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Morgan Stanley interview questions, the definitive list

We’ve looked at the interview questions of Goldman Sachs. We’ve looked at the interview questions of J.P. Morgan. And at the interview questions of Deutsche Bank, and the Big Four accountancy firms.

But what if you’re interviewing with Morgan Stanley? What then? Based upon questions Morgan Stanley interviewees say they’ve been posed in the past, here’s what you must expect. If you’ve interviewed at Morgan Stanley and have any questions to add, post them in the comments section at the bottom of this page or email us at Editor@eFinancialCareers.com. 

Fit questions from Morgan Stanley interviews

What, exactly, are you expecting to do in this job?

Why do you want this job?

Why Morgan Stanley?

Have you spoken to alumni at Morgan Stanley? What have they told you that has made you want to work for the firm?

What will you do if you don’t get a job at Morgan Stanley?

You receive an offer from a number of banks. – Which factors will you weight up when deciding where to work?

Integrity or authority?

What’s the most important: Money, honour, or knowledge?

If you realise you don’t have enough time to complete a task but you are half way through, what do you do?

Give me an example of an experience that demonstrates your leadership abilities.

Can you tell me about a time when someone asked you to do something and you disagreed?

Tell me about a time you upset someone. How did you go about handling this?

What makes you special? Why should we hire you instead of the other people applying for this role?

How would your best friend describe you?

How would your worst enemy describe you?

Is your success down to intelligence or hard work?

Talk me through a time that you solved a complicated problem with a simple solution.

What’s the most important thing you’ve done with your life so far?

Tell me about a time when had to persuade someone to change their opinion.

What’s the most creative thing you’ve ever done?

Give me an example of a time you’ve been wrong about something.

IBD questions from Morgan Stanley interviews 

Which are the three different methods of valuing a company?

Which of the three company valuation methods leads to this highest valuation? Why is this?

Walk me through a leveraged buyout model.

Briefly walk through a discounted cash flow analysis (including WACC).

What’s WACC?

What’s CAPM?

What is the formula for enterprise value?

What is minority interest and why do we add it in the enterprise value formula?

The rate of depreciation of a company’s assets changes. How does this affect its balance sheet, cash flow and income statement?

A company makes a $100 cash purchase of equipment on Dec. 31. How does this impact the three statements this year and next year?

What factors can lead to the dilution of EPS in an acquisition?

Can you tell me about one of Morgan Stanley’s clients?

Can you tell me about a deal we’ve recently worked on?

How would you value Uber?

How would you value a bank? Why are enterprise valuation multiples not relevant here?

How would you go about valuing a Starbucks outlet?

How would you go about valuing Apple vs. Samsung?

Markets questions from Morgan Stanley interviews

What is quantitative easing and how does it affect the markets?

How would you invest $1m?

What do you know about the Black Scholes model?

Derive the Black Scholes formula.

How does an option work?

How do you price an option?

What trade ideas do you like at the moment?

Pitch me a stock.

Equities or bonds? Why?

Should the UK join the euro?

What are the current market headwinds domestically and internationally?

How would you hedge a trade on the dollar?

Why do you want to become a trader in these volatile markets?

What’s happening in the bond market?

Which country would you invest in? Why?

Tech questions from Morgan Stanley interviews

What are the three fundamental concepts of Object Oriented Programming?

What are the advantages of Object Oriented Programming?

What’s encapsulation?

What’s polymorphism?

What’s abstraction?

What’s Kerberos?

What are the differences between Java and Scala?

You have a set in Java. It’s supposed to contain 200 numbers but contains 198. What can you do about that?

How does a bubble sort work? What are its disadvantages?

How does a quick sort work? What are its disadvantages?

How does a merge sort work? What are its disadvantages?

How would you code a sorting algorithm?

Brain teasers and other questions from Morgan Stanley interviews

How do you define two independent events?

Why do financial services firms need to be regulated?

Name three different financial services regulators.

Explain the concept of game theory as if you’re talking to your grandmother.

What is the GDP of the USA?

What does LIBOR stand for?

What’s greater? 45% of 19 or 19% of 45?

Five pirates are trying to split up 1,000 pieces of gold. They have to abide by these rules: Pirate #1 must divide the gold up in such a way that a majority of the pirates (including himself) agree to. If he does not get a majority vote, he will be killed, and pirate #2 will get to propose a solution to the remaining 3 pirates, and the same rules will follow. This continues until someone comes up with a plan that earns a majority vote. What is the most amount of gold pieces that pirate #1 can keep to himself, and what would his proposal be? Bear in mind that the pirates are infinitely greedy, infinitely ruthless (the more dead pirates the better), and infinitely intelligent.

There are 200 fish in a tank. 198 are blue, two are red. How many blue fish would you need to remove to make 98% blue fish?

If you arrange some sugar cubes into a larger 10x10x10 cube, how many cubes can you see on the outer layer?

How many golf balls would fit into this cubicle?

How many cats are there in the UK?

How many baseball bats are sold in North America every year?

What’s 18% of 83?

What’s 17/18 as an exact decimal?

What’s the cube root of 1,000?

How many traffic lights are there in NYC?

Photo credit: Alan Wu

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