviews from all my superiors. you need to show that you have studied the culture and focus of this firm and want to be at this particular firm for specific reasons. If you are interviewing for jobs outside of banking. The group underperformed which allowed them to hire only 2 of 28 interns to return full time. you also need to make sure you come across as focused. mention Morgan Stanley to Goldman Sachs). or just the overall performance of the bank requiring them to cut back on hiring. think about discussing a lack of cultural fit. Do not lie. say something to the effect that. management consulting firm. Unfortunately. By all means mention other banks you are interviewing with that are similar in size and culture (i. You don’t want to run the risk that the interviewer knows someone at the other firm and checks up on your false claim. just hedging your bets to make sure you get something. name some firms you applied to and/or are waiting to hear back from. DO NOT tell an investment bank you are interviewing at an accounting firm. I was not one of the two. Where else are you applying? While you want to show that you are in demand by a lot of firms. Firms do not like being turned down.

and Bank Z.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. However. I have been lucky to get some interviews at some other great firms. I really hope I don’t even have to go to those interviews because I already will have accepted an offer here. MY EXPERIENCE AS AN ANALYST AT GOLDMAN SACHS WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 2-5 YEARS? Page 82 . Bank Y.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Response Example. I have Superdays coming up at Bank X. this is where I want to be and where I think I fit best.

I am committed to staying here and finishing at least my two year contract and I hope that if all goes well I would have the opportunity to continue to progress up the ranks within this firm. you will assess your situation and decide what is best for you. If I were less satisfied. do a third year as an analyst. Page 83 . I cannot honestly sit here and say I know what I will be doing in five or ten years. No. If you received an offer from a PE firm or Hedge Fund before your two-year contract is up would you take it? Response Example. As I work through the program. How do I know you aren’t going to do the same thing here? This question is tricky in that you need to make sure you don’t come off as someone who gets bored after a year and looks to make a move. My feeling now is that if I were performing successfully and enjoying my group. it looks like you switched jobs every year or so. Looking back at your past roles. I am enthusiastic about this program as a learning experience. show that you are 100% dedicated to (and excited about) the years you hope to spend at this firm. not just a decision for a couple of years. I would want to do a third year as an Analyst and then move directly up to Associate. Response Example. you can say so. Another option is admitting that you are not sure right now exactly what you want that far in the future. You can tell your interviewer that you are going into finance as a crash course in which you will learn more than you would in any other job. Just make sure you have a reason for your choice and can explain it clearly. is lying. right out of school. However. In either situation. No interviewer actually expects you to know what you will be doing in 10 years. If you would rather stay with the firm.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? If you are applying for an analyst position. that’s fine too. your answer to this question can vary. and have decided this is the path you want to take. I could apply to business school. If you see yourself going back for your MBA. and try for promotion directly to associate. Anyone who says they know what they want to be doing in 10 years. Firms want to see that you have thought about your future at this point. if you are applying for an Associate position coming out of your years in business school. It will prepare you for anything that you decide to do later and probably will help you figure out what you want to do.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. I will be considering my next steps. Your answer is to show that you have thought about your future and have a rationale for your thoughts. you need to appear more certain that this position is a career choice. I am thrilled at the opportunity to be an analyst. it's OK not to be 100% certain you will be a banker for life. In your early twenties. As the program progresses. Show commitment.

You have to show your interviewer that this is your number one choice. That being said. you have to say yes.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 If I gave you an offer right now. we haven’t heard of an interviewer actually putting an offer letter in front of a candidate and forcing them to sign on the spot. so don’t worry about it too much. BUILDING A RESILIENT CAREER Page 84 . Response Example. Show me where to sign and I’m all yours. would you sign it? Even if this is a lie. Absolutely.

read The Wall Street Journal and outline a few articles you feel comfortable discussing. What are the main idea. A few days ago. There are plenty of resources online to help you find a good clean joke to tell in an interview. Rare to get this one. Funny people are good to be around in stressful times.” meaning your interviewer wants to see if you are someone they could stand being stuck with in an airport for an extended period (or in the analyst bullpen until 4:00 a. At the same time.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 OTHER QUESTIONS Tell me a (clean) joke. What is the most interesting thing you have read in The Wall Street Journal lately? This question tests your interest in the markets. I read an article about Roger Penske buying Saturn. supporting arguments. Response Example. it shows that you don’t just glance at the front page to grab any old story in preparation for your interview. GM was planning on slowly phasing out the Saturn line. Page 85 . and main conclusion of the article? What is your opinion of the article/topic? It is probably best to stay clear of highly controversial topics like politics and/or war and focus on financial stories. it is less likely that your interviewer will know a lot about the topic and therefore push you to an in-depth discussion. by buying the company he will help save 13. so show your sense of humor. Do you keep in touch with what is going on in the financial world? Pick something that is not on the front page. I was interested in finding out why he would want to own a company that recorded a $1.). The reasoning behind this is two-fold. but have a clean joke in the back of your mind just in case. including outsourcing production. Turns out that he has a lot of plans for cost cutting. First.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.m. This is part of the “airport test. and has terrible car sales. For a few days before your interview. Second.1 billion loss last year. You should rehearse this joke and tell it to several times to others in order to test its effectiveness and get your presentation down.000 jobs since before they found a buyer.

Second. enthusiastic. I think there are two main qualities that determine whether someone is a successful leader. Bring to your interviews mental notes of the full names of all previous interviewers. When it comes to less important decisions. You will be meeting new people every day in this job. Page 86 . tolerant. focused.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Tell me the full names of the people who interviewed you before me. Response Example. this is a question reserved for experienced hires.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 What are the qualities of a successful leader? A great leader must embody a combination of qualities. organized. confident. The only way to prepare for this other is to pay close attention during and to make careful notes after every interview. and great communicators. Focus on bringing out the positives of the position at hand. and great communication starts with great listening. team members must be empowered to make them and then be held responsible for them. rather than the negatives of your prior job. calm. allowing group members to make decisions on their own rather micromanaging. they need to listen to those they are leading. you want to show you will have no trouble remembering clients’ names after a single brief meeting. Why are you looking to switch jobs? Be sure to talk about what you weren’t learning or achieving at your prior job and how you will be able to accomplish new objectives at the position you are interviewing for. If you can’t remember. Great leaders also empower those around them. Again. Titles wouldn’t be a bad idea either. they can’t lead effectively and efficiently if they are micromanaging. and making sure to express appreciation for those they are working with. a great leader needs to empower those working below them. committed. you are better off smiling and just saying so rather than getting flustered and apologizing or making excuses. Communication is essential to successful teamwork. Leaders must be trustworthy. First. Pick a few of those qualities and explain why in your mind they are the most important qualities. While it is important for a leader to be in control and understand what’s going on.

and have worked well with a wide variety of people throughout your career. live deal exposure. Whether this is a learning experience. attention to detail.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. What is your favorite/least favorite part of your current job? Make sure this is relevant. you can anticipate getting this question. multi tasking. Don’t say something like “I like the free snacks we get in the breakroom. whatever forced you to quit your previous job should be something that is supplied by the new job you are applying to. what kind of vegetable would you be? This is a ridiculous question.). Page 87 . which will be provided by the job for which you are applying. Focus your answer to this question into why you can add value to the team do to your maturity level and experience in X.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 What are your day to day responsibilities? Describe the tasks and responsibilities that you had and that are relevant to the potential position. If you don’t have anything directly relevant. If you were a vegetable. and how you were able to accomplish them effectively. and isn’t one we can answer for you. not those first entering the workforce.” Why did you quit your job at XXXX? You seemed to have been moving up the ranks and performing well. This is another question that is really on applicable for those changing jobs. Just throwing it into the guide so it doesn’t completely blindside you if someone randomly pulls it out of his or her back pocket! Why are you so old? If you are older than 30 years old and applying for a relatively junior position. try and relate a skill you had or learned at your previous job to skills that are needed at the new job (organization. what went wrong? Be sure to discuss something that job wasn’t providing you. Y and Z jobs. or culture. etc. Talk about how you have been both a leader and a non-leader in team settings before.” say something like “I like that I am challenged on a daily basis and get to learn new skills from senior members of my team.

Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Make sure you emphasize that you are well aware of the time commitment that it will take to be a successful junior member of the team and why you are willing to make the sacrifices in your personal life to make that happen. Page 88 .

Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu)
Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801

YOUR QUESTIONS
Remember that your responsibility for how the interview goes, what you get out of it, and the impression you
leave is not limited to the passive role of answering questions. You may take a more active part by asking
questions as time permits and the climate allows.
You should have good questions to ask your interviewer.
You should have at least ten questions in mind that you feel comfortable asking.
Ten may seem like a lot, but not every question will be suitable for every interviewer. You need to
gauge the type of question your interviewer would enjoy answering.
Some general hints for framing good questions are as follows:
o Keep the questions short; you do not want the interviewer to stop paying attention.
o Allow the interviewer to finish speaking before you jump in with a response.
o Do not ask yes or no questions. Allow your interviewers to talk about themselves.
o Do not ask questions that aren’t relevant to the job at hand.
o Do not ask about compensation. Those in finance make a lot of money (not on an hourly basis);
we all know that.
There are two subjects about which you may question your interviewers. It’s OK to ask them about
financial topics, and you can ask about firm/lifestyle topics. Some samples of each are below.

FINANCIAL
o Where do you see the economy going in the next year?
o Have you seen a change in deal flow due to the economic downturn?
o In your opinion, what desks or product groups have the best reputation and/or the most
promising future at your firm?
o Do you think more “investment banks” will end up going under in the coming years?
o What do you see as the future of investment banking/sales and trading?

FIRM/LIFESTYLE
o What was your career path/how did you get into finance?
o Why did you choose investment banking/sales and trading over something like consulting or
corporate finance?
o Did you do an internship here?
o What group are you in?
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Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu)
Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801

o Have you enjoyed your finance experience?
o Why did you choose this firm?
o Have you worked at other firms? How does this experience compare to that?
o What do you think is the biggest positive with this firm?
o What do you think is the biggest negative of this firm?
o What kind of training program does your firm have?
o What is the team experience like at this bank? Will I be mentored?
o How is the interaction between junior and senior professionals here?
o Are you “friends” with your colleagues?
o How does the work/life balance change as you move up from the analyst level? (not a highly
recommended question—you don’t want to risk that they think you’re afraid of the hours)
o How have you handled the intense finance lifestyle?
o I know there is no “typical” day, but I wonder if you walk me through one of your normal days.
o What advice would you give me going into my analyst stint?
o What personal qualities do you value most in an employee?
o What do you think makes a great analyst? (The answer to this can be used in later interviews
when you get asked this same question.)
o What should I do during the first month on the job to make the most positive impact?
o If I were an analyst on your current deal team, what would my role be?
A third kind of permissible questions is the non-substantive question that addresses the interview, the evaluation
process, or the hiring procedure.

NON-SUBSTANTIVE
o Is there anything else that you would like to know or anything else I can clarify about my resume
our conversation?
o What are the next steps in this process? When should I expect to hear from you? (This is useful if
you are running out of questions or want to wrap things up.)
With any question, especially the financial ones, be ready for it to be turned back on you. You must be
able to hold a conversation and have an opinion about the questions you ask, so don’t enter an area
where you are completely clueless.
Most interviewers enjoy talking about themselves. Allow them to do so if possible, pay attention, and be
enthusiastic listening to their stories.
The questions you ask should be about things you are truly interested in learning. You need to sound
genuine with your questions; otherwise, your interviewer will see right through you.
Ask about the background of your interviewer first (school, other firms they worked for, etc) and then
follow that up with appropriate questions about the industry.
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Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu)
Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801

Ask follow up questions after a response. This creates more of a conversation with your interviewer
rather than a formal Q&A.
You can write your questions in your notebook and glance at them before the interview to refresh your
memory, but you should not be looking at them during the interview.
The final word of advice about asking questions comes from a Goldman Sachs VP... “Don’t do any
damage at the end of the interview by asking a stupid question.” Don’t take risks in the Q&A
portion of the interview; it is not worth it.

INVESTMENT BANKING RECRUITING IN GERMANY

INVESTMENT BANKING RECRUITING IN INDIA

Page 91

Walk me through a DCF. Summer Associates. For the major banks listed below. Why [whatever firm you are interviewing at]? 8. Why should I hire you over any of the other candidates? 9. What are some ways you can value a company? 10. How would you invest $XXX right now? 6. 2. From the data. Some of those questions are as follows: 1. we have been able to pull together invaluable statistics that aren’t available anywhere else in the world. Walk me through your resume/tell me about yourself. Additionally. For each category within each bank we attempted to include 5 relatively unique questions to give you a feel for the types of things that each bank likes to ask candidates. How does $XX of depreciation expense flow through the three financial statements? 5. What is your biggest weakness/what are your three biggest weaknesses? 7. this compilation of data allowed us to more solidly define some of the most common interview questions across all levels and across all banks. 4. VPs and Others). Any variation of the “How many ____ can I fit into _____” or “How man _____’s are there in _____” question. Full Time Analysts and Full Time Associates+ (including Associates. Pitch me a stock/what are your top three stock picks right now? Page 92 . These are the questions you are most likely to receive and the ones you should be 100% prepared for.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 WALL STREET OASIS FIRM INTERVIEW INSIGHTS From the WSO Company Database we have compiled statistics based on thousands of actual interviews that have been completed by our members.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. we broke down the questions into those asked to Summer Analysts (or other college-level interns). 3.

Associate FT Analyst FT Associate VP + Other 55% 6% 21% 3% 2% 13% Less than 1 Month 79% Length of Process 1-2 Months 2-3 Months 15% 3% Outcome Accepted Offer 40% No Offer 45% Very Easy 6% Very Positive 22% Easy 24% Difficulty Average 47% 3-4 Months 3% Declined Offer 16% Difficult 20% Very Difficult 2% Overall Impression of the Interview Process Positive Neutral Negative 43% 25% 7% Very Negative 3% Page 93 .Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Analyst S.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 BANK OF AMERICA MERRILL LYNCH Position Applying For S.

none of the questions were too difficult. Which belongs with which? Why? SUMMER ANALYST: If you had a company financed completely with equity and another financed completely with debt. Multiple applicants reported interviewers asking trivial questions about BAML itself. and 100% debt. 5% coupon rate bond change if the interest rate increased from 5% to 6%? SUMMER ANALYST: If Gillette was to be acquired by Proctor & Gamble or a PE firm. S&T: If you were Ben Bernanke what policies would you pursue and why? SUMMER ANALYST. would you use P/E or EV/EBITDA to compare them? Why? SUMMER ANALYST: How would the price of a $100. Very positive experience.000.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Overall the questions in the BAML interviews are all over the map. a furniture retailer.” SUMMER ANALYST: What’s the first number whose letters. S&T: Pitch me a vacation destination. and a casino & gaming company. 50/50 debt/equity. as are most Bulge Brackets since they are so large. the standard technical and behavioral questions from the WSO Behavioral and Technical guides come up over and over again. Additionally. There are three financing opportunities: 100% equity.000 where would you invest it and why? SUMMER ANALYST: What are you doing this upcoming weekend? Page 94 .Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. A general consensus is to know your resume very well. so make sure you study! Even those with no finance background reported getting technical questions (even for Summer Analyst positions). when spelled out. S&T: If you had $1.1? SUMMER ANALYST: How many hours will you work? SUMMER ANALYST: Tell me about your hero? Who's your favorite superhero? SUMMER ANALYST. what kinds of thing would both sides consider? SUMMER ANALYST: Do you consider yourself smart? SUMMER ANALYST: What is the square root of 0. are in alphabetical order? SUMMER ANALYST: What are your five favorite Excel functions? SUMMER ANALYST: You have three companies: an early-stage tech startup. Summer Analyst: SUMMER ANALYST: “Focus on studying your resume and the BAML culture rather than your technicals” SUMMER ANALYST: “Overall. BAML had the second lowest rejection rate of all the Bulge Brackets. with over 55% of candidates in our survey receiving offers. SUMMER ANALYST.

S. Investment Banking: If I receive bi-weekly paychecks. debt ceiling across the global markets? ANALYST: “Tell me three of your weakness and don't bullshit. VP+: ASSOCIATE: Explain how any line item flows through all of the three financial statements. how would you do it? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Tell me about a time you mentored someone that was having difficulty becoming part of the team. FT Analyst ANALYST: How many tennis balls can you fit into a 747? ANALYST: How many gas stations in the US? ANALYST: What is our Lending Philosophy? ANALYST: What are the impacts of the U.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Summer Associate: SUMMER ASSOCIATE.” ANALYST: What is asset turnover and what do you think it is for a company like X? ANALYST. what will the price be tomorrow if the yield increases to 6%? ANALYST. could all those pennies fit in my office? ANALYST. trades at par and was issued yesterday. I don't want to hear how you work too hard. I want concrete weaknesses. SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Do you expect Greece to leave the Euro? Why or why not? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: I am a first year Investment Banking Analyst and you are mentoring me on how to build and LBO model. Investment Banking: If pennies were stacked as tall as the empire state building. how does it affect the firm value derived from a DCF. LEV FIN: What is the worst decision that our company made in the past 5 years? Associate. Page 95 . and why does the government allow it for tax purposes? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Would you use the current 10-year treasury rate as your risk free rate in a WACC calculation or do you think it's necessary to pad it a little since it is extremely low? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: What is the P/E multiple of cash. LEV FIN: What is our stock price as of this morning? ANALYST. how many months of the year will I receive more than 2 paychecks? ANALYST: If a 10-year bond has a coupon of 5%. Investment Banking: How does accelerated depreciation create a DTL.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.

Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. If you aren't comfortable talking about yourself. this can be tough!” VP: Do you think you will be an MD in 5 years? VP: Are you willing to put in more hours as a VP than as an Associate? VP: How would you size the fee pool for global investment banks in Asia Pacific? What sources do you use? Senior VP: Tell me something about yourself I wouldn’t know from reading your resume.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 ASSOCIATE: “Be prepared to discuss your leadership abilities fluidly. Page 96 .

edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 BARCLAYS S. Associate 9% Less than 1 Month 70% Length of Process 1-2 Months 2-3 Months 19% 8% Outcome Accepted Offer 36% No Offer 52% Very Easy 1% Very Positive 17% VP + 1% Easy 15% Difficulty Average 60% Other 7% 3-4 Months 3% Declined Offer 12% Difficult 22% Very Difficult 2% Overall Impression of the Interview Process Positive Neutral Negative 48% 25% 8% Very Negative 2% Page 97 . Analyst 58% Position Applying For FT Analyst FT Associate 22% 3% S.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.

figure it out without writing anything down. I had 30 minutes to walk through a set of questions based on a made-up company. you have 90 seconds. so make sure you study! Overall. JPM. Investment Banking: A few Summer Associates reported being given a written finance quiz reviewing basic accounting finance and accounting questions. but then had to accept that second roll. how much would you pay then? SUMMER ANALYST: What are the top three banks you would want to work for and why? SUMMER ANALYST: What is the fed funds rate and how does it affect markets? SUMMER ANALYST: Why would a company like Apple. how much would you pay for that roll? If I told you that after the first roll you would get to roll a second time for free if you didn’t like your first roll.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Why are you switching careers?/Why investment banking? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: You have a European company with shrinking revenues and margins which leases its buildings in emerging markets. and had to use that to answer questions related to the BS. Additionally. I had their financials. Barclay’s tended to rely a bit more on the fit questions. SUMMER ASSOCIATE: If you got an offer would you take it?/If you got offers from GS. Summer Analyst: SUMMER ANALYST. FX Forwards: What is 56x27. brain teasers and general advice that came up in actual Barclays interviews. The standard technical and behavioral questions from the WSO Behavioral and Technical guides come up over and over again. issue debt? Summer Associate: SUMMER ASSOCIATE. go.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 While respondents reported both technical and fit questions in Barclays interviews. Barlcays was rated slightly more difficult than average and nearly all responders had a neutral or positive interview process. Investment Banking: How many windows are there in Manhattan? SUMMER ANALYST: If I hand you a dice and give you one roll in which you get the amount of money back shown on the dice. how would you grow the company? Full Time Analyst: ANALYST. with plenty of cash. where is it going to end? ANALYST. IS and CF statement. A few applicants reported interviewers asking them “what is your favorite song” which is unique to Barclays. SUMMER ANALYST. MS and Barclays. Equity Research: If you had a time machine what would you do? Page 98 . many across all levels and divisions reported being asked numerous current events questions and brainteasers. why would you come here? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: “The most difficult question was certainly the case study. TMT: If a stock goes up and down by 50% 5 times. Below are some tricky technical questions.

quantitative and intrapersonal skills.” ANALYST: What is your favorite song?/What is a song that defines your life? ANALYST: How many hours are in one year? Associate. Equity Research: If you could speak to one dead person who would it be and what would you ask? ASSOCIATE: What is your favorite book? OTHER.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 ANALYST. Equity Research: Rank your writing.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Other: ASSOCIATE: Why didn’t you go to a better school? ASSOCIATE. VP. ASSOCIATE. S&T: What class did you have your worst grade in and what was it? ANALYST: How did the recession of 2008 happen? ANALYST: “I was put through a group interview and then asked to review my own performance and the performance of the others in the group. Commodities Trading: How are the market fundamentals in your market changing in the next year? Page 99 .

edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 CITI S.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Associate 7% Less than 1 Month 76% VP + 2% Length of Process 1-2 Months 2-3 Months 21% 2% Other 7% 3-4 Months 1% No Offer Outcome Accepted Offer Declined Offer 53% 32% 15% Very Easy 1% Very Positive 17% Easy 16% Difficulty Average 51% Difficult 30% Very Difficult 1% Overall Impression of the Interview Process Positive Neutral Negative 41% 29% 11% Very Negative 2% Page 100 . Analyst 55% Position Applying For FT Analyst FT Associate 35% 2% S.

with Citi being ranked as the bulge bracket with the second most difficult interviews. A slightly higher percentage of offers to work at Citi were turned down than offers to other big firms. many applicants said that they were asked why [this group] over [that group] or other specific questions about Citi/the group they were interviewing for. Summer Analyst: SUMMER ANALYST. Balance Sheets.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. 3. what is the minimum possible percentage of people that like all three? SUMMER ANALYST: Show how the effect of PIK interest of 10% on an $100 million bond would affect the 3 statements: Net Income. or Boeing? SUMMER ANALYST: Tell me about a time you royally screwed up and fell flat on your face? SUMMER ANALYST: What is a one-dollar bill worth? SUMMER ANALYST: Teach me something. which of the following would you be most worried about if you were investing in their stock: Intel. 2 doesn't)? SUMMER ANALYST: How many flights take off from XYZ airport a day? SUMMER ANALYST: If 70% of people like pizza. SUMMER ANALYST: In order from least to greatest. Summer Associate: SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Why not management consulting? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Who else do you know that works at Citi. and 40% of people like beer. Citi was rated slightly more difficult than average and slightly more responders had a negative feeling coming out of their interview. 50% of people like soda. Capital Markets: Why should Amazon trade at a higher PE ratio than Apple? SUMMER ANALYST: Why do you think you got rejected at XXX bank (after asking where else they had applied/interviewed). Cash Flow Statement. Some applicants mentioned rapid fire questions to see how they would handle under pressure. how will you use your other skills to add enough value to the firm in order to make-up for the extra effort we will have to take in training you? This was then followed up with a criticism of every response. SUMMER ANALYST: If you were Paulson what would you have done to prevent the crisis.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 More interviewers at Citi specifically referenced an “intense” interview. SUMMER ASSOCIATE: What are the affects of DTL and DTA in a merger situation? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: What is a reverse triangle merger? Page 101 . Krogers. SUMMER ANALYST: You come from a non-finance background. SUMMER ANALYST: What is the probability when you roll three dice that they will be in strictly ascending order (1. Overall. 2. 3 works but 1. Additionally.

Other: ASSOCIATE: What would you do if you figure out if you made a mistake in a model after you have submitted it? VICE PRESIDENT. Capital Markets: How do you handle boredom? ANALYST.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 SUMMER ASSOCIATE: What was a complex analysis you did at your previous job? Full Time Analyst: ANALYST. Capital Markets: Please explain how recent events in the news will impact the capital markets? ANALYST: What is the cost of capital for Citi? What is Citi’s beta? ANALYST: How would you value a company with negative net income? Associate. VP. OTHER: What would you tell your client if Greece defaulted tomorrow? Page 102 . How does goodwill affect Basel 3 capital calculation? OTHER: Tell me about our group’s recent accomplishments.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Sales and Trading: Make me a market in a simple dice game. ANALYST: Why are manhole covers round? ANALYST.

edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 CREDIT SUISSE S. Associate 7% Less than 1 Month 71% VP + 0% Length of Process 1-2 Months 2-3 Months 24% 4% Other 4% 3-4 Months 2% No Offer Outcome Accepted Offer Declined Offer 57% 30% 13% Very Easy 5% Very Positive 20% Easy 14% Difficulty Average 57% Difficult 23% Very Difficult 1% Overall Impression of the Interview Process Positive Neutral Negative 40% 28% 12% Very Negative 0% Page 103 . Analyst 57% Position Applying For FT Analyst FT Associate 26% 6% S.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.

such as leases.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Overall. Although. I was asked to draw WACC curves. Investment Banking: What is a Capitalized Lease? SUMMER ANALYST. Sales & Trading: “Sell me on a trade” then follow up of. about average difficulty level relative to other bulge brackets. the “walk me through an LBO” question was mentioned a number of times. Respondents largely said that while there were technical questions. and a slightly more positive impression of the overall interview process. and whether it will persist over the next 5 years or not. Credit Suisse applicants had a slightly quicker interview process. A number of those coming out of the Credit Suisse interview process reported that they took part in group interviews at some point. Summer Analyst: SUMMER ANALYST: What do you think of the Macau casino sector? SUMMER ANALYST: “Valuation questions were pretty in depth for a Summer Analyst position” SUMMER ANALYST.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. when evaluating a company? SUMMER ANALYST: What in history fascinates you? SUMMER ANALYST: What would you do if 2 VPs ask you to do tasks with conflict deadline? What if you find no other intern/analyst want to help you on those tasks? Summer Associate: SUMMER ASSOCIATE: What is the formula for CAGR? SUMMER ASSOCIATE. even in Summer Analyst interviews. “How would you hedge that trade?” SUMMER ASSOCIATE. Investment Banking: “Technical questions were not conventional. Sales & Trading: What is 2% of 9? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Tell me about a deal in the market you have been following and why it interests you. what's your absolute worst habit? SUMMER ANALYST: Describe a trend you see emerging in the technology industry. Equity Research: Why is a country having a large debt-to-GDP ratio “bad”? SUMMER ANALYST. SUMMER ANALYST: Why is it important that we consider off-balance sheet liabilities.” SUMMER ANALYST: What are the biggest weaknesses of Credit Suisse? SUMMER ANALYST: Suppose I go to your best friend. more of the interview was fit/behavioral. why Credit Suisse. Page 104 . FIFO accounting. SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Tell me about the different effects of LIFO vs. why this specific group. and was asked to explain concepts intuitively. received some definitional questions.

VP.” ANALYST. Internal Clients. you are an ant. Investment Banking: Walk me through an NOL calculation and how it impacts the income statement. Investment Banking: Tell me a joke. How much does the bag of potatoes weigh after it's been in the sun? ANALYST.. ASSOCIATE. sickness.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Full Time Analyst: ANALYST. Equity Research: Rank these in order of importance if you were working as an equity research associate: Companies (your research). Investment Banking: A bag of potatoes weighs 200lbs and consists of 99% water. Other: ASSOCIATE: How would you calculate the amount of cash available for debt prepayments by looking at the financial statements? ASSOCIATE: How would you grow shareholder value at Walt Disney theme parks? ASSOCIATE. etc. ANALYST: How do we know you are not going to shop around this offer at other banks? ANALYST: Why would a convenience store that is open 24/7 and never closes (not for storms. What is the shortest distance to the exact opposite corner? OTHER: Why don’t you want to work at a hedge fund? OTHER: Explain warning signs you are looking for in Europe and how you think the debt ceiling and sequester will be resolved. Page 105 . It sits in the sun all day and when you weigh it the next day.) have locks on its doors? ANALYST: Why CS not the other BB? Associate. but the interviewer grilled me on the specifics of the company to the point that I couldn't answer. Investment Banking: How did you value XX deal that you worked on? How did you determine which comps to use? ASSOCIATE: Who is CEO of the firm? ASSOCIATE: You are in the corner of a box. Equities: “I was asked for a stock pitch. ANALYST. holidays.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Investment Banking: What is your favorite function in Excel? ANALYST. and External Clients. it's only 98% water..

Associate 4% Less than 1 Month 82% VP + 0% Length of Process 1-2 Months 2-3 Months 16% 2% Other 5% 3-4 Months 0% No Offer Outcome Accepted Offer Declined Offer 50% 32% 18% Very Easy 4% Very Positive 21% Easy 16% Difficulty Average 56% Difficult 21% Very Difficult 4% Overall Impression of the Interview Process Positive Neutral Negative 44% 24% 6% Very Negative 5% Page 106 .Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 DEUTSCHE BANK S. Analyst 56% Position Applying For FT Analyst FT Associate 27% 9% S.

especially with the amount of fire bankers have been coming under recently”.” ANALYST. many reported being asked very detailed questions about specific projects or jobs that were listed on their resume. Investment Banking: Who are the most influential leaders in global politics right now and why? Respond using first and last name. ANALYST. SUMMER ASSOCIATE: How would you value a depleting asset? Full Time Analyst: ANALYST.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 A higher percentage of those submitting their experiences to the job database were applying for Summer Analyst/Full Time Analyst jobs than some of the other major banks. It was in two parts "what is the functional form" and "what are the pitfalls of a monthly series" I stumbled a bit on the first question. Investment Banking: How would you convert 25% of a company’s debt into equity? Page 107 . Summer Analyst: SUMMER ANALYST: Do you have more girlfriends or boyfriends? SUMMER ANALYST: What is the sum of all the numbers from 1 to 100? SUMMER ANALYST: “Make sure you can explain EVERY single word on your resume. and limit responses per leader to one sentence. Some mentioned that they had a 2-1 “good cop. bad cop” style interview at DB.” SUMMER ANALYST: Name five types of transactions a company could do with excess cash on the balance sheet. I was really unsure about their P&L. but was eventually able to describe the ARMA forecasting model. Additionally. but made up the revenue and cost numbers on the fly and just converted that into a percentage. SUMMER ANALYST: How many ties are sold in the United States every year? SUMMER ANALYST: What would the COGS be for Netflix? SUMMER ANALYST: Would you be happy as a Garbage man? SUMMER ANALYST: What is the market size for a fit bit for dogs? Summer Associate: SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Why did you choose XX school? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Why do you want to do banking after doing XX for YY years? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Walk me through your resume in 30 seconds. Commodities: “The most difficult question I received had to do with a natural gas demand forecast I put together for an econometrics project. A number of people specifically mention being asked a question along the lines of “why investment banking. and the answer he was looking for was "you have to divide monthly demand by the number of days to normalize between months like JAN and FEB" The next most difficult question I received was I was asked to calculate the profit margin for a company I did some quickbooks work for over the summer. I missed the second question.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.

what would be the impact on the stock price? Page 108 . what percent would you charge them given their risk profile and size? ASSOCIATE: If a company paid a cash dividend today.” Associate. ‘what is three divided by seven?’ You have approximately 2 seconds to respond. a traditional software company like Microsoft or a Software as a Service company like Salesforce? ANALYST: “As soon as I walked in the room.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 ANALYST: Which would you expect to have higher gross margins. Other: ASSOCIATE: Do you always wear a suit to work? ASSOCIATE: Do you think publicly traded companies in the US are fairly valued. undervalued or overvalued in the context of US history right now? ASSOCIATE: How will a hollow ball roll compared to a solid ball? ASSOCIATE: If you were to do a debt offering for Walmart. VP. they asked me.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.

Associate 5% Less than 1 Month 75% VP + 1% Length of Process 1-2 Months 2-3 Months 18% 6% Other 1% 3-4 Months 2% No Offer Outcome Accepted Offer Declined Offer 65% 25% 10% Very Easy 4% Very Positive 19% Easy 16% Difficulty Average 43% Difficult 30% Very Difficult 5% Overall Impression of the Interview Process Positive Neutral Negative 44% 27% 8% Very Negative 2% Page 109 .edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 GOLDMAN SACHS S. Analyst 48% Position Applying For FT Analyst FT Associate 40% 5% S.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.

A significant percentage of interviewees also reported receiving challenging brain teasers. Investment Banking: You are now the president of the United States. Make sure you're on top of everything. why the market is wrong. Page 110 . we listed them in a separate section of the bottom to give you an idea of the types of questions they ask. what is the probability of pulling a king? If you take one king out. and no timer. With that. Investment Banking: If you were any piece on a chess board which would you be and why? SUMMER ANALYST. how many races do I have to run to find the fastest three horses? SUMMER ANALYST: Calculate 3 basis points of 62. Goldman had the highest rejection rate (65%).000. know why they should hire you over any of the other candidates. You draw 2 socks from the drawer without looking.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Goldman Sachs had the highest number of interviewers participate in the WSO database.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. know the group. Asset Management: How would you explain the derivative of a curve to a 7th grader? SUMMER ANALYST. Interviews seemed to be especially difficult in the Global Investment Research (GIR) group. which was 2-3 years ago. Since there are so many of them. SUMMER ANALYST: In a deck of 52 cards. SUMMER ANALYST: If I have 25 horses.” SUMMER ANALYST. potential catalysts and be extremely humble if you don’t know something. Go.” SUMMER ANALYST: “Prepare to get grilled very hard on your stock pitches… know your sh** cold. how do you solve unemployment? SUMMER ANALYST.” SUMMER ANALYST. go. Know all the multiples.000. A significant number of respondents reported receiving the “What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses” question. what makes you unique. You have 60 seconds. Sales and Trading: You have 30 seconds to sell me this phone sitting on the table. then what is the probability? SUMMER ANALYST: There is a drawer with 10 black socks and 10 white socks. Investment Banking: “They gave me a private company and asked me how I would value it. SUMMER ANALYST: How many people get married in USA every year? SUMMER ANALYST: Tell me everything important that has happened in the past year that does not involve business. on a project I did on my intern. a five horse track. most difficult interviews and a lowest percentage of people receiving offers and turning them down (10%) of the bulge brackets. Know Goldman. Summer Analyst: SUMMER ANALYST: “They picked on something off my CV from ages ago. What is the probability that you get a matching pair? SUMMER ANALYST: You have 30 seconds to sell yourself.

Full Time Analyst: ANALYST: What is the approximate loan-to-value of each tranche of debt in a traditional capital structure? ANALYST: Why might the price-to-book valuation be appropriate for banks and financial institutions? ANALYST: What do you think is the most significant risk to Goldman in the US economy right now? ANALYST: Which investment is more risky. and why. Investment Banking: Would you rather own a gold mine or gold? Page 111 . They asked about market share. and then had detailed follow up questions. etc. Global Investment Research: “The grilled me on my stock pitch. Other: ASSOCIATE: How would you change the perception of Goldman Sachs to the public? ASSOCIATE: How many ways can a CFO use excess cash. valuation. Fixed Income Product Management: How can you offset changes in interest rates? ANALYST. FIG: How would you value me? ASSOCIATE.” ANALYST: How many golf balls are currently in the air at the point in time? ANALYST: Describe your Excel skills. how familiar are you with lookups and pivot tables? Associate. SUMMER ANALYST: Tell me about any recent M&A deal.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. VP. SUMMER ASSOCIATE: What is the latest trend in M&A? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Does a company need B players? Or is it better off only having A players on staff.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 SUMMER ANALYST: Sell me a pen. growth projections. ANALYST. and what are they? ASSOCIATE. a thriving luxury fashion designer or metals producer? ANALYST. Equity Research: Define and describe the 5 part DuPont analysis. What's the driver behind the deal? How do you think about the valuation? Was it overvalued or undervalued? Summer Associate: SUMMER ASSOCIATE: If you could meet any CEO of any company today who would it be? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: What’s your thesis? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: What would you pay today to receive $1 in 10 years? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Tell me what you are most afraid of.

to include conveying the concept of Cost of Debt and Cost of Equity? VP: When you are hiring someone what are your main concerns with a potential candidate? OTHER: Can enterprise value be negative? Brain Teasers.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. you have 15 seconds. how many baseballs would you have to line up end to end to measure this distance? What is 49 x 13 x 7? If I dip a 10 x 10 x 10 cube in a tub of paint. How do you maximize your chance of randomly selecting blue balls? Page 112 . and the pond is exactly 100 square feet. etc. toll prices. how many sides of the cube will not be covered in paint. If there is a 1 foot lily pad in the middle of a pond that doubles every single day. go. Please use actual estimated traffic figures. All Levels: “They randomly would throw me brain teasers and tricky math questions in the middle of a conversation” Estimate how many people have ever lived on earth. How many gas stations are there in New York City? How many people leave Hong Kong from the airport every day? Value the Sydney Harbour Tunnel to the nearest million dollar figure.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 ASSOCIATE: How would you explain WACC to a 10 year old. What is the square root of 52? What is the square root of 150 down to 2 decimal place. margins. If an all-star hits 44 home runs in his career. on what day would the pond be exactly 50% covered by the lily pad? You have 50 blue balls and 50 red balls with 2 buckets.

Analyst 57% Position Applying For FT Analyst FT Associate 34% 4% S. MORGAN S.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Associate 4% Less than 1 Month 76% VP + 1% Length of Process 1-2 Months 2-3 Months 20% 4% Other 0% 3-4 Months 1% No Offer Outcome Accepted Offer Declined Offer 57% 32% 11% Very Easy 3% Very Positive 23% Easy 17% Difficulty Average 57% Difficult 21% Very Difficult 2% Overall Impression of the Interview Process Positive Neutral Negative 46% 22% 7% Very Negative 2% Page 113 .P.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 J.

). steady low-growth business? SUMMER ANALYST. strong management team. what are the valuation methodologies. Respondents repeatedly mention getting all of the standard fit and technical questions mentioned in the WSO guides (how does depreciation flow through the financial statements.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 JP Morgan was relatively average in all of the statistical categories. If the predicted snow fall reduces 50% this year. etc. etc. Summer Analyst: SUMMER ANALYST: “We were asked to prepare a one-page stock pitch and deliver that to the interviewer. which one would it be.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. will the Internal Rate of Return for an LBO be higher after three or five years and why? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: If a company decides to repurchase its shares. Investment Banking: All things being equal. strength since financial crisis. the breadth of products they offer. Know about regulatory trends. their strong balance sheet. would you prefer a high growth but volatile business or a slow.” SUMMER ASSOCIATE. why. biggest strengths and weaknesses. what should you do to keep your profits? SUMMER ANALYST: Cube root of 100? SUMMER ANALYST: Explain what happened in 2008 as if you were explaining it to someone that did not understand Finance? Summer Associate: SUMMER ASSOCIATE: “Were very clear that they wanted to know "Why JP Morgan". What happens to the financial statements? Ignore taxes. why JP Morgan. why this position. Investment Banking: If you are a debt investor. A number of people specifically mentioned receiving the “How would you invest $XXX today?” question. Tell me about a time you lied. what will be the impact of this action on the company's P/E ratio? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: If you were to buy a local business in this town. Investment Banking: How do oil prices affect the convenience store around the corner? SUMMER ANALYST: Tell me about a time you broke the rules. A few candidates for Summer Analyst positions even mentioned being given a short case study during one of their interviews. SUMMER ANALYST: How would you value a private mom & pop coffee shop with no access to their financials? SUMMER ANALYST: How would you structure a portfolio differently for you and your grandma? SUMMER ANALYST: I open a hot dog stand and contribute a hot dog. and how would you value it? Page 114 .” SUMMER ANALYST. SUMMER ANALYST: You are the owner of a snow resort in Australia.

Other: ASSOCIATE: Explain the relationship between rate and yield. ASSOCIATE: What is your forecast for the yield curve? ASSOCIATE: If company A has ROE of 10% and Company B has ROE of 20%. what would you say to them to convince them to stay with you? ANALYST: Imagine you are the owner of a small skiing business. who should acquire who in an all stock deal to make it accretive? VP: How do you get the best out of people? VP: Why were you let go from your last job? Page 115 . they want insight into your decisions. Associate. How would you respond? ANALYST: Tell me an interesting story. what impact would the global warming have on your business? What to do about it? ANALYST: Another employee goes behind your back and says negative things about you to your boss.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 SUMMER ASSOCIATE: They want to know why your professional path has gone like it has. VP. Asset Management: You lost a lot of your client’s money in 2008. and how those experiences set you apart from your peers. Investment Banking: How long until my money doubles if I invest it at 7%? ANALYST. Full Time Analyst: ANALYST: “Prepare for a rapid fire of technical questions during the one-on-one” ANALYST: Tell me about something that is NOT on your resume. ANALYST: How many cabs are in Manhattan right now? ANALYST.

Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Associate 6% Less than 1 Month 75% VP + 0% Length of Process 1-2 Months 2-3 Months 19% 6% Other 0% 3-4 Months 1% No Offer Outcome Accepted Offer Declined Offer 62% 27% 12% Very Easy 4% Very Positive 18% Easy 16% Difficulty Average 48% Difficult 29% Very Difficult 4% Overall Impression of the Interview Process Positive Neutral Negative 47% 26% 9% Very Negative 1% Page 116 . Analyst 54% Position Applying For FT Analyst FT Associate 35% 6% S.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 MORGAN STANLEY S.

” SUMMER ASSOCIATE: How does operating leverage affect asset beta? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: What is the market cap of [specific company mentioned during the interview]? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Where would you invest $100mm dollars? (Asked multiple times) Page 117 . Market share.” SUMMER ASSOCIATE: “I was given a case study of an actual company's 10K in front of the interviewer. one with 7 minutes worth of sand and another with 4 minutes worth of sand.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Be sure to be familiar with your own CV and can tell a story for every line in it. SUMMER ANALYST: Why would a company like Tesla want to issue convertible bonds instead of a more standard debt package? Summer Associate: SUMMER ASSOCIATE: “They asked detailed follow-up questions about my stock pitch. SUMMER ANALYST: Paper LBO Model with manual IRR analysis. SUMMER ANALYST: If you have two sand-glass timers. One specifically responded “nothing special. management guidance. Numerous interviewees at the analyst reported specifically “there were no particularly challenging questions” or something along those lines. how do you use both to precisely time 12 minutes? SUMMER ANALYST: Why would a Private Equity fund NOT use WACC as the discount rate when valuing a potential LBO target? SUMMER ANALYST: How many cows do you think a single taco bell store uses in one day?/How many cows do you think a typical McDonalds runs through in a day? SUMMER ANALYST: Impress me in 20 seconds.” Summer Analyst: SUMMER ANALYST: “Know your resume!” SUMMER ANALYST: What is the most bullshit thing on your resume? SUMMER ANALYST: Tell me about a time you have to turn in an imperfect work.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Morgan Stanley was also relatively average in all of the statistical categories except for the fact that the respondents from Morgan Stanley were more junior than other firms and the interviews were slightly more difficult. He wanted to walk through the financial statements and made me think aloud and state my conclusions. etc. Many responses indicated that the interviews were mostly fit in nature and also focused around your background and resume. but that the WSO guides contain the answers to most of the relevant questions. dividend yield. consensus growth estimates. all can be prepared.

Other: ASSOCIATE: What is the cubed root of 729? ASSOCIATE: “Excel Case study was difficult.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Full Time Analyst: ANALYST: You are one of the junior people on the desk and have a great trading idea. Associate. The four people get across the bridge at different speeds (1 min. VP. what do you do? ANALYST: Its 1am and everyone in the office is exhausted but you have three more hours of work. and one of your seniors tries to steal it from you. what's the shortest amount of time to get all four people across the bridge? ANALYST: If 0 is hardworking and 10 is smart.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. and you cannot pick the middle. and 10 min). 5 min. answer questions. The bridge can only support two people at a time. 2 min. to 3 decimals (no paper) Page 118 . what would you be on the scale? ANALYST: What skills from your favorite hobby that you do in your free time have you learned that would help you be an exceptional asset to our team? ANALYST: What's the sum of every other numbers from 15 to 35.” ASSOCIATE: Why do you want to work on the sell side? ASSOCIATE: What other banks are you interviewing with and where on that list does Morgan Stanley rank for you? ASSOCIATE: 6/7. Took a few hours to find an error in the case. and present it from beginning to end. what song do you put on? ANALYST: You have four people that need to cross a bridge in the dark but you only have 1 flashlight.

Analyst 55% Position Applying For FT Analyst FT Associate 34% 9% S.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 UBS S. Associate 3% Less than 1 Month 74% VP + 0% Length of Process 1-2 Months 2-3 Months 23% 4% Other 0% 3-4 Months 1% No Offer Outcome Accepted Offer Declined Offer 41% 37% 22% Very Easy 8% Very Positive 25% Easy 23% Difficulty Average 49% Difficult 16% Very Difficult 4% Overall Impression of the Interview Process Positive Neutral Negative 44% 26% 3% Very Negative 5% Page 119 .

Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu)
Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801

UBS had among the fewest responses to the WSO interview survey among the major banks. UBS interviews
were rated among the easiest with only 20% of interviewees responding that the interview was “difficult” or
“very difficult”. That said, this is a smaller sample set so don’t assume you can walk into a UBS interview
unprepared! Additionally, UBS had the highest acceptance rate of the Bulge Brackets, with nearly 60% of
candidates in our survey receiving an offer, and 22% of candidates actually rejecting an offer.
Summer Analyst:
SUMMER ANALYST, Equity Research: How are you going to deal with your team leader working
much shorter hours than you, but making much more money?
SUMMER ANALYST: What do you think the average daily revenue of [XXX restaurant] is?
SUMMER ANALYST: Please describe the structure of a pitchbook.
SUMMER ANALYST: What is a VLookup?
SUMMER ANALYST: If we were in a state of hyperinflation, would you expect the crime rate to be
higher or lower than now?
Summer Associate:
SUMMER ASSOCIATE: What is our greatest risk in hiring you?
SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Company B has EBITDA of $10. Company A acquires company B for 10x
EBITDA. 5 years later, the standalone EBITDA of company B is $100. Company A decides to sell
company B for 10x EBITDA. Did company A generate positive cash flow by buying and selling
company B?
SUMMER ASSOCIATE: What is the difference between cash and accrual accounting?
Full Time Analyst:
ANALYST: What is the average cost of constructing a building in the most expensive zone of the city?
ANALYST: Can you tell me an IPO that UBS has recently led?
ANALYST: What do you think the future of Apple is?
ANALSYT, Investment Banking: “I was given a print out of a bunch of Excel tables and asked how I
would best summarize them for a management presentation.”
ANALYST, Investment Banking: If a company’s enterprise value is $1,000 and raised $200 in debt
what's the enterprise value?

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Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu)
Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801

Associate, VP, Other:
ASSOCIATE: How many miles of subway track are there in Manhattan?
ASSOCIATE: With the recent negative news about us, why do you want to work here?
ASSOCIATE: What is your method for landing the multi-million dollar client?
ASSOCIATE, Mining Investment Banking: Name me the different methods to value a mine.

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Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu)
Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801

BMO
SUMMER ANALYST: Tell me about yourself without referencing anything on your resume.
SUMMER ANALYST: Name some of the conditional functions you may use in excel.
SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Please describe a time in business school where you found yourself forced to
work on a strategy you did not agree with and how did you cope?
ANALYST, Investment Banking: “One interviewer asked me to pitch a stock. After listening to my
pitch, the interviewer spent the next ten minutes discussing the company with me, questioning me about
the business model. I found this to be more intense than usual. I was asked a number of accounting
based questions that were slightly more involved than the typical questions. One of which involved
classifying items as capital expenditures or expenses and then following each through the financial
statements.”
ANALYST: How would you describe Excel to someone who has never used it before?
ANALYST: What is your personal investment thesis, and where do you see opportunity in the market?
ANALYST: How does a depreciation schedule impact each of the three financial statements?
ANALYST: What is the main purpose of purchase price accounting?
ANALYST: Describe what a change in interest rates or exchange rates would mean for the Euro crisis.
ANALYST, Investment Banking: “A company purchases a $200 million machine with $100 million in
new debt and $100 million in cash. There is a 5% transaction fee to raise debt. After the 2nd year, the
machine breaks down and written off. Walk me through the 3 statements after Year 1 and Year 2.”
ANALYST, Public Finance: How much debt could a bridge service based on cash flows from its tolls?
ASSOCIATE: What do you expect your hours to be?
ASSOCIATE: Tell me about a quantitative or analytical project you worked on that will impress me.

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what would you make the program do).000 worth of gold. how would they accomplish this? ANALYST.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. walk me through how you would do that (no coding expertise needed.S. bonds.. which drive themselves. Investment Banking: Given that China is the single largest holder of U.S. just theoretically.000. could you carry it out of this office? ANALYST: What characteristics would you be most interested in a company that came to you looking for a revolving credit facility? ANALYST: If you were to create a computer program that solved sudoku puzzles. Sales and Trading: Draw me the gamma of a binary call option? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Tell me five drawbacks of the CAPM model. ANALYST: What do you think the effect of Google cars. if China decided they wanted to affect deal volume in the U. SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Have you ever read any CIBC Equity Research reports? OTHER: Tell me three reasons why we shouldn’t hire you. Page 123 . would be in general and on who? ANALYST: What television shows do you watch? ANALYST.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 CIBC SUMMER ANALYST: How would a private equity firm extract cash from an investment? SUMMER ANALYST: If I gave you $1.

5 days. There were a few unique questions which are listed below. valuation techniques.5 chickens lay 1. Investment Banking: Would you rather be the best analyst. or the most well-liked? ASSOCIATE: Why not buyside? Page 124 . SUMMER ANALYST.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 COWEN GROUP Nearly all respondents mentioned being asked questions about Cowen itself.5 eggs in 1. etc. how many eggs would 3 chickens lay in 3 days? SUMMER ANALYST: What will you do to get used to working the long hours? ANALYST. etc. why Cowen. Most of the questions were very standard fit and technical questions mentioned in the Wall Street Oasis guides. Questions about the financial statements.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Equity Research: What was one thing you think you should have done during your prior internship? SUMMER ANALYST: if 1.

” ANALYST.” ANALYST. create a few PowerPoint slides and then present to a room of employees. and how would you compare it to a company without said asset? ANALYST.” ANALYST: “Was given a huge data dump in an excel spreadsheet and had 15 minutes to analyze the data and explain how/what I would do to show to management or to place in a report. Some of those asked not mentioned in the guides are below.” ANALYST: What is a section 338 election? ANALYST. solid management. SUMMER ANALYST: What does Duff & Phelps do? ANALYST: “There was no modeling test but they will ask pointed questions to determine if you know how to model.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 DUFF & PHELPS A few responses mentioned a group case interview. Valuation: How would you value this pen? Page 125 . Investment Banking: How would you value a company with an asset that does not produce any revenue or cash flows. and steady growth to not be desired in a deal? ANALYST: “1st round was all technical. Nearly every respondent said that the interviews were not too difficult and there were very few unexpected questions. Investment Banking: What would cause a company with consistent cash flows. Investment Banking: “We were divided into groups of 3 and provided a basic case study in which we were asked to value a provided company. Superday was all about fit and selling yourself.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.

etc. ANALYST: What is the dollar change of the S&P 500 from January 1st to now? What percent change is that? ANALYST: If you have a very distressed company and cannot issue equity or debt in the public markets. The cube consists of smaller cubes. and compare each line item to that of an average manufacturing company. How many cubes can you see? ANALYST: What was the single most exciting event in your life? ANALYST: How would the cost of equity differ between similar companies if one was private and one was public? ANALYST: “I was a summer analyst elsewhere and the interviewer spent a great deal of time going over the 2 live deals I worked on that summer and went into not only what I did (e. Some of those brain teasers are shown below. modeling. but one has an EBITDA margin of 20% and the other has an EBITDA margin of 40%. and they are trading at the same EBITDA multiple. The interviewers will focus on your prior deal experience if you have any. cost of equity.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 EVERCORE Many of those that interviewed at Evercore reported being asked brain teasers. how could you raise capital? ANALYST: How would you describe M&A to my grandmother who is 70? Page 126 . and a general consensus seems to be that the interviews are very technical in nature and more difficult than average. SUMMER ANALYST: How does a better brand impact the financial statements? SUMMER ANALYST: Walk me through the Income Statement for a brick-and-mortar book retailer like Barnes and Noble.” SUMMER ANALYST: What effect does a stock split have on equity value? ANALYST: You have a cube with sides of length 12. Now cost of debt vs. each with length 1. profiles) but also went into the strategic rationale for each deal. which company would you purchase and why? SUMMER ANALYST: Graph WACC vs.g. SUMMER ANALYST: “They love to ask a question regarding land write down (trick is land doesn't depreciate) other than that everything was very straightforward.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. others are listed elsewhere within this guide. SUMMER ANALYST: If I give you two companies with the same revenues. cost of debt. what were the drivers of growth and risk in the deals.

how long will it take to cover a quarter the pond? ASSOCIATE: “They drilled my on specifics and eventually got into some of the greeks and what they represent.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. ASSOCIATE: Suppose a company has a loss on sale of $100. Page 127 .edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 ANALYST: If lily pads in a pond double every minute and will completely cover the pond in 1 hr.” ASSOCIATE: Walk me through a pitch book for a sell-side where our client is an insurance company. Walk us through the financial statement impacts.

and articulate manner. what would be the most efficient way to find out what was wrong with the planes and how would you do it?” SUMMER ANALYST: List 10 ways that the 3 financial statements link together and discuss how the items flow through the statements. These included “why banking. some planes would get shot once or twice and get destroyed. You should be able to clearly articulate what about the firm attracts you and why you think you'll be able to be successful there.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.” SUMMER ANALYST: How do you calculate the beta factor from scratch? SUMMER ANALYST: Why would you want to work in a smaller bank than a BB? SUMMER ANALYST: What was the most difficult thing you have ever done? SUMMER ANALYST: During WWII on the Pacific front. If you were an engineer. We also encountered a report of one of the strangest brain teasers we have ever seen (see below). the remains dropping into the ocean and irrecoverable. make sure you have the basics down cold even if you are from a non-finance background.” “walk me through a DCF” and “how does X flow through the three financial statements. clear. Ideally this should include past experience in banking. SUMMER ANALYST: “Despite coming from a non-finance background (math and physics double major at a small liberal arts college).” “what are some of the ways you can value a company.” Page 128 . Others would return to base full of bullet holes but still working fine otherwise. If you are applying to Greenhill.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 GREENHILL A vast majority of those interviewing at Greenhill mentioned that they were asked the most common of the banking interview questions. ANALYST: Why would you prefer to work at Greenhill to a bulge bracket investment bank where you will be able to see other operations than M&A? ANALYST: “Seemed to value someone who knows the technicals but can also explain it in a very concise. I got fairly technical questions. Take it with a grain of salt as its just one experience but they really like well spoken people.” ANALYST: How much does EV change if WACC changes by 1%? ANALYST: What do you think people will think about you when you say you're a banker? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: “They asked me why do you want to work here? This is super important at a small bank like Greenhill.

interest on debt and interest on cash etc. SUMMER ANALYST: What public companies might you use to value a pet food producer using the public comparables valuation methodology? SUMMER ANALYST: Why do you want to work in the middle market? ANALYST: “If you just use the WSO guide close to anything they'll ask you will be in it. gave me PE. Relatively laid back. 1/3rd debt.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 HARRIS WILLIAMS & CO. ANALYST: “They asked me some more advanced accretion/dilution questions.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.” ANALYST: Which of the deals you have worked on have closed. and what was the investment thesis behind each? ANALYST: How would you value an apple tree? ANALYST: If we were hired to sell a company that makes product XYZ. Nearly all of the respondents mentioned receiving the “walk me through a DCF” during their interview. 1/3rd equity. Like 1/3rd cash. who do you think would be some potential buyers. Page 129 . tax rates.

. etc.” Page 130 .edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 HOULIHAN LOKEY Given that Houlihan is heavily focused on restructurings. modeling tests.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.” SUMMER ANALYST: What is the difference between Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 11 bankruptcy? SUMMER ANALYST: Describe a complex accounting topic in plain words to someone with no business background? ANALYST: “Almost every interview I have had with HL ends up including testing my knowledge on PIK interest. case studies. SUMMER ANALYST: “I had a VP walk into the room with the 10K of a company I had mentioned I had researched on my resume and start grilling me… it didn’t go well. pricing etc. written tests. nearly all of the Summer Analyst respondents mentioned being asked the common technical questions in their interviews. Interviewees reported group interviews. Additionally. you should make sure you are very familiar with the different types of debt within a capital structure and how they are affected in a bankruptcy process before going into a Houlihan Lokey interview. so be prepared for anything at Houlihan. restructurings. ANALYST: What types of assets are creditors most likely to lend against? ANALYST: Please describe what a fairness opinion is and why you're interested in doing them. respondents more often mentioned getting questions about bankruptcies.” ANALYST: Tell me what sets Houlihan Lokey apart from other firms? ANALYST: Where does a control premium derive its value from? ANALYST: What are some recent bankruptcies that you have followed? ANALYST: What sort of characteristics would you look for in a company in need of restructuring? ANALYST: Can you explain the difference between a sellers’ note and a senior note (on the cap structure. Given this.). ANALYST: Please explain what a deferred tax liability is and how it is created. etc. Some of the questions were difficult. When are fairness opinions used and why are they important to shareholders? ASSOCIATE: “I received some hypothetical questions about bankruptcy valuation. than those interviewing at other firms.

edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 ASSOCIATE: How would you value a company's net operating loss carryforwards and how would you get the most value for them? ASSOCIATE: Walk me through a merger model you worked on recently.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Page 131 .

Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 HSBC Many responded getting questions focused on Europe (the Euro Zone. what would you invest in? SUMMER ANALYST: How would you define recession? SUMMER ANALYST: “We had a detailed discussion on emerging markets and the role of HSBC in India. China. etc.” ASSOCIATE: What is the biggest risk we would be taking hiring you? Page 132 .) so we recommend being up to speed on any European current events during the time leading up to your interview. Euro crisis. etc. including financial distress costs.” ANALYST: “Nothing challenging at all” ANALYST: What you think the world would look like in 2050? ANALYST: How would you solve the Euro Crisis? ANALYST: What are the key risks of investing in the developing world today? ANALYST: “Detailed questions about the WACC and how debt affects it. SUMMER ANALYST: Tell me about the worst day in your life. SUMMER ANALYST: If the global economy goes to hell.

value that website. SUMMER ANALYST: Are you more quantitative or qualitative? SUMMER ANALYST: What is the riskiest thing you have ever done? SUMMER ANALYST: What can you do to increase a company’s IRR? SUMMER ANALYST: Pick a restaurant you like. what is EBITDA. You also received an email from an MD telling you to fix a project that you botched the night before.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. You only have time to finish one of the projects.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 JEFFERIES Almost all of the interviewees commented something along the lines of “I got a lot of the pretty standard technical questions” such as walk me through a DCF. ANALYST: Hypothetically speaking. and he needs it in two hours for a pitch.how would you go about doing this? ANALYST: In your free time what website do you like to look at? Now. how does XXX flow through the three financial statements. Say the owner wants to sell his business and he comes to you for help . What do you do? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Why would a company like Apple with lots of cash have trouble paying out all of it in dividends to their investors? ASSOCIATE: How would you compute the cost of debt for a firm with publicly traded debt? Page 133 . you have an Associate come to you in the morning with a project that needs to be finished for a client meeting in two hours. etc.

Page 134 . ANALYST: Why should we hire you? (They dug into the question above for 5 .Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. or Target? Why? SUMMER ANALYST: What makes you most nervous about the position? SUMMER ANALYST: When you look at an airlines business. SUMMER ANALYST: Tell me something I don't know about investment banking SUMMER ANALYST: Which retailer is most vulnerable during an economic downturn: Walmart. CF2. if you are interviewing for a specific group/industry be ready to answer specific questions about that group/industry and why you want to be in that group/industry.” Also.) SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Should the US have invaded Iraq? ASSOCIATE: Provide an assessment of Lazard’s strengths and weaknesses relative to its peers in the advisory space. See Dealbook restructuring section.” ANALYST: Why not Lazard? ANALYST: Do you think the fiscal cliff matters? And what do you think the impact would be if the US went over the cliff? ANALYST: How valuable is Mark Zuckerburg? ANALYST: Given cash flows [CF1.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 LAZARD/LAZARD MIDDLE MARKET The best overall piece of advice we received on Lazard was from a Summer Analyst who said. CF3.” SUMMER ANALYST: “Had to calculate IRR on the spot with no pen or paper.10 minutes but as long as you were confident in your answer you were fine. ASSOCIATE: Tell us your thoughts on XYZ deal Lazard was just the advisor on. Questions were not straight from the guide but answerable if you knew the concepts well. 60% debt]. CF4. “the interviews consisted of some of the toughest interview questions asked during recruiting. what on the balance sheet might you look for to see how healthy they are? SUMMER ANALYST: “Be able to talk about 1-2 deals going on in bankruptcy. CF5] and a capital structure of [30% equity. what's the IRR of this deal? Note that you are being timed. KMart.

.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. SUMMER ANALYST: How many windows are there in New York City? SUMMER ANALYST: Say you got offers from us and Bulge Brackets. six chambers all empty. SUMMER ANALYST: List 5-6 deals that we did in this particular industry. Otherwise.” Page 135 . ANALYST: What is the beta of a toll road? ANALYST: How much is 99 times 99 and how do you get that? ANALYST: What's one stock that you'd like to short? ANALYST: Here is a gun.. the responses were relatively standard. I close the barrel. what do you have to offer over an accounting or a finance major? ANALYST: How would you go about performing a financial valuation of an asset such as an airport? Walk us through the steps using a white board and marker. It can at times just be overwhelming and because the momentum of the process is not very upbeat it definitely adds an element of distraction in between interview stages. that I spin the barrel first or that I just pull the trigger? ASSOCIATE: “Nothing was extremely difficult or unexpected. Click.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 MACQUARIE Many of those interviewing for more senior roles at Macquarie mentioned being given a personality/IQ test as part of the interview process. Now. spin it and pull the trigger. the slot was empty. Now I put two bullets in the gun and I put these bullets in the adjacent chambers. I want to pull the trigger one more time. Which one do you prefer. who would you choose and why? SUMMER ANALYST: As an economics major.” ASSOCIATE: “Most unexpected was the personality/IQ test at an external testing center.

General consensus about the difficulty of the interviews was across the board.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 MOELIS & CO. 40mm in equity and 50mm in Debt and what is the EV/EBITDA multiple if the company did 10mm in EBITDA last year? ASSOCIATE: Who are the main parties in a restructuring and why would a company restructure? Page 136 . Some interviewees responded that the interview was easy and not technical at all. what is the implied CAGR? ASSOCIATE: What is the enterprise value of a company with 20mm in cash.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Be prepared for anything! SUMMER ANALYST: What was your best take away from your work experience last summer? SUMMER ANALYST: Tell me 5 reasons why you would use EBITDA over PE? SUMMER ANALYST: What happens to cash flow when a company switches between LIFO and FIFO accounting for inventory? ANALYST: How much stock was distributed in a stock-for-stock transaction based on a dollar amount? ANALYST: How can a private equity get a return of 20% if they purchase a company and later sell the company 5 years later for the same price? ANALYST: What is the fulcrum security? ANALYST: What would be your argument against using EBITDA as a metric for valuation for a real estate firm that was aggressively investing in new projects? ANALYST: If I have $100 today and in four years it is $600. while others responded it was very difficult and they asked a lot of technical questions. A number of people responded that they were asked relatively specific questions about LBOs and bankruptcies.

SUMMER ANALYST: Which finance book have you recently read? SUMMER ANALYST: “Are you honest”. Sales and Trading: What are you most proud of? Page 137 . what would you do? ANALYST: Discuss a challenge for investment firms in the current economic climate.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 NOMURA Overall the candidates reported a high frequency of brain teasers and math questions.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. ANALYST. then tell me three reasons why we wouldn’t hire you.” SUMMER ANALYST: Imagine you have a 6-shooter and you're playing Russian roulette with two bullets loaded. responds “Yes”. and no bullet comes out. Fixed Income: What’s your greatest character flaw that you have been unable to work on and how will this negatively affect your work at Nomura? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: What would you put on a tear sheet? ASSOCIATE. SUMMER ANALYST: Tell me about your favorite hobby not on your resume. You fire the pistol once. Are you better off firing again or spinning before you fire? SUMMER ANALYST: If you don't get any investment banking offers. but said the vast majority of the questions (if not all) were covered in the WSO guides. follows up with “Ok.

how many lockers are left open at the end? SUMMER ANALYST: What happens to the value of a company when half of their only asset. burns down? SUMMER ANALYST: Why would you rather work at PWP instead of Goldman Sachs? ANALYST: You are given a dollar a day for the rest of your life.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. a factory.If I walk down a hall of 100 lockers and open every one. You cannot just memorize formulas.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 PERELLA WEINBERG SUMMER ANALYST: “Most of the interview questions were pure fit. then walk back down closing every second locker. then walk along again 'toggling' every 3rd locker etc until I'm toggling every 10th locker.” SUMMER ANALYST: Is it in the interest of the Greek people to default? SUMMER ANALYST: What would happen to goodwill on the Balance Sheet during a merger model? What would happen to Cash? What would happen to PP&E? SUMMER ANALYST. You really need to understand each line item in the financial statements and how each change would affect/not affect valuation. what is the value of this? ANALYST: Would you ever use an Equity Value/EBITDA ratio to value a company? Page 138 . This interview tested if you really understood the financial concepts. Assume any discount rate.

edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 PIPER JAFFRAY SUMMER ANALYST: Have you used Bloomberg? SUMMER ANALYST: What adjustment do you make to an EBITDA calculation for a retail company? SUMMER ANALYST: What is the difference between what I do as a senior banker and what an analyst does on a daily basis? SUMMER ANALYST: What is one negative attribute of your most recent manager? SUMMER ANALYST: If company X acquired company Y. How would you convince company X that the acquisition of Y is a good business decision? ANALYST. company X's EPS would be diluted. ANALYST: What is your favorite movie? How would you value it? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: What are the levers of an LBO model? ASSOCIATE: Why didn’t you reach out to anyone here before your interview? VICE PRESIDENT: Describe how you run transactions and your level of participation at each phase of the deal.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Page 139 . Sales: Can you explain the biggest differences in selling and trading equities compared to fixed income products? ANALYST: Value a golf course.

" Off the top of your head. natural gas. ASSOCIATE: How would you begin analyzing the potential impact of "Obamacare" in the retail sector? ASSOCIATE: I'm sure you've heard of the term "showrooming. walk me through the dollar impact of "showrooming" at Best Buy and give me your rough revenue estimates and lost incremental revenue.” ANALYST: Do you want to stay here beyond the typical 2 year analyst program and why? ANALYST: What do you think about Raymond James' acquisition of Morgan Keegan? ANALYST: What are the current market prices for oil.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Page 140 . etc. just be prepared to discuss resume and just get along with the interviewers.” ANALYST: “They asked if I had seen any of the deals they recently completed and to tell me in detail about one.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 RAYMOND JAMES ANALYST: “Didn't really get any tough technical questions. and what is influencing their recent price movements? ANALYST: How do I know you'll still have a positive attitude at 2 am? ANALYST: Sing Miley Cyrus's "Party in the USA" for us.

and risk. margin. It was clearly a stress test. Why would they have different EV/EBITDA multiples? SUMMER ANALYST: If you were to be an animal which would you be? ANALYST: Provide three commonly used leverage metrics and explain what they mean and when you use them. Sales and Trading: Name an emerging market that you would invest in and why. Page 141 . ANALYST: How much would we make on an average IPO? ANALYST: Who do you look up to the most in the business world? ANALYST: “The interviewers were extremely aggressive.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.” ANALYST: How do you cut a cake into 16 pieces using only 5 cuts? ANALYST: What do you think of US/China exchange rates? ANALYST: What’s the most dangerous thing you have ever done? ASSOCIATE: “I applied for a valuation role so the interview entailed walking through a CDS calculation which was unexpected. forward and really made an effort to get under my skin.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 RBC SUMMER ANALYST: Assuming two companies are same in terms of growth.” ASSOCIATE.

Equity Research: How many feet of subway sandwiches are sold in a year? (asked multiple times) ANALYST.” Page 142 . BAIRD Nearly half of the people interviewing at Baird reported getting at least one of the following questions. so make sure you have good responses for these! o Why Baird? o Why Middle Market over Bulge Bracket? o Why Chicago? SUMMER ANALYST: How many coffins are sold in Australia each year? SUMMER ANALYST: Why are manhole covers round? (asked multiple times) SUMMER ANALYST: How would you find the levered beta of a private company? ANALYST. The financial model was incredibly simple (very very basic LBO) but you also had to answer three questions based on a company's presentation. Equity Research: What is your biggest pet peeve in the workplace? ASSOCIATE: What are the four reasons a company would do a stock repurchase and explain how it affects the financial statements? ASSOCIATE: How many gallons of water are in Lake Michigan? ASSOCIATE: “Case study was moderately difficult.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 ROBERT W.’ The case was timed (2 hours) and the presentation was ~ 35 slides. There were no clear cut answers as the questions were ‘What are the biggest concerns you have about this company?’ and ‘Why or why not would this company a good candidate for an LBO.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.

would you use the EBITDA or EBIT and why? ASSOCIATE: How would you calculate WACC for a private company? Page 143 .” ANALYST: What is the benefit of the independent advisor business model vs. integrated investment banks? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: If you were trying to estimate the cash flow of a company in steady state without any new capital expenditures.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 ROTHSCHILD SUMMER ANALYST: “Tell me about an M&A deal that you've been following and what were the ramifications on the general markets of that deal?” SUMMER ANALYST: How are equity investments factored into a firm's enterprise value? SUMMER ANALYST: Who is your favorite painter and why? SUMMER ANALYST: How do I calculate EV? What if the company owns 2% of Google's publiclytraded shares? SUMMER ANALYST: What is the difference between Rothschild's Global Financial Advisory program and a Bulge Bracket's M&A program? ANALYST: Estimate the size of the baby food market in Asia ANALYST: “I was given financial statements of a large corporation and had to derive net debt.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.

Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. retailer and technology company? SUMMER ANALYST: What affect did the recession have on banking? SUMMER ANALYST: What would you do if you were the CEO of RBS? SUMMER ANALYST: If you were a car what kind would you be? ANALYST: If you were to get this position. industrial. how would you add value to our firm instead of someone who goes to Wharton or Harvard? ANALYST. Global Transaction Services: How would the recent Eurozone crisis affect the transaction banking environment in the APAC region and how could the bank leverage on existing capability to commercialize transaction banking products to ride on the wave of the growth of cash in this region? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: What is the correlation between orange price and natural gas price? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: Give an example of something or a situation that looks puzzling but is very simple indeed. Page 144 .edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND SUMMER ANALYST: If you had 4 different balance sheets with the companies names blacked out how would you know which one was a banking company.

ANALYST: In 90 seconds.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. explain what caused the 2008 financial crisis and what policies would prevent these events from reoccurring. ANALYST: What would you do if you have a nightmare boss? ANALYST: Describe to me what your personal integrity is and how it aligns with Scotiabank? ANALYST.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 SCOTIABANK SUMMER ANALYST: Explain how and why you became interested in finance. Crude Oil Trading: How can an investor or institution hedge against falling oil prices and how does the spread between WTI and Brent affect this? ANALYST: What would you do if your boss asks you to throw a chair out of the window? ANALYST: What restaurants do you like to eat at? Page 145 .

SUMMER ANALYST: Let’s say I created a business where all I do is go get money from the bank and play Roulette. why would I pick Stifel Nicolaus over a Bulge Bracket bank? SUMMER ANALYST: What valuation would you use to value a social media company without positive EBITDA? ANALYST: What is 52 times 52? ANALYST: How would you begin to value a private paintball company who sources raw materials overseas ANALYST: How do you feel about money? Page 146 . the questions were all answered in the interview guides.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 STIFEL NICOLAUS Stifel Nicolaus overall likely had the most “stock” interview questions. What will be the beta of my business? SUMMER ANALYST: If I were a potential client.” However.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. Many respondents simply said “there was nothing out of the ordinary. those that weren’t asked in the guides are listed here.

edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 WELLS FARGO Wells Fargo has a large lending business. Sales and Trading: What would happen to the US economy and credit if a trillion dollar coin were minted to pay off existing debt? ANALYST: How could you weigh a 747 with no scale? SUMMER ASSOCIATE: What is your opinion on the recent XXX LBO? Is it a fair deal for shareholders? ASSOCIATE: What ratios and metrics would you look at when analyzing a potential lending opportunity? ASSOCIATE: How can a company be making money and still go into bankrupcy? ASSOCIATE: Talk about industry knowledge you have. and why you think it would be applicable to this job.” ANALYST: What is the difference between NOI and EBIDTA for commercial real estate? ANALYST: What questions would you ask your client if they wanted to raise 100MM in debt? ANALYST: Explain to me what a circular error in excel is and how it relates to the 3 statements. what would they be talking about? ANALYST. which was kind of difficult to recollect given the time elapsed. and he kept drilling the logistics and every detail of my experience. Page 147 . ANALYST: How would a decrease in supply of petroleum affect Disney? ANALYST: If I turned on CNBC today.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory. so many of the questions asked were focused on credit metrics and credit worthiness. One internship was almost 2 years ago. Be very aware of the group that you are applying to and focus on credit related questions if your group is involved in lending activities. SUMMER ANALYST: Describe the valuation methods in layman’s terms. SUMMER ANALYST: What company in [your college town] would you think would be a good target for an LBO and why? ANALYST: “One MD also GRILLED me on every minutia of my resume.

1% 6.8% 5.6% 57.8% 3.0% 19.4% 26.6% 30.1% 55.5% 1.9% 26.2% 12.8% 5.1% 56.0% 0.5% 12.0% 3.1% 20.4% 22.2% 0.7% 23.4% 34.6% 15.4% 5.0% 11.0% 0.1% 49.6% 1.3% 3.4% 1.5% 53. Associate Analyst Associate VP Other 55.3% 10.7% 7.2% 76.6% 0.6% 74.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 BULGE BRACKET SUMMARY STATISTICS Level of Applicant BAML Barclays Citi Credit Suisse Deutsche Bank Goldman Sachs JP Morgan Morgan Stanley UBS Length of Process BAML Barclays Citi Credit Suisse Deutsche Bank Goldman Sachs JP Morgan Morgan Stanley UBS Outcome of Process BAML Barclays Citi Credit Suisse Deutsche Bank Goldman Sachs JP Morgan Morgan Stanley UBS S.0% 1.0% 0.0% 64.2% 3.5% 54.0% 0.6% 36.5% 8.5% 73.9% 17.7% 5.4% 7.0% 2.0% 12.7% 3.8% 5.4% 9.3% 50.0% 31.8% 1.0% No Offer Accepted Offer Declined Offer 44.0% 11.2% 6.1% 18.0% Less than 1 month 1-2 months 2-3 months 3-4 months 79.0% 34.4% 0.0% 3.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.6% 20.6% 1.5% 57.1% 15.9% 22.1% 61.1% 58.7% 21.5% 75.6% 4.7% 33.2% 1.5% 34.3% 70.8% 5.0% 0.9% 81.7% 74.1% 15.1% 70.6% Page 148 .7% 25.5% 26.8% 0.6% 2.8% 6. Analyst S.6% 21.7% 18.7% 3.6% 2.4% 31.3% 55.4% 0.2% 57.1% 1.8% 40.9% 0.9% 51.6% 3.8% 0.6% 8.7% 41.3% 56.6% 2.8% 3.4% 39.5% 3.0% 0.9% 15.8% 0.6% 2.5% 4.5% 37.4% 31.

UBS was the easiest.8% 23.3% 47.7% 28.8% 6.2% 59.5% 6.0% 20.2% 21.4% 27.9% 30.7% 56.8% 22.85 * A point value (1 for very easy.16 JP Morgan 3.10 Citi 1.0% 4.5% 22.2% 16.7% 15.1% 15.6% 57. 3 for average…) was assigned and this is the average level of difficulty.8% 15.7% 21.5% 17.2% 24.2% 1. Difficulty of Interviews Overall Impression of Process BAML Barclays Citi Credit Suisse Deutsche Bank Goldman Sachs JP Morgan Morgan Stanley UBS Very Easy Easy Average Difficult Very Difficult Very Positive Positive Neutral Negative Very Negative 22.3% 2. 3.0% 2.9% 0.02 Morgan Stanley 3.9% 40.9% 25.13 UBS 7.7% 3.6% 11.0% 24.5% 4.2% 46. Goldman was the hardest.8% 48.3% 16.6% 25.1% 20.3% 2.9% 2.9% 3.0% 43.3% 17.4% 7.0% 29.00 Deutsche Bank 3.6% 3.3% 2.2% 3.0% 20.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 Average score out of 5* BAML 6.7% 0.1% 2.4% 23.4% 50.7% 46.1% 3.88 Barclays 0.3% 22.1% 11.4% 1.1% 47.05 Goldman Sachs 4.3% 0.0% 7.5% 5. 2 for easy.Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.5% 43.3% 16.2% Page 149 .3% 3.4% 2.4% 17.5% 13.4% 30.7% 3.9% 44.7% 2.0% 43. but not by a lot.4% 1.6% 15.14 Credit Suisse 5.3% 49.4% 3.9% 43.0% 28.1% 7.5% 5.1% 20.9% 56.7% 9.7% 40.4% 24.0 would be "Average".7% 19.9% 3.9% 25.2% 3.

edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 LEVEL INTERVIEWING FOR CHART Page 150 .Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.

Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 LENGTH OF PROCESS CHART Page 151 .

Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 OUTCOME OF PROCESS CHART Page 152 .

Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY CHART Page 153 .

Buyer: Zhen Zhang (zzhan83@emory.edu) Transaction ID: jg-nu5jrt540f01801 OVERALL IMPRESSION CHART Page 154 .