What will you be asked when you attend an interview for a graduate (analyst) job in an investment bank?
Alongside the standard fare about what inspires you, what your weaknesses are, and where you plan to be in five years, you need to be ready for the weird stuff. We spoke to a selection of students who interviewed with top banks in London this year. They confirmed that banks are still prone to making strange requests – some more so than others.
These are the most freakish reports from the frontline of analyst and summer analyst interviews for 2016.
1. “How would you value a cow using a discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis?”
This was asked of a student in London during the 2016 summer internship round.
DCF questions are inevitable in corporate finance interviews. Bovine DCF questions are not.
2. How many pairs of shoes do you expect to own over your lifetime?
This was reportedly asked during an interview for risk management at Nomura. Brain teaser questions have been eschewed by Google as irrelevant to the hiring process, but they remain popular in banks.
3. What would you do if we gave you £10k now?
This was reportedly asked during an interview with ICAP. The student was expected to have some solid investment ideas in response.
4. Who is your best friend?
This was asked during a final round interview at Credit Suisse. ” I guess this was just their unorthodox way of getting me to speak about myself but through the eyes of someone close to me,” says the student who responded.
5. How would you manage the portfolio of an astronaut that will be isolated from earth for the next 10 years?
This was asked during a securities interview at Goldman Sachs. “It was the best interview I’ve ever done” says the student who responded.
6. What’s 17 times 17?
Whilst this question isn’t strange in itself, the student who was asked it says it was posed out of context. “I was asking one of their other questions when they suddenly interrupted me and said ’17 x 17,’ midway through the conversation. They then continued the interview in French and asked me to discuss my strengths and weaknesses, in French,” he says. “I guess they were trying to see how good I was at maths and to test my level of French. However, I thought it was quite disrespectful to interrupt someone in the middle of their answer.”