Is this a standard interview for a job as analyst in corporate finance?


Just go back from an interview as an analyst in corporate finance. Very interesting job that covers many subjects (M&A, derivatives valuation, pension funds, industry analysis, etc.) and that’s probably why the questions they asked me were about everything!

They asked easy stuff like :

  • Difference between defined contrib plan and defined benefit plan

  • how does a swap work and how to value it

  • option pricing : effect of volatility and time to expiration

  • 3 or 4 different ratios

Then I had to write an exam with some multiple choices questions (price a bond, calculate EPS, etc.), another question with calculation of ratios from financial statements, and finally some research on the internet (find the X% of B- rated bonds in portfolio, list some comparable companies of this company)

First question they asked : what is the current stock’s price of our firm? I went blank… can’t fucking believe I didn’t prepare for that one. I went through all their fin statements and MD&A but forgot to check this info!

So, is this standard for an interview in a corporate finance (or any finance job) job? This is my second interview ever for a position in finance (the other being some back-office job).

It depends what you mean by corporate finance. At some banks, corporate finance is there investment banking division. Elsewhere, it’s like finance within a company (such as any Fortune 500 firm). I had interviewed for some of these roles in business school and also in undergrad and they range from being pretty technical to pretty behavioral. It always seemed like the firms where we had more of a “connection,” they were more fit in nature. What you’ve described is definitely more rigorous than anything I’ve seen though. I personally would have a hard time explaining off-hand what the the difference between DC and DB is except in a very general sense.

yeah it’s finance with a company, not an investment bank. I guess my test went well, they called me 4 hours after my first interview to schedule a second interview with the directors. Fracking sweet!

I gotta say I was overprepared, did my homework on the financials, the industry, what the division does, what kind of forwards and swaps they used, recent financing events, etc. They told me they’ve never seen someone asking so many questions and being so well prepared.

Man I love hearing success stories every once in a while!!

*fist bump*

^ Respect.