Investment Banking Interview Guide 4.0: A detailed Review
Are you looking for a detailed investment banking interview guide?
OK…Let me give you the first tip – 10 most common investment banking interview questions:
Investment banking interview questions:
- Tell me about yourself?
- Why do you want to work for our bank?
- How do you value a company?
- Why do you want to do investment banking?
- Why didn’t you receive a return offer from your internship?
- Why are you moving from investment banking to private equity?
- Why are you changing careers?
- Talk about your favorite aspects of your current career.
- How M&A deals and debt and equity financing work?
- What makes leveraged finance most interesting to you?
Read these ten investment banking technical interview questions?
The list is not complete. It’s just a bite.
If you want to go for the snack, read on.
The following post I had written a year back. You can read the post: Investment banking analyst skills, roles, and responsibilities.
Imagine if you could make one simple tweak to your resume, and see an instant result in interview calls. Last week I wrote an article on crafting a financial analyst's resume.
I hope that all of you are enjoying the series of articles I am writing, which I hope will help all readers enter or make their careers in the fantastic field of finance.
Recently I was surfing the Internet to see what kind of information is available for fresh graduates, where they can learn about how to approach interviews with investment banking companies.
Most of the articles I found on the Internet were about what you can do in or during the interview.
Mind you; they were useful articles.
They talked about how you should sit, how you should introduce yourself, how you should speak, what mannerisms you should use, tips on eye contact, how much you should talk, what kind of answers to give and other such stuff which will help you during the interview process.
But I couldn't find a single good article which explained clearly what you should do to prepare yourself before going for an interview with your dream investment banking firm.
Basically, what I want to say is - what do you do one or two days before you are going to go for your dream interview! No one tells you that.
So I thought I’ll use my experience to write an article which will help readers who are going for interviews with investment banking firms, prepare themselves nicely for the interview.
Remember These Small Tips before You Go for Your Investment Banking Interview:
#1. Be sure why you desire this specific job
I know so many young students who come and tell me that they want to be successful investment banking professionals without really knowing why they wanted to be an investment banker in the first place.
They get enamored by the high remuneration, fat bonuses, and the great fly lifestyle. This is very dangerous, in my opinion.
Remember that you have to be able to explain to your interviewer not only why you want to be an investment banking professional, but you also need to be able to explain to them which precise responsibilities would interest you the most, what you can precisely identify about the work, and also in which specific work area you are interested in.
The more precise you can explain these things to your interviewer, the more resolute and motivated you will come across to them.
So be absolutely sure why you want this specific job and be very clear about it.
#2. Your fundamentals need to be extremely clear
Remember that the technical part of your interview will focus solely on your expert knowledge of critical financial and accounting concepts.
Most MBAs and postgraduates feel that they know everything.
But remember my words - even though you have a post-graduate degree, you must make sure that you properly revise the most important techniques and concepts before your dream interview.
Some of the most important financial topics that I think you need to brush up include the most important financial statements, such as the profit and loss statement, the balance sheet, and the cash flow statement.
You also need to brush up on concepts such as financial ratio analysis, remember how to calculate those ratios, and also remember their meaning and utility.
You might be given some financial statements and asked to calculate some ratios in your interview.
Also, you might be asked to solve some exciting case studies.
It might be a good idea to solve some functional case studies on your own before going into your interview.
This will help you improve your confidence and tighten your financial knowledge.
#3. Know as much as possible about the recruiting company
Everyone is very proud of their company.
If you go for an interview at a company knowing nothing about it, the interviewer is not going to be pleased about it.
It is one of the major turnoffs for any interviewer.
So make sure you go through the website of the company thoroughly and take down notes.
Check which all deals the company has been active in.
Read about those deals.
If possible, talk about these deals in your interview and feel free to give your opinion on the deals.
#4. Brush up on the latest economic news and happenings
It is essential, in my view, to know exactly what is going around you – especially in the business and economic environment.
Read the newspapers thoroughly, especially the business segment.
Note down key happenings and try to think over them.
You might be asked questions over it.
You should be in a position to talk sensibly about it.
This will give a clear indication to the interviewer that you are engaged in the world of business and economics.
You should read good financial newspapers like The New York Times, The Economic Times, The Wall Street Journal, The financial Express, The Financial Times, etc.daily for a few days before your interview.
#5. You don’t need to know everything under the sun
Well, I've been saying throughout this article that you need to read a lot and prepare a lot.
But remember one thing very carefully - You don’t need to know everything in the world!
You have every right to say – I do not know!
Remember - do not makeup stuff.
You will be easily caught.
It’s better to say that you do not know clearly.
But be sure that you are clear about the things you know about.
You should be able to talk about those things clearly and should be able to provide your own opinion on it.
#6. Prepare a good answer for the ‘tell me about you’ question
Well, I don’t think there has been an interview in this world, where the interviewer hasn't asked the most common question in the world – ‘tell me about yourself’!
This one looks like a simple question to answer.
But believe me, this question can make or break your interview.
It’s always a good idea to prepare the right answer to this question.
Do not take this question lightly.
This question allows you to sell yourself optimally to your interviewer.
It’s an open field for you. The ball is in your court.
Prepare a great answer where you talk about your background, your educational background, your work experience, your hobbies, your strengths, and your goals in life.
You can also talk about how you can add value to their organization by joining it.
You need to be careful not to go overboard with the answer.
Make it crisp, but at the same time, make it encompass everything that you want to showcase.
The most important thing is to be yourself, and don't be scared to let your personality sparkle through.
Also, you need to take an interest in the individual who is taking your interview.
Feel free to ask questions about the interviewer’s experience and what they love about their work.
This will help you to establish a positive connection with the interviewer.
#7. Leverage experience of your friends and alumni
In my opinion it’s always a good idea to make sure that you use the background of your friends or alumni in understanding the various facets of investment banking.
Ask them about their experiences while giving interviews with various investment banking firms.
Ask them what mistakes they made, what were the results of those mistakes, how they improved themselves, what were the questions they were asked, how long the interviews typically lasted, etc.
The whole idea is to absorb as much as possible about the work, company, as well as the industry so that you can be adequately ready for your interview and influence the interviewer with your understanding and enthusiasm.
The best way to get in touch with your friends and alumni is by sending them emails or calling them on their phones.
In today’s world, you can also contact them using various social media websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.
You can also take the help of your college professors to get in touch with some alumni that you may not know personally.
#8. Keep an extra set of formal clothes ready the day before
I know you have heard this before, but remember a simple thing - Dress professionally and avoid bright and flashy clothes.
If you can, ideally keep a formal business suit ready for the interview.
A suit will make you look professional and dangerous at the same time.
Remember, as an investment banker, you will be required to wear a suit most of the time.
Also, keep an extra set of formal clothes ready the day before.
You never know when a button might suddenly fall off!
It always helps to have a contingency plan.
Further, always preferably have a nice clean shave if you are a guy and wear a good deodorant.
Hairstyle should not be too jazzy and avoid body piercings at funny places!
If you are a woman, wear business clothes such as a smart skirt or formal pants.
Avoid shiny glaring colors.
A lot depends on how your appearance is in your interview.
Every corporation wants to hire smart, attractive, intelligent people.
#9. Keep calm – don’t get nervous
Another tip is to be quiet and meditate for some time every day before the interview.
This will help you stay camp and help you reduce nervousness.
#10. Keep multiple copies of your resume ready
The good idea is to have multiple copies of your resume available.
You might get more than one interviewer in your interview.
Also, you might unintentionally stain or tear your resume.
So it helps to have more than one resume with you.
I hope you read this article carefully and follow the above-mentioned points.
I promise you that this will help you prepare well for that dream investment banking interview.
To fulfill your appetite and give you a nutritious meal that will help you in the long term, FinanceWalk has partnered with Breaking Into Wall Street (BIWS).
BIWS offers The Investment Banking Interview Guide 4.0, which will boost your confidence and prepare you for investment banking interviews.
Here’s the full offer:
"Here's How to Gain An 'Unfair Advantage' Over Other Candidates in Investment Banking Interviews – Without Memorizing Hundreds of Repetitive Questions and Answers"
"The secret to success in banking interviews is NOT memorizing canned responses that interviewers have heard a million times before.
Interview success comes from understanding WHY bankers ask certain questions and knowing the responses they WANT to hear."
Highlights of the New Investment Banking Interview Guide 4.0 include:
- The Quick Start Guide and Interview Action Plan reveal exactly what to expect in interviews, how to discuss your past work experience, the 4 Most Important "Fit" Question Categories to know, and how to understand the concepts behind the technical questions like a pro – even if you have less than one day to prepare.
- Gain Conceptual Mastery – with 86+ pages of reference notes and rules of thumb on the key "fit" and technical topics – so you don't have to memorize robotic responses that interviewers can smell from a mile away.
- Master All The "Fit" Questions they could throw at you – with a detailed breakdown of the 15 categories of "fit" questions... preparation guidelines... and response structures. There are 109+ questions with model answers. 137 pages of detailed guidance in all!
- Crush Your Technical Questions – with 5 "Key Rules of Thumb" in each of the 6 main technical categories: Accounting, Equity Value / Enterprise Value, Valuation, DCF, Merger Models, and LBO Models... plus 111+ pages of instruction, reference diagrams and, Excel screenshots. Use these to answer any interview question, calmly and confidently.
- Pitch Yourself Like a Pro with one of 15 step-by-step templates + video tutorials, covering the most common backgrounds at the undergraduate, recent graduate, and MBA levels – and beyond.
- 12 Interactive Quizzes on all the technical topics – including 326 questions and answers, with full analysis of all the questions and explanations of why answers were correct or incorrect.
- 5 Sample Interviews + 2 Sample “Deal Discussions” to help you climb inside the heads of interviewers. Includes a play-by-play critique of what each candidate did right and wrong, and how you can avoid their mistakes.
- Extension Material: “Deep Dive” Into Key Industries with 218 questions and answers across real estate and REITs, banks and insurance firms, and oil, gas & mining. You’ll pick up knowledge most bankers wouldn’t expect you to know until you’ve “been in the industry for a few years.”
- UNLIMITED Support From Experienced Bankers who’ll provide quick answers to your questions, comments, and emails and give you the kind of input that has long been only available only to the few interviewees with ‘connections.’
Why Most Interview Guides Suck... and Why This Guide Will Get You Better RESULTS Than Anything Else Out There
The Investment Banking Interview Guide 4.0 takes interview preparation way beyond merely “regurgitating canned responses” to “understanding the concepts”.
We also give you multiple ways to test yourself, to ensure that you identify and fix any weaknesses before you step into the interview room.
Other Interview Guides, by contrast, can be summed up like this:
1) Here’s a bunch of qualitative questions you might get asked… and some sample answers and explanations.
2) Oh yeah, and then here are the technical questions – with a few explanations and sample answers provided.
3) The end! Good luck with your interview!
There's One BIG Problem with This Approach:
Interviewers at Investment Banks are NOT stupid.
Memorizing questions and answers will only take you so far… because interviewers can always put a new spin on traditional questions, and throw you for a loop in the process.
(And with more and more candidates preparing using Interview Guides and Modeling Programs, interviewers are doing this more and more.)
That’s why we created “Version 4.0” of the Interview Guide - to address the increasing trend of finance firms asking questions designed to make you think - and to catch you off-guard:
- You Need to Understand the Concepts – Not Just the Answers: Banks and other finance firms are now looking for evidence of conceptual understanding rather than your ability to memorize and repeat ‘stock’ questions and answers.
That’s why we give you extensive explanations for all the concepts, before we even dive into the questions and answers.
- You Need to Practice and Test Your Understanding: Otherwise, how could you really know whether or not you understand the concepts?
That’s why we give you 326+ interactive questions and answers that you can use to test your knowledge. It’s like practicing in a real interview setting, but with no suit required!
- You Need to Customize Your “Story” for Different Roles: Different roles and backgrounds require different preparation. If you’re applying to banks, you’ll say one thing… but it’s different for private equity, and for hedge funds and asset management firms.
You need different ways to “tell your story,” pitch yourself, and convince interviewers that you’re the best possible candidate for the role. And you’ll learn how to do exactly that with our 15 resume / CV walkthrough templates and video tutorials.
- You Need a Different Prep Plan Depending on How Much Time You Have: You might be preparing long in advance… weeks or months before your interviews… or you might only have a few days… or a few hours.
Each scenario requires very different preparation, which is why we give you a Quick Start Guide explaining exactly what to focus on depending on your background and how much time you have.
The Investment Banking Interview Guide 4.0 gets you everything above, and more – put simply, this is one of the highest-return investments you’ll ever make in ensuring that you land offers at investment banks and other finance firms.
A More Detailed Look At What’s New in Version 4.0:
Ace “Fit” Questions without Sounding “Canned”:
- Detailed explanations over 100+ pages, advice on how to prepare examples in advance and on how to structure your responses for the 15 most important categories of “fit” questions you need to know…
- Plus 127+ questions and model answers for every single one of them so that you can see exactly what to say (and perhaps more importantly, what not to say).
- Save time when preparing for interviews. You’ll learn exactly what to draw on from your resume / CV, and how to talk about it so that you don’t waste time figuring out what to say.
- You’ll also discover how to tweak all the sample answers to suit your unique background – and what you can say to set yourself apart from everyone else.
New and Improved Resume / CV Walkthrough Templates and Tutorials:
- Our resume / CV walkthrough templates now cover 10 additional, more specific backgrounds and career transitions - 15 in all! Just pick the template that best matches your situation and build the perfect pitch:
- Undergraduate with Non-Finance Background to Investment Banking
- Undergraduate with Finance Background to Investment Banking
- MBA with Non-Finance Background to Investment Banking
- Working Professional to Investment Banking
- Investment Banking to Private Equity
- Big 4 Accounting Firm to Investment Banking
- Corporate Finance to Investment Banking
- Engineering Background to Investment Banking
- Liberal Arts Background to Investment Banking
- Sales & Trading to Investment Banking
- Military Background to Investment Banking
- Law to Investment Banking
- Back Office to Front Office
- Investment Banking to Hedge Funds / Asset Management
- Lateral Move from One Investment Bank to Another Bank
New Approaches for Nailing Technical Questions:
- Brand-new “Overview” and “Key Rules of Thumb” sections concisely lay out exactly what you need to know on each of the six main technical topics. Master these, and you can tackle any interview question that comes your way – even if you’ve never seen or heard it before.
- 5 Excel models – for answering Accounting, Equity & Enterprise Value, Valuation and DCF, Merger Model, and LBO Model questions – and six video tutorials to go along with them.
- 12 Interactive Quizzes on all technical question topics, to accelerate your understanding and ability to respond quickly and accurately. These quizzes are hands-down the best way to test yourself outside of hiring a Private Interview Coach.
- And 412 individual technical questions and answers in the Guide itself. These have been revamped over earlier versions, and they offer brand-new content, concepts, and ways to test your knowledge.
New INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC Technical Questions:
- Stand out above all other candidates with the ONLY Guide on the market that has industry-specific technical questions on commercial banks, insurance firms, natural resource firms (oil, gas, and mining), real estate development, and REITs.
- 121 questions and answers on commercial banks and insurance firms.
- 82 questions and answers on real estate.
- 51 questions and answers on natural resources.
Plus FREE Upgrades To Version … 5.0… and Beyond
If you’ve been following this site for a while, you know that we have a track record of adding more and more content over time.
The original Interview Guide, released in 2008, was a skinny volume in comparison, and we then went on to update that one multiple times.
This edition is massive (yet it still has a “Quick Start Guide” in case your interview is fast approaching.)
And there’s even more on the way - you’ll be first in line to get FREE upgrades to all of the below when you sign up for the Guide:
- Interactive Quizzes for Qualitative Questions: Develop your skills to give better responses and detect what makes an answer to a “fit” question good or bad.
- New Case Studies: We’ll be adding extensive coverage of the case studies that you receive at assessment centres (standard in Europe and other regions outside the US), and even in some entry-level investment banking interviews. From advising companies on M&A to building quick models and valuations, this will be your #1 source for case study practice.
- More Sample Interviews and Deal Discussions: These are great if you have a more “unorthodox” background, and you need to see how interview questions will change depending on your experience.
- Interactive Quizzes on the Industry-Specific Questions: As always, these quizzes are simply the best way to test your knowledge and close any gaps.
- Additional Industry-Specific Questions: We will be adding supplementary material to address subtle differences in industries such as technology, healthcare, consumer/retail, and industrials, and how to talk about industry trends and deals.
"Can I See A Sample Of What's In The Guide?"
Sure! Just click on this link to check out a sample of what’s inside.
Get Instant Access Today, Plus Unlimited Support In the Future
When you sign up for the Investment Banking Interview Guide 4.0, you get Instant Access - all materials delivered online, with no shipping charges and no waiting for physical products to arrive.
Even if your interview is tomorrow and you just found out about it an hour ago, you will have the best chance possible to prepare. We've even included a "Quick Start" Guide, to help you hit the ground running in the shortest time possible.
But that's not all.
In addition to Instant Access, you also get FREE lifetime updates, new additions to the Guide, and here is the big one:
365-days per year (yes, even on New Year's Day).
Inside the Secure Members' Area, you will find a "Question/Comment" area attached to every lesson, where you can ask questions, request additional clarification, and get help on any specific course element.
These comments are monitored and responded to by our expert Support Team - every one of whom has personal experience working on deals at banks, private equity firms, and other finance firms.
So in other words, you’ll be getting expert advice from people who have "made it" themselves, not some high school temp clutching a “Help Desk” manual.
You could learn a whole lot just by reading other members’ questions and answers on the site.
Our 1-on-1 phone-based coaching rate is $200+ per hour. But when you invest in the Investment Banking Interview Guide 4.0, personal support is included for FREE.
With everything you get here, you might expect the Interview Guide 4.0 to be priced at a huge premium.
After all, what’s a foot-in-the-door at an Investment Bank or finance firm worth to you?
Even entry-level Analysts earn at least $100,000 USD right out of university.
At the MBA level, that climbs to $200,000 USD. And as you progress, your total compensation only gets higher and higher.
So we could charge several hundred dollars for this Guide because of the huge payoff potential and the fact it’s flat out impossible to find out this information and knowledge any other way (unless you have several months to do your own full-time research).
But I also want to make this information as accessible as possible to the finance community.
Many customers who invest in this product are so impressed; they go on to do more business with us down the track. So it benefits both of us if I lower the barrier to entry as much as possible.
That's why I've decided to offer the complete Investment Banking Interview Guide, including everything I've mentioned above, for a one-time payment of just $197.
At $197, price shouldn't be an object - the right role at the right firm could make you thousands of times your investment throughout your career.
And perhaps even more importantly - you only get one chance to make an excellent first impression. This Guide gives you everything you need to maximize your chances in every interview, so you never let golden opportunities slip through your fingers.
Just like every one of the BIWS products and courses, this comes with our unconditional 90-day money-back guarantee.
That’s right – take a full 90 days to evaluate everything inside the Program, and if you’re not 100% satisfied, simply contact BIWS via the “Contact” link displayed on every page of the site and ask for your money back.
You’ll receive a prompt and courteous refund.
There are no strings attached, no special terms or conditions, and no fine print.