Financial Interview Questions

for everyone out there looking to break into the finance world, here are some questions that I have heard throughout my career on Wall Street. Let's get a thread going here, esp. since interview season is right around the corner!!!

100% Guaranteed Questions

• Walk me through your resume.
• Why Investment Banking / Sales & Trading / Private Client Services?
• How do you value a company (particular to investment banking)?
• Why did you choose (school name)
• What were your fall term grades? What was your SAT score? Why didn't you do better in ____ class?
• What qualities do you think are important for this industry? Do you possess those qualities?
• Do you understand the structure of our summer program / your job requirements?
• What is your greatest weakness?
• Why should we hire you?
• What do you do for fun?
• With what other firms are you interviewing? Are you also interviewing with consulting firms or for opportunities outside Investment Banking / Sales & Trading / PCS?
• If I gave you an offer right now would you accept?
• Rank the firms with whom you're interviewing in order of preference.
• What questions do you have for me?

Personal Goals & Accomplishments

• What made you choose your undergraduate school? Why did you major in ___?
• What was your favorite class so far?
• What are your 5-20 year career plans?
• What is your proudest accomplishment? Your most challenging personal experience?
• Tell me about a time when you led a team or took responsibility either at school or in your prior job?
• How do you work in teams? How do you handle a non-contributing team member? What do you add to a group when you take on a team assignment or group task?
• Describe a failure. What did you learn from it?
• How do you handle stress?
• Tell me a joke.

Financial Questions

• Why would two companies merge? What major factors drive mergers and acquisitions?
• Why might a company choose debt over equity financing?
• Where is our firm's stock trading?
• Where is the Dow Jones today? S&P? NASDAQ? 20-year or 30-year T-Bonds?
• Where do you think interest rates will be 2 year from now?
• Where is the market going?
• Tell me three items on the front page of today's Wall Street Journal.
• Do you personally invest in stocks? Which ones? Why?

Accounting Questions

• Walk me through a typical cash flow statement, balance sheet, or income statement.
• What is EBITDA?
• Company X's net income is ___; how do I compute their cash flow?
• What is goodwill? How does it effect net income?
• Why would a company choose pooling over purchase accounting?
• What is working capital?
• What are deferred taxes?

General Questions

• How does your past career qualify you for a position in investment banking / sales & trading / PCS?
• What do you hope to accomplish this summer?
• Rank the firms on Wall Street. Where do we fit? Who is our competition? What differentiates our firm? What are our strengths / weaknesses?
• Describe a typical day for a full-time analyst.
• What is your greatest concern about Investment Banking / our firm?

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