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25 real life questions asked in corporate finance interviews

Scratching head

MBAs have a variety of opportunities after graduating. The most common career paths are consulting, investment banking and tech. But many others go the corporate route, working in an accounting or strategy role at a company outside of financial services.

As one would imagine, the questions that are asked in corporate finance interviews are rather different than those that take place at investment banks or consulting firms. Below is a list of 25 real-life interview questions asked of MBAs by corporations in need of finance talent. How would you do?

  1. What’s deferred tax?
  2. What’s pushdown accounting?
  3. What are the components of WACC (weighted average cost of capital)?
  4. Describe how to create a DCF (discounted cash flow).
  5. Describe how to build a cash flow from an income statement.
  6. Tell me how you would go about valuing a privately held _______ company?
  7. What types of information would you look for to value a foreign company?
  8. Why might a technology company be more highly valued in the market (P/E) than a steel company stock?
  9. How does the yield curve work? What does it mean when it is upward sloping?
  10. What is securitization?
  11. What do you think is going to happen with interest rates over the next 6 months?
  12. Who would you say is the most influential government official vis a vis the company?
  13. What is disintermediation?
  14. How does compounding work? Would I Be better off with 10% annually or semi? What about 8% semi annually vs. 10% annually?
  15. Where is the US trade deficit?
  16. Where is the US budget deficit?
  17. What is convexity?
  18. What is the difference between macauley and modified duration?
  19. What is the biggest debt market (by product) in the US? Rank top 5 markets.
  20. What is the most liquid debt market in the world?
  21. What does liquidity allow an investor?
  22. What is unique about the US treasury Market vis a vis the rest of the debt market?
  23. How do derivatives work?
  24. How does a swap work?
  25. How many basis points is a yield bong going to trade off treasuries?

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