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Finance interviews, regardless whether its investment banking or sales and trading, are very tough. Our recommendations are to prepare at least 3 months in advance of the recruitment period. Assuming that you have a decent GPA, some work experience, and have networked, you have a good chance at at least one or two interviews. To nail those interviews, we recommend you prepare by:

  • Figure out what an investment banker does, maybe this isn’t even a career for you. Feel free to read our career guides or alternatively, try Vault.
  • Build a robust understanding of accounting, finance, and economic theory through textbooks and our blog (or other reputable websites).
  • Read financial news (we recommend WSJ or the FT, please don’t quote Business Insider in your interviews) and understand the markets, this will help your stock pitches as well.
    • If you’re going for trading or equity research, it might be a good idea to start investing. Do some research, build a hypothesis, and buy a couple of stocks.
  • Get a sense of the industry that you might be interested in, and read up on that industry. Certain banks specialize in one or two industries, do your research and make sure you’re tailoring yourself to the bank you’re going for.
  • Apply theory with financial modeling to reinforce your knowledge (after reviewing several courses online, we recommend Wall Street Prep).
  • Find a reliable interview partner to practice behaviourals and technicals, ideally someone already in the industry area you’re interested in.

We understand that you have conflicting priorities when it comes to interview prep, like perhaps that frat party you really want to go to or the 3.9 GPA you want to maintain. It may be hard to justify putting so much time and money into interview prep, especially if you don’t even know if you’ll get an interview. However, in our experience, it is definitely worth putting the time, effort, and money in, and we are not saying this just so you would spend more time on our website (well maybe partially). Being ill prepared and failing an IB interview that you didn’t expect is the worst feeling ever, trust us. The ROI will make sense in the medium to long-term..

  • What are some common ways to value a company?
  • How do you get to free cash flow?
  • What is easier, revenue synergies or cost synergies?
  • If you had $1 million what would you invest in?
  • Should a company issue debt or equity under current market conditions?
  • What is convexity?
  • Why are loans syndicated?
  • What is a borrowing base facility?
  • What is a positive covenant? What is a negative covenant? What is a financial covenant?
  • What is your investment thesis?
  • What are possible catalysts?
  • What are some risk factors?
  • Why is a straight flush rarer than a four of a kind?
  • How many turkeys are consumed during Thanksgiving?
  • What is the sum of all the numbers between 1 and 1000?
  • When asked about how you became interested in Investment Banking
  • When asked about working 100-hour weeks
  • When asked about your plans in 5 years

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