Can You Ace a Wall Street Interview? 10 Sample Questions
Business + Economy

Can You Ace a Wall Street Interview? 10 Sample Questions

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As internship recruiting season wraps up around college campuses, we decided to revisit the nerves and nightmares of the interview session.

We surveyed some current analysts about the classic and ridiculous questions they were asked when applying to the Wall Street internship that got them to their current position.

Don't take the standard questions for granted. Something as simple as, "what is investment banking?" can back you into a corner if you don't stay cool and confident. (Note: if you get that one, explain i-banking is a service that provides advice to clients on capital raising and M&A).

As for the ridiculous questions — just get ready for anything.

1. How would you fight a bear?
This is an example of an absurd situational questions, here's your shot to be a problem solver.
Source: Investment banking analyst

2. Baye's theorem
One asset management analyst gives us this question:
1) We are playing Russian roulette, with a standard 6-chamber revolver. I put two bullets in adjacent chambers, spin, point the gun at my head, and pull the trigger. Click. I'm still alive. It's now your turn, and I hand the gun to you, and give you two choices.

Would you rather, assuming you want to live,

a) Re-spin, aim at your own head and pull the trigger.
b)  Do not spin, aim at your own head, and pull the trigger.


Source: Investment management analyst

3. Sell me my blackberry
This an example of a Pitch Question, it's your chance to show you're a good salesman
Source: S&T analyst

4. My bank wants to send me to Shanghai, but my wife refuses to move there. Pretend I'm my wife, sell the new position in Shanghai to me and convince me to move to China.

While this may seem random the analysts and interns told BI that they were often prepared for the standard questions by their career centers and mentors, so don't be afraid to ask for advice.
Source: S&T analyst

5. How would you kill a giraffe?
Sorry, PETA.
Source: Investment banking analyst

6. There's a 10x10x10 cube made of 1,000 1x1x1 cubes if you get rid of the outer layer of cubes how many do you have left?

Remember, you're only getting rid of cubes on the outside layer.

Source: Former M&A analyst

7. You have 2 buckets. One full of white marbles and the other full of black marbles. How do you allocate the marbles into buckets in a way that maximizes your probability of picking 2 white ones when you pick 1 marble from each bucket?

Logic questions are pretty standard.
Source: Former M&A analyst

8. What happened to the Giants last night?

One sales and trading intern tells us he was asked—out of the blue—the score of a football game the night before, despite never talking about sports during the course of the interview.
Advice: Watching SportsCenter has its benefits!

Source: Credit Trading analysts

9. What happens to bond duration as interest rates increase?

One analyst gave us this as an example of a typical sales & trading internship question that most students should always know before walking into an interview.

Source: S&T analyst

10. How do you value the hot dog stand at Union Square in New York City?

This is an example of a company valuation question.

Source: Former summer analyst at Morgan Stanley

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