36 Investment Banking Interview
Questions & Answers

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Here’s the FULL LIST of INVESTMENT BANKING INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:

Q1. Tell me about yourself.

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

“I have held a passion for investment banking for many years now, and it is a role that I take seriously in respect of my responsibilities and my desire to achieve consistently outstanding results for my employer. I have built up a diverse set of skills and qualities that will enable me to quickly make a positive impact within your organization. I have strong analytical thinking skills; I am a solid communicator and relationship builder; I am innovative in my approach to investment banking, and I have a solid set of technical skills. Investment banking is highly challenging, but this is one of things that I find most attractive about the role. I will be fully committed to your organization and I will use my experience and expertise to help your clients achieve their financial objectives. I will be one hundred percent dedicated to being a high performing investment banker and I will work all the hours needed to ensure I help your organization continue to achieve the levels of success it deserves.”

Q2. Why do you want to work in investment banking?

SUGGESTED ANSWER

“Whilst the rewards of investment banking are appealing, the things that I am most attracted to include the fact I will be pushed and challenged in the role, I will need to work under pressure, and I will need to utilize a wide range of skills and qualities to achieve my goals. I love investment banking because, in order to be successful, you have to meet with clients, you have to assess financial accounts, you must run financial projections, create pitchbooks and prepare offers. All of these responsibilities require different skills, which means I will need to be at the peak of my performance one hundred percent of the time to achieve my objectives. In my opinion, no other job or role compares to investment banking in terms of the challenge, the commitment needed and the feeling you get when you achieve your financial and commercial objectives.”

Q3. Why do you want to work for our organization as an Investment Banker?
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Q4. What are the most important skills and qualities needed to be an Investment Banker?
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Q5. What will be the biggest challenges to our organization over the next few years?
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Q6. What are the different financial statements of a company?
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Q7. How would you value a company?
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Q8. Would you be willing to break or bend the rules to achieve a positive outcome as an Investment Banker?
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Q9. If you had to choose one financial measure to assess the health of company, which one would it be and why?
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Q10. What is EBITDA?
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Q11. What makes us different from our competitors?
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Q12. What discount rate should be used in an unlevered DCF analysis?
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Q13. What is your approach to dealing with challenging situations?
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Q14. Which is usually higher - the cost of debt or the cost of equity?
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Q15. How would you calculate the Cost of Equity?
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Q16. How would you deal with a difficult client?
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Q17. When making decisions as an investment banker that could have an impact on our organization, what factors would you consider?
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Q18. What is your approach to risk as an Investment Banker?
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Q19. What are the foundations of good business principles?
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Q20. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
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Q21. Define the term ‘financial risk’.
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Q22. How would you deal with conflict in a team?
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Q23. Talk me through your decision-making process.
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Q24. Tell me about a time when you demonstrated transparency at work.
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Q25. Describe a time when you worked as part of a team.
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Q26. How do you keep your knowledge of the financial services and investment banking sector up to date?
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Q27. Tell me about a recent financial article you've read and how it relates to investment banking.
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Q28. Describe a situation you were in where you had to solve a difficult problem.
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Q29. Do you think working late as an Investment Banker is a good thing, or a bad thing?
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Q30. Why do you want to leave your current job?
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Q31. Where do you see yourself in five years?
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Q32. Why should we hire you to work as an Investment Banker?
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Q33. What are your salary expectations?
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Q34. That’s the end of your Investment Banker job interview. Do you have any questions you’d like to ask us?
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Investment Banking Interviews – Your Questions Answered!


The following questions are some of the more common ones asked on Google by candidates who are preparing for investment banking job interviews.

HOW DO I PREPARE FOR AN INVESTMENT BANKING INTERVIEW?

7 Investment Banking interview tips:

  1. Show that you have thoroughly researched their organization.
  2. Be prepared to demonstrate that you consistently keep your knowledge of investment banking and the financial sector up to date.
  3. Make sure you know how to value a company.
  4. Prepare for all 34 investment banking interview questions listed on this page if you want to be successful.
  5. Be prepared for the demands of the investment banker job role! This job is not for the faint-hearted!
  6. Think carefully what you can bring to the role in terms of technical and numerical competence.
  7. Consider the challenges that the investment banking industry is facing both now and in the future.

WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES INVESTMENT BANKING INTERVIEW QUESTION

The “what are your weaknesses” interview question is highly likely to appear during your investment banking interview.

Do not say your weakness is that you are a perfectionist! Instead, give an honest weakness, such as:

“I am an impatient person, and I find it hard waiting for others to come back to me. If they are slowing up my own progress, this frustrates me! However, I have been working on my interpersonal skills and I feel confident I can encourage others to speed up their work which, in turn, helps me to achieve my own goals and my financial objectives.”

WHY INVESTMENT BANKING INTERVIEW QUESTION

This is a difficult interview question to answer! The best way to respond to it is to talk about the difficult aspects of the role and how you are the type of person who wants to be continually pushed and challenged! Here’s an example answer to the interview question, why investment banking?

“Investment banking takes a certain character, in my opinion. Someone who is determined, resilient, thick-skinned, passionate and energetic. I have all of those traits and I am someone who prefers to be pushed and challenged in my work. I want to work in investment banking because it is a role that requires you to constantly work under pressure whilst at the same time using a depth of technical analysis skills that are not found in other jobs.”

INVESTMENT BANKING INTERVIEW TIPS – HOW TO PASS AN INVESTMENT BANKER JOB INTERVIEW!

Regardless of the investment bank you are applying to work for, the following four tips will have a significant impact on not just your preparation, but also your performance at the interview. Read on to find out what it takes to pass an investment banking interview.

INVESTMENT BANKING INTERVIEW TIP #1

You will get asked four different types of question during your investment banking interview. Motivational questions, organizational questions, technical questions and scenario-based (behavioural) questions.

Motivational interview questions include, tell me about yourself; why do you want to work for us; what experience do you have relevant to the position; and where do you see yourself in five years from now.

Organizational interview questions assess your knowledge of their business. The most effective way to prepare for organizational interview questions is to visit their website and their LinkedIn corporate page – if the company has released any investment banking articles recently, make sure you read them.

Technical interview questions are designed to assess your knowledge of how to value a company, how to analyse and extrapolate company data and information, and also your competency levels in respect of working with numbers.

Scenario-based interview questions assess how you have previously performed in a given situation.

INVESTMENT BANKING INTERVIEW TIP #2

Be prepared for tricky interview questions such as, how many streetlamps are there in London? This type of difficult investment banking interview question is designed to put you on the spot, and to assess your ability to think on your feet. The way to answer technical questions of this nature is to show you can apply LOGIC to the situation. Here’s how to answer this difficult interview question using logical thinking:

“I estimate there to be approximately 9 million people living in London. I understand there is approximately one streetlamp for every two houses. Therefore, if on average there are three people living in one house, this equates to 3,000,000 houses. If I divide 3 million houses by 2, I will reach an estimate of 1,500,000 streetlamps in London.”

INVESTMENT BANKING INTERVIEW TIP #3

When answering any type of scenario-based or behavioural investment banking interview question, we strongly advise you make use of the STAR technique. The STAR technique means you will need to structure your answer in the following format:

SITUATION: Describe the situation you were in.

TASK: Briefly outline the task that needed doing.

ACTION: Go into detail about the action that you took to achieve the task.

RESULT: Finally, finish off and disclose the results of yours and other’s actions.

INVESTMENT BANKING INTERVIEW TIP #4

At the end of your investment banking interview, you will have the opportunity to ask a number of questions. The following questions are perfect ones to ask the interviewer/hiring manager:

1. What are the plans for the organization over the next five to ten years?

(This question shows that you plan to stay working with their organization for a long period of time.)

2. What do you need me to concentrate on in the first 30 days of starting in this investment banking role?

(This questions shows you are already visualizing yourself in the role and preparing for what is to come.)

3. In your experience, what makes the perfect investment banker?

(This questions shows that you value their experience and their expertise, and that you are willing to LISTEN to others in the organization.)

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