Hey guys, so I’m in the process of interviewing at PIMCO for a position in their account management group and I was told that I would have to take an assessment on excel answering some questions on gdp and bonds…that was pretty much it…I’m not sure if they’ll test me on well I can use excel as in vba or pivot tables
I’m wondering if anyone has gone through this or knows anyone who has? I’m just unsure how hard or long a test like this can be.
A friend of mine in Canada had to go through an Excel test for his interview with E&Y Corp Fin. He said it was pretty hardcore, modelling stuff. I’d say brush up on some formulas and short-cuts. Browse around this site (chandoo.org) it’s quite useful for Excel tips. Good luck.
I had to take an excel test. it revolved around making graphs, rearranging data sets, and setting out a basic dcf model on a company. gdp question may pertain to growth rates and interest rates across the globe.
When I did a phone interview with them, they asked: If I knew functions (VLOOKUP, IF statements & etc) If I’d be willing to learn VBA I didnt like the position the recruiter wanted me for so it never went any further. When a friend of mine interviewed there he said the test is really based on functions; V and H Lookup, IF, and Pivot tables. About a year ago I interviewed for another job, I told them I’m proficient in excel but didn’t consider myself a savant. I think they took this as a disclaimer that I wasn’t very good so they made me take an online advanced user excel test. It was pretty easy and covered things as basic as formatting to VBA, they told me I scored incredibly high and took the test in a very quickly and I don’t consider myself an exceptional user. I’d focus on financial, statistcal and logic functions that let you manipulate or “puesdo-query” large data sets
The test that I took wasn’t at Pimco. I only did a phonne interview there. And they only asked me like 1 or 2 VBA questions… I dont remember what they were, probably stuff like using the Marco recorder. If they expected you to have very strong VBA skills for the possition they would’ve prescreened the requirement. I wouldnt worry about it too much, focus on knowing the most popular functions used in working with large data sets. What are you applying for Account Manager or Associate? Btw, alot of people do not like working there.
Seriously guys, you’re using H and VLOOKUP? Gotta get down with INDEX(MATCH and stop rearranging data to conform the the limits of the look up functions. Excel tests…last one I took was for a temp job in college, when I knew practically nothing. However, fortunately I knew how to use a mouse so I was okay. The only time I really used excel in school was working with the Data Analysis add-in, which (as with most things in school) I never use in real life.
I use OFFSET a lot in my spreadsheets too. It’s great for doing sums and correlations for columns of data that can change size over time. I also use it so that if I’m calculating something for one column of data, I can switch the same analysis to a neighboring column by changing the value in a single cell. SUMIF and COUNTIF are also really useful at times. I use it sometimes to add and remove assets from a portfolio, to separate net long assets from net short assets, etc. As for Index and Match, I’ve used it now and then, but VLOOKUP works for most things I need. It’s useful to remember though, and if you are doing financial statement modeling (as opposed to returns histories modeling), I can see that INDEX+MATCH could be exceptionally useful.
Yeah, me too…except it seems that most people suck at it and end up killing efficiency compared to if I just took the time to do it. I just had to basically redo somebody’s work that I delegated yesterday…his bonus is going to suck. And they wonder why the unemployment rate is where it is.
Personally, sumproducts are superior. Offsets are ugly and index/match seems to overwhelm many people. There isn’t anything that can’t be done with a lookup function (h/v, offsets,index/match) that can’t be done with sumproduct.
SUMPRODUCT is certainly useful, but there are plenty of times when OFFSET is more effective. If I have a bunch of columns of returns from assets or funds, I can keep adding columns to the left with offset as my analysis grows. With OFFSET, as long as I’m anchored somewhere, I can keep offsetting one more column at a time. I might be able to do stuff with SUMPRODUCT too, but I have to remember where all of the SUMPRODUCTS are hidden in the code and change their dimensions. It becomes very easy to break the code.