Corporate finance

Corporate finance Interview Questions and Tips

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Deutsche bank corporate finance internship interview

Anupreet PorwalFresherSelected
I was interviewed on-campus at IIT Kanpur for Corporate finance role at Deutsche bank
Interview Process
Resume Shortlist Group Discussion Technical Interview HR Interview
Round 1

Resume Shortlist

Interview Experience
Resume short-listing was done on the basis of CGPA, extra curricular activities and only those having a overall strong profile with a good balance of PORs and academics were short-listed
Interview Tips
Well, one thing that needs to be kept in mind is that your resume needs to be perfect from you side.When I say perfect, it means there should be no typographical errors, no spelling or grammatical mistakes. It should be edited properly and thoroughly checked so that any chances of mistakes can be nullified. Your resume should have information related to projects (research or applied), any intern-ship or other experience of similar kind, relevant courses ( finance or statistics course, in this case ), positions of responsibilities ( PORs ), extracurricular activities and other skill sets. Points in resume should be concise and self explanatory. You should keep in mind that the interviewer takes only a few seconds to review a resume and therefore appropriate details in your resume should be highlighted to make it easy for interviewer to review it. For Deutsche Bank, having a intern-ship experience or a academic project in finance or a foreign exposure definitely helps. PORs also helps in the same fashion. Your resume should be as uncluttered as possible and at the same time should have all the details of above mentioned things presented concisely.
Round 2

Group Discussion

Group Discussion Topic
Net Neutrality
Interview Experience
It was the first time in many years that DB decided to have a group discussion round. So most of us did not have anyone to share their experience with us. We had around 6 people, at once, in this round. Personally, It was a good experience for me, although I did not read about this topic much and had a discussion with my friend about net neutrality just a few minutes before my GD. I spoke against net neutrality contrary to all other five candidates with me. I described how moving away from net neutrality will help in providing resources to more people and open up the gates of world of internet to the deprived ones. I was objected by al,most everyone in the group but the idea is to maintain your cool, listen to other candidates and try and defend your idea and express your opinion about the topic.
Interview Tips
Some basic tips for every group discussion goes without saying. Starting or ending the course of discussion definitely helps but at the same time it is important to understand that it is not a compulsory action that needs to be taken .I observed it in my discussion that people were so much adamant about initiating the discussion that the moderator had to request people to calm down and not create a fish market there. The idea is to think wisely before you speak. After hearing the topic, you should take your time decide whether you wish to speak for or against and then think of various points and aspects of the topic. Its always helpful to take a pen and a notepad so that you can write the points in short which you can refer later in the discussion. You should NEVER switch from the stand you have taken in the beginning. This is regarded as a weakness so NEVER do that. At the same time it not at all means that you should initiate a war of words(quarrel) with the candidates who has expressing the opposite opinion in the discussion. You need to be humble, polite while you talk. Do not use HINDI/any other native language in the discussion. Be confident while you speak and let other other complete. Try not to interrupt someone and avoid blame game to other candidates, be generalised in you opinion instead of grilling other candidates. If you plan to start the discussion, It would be helpful if you describe the problem briefly, lay down the important points which you think needs to be discussed also can suggest the way discussion can be undertaken and at the same time invite other candidates to share their views when you have finished sharing yours. If you are planning to conclude a discussion, you must remember that its a discussion and not a debate, so it is not necessary that you discussion will end up with one party emerging as correct, so you should try to jot down all the points mentioned by the two parties during the discussion and a give a generalised overview of the discussion, instead of forcing your own opinion onto it. You can try and discuss the pros and cons that were explained by different candidates and try and give a possible solution to make the system better.
Topics of GDs for DB are generally based on the current issues in the country . So you should read about current issues as that will help you to use the recent events and other highlights during the discussion to support your point.
Round 3

Technical Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Walk me through you resume?
  • Question 2: Do you have any experience in finance? Where did you learn about finance from ?
  • Question 3: P/E ratio ?
  • Question 4: what do you know about mergers and acquisitions ?
  • Question 5: If I give you Rs.5000 per month for a year or give you Rs.50000 at the beginning of the year, which is a better deal ?
  • Question 6: Draw the income statement for a carpenter who buys wood at certain price and sells it at ___ some price? try and mention all the possible expenditures which may happen
  • Question 7: Question related to a finance project done by me : What are weather derivatives? Which countries as actually using it?
Interview Experience
I was the first candidate from the short-listed candidates to be interviewed so the interviewers were not bored of taking interviews. The interview started well. I was not able to answer the very first finance question that they asked me related to P/E ratio. But, after that I was able to answer all questions comfortably. So overall the technical interview went well.
Interview Tips
You should be aware of all the current issues. For that you can read Economic times follow Bloomberg, Business Insider regularly, talk and discuss with your other friends to learn more about the same. For the finance topics, you look at Khan Academy lectures on finance. They are very concise and at the same time introduce you to the basics of finance. You can also look at J.C. Hull's Options futures and derivatives. Sometimes they may ask some puzzles. For that and TechInterviews is a good site to begin with followed by PratikPoddar's CSE Blog. Its important that you remain confident throughout the interview. Its okay if you don't know answer to all the questions being asked. You can politely mention that you do not know answer to the following question and that you will follow up on the same after the interview and then at the end of the interview you can followup with the interviewer. This shows that you are interested to learn new things and are not here just because you are short-listed. It is good to ask question related to the company at the end of the interview. You can frame questions based on PPT of the company.
Round 4

HR Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Why Finance ? Why DB?
  • Question 2: Tell me something about yourself ?
  • Question 3: One negative quality that might affect your performance at DB
  • Question 4: Is less number of PORs a reason for your CGPA ?
Interview Experience
All the questions were standard HR question. Other than the negative quality question, all the other question passed swiftly.
Interview Tips
Answers should be prepared to these standard HR questions. Negative quality question should be answered carefully so that it does not influence your interview much.

Preparation materials

  • Rosenbhaum Corporate Finance ,
  • Herd On The Street,
  • J.C. HULL,
  • Money week Youtube,
Motivation for applying
I wanted to get some experience in finance and understand more about investment banking. This was the main motivation for me.
Funny Moments
I was held on the negative quality question for quite a few minutes. They asked me who are my friends here at IITK and asked what would they say about my negative quality. I happened to take up one of my friend's name who was one of the guys offered a PPO from DB and was also under the mentorship of one of my interviewers. He almost gave this a guy a call to enquire for my negative qualities. I ended up laughing over this incident in the interview which was not received pleasantly by the interviewer. One lesson learnt from this incident was t never laugh unless the joke is funny to interviewer :P :P .
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Goldman Sachs corporate finance interview

VIRAJ MAHADEVIAExperiencedSelected
I Applied for job through Personal Contacts for Corporate Finance role at Goldman Sachs
Interview Process
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Goldman Sachs corporate finance interview

Rajkumar GopalanExperiencedSelected
I Applied for job through Personal Contacts for Corporate Finance role at Goldman Sachs
Interview Process
Technical Interview
Round 1

Technical Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: what is 18*13?
  • Question 2: how long would money invested at 5% p.a continuously compounded take to double?
  • Question 3: if a cube composed of 1000 smaller cubes were fully immersed in paint, how many cubes would have none of their faces painted?
  • Question 4: . how has the Indian equity market been doing?
  • Question 5: what sectors have been doing well in India?
  • Question 6: if you could invest in certain sectors, which ones would you invest in and why?
  • Question 7: which companies would you invest in and why?
  • Question 8: tell me something about some of the recent m&a deals and IPOs that have occurred in India?
  • Question 9: what do you think about the forex reserve policy in India? (I had written a paper on forex reserves in emerging economies, which was why I was asked that question)
  • Question 10: I had done a project with stern stewart on optimal capital structure in various industries in India, so I got a number of questions on capital structure.
  • Question 11: why do you think the trade deficit is so high in the US?
  • Question 12: what are the problems with the US economy?
  • Question 13: which sectors have been doing well in the US markets?
  • Question 14: why do M&As take place?
  • Question 15: Tell me about a merger in the financial services industry?
  • Question 16: situation where you demonstrated team skills.. describe yourself.. what are your strengths and weaknesses. what do you think your role would be as an associate?. take me thorugh your resume. why isb?
  • Question 17: why did you quit playing tennis professionally?
  • Question 18: situation where there was a problem within the group and how you solved it.
  • Question 19: what would you do if you had prepared a presentation and briefed the partner but there was a mistake in the presentation. The partner cant be informed since he’s on the flight and he has to make the presentation as soon as he lands.
  • Question 20: how would you deal with the analyst.
  • Question 21: what are the pros and cons of debt vs equity?
  • Question 22: if there are 3 companies – a utility, a bank and a tech company, which one would go you finance through debt, which one would you finance through equity and which one would you finance through a convertible?
  • Question 23: . if the dividend rate is 5% and the payout ratio is 50% what is the EPS?
  • Question 24: what are the different methods of valuing companies?
  • Question 25: which was your fav course? (I said CCFS since I had expected the question and I had prepared a couple of valuation cases from the course)
  • Question 26: what was it like to teach? How did you handle the students you taught?
  • Question 27: Tell me about yourself. Why did you return to India? How would friends describe you? What have you done outside ISB that demonstrates that you work well in a team environment? What has been your best experience at ISB?. What book(s) have you read recently? Tell me about it (them).. What are your geographic/industry preferences?
  • Question 28: given two firms with different capital structures – determine their ROI?
  • Question 29: a lot of questions on the CAPM based on a case that we discussed. I brought the case up (MW petroleum) since I was comfortable with the CAPM. What risk free rate would you use? What risk premium would you use? How has the market risk premium evolved? What is the market risk premium at the moment? What is the beta of the oil industry?
  • Question 30: What discount rate would you use (for various firms) and why? what happens to the exchange rates when the interest rates go up? how would you identify companies that are undervalued?
Interview Experience
The initial interview was via teleconference. They had shortlisted 5 of us and each of
us was interviewed for about 30 mins by a panel of two people – one was Luca
Ferrari (Partner/ MD) and the other was an associate from India. This interview was
purely personal. They ask you about your background and they go through your
resume with reasonable thoroughness and fix on some interesting aspect of it. I had a
lot of questions on my tennis career. They mainly check whether you have the
necessary communication and presentation skills and whether you are a team player. I
would suggest that you stress on your team skills. That is one of the main things that
they look for. Other questions were – “most significant achievement”, “why
iBanking”, “why GS” and the decisions that you had made that led you to ISB.
Interview Tips
On resume:
I showed my resume to different people and got as many inputs from them as
I could. I tried to portray whatever little I’ve done in a way that would be
appropriate for each respective company. I also talked a lot about my extra
curricular activities since both consulting firms and iBanks like candidates
with diverse backgrounds and loads of extra curricular activities.
Foe e.g. I did a project with Stern Stewart. For consulting companies I talked
more about the strategic aspects of the project and for iBanks I talked more
about the financial and valuation aspects of the project.
• Communication skills
I taught at Purdue for two years so that was a big help. Working at PwC also
helped a bit. Didn’t do specific by way of preparation.
• Mock interview practice
Went through quite a few interviews during the placement season since I
seemed to be getting shortlisted everywhere and then dinked. That helped a
lot. I would definitely recommend going through mock interviews, preferably,
with someone who knows something about the interview structure, the types
of questions asked and the industry.
• Collecting information of company / role
I had to do a lot of preparation for Goldman Sachs since I didn’t know too
much about the company or the industry before coming here. The goldman
website is a good place to start. I also went through as many books on
IBanking that I could find. The vault and wetfeet guides on goldman sachs
and on investment banking were also extremely helpful. There’s also a
popular book on Goldman Sachs called “Goldman Sachs: the culture of
success”. It’s a must read for anyone interviewing with them.
• Technical / subject / functional preparations
I did a lot of preparation on valuation – the different methods of valuing
companies. Going through a few examples on this also helps. The electives
course – “cases in corporate financial strategy” helped quite a bit. I’m also told that the course on “capital raising strategies in corporations” also is very
helpful through I didn’t take the course.
Preparations on the global markets and economics of different regions is also
very important. I had a number of questions on the US markets, the Europe
markets and the emerging markets including India. The bank of America
website publishes a weekly report on the global equity and debt markets,
which was very helpful. I also talked to people who were familiar with the
stock markets to get an understanding of what had been going on.
I also did a lot of preparation on the major M&A deals and IPOs that had
occurred in the last couple of years, both in India and abroad. You have to
know both the strategic rationale behind the deal and the financial aspects of
• PPT’s stage
They’ll tell you a bit about the company but you can get better information
from the website and the guides on goldman sachs and on investment banking

Skills Tested

Skill Tips
Recommended reading:<br /> Monkey business, den of thieves, barbarians at the gates, Goldman Sachs: the culture of<br /> success, Vault and wetfeet guides on investment banking, vault and wetfeet guides on GS,<br /> Website:<br /> GS website, bank of America website to get their weekly global capital markets report,<br /> economic times website to get to know the latest IPOs and m&a deals happening around<br /> the world and then do research on each one.
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