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Wall Street’s toughest interview questions



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Wall Street is notorious for its cutthroat corporate culture and gruelling interview processes so intelligence firm Vault.com compiled a list of the toughest interview questions faced by bankers in New York.

The website compiles an annual Vault 50 banking survey with answers from thousands of investment bankers and traders, providing information on what its like to work for their firms, as well as to rate their firms in various workplace categories, including compensation, hours, culture, work/life balance, training and you guessed it interviews.

These are the 19 most difficult questions, according to the survey, by the largest banks on Wall Street.

1. What’s 16 x 17?

2. If you overstated depreciation by $100 million on your income statement, what would you need to do to correct the error, and what is the impact on the three financial statements?

3. How would explain what present value is to your mom?

4. In plain English, tell me how to price a bond?

5. In less than three minutes, give me an overview of what caused the 2008 financial crisis and the steps that have been taken to help get us out of the recession.

6. Pitch me a merger of any two companies.

7. Would you rather I give you a dollar a day for the rest of your life or $1,000 right now? Why?

8. What is your level of knowledge of financial products (on a scale of 1 to 10)?

9. What can you tell me about the current market? What is your interest rate outlook?

10. What does it mean to have business ethics?

11. How do you define an inclusive environment? What have you personally done to ensure your team/school was inclusive?

12. What does risk management mean?

13. If you had three million dollars to invest right now, what would you do?

14. Tell me about a time where you were challenged to do something you felt was wrong and/or disconnected from your values?

15. Describe to me your views on current Fed policy?

16. Walk me through the last difficult decision you had to make with incomplete information. How did the problem arise? How did you go about understanding the situation? What alternative did you consider? What solutions did you try? What was the outcome?

17. What was the last thing you researched or learned about because you wanted to understand it, not because you were told to for a class?

18. How many golf balls can you fit in a 747?

19. What was your most embarrassing moment?



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