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10 June 2010, 12:41   Report Abuse



[ Scorecard : 3355]


 Investment Banking Interview Questions

Your background – Tell me about yourself

• Tell me about yourself? Walk me through your resume.

• Why did you choose the college you attended? What other colleges did you consider? If you changed school, why did you transfer?

• Why did you choose the job you did after college? If you changed jobs, why?

• What did you like and dislike most about your last job?

• Why did you decide to come back to business school? Why did you choose Fuqua? What other B-schools did you consider and/or apply? Where else did you get in? How did you make your choice?

• If you knew you wanted to do finance, why did you come to Fuqua?

• What do you dislike about Fuqua? What would you change?


Banking interest and knowledge

• How do you think the banking industry is structured?

• Why do you want to do investment banking? Why not sales and trading, PCS, or private equity?

• What concerns you about this job?

• What are some differences among banking firms that you’ve noticed? Which are important to you?

• What do you think investment bankers do? Specifically, what do you think investment banking associates do?

• What three traits do you think make a good associate?

• How do you feel about New York/Charlotte/San Francisco/(wherever you are applying if location specific)?

• What group or product do you think you would be most interested in?


Academic and school-related

• What is you GMAT? SATs? Undergraduate GPA?

• What is your GPA at Fuqua? What are your grades in Finance, Accounting, and Statistics?

• What has been your favorite or least favorite class at Fuqua? Why?

• What has been the toughest class at Fuqua? Why?

• How kind of quantitative skills do you have? Prove it?

• What would your teammates say about you? What would they say are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?


Technical/quantitative questions

• How do you value a company? Describe different valuation methodologies?

• Discounted cash flow models (WACC and APV). Lead me through a DCF valuation? What is Free Cash Flow and how is it calculated? How does it differ from Cash from Operations?

• What would you use for a discount rate for a company? (Answer: WACC (weighted equity rate plus weighted after-tax rate of debt), Risk adjusted rate (equity only for ventures))


• How do you calculate WACC? (Answer: WACC = equity weight * re + debt weight * rd * (1-τ))

• Comparables/Multiples. What is the average P/E ratio of the S&P 500? Is Microsoft’s P/E higher or lower? What is it? Is Kellogg’s P/E higher or lower? What is it? Why is that? Would the analysis be the same for Cisco? Ford? United Airlines? (Note: company names can be anything, you may bring up some of your own.) (Answers: For the S&P, about 27x, Microsoft, about 50x, Kellogg, about 16x, Internets, about infinity (no earnings), Note: check these they change all the time.)

• What kind of multiples would you use to value a company? What are some reasonable ranges? (Answer: Revenue/Total Market Cap ~1-3, EBIT or EBITDA/Total Market Cap ~6-20, Net income ~20, Price/Book Value ~1-2)

• Is EBITDA to total value a useful multiple? What about Net Income to total value? Why? (Answer: Enterprise value should be used for any financial results above the interest line, after that, equity value should be used.)

• Name a company that you know. What does the balance sheet look like? How is it different than a typical manufacturing company? Internet company? (Answer: Pick any company)

• How would you value a company without earnings, i.e., tech stocks?

• What are all the differences among the methods (advantages, disadvantages, when would you use cash)?

• Discuss the inter-relationships between the Balance Sheet, Income Statement, and Cash Flow Statement.

• Where do I find Capital Expenditures on the Income Statement?

• If Accounts Receivable goes up during the period, how does that impact cash? (Hint: is this a source or use of cash?)

• Walk me through the major items on a Statement of Cash Flows. What are the first three items on a Statement of Cash Flows? (Answer: Net income, depreciation and amortization, add backs)

• Why doe cash flow matter? (Answer: Changes in accruals.)

• What is the difference between cash and accrual accounting? (Answer: Cash only includes cash that comes in or out, accrual includes payables and receivables (the matching principal).)

• What are the first three lines of an Income Statement?

• Is depreciation an expense? Is depreciation a source or use of cash? Why do you add back depreciation expense?

• What is book value? (Answer: Assets minus liabilities)

• What are the different profit margins? What is the difference between gross profit and gross profit margin? (Answer: Value versus percentage.)

• Would I offer to buy a company at its current stock price? (Answer: Usually not, because there is usually a control premium above and beyond the current value of the stock.)

• How would you value a stock you were about to buy? What sources of information would you use to analyze a company or comparable company?

• I am looking at two companies – an oil/gas company and a consumer products company – how do I look at them differently in terms of debt capacity?

• What is the difference between enterprise and equity value? (Answer: Enterprise value is the value available to both the equity and debt holders (equity value plus net debt) – use with revenue, EBITDA, EBIT, Equity value is the value of the company available to the equity holders (equity market value) – use with net income, book value (which is equity value on the books))

• What is the current market risk premium? Risk free? (Answer: Risk free rate – benchmark treasury…@ 6%, Market risk premium - @ 7.5%)


• Who is Alan Greenspan? What does he do? (Answer: Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Sets monetary policy (ie: discount lending rate).)

• Where did the Dow or NASDAQ close recently? (Answer: Look this up before you interview.)

• What is a 10K? What is a 10Q?

• What is the formula for CAPM? (Answer: Re = risk free rate + beta * market risk premium)

• What is a Beta? How do you unlever it? (Answer: Beta is a measure of variability between a stock and the market – actually the covariance of a security with the market divided by the variance of the market.) Assume a debt beta of zero, use the debt/equity relationship to derive the equity beta using the asset beta.

• If a company with a P/E of 20 acquires a company with a P/E of 15 with stock, is the transaction accretive or dilutive? Explain.

• The transaction is accretive to the buyer because its cost of equity is lower. See attached spreadsheet.

• What are some characteristics of an LBO?

• What is the lifecycle of an IPO?

• What is EBITDA? Why is it important?

• What are some major differences between pooling and purchase accounting?

• What is the difference between a stock purchase and an asset purchase?

• What do you think of the economy and interest rates?

• How does the government raise interest rates? (You may get a macro question like this.)

• Lets say that I have a bond with a 5% coupon, what happens to the market price when the prevailing interest rates rise to 8%? How are the coupons affected? (Answer: Price in the market of the bonds will fall to make up for the lower coupon. The actual coupons do not change at all.)

• Which corporate bond would have a higher coupon, a AAA or a BBB? What are the annual payments received by the owner of a five year zero coupon bond? (Answers: BBB would have the higher coupon. There are no annual payments on a zero.)

• Would you rather have $____ today or $1 a day for the rest of your life? How would you go about valuing this amount. (Basically, a time value of money question.)

• Two companies: an oil/gas company and a consumer products company. How do I look at them differently in terms of debt capacity?

• What sources of information would you use to analyze a company or comparable company?

• How do you calculate the synergy?

• Consulting-like brain teasers, i.e.:

• How many ping pong balls can you fit in a 747?

• If it is 3:15, what is the angle measurement between the hour and minute hand?

• The painted cube.

• Holly’s driving question.

Interest and commitment

• What concerns you about this job?

• Do you like New York? Could you live there?

• Who have you talked to at the firm? What have you learned from him or her? What would they say about you?

• What other firms are you talking to? What are your impressions of other firms? Do you have an offer from any other firms?

• Why do you want to work at this firm?

• What group do you see yourself working in? (This question may be asked to see if you have done your homework since some firms hire into a generalist pool. Alternately, they may want to judge your interest in different areas.)


• What is our stock price? What is our ticker? What is our market cap?

• How do you think the banking industry is structured? Where do you think the banking industry is headed? What do you think of the recent mergers?

• Who are our competitors? What are your impressions of other firms? What differentiates our firm from our competitors? What are some difference among different banks that you have noticed? Which differences are important to you?

• How will you make a choice among firms?

• Do you see yourself in banking over the long-term?

• If we gave you an offer right now, would you take it?

• If you had all the money in the world, what would you do besides banking?

• Can you name some of our recent marquee transactions?

• What will you do if you do not get an offer from us?

• What is stopping you from doing any other job or running off to a start-up?

• Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?

• Why do you want this job?

Team questions

• What would the members of your Fuqua teams say about you? What would they say is your biggest weakness?

• What are some examples of teams you have participated on? Tell me about an experience that you had working as part of a team.

• Do you prefer to work on a team or individually?

• Describe a difficult team situation and how it was resolved.

• Few people get along with everyone. How do you handle conflict? How do you handle working with someone you dislike? Give some examples.


Skills oriented

• What skills do you bring to the job? I see many qualified candidates, why should I hire you? Why do you think that you would be successful at this job?

• Give me an example of your leadership abilities?

• What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?

• What qualities do you think are important to this job? What makes people successful in this area?

• Tell me about a time when you were creative.

• Explain a project where you did the analysis from beginning to end?

• Give me some example of doing more than is required in the course or job.

• How would you describe your leadership and/or management style?

• What stocks and/or industries do you follow and why? Did you buy any stocks lately? Why? (You will definitely get this in an S&T interview.)

• What business publications do you read?

• What do you think of ______ article in that days WSJ or NYT? What recent deals have you been following?

• If I gave you a million dollars, how would you invest your money?

• How would you manage an analyst who was underperforming? Would you fire him or her if there were no improvement?

• If you were a managing director and the client told you that he wanted to move his stock price up, what would you suggest as potential strategies?

• How will your background add to your ability to contribute at the firm?

• How would you rank yourself from one to ten? Why?


• Do you work well under pressure?

Your weaknesses and strengths

• What are some of your weaknesses? What are some of your strengths?

• What is your greatest accomplishment?

• From your resume, what are the two (three) biggest concerns we should have in hiring you?

• Discuss a recent or large failure, professional or personal. How did you react?

• Imagine we are reviewing your performance at our firm after working with us for six months or a year. What do you think our criticisms of you would be?

• Why would we not hire you? What risks do you incur for us?

• What is the biggest mistake you ever made and didn’t get caught? What is the biggest mistake you ever made and did get caught?



• What motivates you?

• What do you do in your spare time?

• What do you do for fun? What did you do this past weekend?

• What is the last book you read?

• Tell me about a time when you found it necessary to break the rules.

• What are you goals for the next five years; personal and professional?

• What would you change about your past?

• What was your worst decision, personal or professional, one you would take back.

• How would your friends and/or teammates describe you? If I were to call your last boss, what would he or she say about you?

• Can you tell me a joke?

• What makes you nervous?

• What was the best day of your life?

• What is your favorite book? What was the last book you read? Why did you like it?

• If you could have lunch with any three people who would they be and why?

• What don’t you like about other people?

• What is important to you about the place that you work?

• If you could change anything in your life that you have ever done, what would it be and why?


Venture Capital/Private Equity questions (Anything listed under Investment Banking is game.)

• What types of things do you look for when reviewing a business plan?

• What types of attributes do you think make a start-up poised for success?

• What is the typical structure of a term sheet? What aspects of a term sheet would you be most concerned about as an entrepreneur? As a venture capitalist?

• How is a venture capital firm/private equity concern structured? How do they make money?

• What are the different types of private equity a company would access given different stages of their growth?


Sales and Trading specific questions

• Why Sale and Trading versus Investment Banking?


• Are you interested in Sales or Trading? Why?

• What does a Trader do? What does a Salesperson do?

• Do you want to sell or trade equity or debt instruments? Why?

• What makes you think that you can sell?

• How do you measure success in your life?

• What about your personality will make you a good Trader or Salesperson?

• If interest rates rise, what will happen to bond prices? Why?

• Have you followed any stocks lately? Did you decide to buy it? Why? (You will definitely get this question in S&T interviews.)

• Be prepared to convince them that you have transferable skill sets which will enable you to succeed in this field – for example, if you worked in a risky, high pressure environment with limited information, but had to make decisions (for trading).

• What do you know about the bond market?

• Is there any are in fixed income that you are particularly interested in (you don not have to have a preference).

• Firm’s stock ticker, price, etc.

• What do you know about my firm?

Equity Research specific questions

• Why are you interested in Equity Research as opposed to Sales and Trading or Investment Banking?

• Why sell-side as opposed to buy-side research?

• Tell me about your favorite stock?

• What are some of the most important skills sets for Equity Research?

• Provide an example of your entrepreneurial spirit and creativity.


Corporate Finance specific questions

• Be prepared to answer cases.


Message thanked : 2 times

12 June 2010, 12:27  



[ Scorecard : 42]

 Get FREE copies of Vault Guide to Finance Interviews upon joining* Advanced Excel for Finance, Audit & MIS reporting training program of Excel Next ( ).

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14 December 2010, 13:40  

John Mathew

penny stock

[ Scorecard : 22]

Really very helpful questions for me....Thanks...


Penny Stocks

14 December 2010, 16:09  

Mikes Wilsons

Penny Stocks

[ Scorecard : 22]

I think those questions are really very helpful for banking interviews....

Penny Stocks

06 January 2011, 19:18  



[ Scorecard : 45]

 nice one

07 March 2011, 13:15  



[ Scorecard : 1276]

Good work...

23 May 2011, 09:41  

Patric Holier


[ Scorecard : 28]



I found that a member asked same question in this forum some months ago.


Pls use search box to find this questions with comments

30 June 2011, 18:01  

Patric Holier


[ Scorecard : 28]

If you want to get more materials that related to this topic, you can visit: Financial analyst interview questions

Best regards.

26 March 2019, 15:22  


[ Scorecard : 22]

Wow, there are too many questions. I still cannot understand what people do in ordinary banks. I started to do other kinds of investments long ago. Now I use to find a good ICO project. That’s my method now

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