Each year, Vault surveys thousands of investment banking professionals, asking them to tell us about life at their firms. We ask about company culture, hours, compensation, overall job satisfaction, work/life balance, benefits, diversity, formal training, mentoring, business outlook, and more. Part of our survey focuses on interviews and, specifically, on the interview questions bankers are asked during the hiring process. To that end, below we've compiled the most common interview questions that 2,200 Wall Street banking professionals told us their firms are asking now (separated into four different categories: technical, industry, fit, and behavioral questions).
1. Walk me through a DCF.
2. Walk me through the effect of depreciation on all of the financial statements.
3. Discuss the flow and connections between the different kinds of financial statements.
4. What are the three common ways to value a company?
5. Walk me through how you’d value a company with negative EBITDA.
6. Pitch me a stock.
7. What makes for an attractive LBO target?
8. How do you profitably operate a lemonade stand?
1. Which industries are you interested in and why?
2. Tell me about a transaction we recently announced that you found interesting and why.
3. Walk us through a typical sell-side process from pitch to closing.
4. Tell me about some companies you follow and why.
5. How did your past education/career lead you here today?
6. What gets you excited about this job and industry?
1. Why should we hire you?
2. What are you most proud of?
3. What is the last book you read?
4. What do you do for fun?
5. What inspires you and why?
6. Tell me about something not on your resume.
7. What differentiates you from your classmates?
8. What are you best at?
9. What are you worst at?
10. What is something you had to fight for in life?
11. Talk to me about two things that are in the news lately (other than the two most common topics; for example, last year this would have meant other than Brexit and the U.S. election).
1. How would you describe your management style (upwards and downwards)?
2. Talk about the leadership roles you’ve held (both elected and appointed).
3. Give examples of your ability to work well on a team.
4. Describe how you handle competing priorities and give an example where this was challenging.
5. Please provide an example of a situation where you pro-actively solved a problem or identified a new opportunity that contributed positively to an organization with which you are or were previously affiliated.
6. Tell me about a challenging conversation you had and how you handled it.
7. How do you think you'll balance the demands of this job with other things that are important to you?
8. If you have multiple offers, how will you decide which one to take?
For more questions Wall Street banks ask, and for how to answer just about every question you'll face in a finance interview, check out our latest Vault Guide to Finance Interviews.
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