If You Want a Finance Job, Have Answers to These Questions

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Job interviews are stressful, grueling and often times painstaking, especially for recent master of business administration graduates eyeing six-figure jobs at investment banks, hedge funds and other top financial firms. Softball questions are often tossed aside, with most inquiries looking deeper into a candidate’s behavioral and quantitative abilities.

Part of every M.B.A. program’s curriculum is preparing students for interviews for summer internships and full-time employment. New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business takes the preparation process a step further, collecting real interview questions hiring companies ask its students.

Below are some of the most interesting we’ve found. These are the questions you need to be able to answer to get a job with asset managers, commercial banks, private wealth managers and other finance firms. A few even come with answers.  Up next week on eFinancialCareers: the toughest interview questions posed by consulting companies.

  1. How much did the S&P increase/decrease this year? What will the S&P be at the end of next year? Why?
  2. What's your favorite investment idea right now (could be geographic or sector focused)?
  3. If you could buy one stock for the next 50 years what would it be? Answer: Coca-­Cola for example. They want to see a stock that can grow over time at a compound rate, less cyclical, less elastic to small price changes, management doesn't matter, selling a product people are willing to pay a premium for.
  4. Tell me about a time when you persuaded a person or group to do or think what you wanted?
  5. Which ratios would you analyze to understand the liquidity, the efficiency and the profitability of a company?
  6. A long-standing corporate client decides to offer the lead role in a new debt offering to another bank. If, at all, how would you approach the client in future dealings?
  7. Who is the CEO of Global Citi Cards?
  8. How would you get somebody to invest with you if you are competing against a 15-year veteran from another company?
  9. What is the biggest misperception that people have about you that is NOT true?
  10. Two companies in the same industry.  Company A raises price and Company B increases production capacity. Which one is better?
  11. Rank the following securities in order of riskiness to the investor:  Aircraft leases, tax liens, credit card receivables and sub-prime mortgage backed securities.
  12. I'm going to give you five plays in baseball and you tell me which one you would rather complete. 1. Hitting a lead-off double. 2. Completing an un-assisted double play. 3. Sacrifice bunting a runner from second to third. 4. Hitting a double and scoring the runner who was on second base. 5. As a pitcher striking out the other team's best hitter. (Asked to a student interviewing for a sales and trading role).
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