Want an I-Banking job? Know the answers to these questions

Beecher Tuttle | E-Financial Careers

While working at an investment bank may no longer be as prestigious and high-paying as it was years ago, the competition for open positions remains fierce, for both internships and full-time positions. To whittle down the select few who receive offers, investment banks are known for asking some of the most difficult interview questions you’ll hear.

Below is a sampling of some of the more interesting questions recently asked of M.B.A. graduates and prospective interns from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business. Test your skills and post your answers in the comment section.

1. Imagine that you cover an industrials company with $1 billion in revenue. News breaks that it is going to acquire a private company – all you know about the target is that it has roughly $500 million in revenue. Your phones start to ring immediately. On one line is your trader and on the other is your top institutional customer. First: Which phone do you answer and why. Second: How do you analyze the situation and what do you talk about?

2. Would a capital-intensive company look more or less expensive than a non-capital intensive company in terms of the EV/EBITDA ratio?

3. How do changes in interest rates impact duration?

4. How do you think you’ll handle the hours? Tell me about a time you’ve worked overtime?

5. If a company increases depreciation by $10, tell me how all three financial statements will be impacted?

6. If I were to ask your parents what they thought about you going into banking, what would they say?

7. On a football field, how are the different valuation ranges going to show up?

8. In a regular market, what is more expensive debt or equity? Explain your thought process.

9. Why is free cash flow called “free” cash flow? What does “free” signify?

10. What does F9 do in Excel?

11. What is the weakness of private equity valuation?

12, In a declining interest rate environment would you rather hold interest-only or principal-only?

13. If I am looking at a company in industry X and we want to determine how much leverage the company can withstand (to pay the shareholders a dividend) how would you determine the maximum amount of leverage for this corporation?

14. If you had an option to purchase an asset that was going to be worth either $100 or -$100 with equal probability (ignoring time to maturity and with a 0% interest rate) how much would you pay for that asset?

15. If you had a die with six sides and the strike price is three, how much would you pay for the option?

16. If the yield for a one-year bond is 10% and the yield for a two-year bond is 15%, what is the forward rate for the second year?

17. Does company-specific risk impact Beta? Why or why not?


Robin Judson & Kate Stoughton Berllineer |

As recruiters, we are already seeing candidates who have been laid off and are searching for their next role. The fact that these individuals were laid off does not detract from their work experience or the value that they bring. As you prepare for what’s next, make sure to focus on what you can contribute

... Read Article


Robin Judson & Kate Stoughton Berliner | Robin Judson Partners

If the possibility of getting laid off is keeping you up at night, here are some ways to get ready and ease your mind. Be prepared Dust off your resume. Even if layoffs are not an issue, we recommend keeping your resume up to date! Consider: Pro Tip: Treat your resume like a living document.

... Read Article

How PE Firms are Dealing with a Hybrid Work Environment

Keith Button | Merger & Acquisitions

Hybrid home-office work arrangements, the demands of a younger generation of up-and-coming executives and pressure to develop more diversity in leadership are all impacting the recruiting efforts of middle-market private equity firms. Read the full article by Keith Button

... Read Article

Now Is Not The Time To Accept A Counter Offer

Robin Judson |

Jack G. complained constantly that his fund did not pay him anywhere close to the value he produced. In his role as a Principal in XYZ Private Equity Fund, he had significant P&L attached to the portfolio companies he worked with, sat on two boards and a deal he originated was about to close. Two

... Read Article

Some Wall Street dealmakers are choosing WFH over big paydays, as return-to-office plans become key to recruiting

Samantha Stokes | Insider

Recruiters told Insider that some senior bankers at the managing-director level and above are saying they won’t consider new roles that are based in the office full-time. Samantha Lee/Business Insider Flexible-work policies are top of mind for many senior bankers, recruiters say. Candidates are turning down roles that don’t allow remote work at least sometimes. Some

... Read Article

Wall Street’s Hottest Commodity: College Grads With Excel Skills

Mary Biekert | Wall Street Journal

All across Wall Street, one price keeps going up: the one for young talent. Big banks can’t hire junior staff fast enough — not even at the new going rate of $100,000 a year. Chalk it up to the pandemic. Or the notoriously long hours. Or youthful realizations that maybe banking isn’t all it’s cracked

... Read Article

How To Handle Job Offers In The Post-Lockdown Economy

Robin Judson |

Many job searches during this post-lockdown period result in candidates receiving multiple offers. How to best handle the scenario.

... Read Article

A Guide To Interviewing From A Career Recruiter

Robin Judson | Robin Judson Partners

We believe we know interviewing because we have been in the financial recruiting business for over 25 years. This is our guide.

... Read Article