I have a phone interview coming up for an associate ER position. The industry is “Oil, Gas and Consumable Fuels.” I know very little about this industry so can anyone give me some advice on how I can show my interest in the position??? Does anyone have any good ideas on how to prepare for this other than researching the company?
try to find who the analyst is and which companies he covers.
As iteracom says, find out what names the company covers, then find out about those specific companies. The nice thing about a phone interview is that it’s like an open-book exam: you can simply print out from the internets a summary of each of the covered stocks. Spread those printouts out in front of you before the beginning of the call, and refer to them as appropriate; you will seem informed. And, if they ask you to give them a stock pitch, you have have a long series of bullet points written down, rather than having to memorize anything. Would be nice if you also had a stock pitch related to the industry you’re interviewing for, though if the interviewer knows anything about that company, they may start asking you very detailed questions about it.
My cousin is in investment banking and sent me numerous reports on a few of the companies the analyst interviewing me covers. How in depth should I study these companies? I chose Devon Energy, Anadarko, and Southwestern Energy to focus my research on. I find it odd that I’m being asked to interview for an industry I have no background in and I’m freshly out of college. I’m just praying she thinks I’m a good fit.
Being freshly out of college is your biggest asset, because nobody in your position could be expected to know much about that industry. If you can say a couple of things about each of those companies, that should be plenty. They’ll be evaluating you on fit and potential, and soft skills like communication. You need to be able to demonstrate that you know what ER is about. You want to be able to make a few points about what from your background has prepared you for this kind of career. And, of course, demonstrate that you have a strong interest in ER.
Definitely do not pitch a company that the analyst follows, don’t listen to these people… The O&G space is something you cannot pick up from reading Ks and Qs; unless you have direct industry experience. I would learn something the analyst doesn’t cover and formulate a pitch/thesis that is sound and you can explain confidently. Like Wendy said, it is more about fit than anything; as you will be working 60-80 hours a week with the person, you guys need to get along! Also, reading other analyst’s reports of the companies and trying to pitch that is a no no… Those reports are really a snapshot of the analyst’s knowledge and they are meant for professional investors as a filter to pertinent info, don’t use it! I will give you an example of why; if one analyst has a buy out and the rest of the analysts have Hold/Sell; then chances are the analyst you are interviewing with has read the report to see why the buy is on it, so he will know if you are ripping off other work (needless to say this will be frowned upon).
I would also add that before the interview, scrap all those damn papers. Don’t lay them out in front of you. There’s nothing you can look up and read in a 30 second response. If you don’t know it by then, I wouldn’t act like I know it. Just do as much prep as you can beforehand but be natural during the process. Good luck.
Yeah, you don’t want to rustle through a bunch of papers on the phone, but you can have a few sheets with bullet points you want to hit on each company and the most relevant statistics so you can jump from one to the other whithout worrying whether you’re mixing up one company with another. Also bullet points to remind you of what you think your strengths are and who the key people are at the company you’re interviewing with.
Thanks a lot guys/girls. I was thinking of treating the end of the interview (the part where I get to ask questions) to get to know the analyst a little more on a personal level. FLUX made a solid point. I will be spending a great deal of time with this person…is it wrong for me to try to get a feel for her and see if we will actually be compatible? How should I approach this given I am only allotted a few questions to ask? …Or should I just stick with general questions about how the team gets along or what a typical work day consists of?
Field the call from a noisy bar so it sounds like you’re on the trading floor.
Black Swan Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Field the call from a noisy bar so it sounds like > you’re on the trading floor. Right, that would be impressive… Most compliance will not let you field personal calls on the floor anyways, so. Original poster. Be weary when getting personal, this business in the strictest sense is about BUSINESS. Don’t get too personal, ask background etc. Some questions I like to ask: -How can I make you look best/be most helpful to you? -I have had success in a number of managment styles but more with xxyy (micro managment, independence, etc…) how would you describe your style? -If you were to hire me, what would be some benchmarks you would like to see me complete in the first 12-18 months? -What is your background? -What is your perfect candidate? -Do you have any reservations about my background that I can answer/explain for you better? -If you could hypothetically describe a “perfect” 2011, how would this particular role best contribute to making that happen?
Black Swan Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Field the call from a noisy bar so it sounds like > you’re on the trading floor. make sure CNBC is on in the background…
Thanks FLUX…helpful ideas
Interview questions are are great example of something that you can have printed out and in front of you for a phone interview. By the time you get to the end of an interview, a lot of the questions you will have had prepared will have already been answered, so it pays to have lots of them to choose from. Here are a couple that I think are fairly good: * What’s the makeup of the team as far as experience? * What attracted you to this bank, and what do you think are its strengths and weaknesses? * How do performance reviews work there? * What is your group’s biggest challenge? There’s no reason not to have an entire pageful of questions in front of you, to use as appropriate.
Flux Capacitor Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Definitely do not pitch a company that the analyst > follows, don’t listen to these people… The O&G > space is something you cannot pick up from reading > Ks and Qs; unless you have direct industry > experience. No one said anything about pitching the same companies back to the analyst. Don’t make incredibly wrong snap judgements, looks really retarded. I said to find out what companies because you are bound to get some questions regarding what you know about the industry. My best friend literally just went through and got the job for ER associate at a bulge. OP said he knew nothing, so clearly it would help him look into these companies and look at recent news on what’s happening in the industry, and the drivers.
iteracom- did your friend say anything interesting about the hiring process for the ER associate position? I have several research reports from the companies the analyst covers, but a lot of the wording is difficult and industry specific. I’ve got a stock lined up to pitch that I’ve done work on in the consumer staples sector for school. If you have any advice from how your friend successfully landed his associate job I’d love to hear it. Otherwise, I’ll just be emphasizing my strengths and showing my eagerness toward the industry.
The first interview is just the beginning. Each analyst looks for different things, some want technical skills, some just want a person they really get along with. Both are legitimate, and can really guide how the interview goes. My friend had first round ER interviews that were elementary like “tell me about yourself” and “why ER”. She also got first round at another firm that started with “tell me this formula” and “how to calculate this ratio”. Usually in round 2 or 3 interviews, you’ll get a modeling test, and asked to do a writeup. Given a press release, prepare to build financial statements, perhaps make projections for 2 years, and do a writeup of the results. Try to research the industry as much as possible. You won’t be expected to know everything, and that’s fine, but showing interest and knowing something about it is good. Of course, you must have a good fundamental understanding of the financial statements, that’s a given. And I also disagree with FLUX on a few other things he said. Obviously every person is different, but it’s very possible he steers the conversation into more personal and less business. Spending maybe 60-80 hours a week, seeing the same person, working next to them, you want someone that you can talk about personal things, could be interests, hobbies, or anything else outside of work. Spending long hours working with someone will be less enjoyable if the only thing you can talk about is work or finance.
Some good questions there Wendy and noted for future reference…
iteracom Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > The first interview is just the beginning. Each > analyst looks for different things, some want > technical skills, some just want a person they > really get along with. Both are legitimate, and > can really guide how the interview goes. My friend > had first round ER interviews that were elementary > like “tell me about yourself” and “why ER”. She > also got first round at another firm that started > with “tell me this formula” and “how to calculate > this ratio”. > > Usually in round 2 or 3 interviews, you’ll get a > modeling test, and asked to do a writeup. Given a > press release, prepare to build financial > statements, perhaps make projections for 2 years, > and do a writeup of the results. > > Try to research the industry as much as possible. > You won’t be expected to know everything, and > that’s fine, but showing interest and knowing > something about it is good. Of course, you must > have a good fundamental understanding of the > financial statements, that’s a given. > > And I also disagree with FLUX on a few other > things he said. Obviously every person is > different, but it’s very possible he steers the > conversation into more personal and less business. > Spending maybe 60-80 hours a week, seeing the same > person, working next to them, you want someone > that you can talk about personal things, could be > interests, hobbies, or anything else outside of > work. Spending long hours working with someone > will be less enjoyable if the only thing you can > talk about is work or finance. Right, I think I hammered away that you want to get along well with the analyst as you and him are developing a franchise. I don’t advise against ever getting personal but that is something you can do with time. I strongly advise you keep the personal inquisitions to a minimum during your interview, demonstrate your a human with emotions but don’t get so inquisitive that it comes off as “fratty” or “nosy”. Iteracom, do you work in ER? What space do you cover. Also, Robber; what company in staples do you know? I know that space very very well… I may be able to help.
Yes, you want to develop a rapport with the interviewer. The feeling that “when things get stressful around here, it’s good to have this guy on your team; and when things aren’t stressful, it will be pleasant to interact with him/her.” But that’s all about being “personable,” which does not require being “personal.” So that means that the opening chit chat should convey that you’re pleasant and interesting to talk to. The interview should convey that you’re competant, happy to be there, and non-threatening (unless it’s an ultra-competitive culture, in which case you want to convey that you’ll be a worthy guy to compete with).