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Investment Banking Interview – What to Expect & How to Prep

Landing an investment banking interview – Before you land the job you have to land an interview.

The investment banking interview process  - What to expect once you finally landed that interview.

Investment banking interview questions - Quite broadly, there are two types of investment banking interview questions – qualitative “soft” questions, or quantitative ”technical” questions.

Many of the technical questions you get will be on basic accounting and valuation.  They will ask you questions on discounted cash flow analysis, intrinsic valuation vs. relative valuation, etc. Interviewers may also give you challenging brainteasers to see how you think about problems on the spot.

Accounting

Accounting quick lesson - You can’t avoid accounting questions in an investment banking interview.  Even if you’ve never taken an accounting class, chances are, you’ll be asked questions that require rudimentary accounting knowledge.

Top 10 most common accounting interview questions

Walk me through the financial statements

How are the financial statements linked together?

What is the cash flow statement important and how does it compare to the income statement?

Walk me through the accounting of the following transaction…

Company A has $100 of assets while company B has $200 of assets.  Which company should have a higher value?

Valuation

The rigor of valuation questions asked is also a function of your academic and professional backgrounds.  For example, if you go to the Wharton School and are pursuing Finance as a major and managed to obtain an investment banking internship as a freshman/sophomore at a bulge bracket, the rigor of questions will be higher because the assumption is that you have additional knowledge given your additional experience and course of study.

10 Common Investment Banking Interview Valuation Questions

Additional resources:

Qualitative questions

The kinds of questions that banks can ask you are not limited to finance. While technical questions attempt to establish baseline knowledge, the qualitative questions seek to establish fit. Since investment banking involves a lot of group work, fit is extremely important in investment banking, and success on this part of the interview sometimes outweighs the technical interview component.

Walk me through your resume

Why investment banking?

Addressing a low GPA in an interview

How comfortable do you feel working with numbers?

Tell me about a time when you showed leadership?

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