Preparation for your corporate finance interview is key, but particularly so for a positive interview with the outcome you want! keep reading for some interview tips.
Preparation will make you feel more in control and you will come across more confident and competent; qualities that a potential employer will be seeking. Interviews are used to qualify you for the role and to get a mutual character assessment to ensure you are right for the role and the company is right for you.
When interviewing for a corporate finance position, naturally the interviewers will expect you to be commercially savvy, aware of the key challenges that the business and the M&A sector face and passionate about the business and finance world. Interview questions will vary from technical to competency-based. Often, the initial interview will be a “chemistry” meeting to establish whether you will be the right fit.
When preparing for your corporate finance interview, we have highlighted some key questions to consider:
This question, whilst basic, is your opportunity to demonstrate your motivation for pursuing a role with the company, your knowledge (their sector expertise, the team, recent transactions), your commercial awareness, market research and ultimately your passion.
This is another opportunity for you to show your motivation and knowledge of the company you’re interviewing with. It shows you care and it shows that you value attention to detail - these are all brownie points when the interview panel are considering you for a culture fit.
Being able to demonstrate solution forward thinking will really impress the panel you are interviewing in-front of. Whether you’re looking to make the move into your first corporate finance role or you’ve been in corporate finance for a few years, this question is not only about your knowledge, but also how you present the information. Often, corporate finance roles are client facing and the interviewers will want to test your communication skills and your ability to present information in a succinct and effective way.
You should structure your answer, starting from the beginning of a transaction through to the end, highlighting your involvement. Think of a particular transaction that you can use as an example and actually relate to.
If you are interviewing within a niche sector, you should be prepared to talk through your relevant experience, your awareness of the sector, the challenges the sector faces, the competitors in that market and why you want to specialise in that sector.
Competency-based questions are where you give an example of a time when you did something or demonstrated a certain skill or competency. These questions are a way of predicting a candidate’s future performance and are effectively behavioural questions. These are best answered by using the STAR method: Situation, Task required as a result, Action you took, and the Result of that action.
You may also be asked technical questions relating to the role you’re applying for which could include questions around financial modelling, valuations, forecasting, analysis, cash-flow statements and working capital.
When you fully prepare yourself for an interview you are in a better position to set yourself up for success and leave with a positive outcome. Full preparation will provide you with:
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