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Five Interview Questions Asset Managers Should be Ready For

When heading into an interview for an IB asset management position, you have to understand the markets and be able to prove it. How? We asked Jack Bloom, a professor at Pace University's school and head of its IB Career Path, which offers training and career coaching to young professionals. He says you should be ready for these questions:

Where do you see the market heading?

Your answer should show that you know what's going on in the world, and you understand the market. "Be sure you give an answer that's backed up by reasons that are both fundamental and technical," Bloom says.

Which investors do you admire?

With this question, the interviewer is really asking, "Are you a growth investor or a value investor?" Before the interview, do your research and figure out the firm's investment philosophy - and choose an idol accordingly.

What do you think of the latest economic data?

Whether it's unemployment stats or recent moves by the Fed, show that you're up on current events. Also demonstrate that you can take a macro view of the markets and economy. "Explain what the latest news means for the market, whether it's bonds or emerging markets," Bloom advises.

What is your experience in investing?

Set up at least a small personal fund and be prepared to discuss the results. "Firms want people who are passionate about investing and have actually done it," Bloom says. A personal portfolio also shows you have enough confidence in your investing skills to risk your own hard-earned dough.

How do you value a company?

Do an analysis on a sample company and have it ready to present. Make sure you understand discounted cash flow, transaction and comparable company analysis. And don't forget to cover both long and short. "You have to be able to do this on the job, even though it's not taught in school," Bloom says.

AUTHOREmma Johnson Insider Comment
  • Zv
    Zvi Wolf
    7 March 2011

    Anyone who understands the markets would never ask the question "Where do you see the market heading?". I've been a PM for > 20 years and I never would consider asking that question of an aspiring equity analyst. That's a question for a macro investor, a type of investor that is not recruited directly out of school.

  • Jo
    Joshua Norman
    4 March 2011

    Nowadays, plenty of experienced professionals from the buy-side, sell-side and open architecture side are willing to apply for the junior level analyst jobs, wherever they may be open

  • AM
    22 February 2011

    Well, this is suited for a graduate who want to do Asset Management, not for an experienced asset manager...

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