Interview Questions by Function

 

FUNCTIONS:

  • Consulting
  • Health care
  • Investment banking
  • Marketing
  • Sales and training
  • Strategic planning and corporate finance
  • Venture capital

CONSULTING:

  1. What background do you have that would be helpful in consulting?
  2. Why consulting?
  3. How do you think the consulting industry is structured?
  4. What are some differences among the consulting firms that are important to you?
  5. What are the sales of your last employer? What was its profitability?
  6. Are you generalist or specialist? Where do you see yourself specializing?
  7. Are you competitive?
  8. How are you going to make a decision if you get more than one offer?

HEALTH CARE:

  1. Why are you interested in the healthcare industry?
  2. Why are you pursuing an MBA Vs Master in health Administration?
  3. What strengths do you have for the health care industry?
  4. Prioritize the most important issues facing health care management.
  5. Provide your recommendations to address these issues
  6. What is current administration’s goal towards health care?
  7. Why have some HMOs been successful and others have not? Elaborate

INVESTMENT BANKING :

  1. What would you do if you weren’t going into investment banking?
  2. What was your quantitative GMAT score?
  3. Some technical finance/accounting questions ?
  4. How do you value a firm?
  5. What is an interest rate swap?
    An interest rate swap is a contractual agreement entered into between two counterparties under which each agrees to make periodic payment to the other for an agreed period of time based upon a notional amount of principal. The principal amount is notional because there is no need to exchange actual amounts of principal in a single currency transaction: there is no foreign exchange component to be taken account of. Equally, however, a notional amount of principal is required in order to compute the actual cash amounts that will be periodically exchanged
  6. What is DCF? How do you calculate the discount rate?
    In a DCF valuation, a discount rate is chosen which reflects the risk (the higher the risk the higher the discount rate) and this is used to discount all forecast future cash flows to calculate a present value:
    PV = (CF1)/(1+r) + (CF2)/((1+r)2) + (CF3)/((1+r)3) ···
    where PV is the present value of the stream of cashflows
    CF1 is the cashflow the investor receives in the first year, CF2 the cashflow the investor receives in the second year etc. and r is the discount rate.
  7. How do you determine if a stock is undervalued?
    The PEG (price/earnings to growth) ratio is a tool that can help investors find undervalued stocks. It's not as well known as its cousins, the P/E and P/B ratios, but it is just as valuable. When used in conjunction with other ratios, it gives investors a perspective of how the market views a stock's growth potential in relation to EPS growth.
  8. What the PEG Ratio Is
    The PEG ratio compares a stock's price/earnings ("P/E") ratio to its expected EPS growth rate. If the PEG ratio is equal to one, it means that the market is pricing the stock to fully reflect the stock's EPS growth. This is "normal" in theory because, in a rational and efficient market, the P/E is supposed to reflect a stock's future earnings growth
  9. How would you price the stock for an IPO?
    • If your debt ratio is more than 38% you have no choice. No bank will give you a loan when your debt ratio is already this high. You must pay down your debt first.
    • If your current debt ratio is more than about 20%, you have little choice: With a debt ratio this high your borrowing power is severely limited. Pay down your debt to below a 20% debt ratio. Banks consider 16-19% to be a moderate debt ratio.
    • If your debt ratio is less than 20% and paying down your debt would mean that you can't make a 20% down payment, keep the cash and make the 20% down payment. Putting 20% down can get you a better interest rate, make it easier to qualify for the loan, makes for a smaller mortgage payment, and means you don't have to pay for Private Mortgage Insurance.
    • If you're not going to be buying for at least a few months, and some of your debt is high-interest (more than 10% interest, like credit cards), and paying down your debt won't keep you from putting 20% down on the house, then pay down at least some of your high interest debt. Pay at least 2-3 times the minimum payment each month, or more.
  10. What is the yield on a zero coupon bond trading at par with 10 years to maturity?
  11. What is working capital? Quick ratio? Free cash flow?
  12. Tell me what you know about [the firm].
  13. Tell me about the cultures of the different firms.
  14. How are you going to make your decision if you get more than one offer?
  15. What do you want to do and why- M&A, capital markets, or corporate finance?
  16. The bond market is going down; what is the stock market going to do?
  17. Where is the industry going? What is the market doing?
  18. What are the headlines in today’s Wall Street Journal?
  19. What do you read regularly on the industry?
  20. Why choose investment banking? Why pick this bank?
  21. Tell me what an investment banker does.
  22. Tell me the difference between commercial and investment banks.
  23. Why pick corporate finance as opposed to sales and trading?
  24. What are your outside activities? Why would you be willing to give them up for such a demanding job?
  25. What role do you play in group situations?
  26. What would you do if offered drugs as part of the deal? (or other ethically-oriented questions)
  27. Sell us on your quantitative skills.
  28. How smart are you? How do we know how smart you are?
  29. If we made you an offer today, would you take it?
  30. What did the Dow, S&P, or NASDAQ close at yesterday?
  31. What stocks do you follow and why? (Be prepared to discuss the stock’s performance.)

MARKETING :

  1. Give me the attributes of a good brand manager
  2. Now take me through your background and demonstrate how you have each attribute.
  3. Rate Yale’s marketing program.
  4. How would you sell more [Tide]?
  5. Talk about an ad—what makes it effective? interesting? etc.
  6. What are some examples of bad advertising? Why?
  7. How do you sell your ideas?
  8. What are you looking for in a consumer products company?
  9. What do you think are the most important traits in a marketing person?
  10. Describe your leadership style.
  11. Provide an example of your problem solving approach.

SALES AND TRAINING :

  1. What other firms have you talked to?
  2. What makes you think you can sell?
  3. Would you like to do sales or trading? Why?
  4. Tell me what you think a trader (salesperson) does.
  5. Why choose selling debt vs. selling equity?
  6. Why didn’t you choose corporate finance?
  7. What do you think having an MBA does for you in this field?
  8. What particular markets or instruments are you interested in? Why?
  9. Will your personality make you a good trader? Why?
  10. How will you motivate yourself to make the calls you hate to make?
  11. What are your grades? (Yes, they know about the Yale SOM grading process.

STRATEGIC PLANNING AND CORPORATE FINANCE

  1. What do you hope to gain by working for our firm?
  2. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  3. How do you see your career progressing in our firm?
  4. What do you know about our industry?
  5. How would you describe our competitive position?
  6. Our ____ division is thinking of introducing a (such and such) new product. How would you go about determining if this is a good idea?
  7. We are having trouble managing our ____ division. What do you think are the key performance metrics? How would you improve them?
  8. How would you value our _____ for a potential sale, spin-off, or liquidation?
  9. How does M&A activity in banking affect our industry?

VENTURE CAPITAL

  1. What is venture capital?
  2. What strengths do you have for venture capital?
  3. Tell me when you have worked with all management levels--from CEO to analyst.
  4. Describe your analytical and interpersonal skills.
  5. What operations exposure have you had?
  6. What managerial exposure have you had?
  7. What do you look for in a venture?
  8. Do you think more effort should be put into human capital or raising funds and investing them?
 
 

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