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23 Real Interview Questions Banks Ask of Ivy League MBAs

Getting an internship on Wall Street is as hard as it’s ever been. The competition remains stifling and there are fewer opportunities available than years ago. At a bank like Goldman Sachs, just 2% of applicants are given offers.

Earning summer internships at the MBA level is even more difficult. The questions test both your intellectual and emotional capital. A source at New York University’s Stern School of Business passed along a collection of real interview questions banks and consulting firms recently asked graduate students seeking internships. The questions are spread across industry and function. See how well you stack up.

1. Industry: Asset Management

Function: Equity Research - Buy Side

Which is better? A company's announcement that they are raising prices or a company's announcement that they are increasing production capacity?

2. Industry: Asset Management

Function: Equity Research - Buy Side

What would you expect normalized revenue and earnings growth to be for ____ industry? Why? What multiple would you assign to it? Why? (Important to discuss operating leverage here and how it impacts it).

3. Industry: Asset Management

Function: Equity Research - Buy Side

Do you see a trend in the types of stocks you invest in? What is your investment style?

4. Industry: Asset Management

Function: Investment Management

What would a mutual fund company's 3 financial statements look like? Walk me through them. How would you value MFS?

5. Industry: Commercial Banking

Function: Finance - Corporate/General Finance

Which ratios would you analyze to understand the liquidity the efficiency and the profitability of a company?

6. Industry: Investment Banking

EV/EBITDA and EQ.Value/Net.Income; What is the difference? What does one signify over the other?

7. Industry: Investment Banking

What are the valuation methodologies you would use to value a start-up company?

8. Industry: Investment Banking

What is the difference between trading comparables and precedent transactions?

9. Industry: Investment Banking

I am off to our final meeting, tell me one thing I should remember about you during our meeting?

10. Industry: Investment Banking

What is free cash flow to equity?

11. Industry: Investment Banking

Function: Equity Research - Sell Side

You are covering a $1 billion top-line U.S. public company with 15% operating margins. News breaks that the company will acquire a $500 million top-line private company in Canada. Once you know how much they probably paid what else does your investor want to know?

12, Industry: Investment Banking

Function: Equity Research - Sell Side

Let's pretend that I am a senior analyst and I decide to quit and join a buy side firm. You have been chosen to replace me. If you had three months to get your business up and running before meeting with buy side clients what steps would you take?

13. Industry: Investment Banking

Function: Equity Research - Sell Side

What impact would the weakening of the US dollar have on the stock market?

14. Industry: Investment Banking

Function: Equity Research - Sell Side

Would a capital-intensive company look more or less expensive than a non-capital intensive company in terms of the EV/EBITDA ratio?

15. Industry: Investment Banking

Function: Finance - Corporate/General Finance

Explain how depreciation flows through the three accounting statements.

16. Industry: Consulting

Function: Consulting - Mgmt Consulting

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

17. Industry: Diversified Financial Services

Function: Equity Research - Buy Side

If you were to give you a company's annual report to research a company, what would you look at first? Why?

18. Industry: Diversified Financial Services

Function: Equity Research - Buy Side

If you want to analyze a company – for example a chemical company –  that you are not familiar with what will you look at first?

19. Industry: Diversified Financial Services

Function: Equity Research - Buy Side

If you can only choose one from three financial statements which one will you choose?

20. Industry: Diversified Financial Services

Function: Finance - Corporate/General Finance

You have just been promoted. Congratulations. You are now responsible for a team of financial professionals. After speaking with each of your new employees you learn that there is a high level of frustration on your team. What actions do you take to guarantee the future success of your team?

21. Industry: Diversified Financial Services

Function: Finance - Corporate/General Finance

You have been working on a project for several months now and you are almost done. Suddenly your boss changes his mind about the current plan and asks you to redo the project using some new information. Your manager also tells you that you have 3 days to complete the task. What do you do in this situation? How would you feel?

Industry: Diversified Financial Services

22. Function: Finance - Corporate/General Finance

What did you think of our latest earnings release?

Industry: Diversified Financial Services

23. Function: Risk Management

Tell me about when you failed.

 

For more brain teasers, check out our previous post on interview questions posed by consulting companies  and investment banks as well another concentrating on asset managers, commercial banks, private wealth managers and other finance firms.

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AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor
  • Al
    Alpha_male
    12 August 2013

    Pretty easy/obvious questions on the whole. But I have 7+ years experience as a fundamental equity analyst for long/short hedge-funds and I can't get a job so they would be I suppose ...

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