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«Ross Career Services Investment Banking, Sales and Trading Career Path: and Private Banking – MBA Version Introduction Ross Career Services (RCS) ...»

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5. Describe four valuation methods.

6. Walk me through a DCF.

7. Walk me through an LBO model.

8. Comparable company vs. precedent transactions.

9. How would you describe cost of capital to a non-finance person?

10. Define beta for a non-finance person.

11. What kind of financial modeling have you done in the past?

12. How would you calculate WACC/discount rate?

13. General market questions, Global market questions

14. Firm-Specific questions (recent deals, large deals, etc) Tips  Be prepared to meet with several people, all of whom would rather be doing something other than interviewing another MBA or BBA.

 Know that the interviewer may be friendly, but usually at one point they will put some pressure on you by asking a difficult or unrelated question just to see how you react under pressure.

 Know the distinctions between the major firms.

 Always dress professionally, don’t wear suspenders, pocket squares or double-breasted suits.

Straight collar or spread collars are preferable to button down shirts.

Sales and Trading Questions to determine skill

1. Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision (professional).

2. When have you used quantitative information at work?

3. What other things are you looking at if not sales and trading?

4. What qualities do you think you have that would make you a good sales person?

5. What makes you unique?

6. What are two weaknesses you possess?

7. What are your strengths?

8. What previous experience have you had that is related to Sales and Trading?

9. What skills do you have that would make you a good trader (Trader salesperson)?

9 July 2013

10. Do you consider yourself good at careful analysis or on-your-feet problem solving?

11. What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?

12. What is the most important attribute of a good salesperson?

13. What about S&T most interests you why?

14. Tell me about a time you had to motivate a group.

15. How would you describe your leadership style?

16. Tell me about someone whom you admire?

17. Why did you choose Michigan?

18. What is the best and worst thing someone could say about you?

Market Questions

1. What stocks do you follow? What would make you buy that stock?

2. Why is the P/E a good indicator?

3. Give me your opinion on the economy.

4. I want to take advantage of low interest rates because I plan to buy a house in two years. What do I do?

5. Tell me about the risk of corporate bonds.

6. What is the price of: yen, pound, euro, gold, crude oil, Fed Fund rate, the 30 yr t-bill rate, etc.

7. How do you stay on top of the markets?

8. What would you buy and what would you short?

9. How would you invest $1 million today?

10. What is unique about the US treasury market vs. the rest of the debt market?

11. What is Junk (bond)?

12. Tell me what an institutional investor is.

13. How does compounding work?

14. How does the yield curve work? What does it mean when it is upward sloping?

15. Why do we care about housing starts?

16. What do you think will happen with interest rates over the next six months?

17. What is a hedge fund? What is the nature of the relationship between brokerage houses and hedge funds?

Miscellaneous Questions:

1. Why debt vs. equity?

2. What particular markets or instruments are you interested in? Tell me some major trends briefly.

3. Do you want to trade or sell?

4. What makes you think you can sell? Sell this can of soda (at the interview room) to me.

5. Sell me your favorite stock.

6. What is going to make you make the calls you hate to make?

7. What is your favorite stock and why? What’s the P/E on that stock?

8. Who is your favorite trader?

9. What have you learned from your personal investment experience?

10 July 2013

10. If you couldn’t be a trader (salesperson), what would you be?

11. Know the news and be able to provide an opinion on it!

12. Probability questions such as what is the probability that the batter will hit a ball if he has a.333 batting average?

Other Questions Previously Asked by Specific Banks (in addition to those already listed above)

Morgan Stanley:

1. The majority of people who are on trading floors are type “A” personalities that are drivers who always push to succeed. Give me an example where you have displayed an entrepreneurial spirit that shows you can succeed in such an environment?

2. Teamwork is crucial to the success of Morgan Stanley. It is imperative that we work as a team so that we all can benefit. Give me two examples of your team experiences, one where you were successful, and one where you failed. Why were you successful, why did you fail?

3. The trading floor is a very stressful environment, with people always yelling and screaming with tempers flaring. Also, you are asked to make some difficult decisions on short notice. Give me an example in which you were forced to make a difficult decision, and what were the steps that led you to that decision?

Bank of America:

1. I want you to do the talking. Over the next twenty minutes please tell me why we are here.

What have you done previously that have led you to pursue a career with Bank of America in their fixed income department?

2. Why do you think you would be good in the business and what differentiates you from the other candidates that I will see today?

3. Why fixed income vs. Equities?

4. What attracts you to the fixed income market?

5. Why do people assume that the fixed income markets are more quantitative than the equity markets? Are they?

Goldman Sachs:

1. Tell me about your background and why you are here.

2. Why finance, why S&T?

3. What's your opinion on the economy?

4. Give me a sector you like.

5. Give me 2 longs and a short.

6. What function do you see yourself doing? Why?

7. What products are you most interested in? Why?

8. Explain your role in MBA team meetings.

9. Give me an example of your client interaction skills.

10. Give me your strengths, weaknesses, and how you are improving them.

11. Compare and contrast MS / GS, explain their stock prices and tell my why GS.


1. Give me an example of how you were successful in an unstructured unregulated environment.

2. Why did you decide on your undergraduate institution?

11 July 2013

3. Explain your major to me.

4. What skills can you transfer to S&T?

5. JPM Private Bank:

6. Why Private Banking vs. Institutional S&T?

7. Based on your background, why / how will you be successful in this?

8. Why do you want to do private banking?

9. What is a stock you like now / dislike now?

10. Where is the market heading in the next 6 months?

11. I am looking for a new winter coat; sell me a new winter coat, where would you start?


1. What's the hardest part of leadership?

2. What's your opinion on the current state of the financial services industry?

3. What's your hardest class?

4. Give an example of your quantitative skills.

5. Give an example of your leadership skills.

6. Wachovia:

7. Give me an example of a time you didn't make a project deadline and how you handled it.

8. Give me an example of how you handled pressure.

9. Are you comfortable taking risks? Why?

Tips  Be prepared to be interviewed by a trader or salesman. They will be more direct in their questions and not as concerned with your resume.

 Being strong quantitatively does not guarantee you a job. You must also display other attributes, including leadership, interpersonal skills and teamwork. Most importantly, you must convey passion for the markets. This is what separates candidates. If one candidate clearly wants the job more than another, the interviewer will pick up on this.

 The goal of the interview is to get the interviewer to like you. Sales and Trading is a relationship business, and banks want candidates who are not just smart, but also hardworking, enterprising and have a good attitude.

 Be sure you have a good answer when asked “Why us and not another bank?”  Know your interviewer. Relate to them and their role at the bank as much as possible.

Incorporate this into your answers.

 Don’t try to be Gordon Gecko. Tossing around lots of trader lingo and wearing expensive cufflinks is a sure-fire way to get dinged.

 Ask specific, informed questions about the bank that show you’ve done your homework. This includes more than stock price, market cap, etc. Know the history of the bank, its culture, and major recent deals/events.

 Be descriptive in your answers, and include lots of specific information. This shows attention to detail. At the same time, be as brief as possible. People who work in S&T are used to getting lots of information quickly and then moving on to the next task.

12 July 2013  “So, why Sales and Trading?” This perhaps the most important question you’ll get. Convey to the interviewer exactly how S&T is a perfect of your skills and interests.

 Make sure you have a strong grasp of the macro environment. Where are interest rates? Oil prices? The dollar? Treasury yields? Why are they going up/down? How does this affect various investments? Interviewers are fond of asking questions that incorporate these different factors.

 The first few minutes of the interview are critical. You want to immediately set the tone, show your passion, and generally convey how important a Wall Street job/internship is to you.

 Sell yourself to the interviewer to prove you can sell services on Wall Street.

 Know the bank and reach out to those people that you have connected with. If the interview is the first time that you have met with someone at that firm, your chances are diminished.

 Spend some time going over brain teasers to prepare for your interview. A great site for brain teasers is: http://rec-puzzles.org Bibliography of Information Resources  MBA CareerLeader™ found online on the Career tab on iMpact  So You Want to be an Investment Banker, by Wet Feet Press, Kresge Library.

 A Comprehensive Guide to the Investment Banking Job Search, by Joe Hyde, BBA ‘96 (full text follows at end of this document)  Investment Dealers’ Digest, an important Wall Street trade magazine available in the Kresge Library  Barron’s, good reference for equities.

 The Economist, especially important for FX and international bonds and equities.

 Careers in Investment Banking career packet, Kresge Library

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