Original Career Captain article by MSF’21 Hitesh Sharma, assisted by fellow MSF’21 Career Captain, Jay Pankaj Joshi, and MSF Career Coach, Jennifer Voldins.
Finance is a dynamic industry. You need to be constantly updated with the current political news, market trends, consumer behaviors and economic data. For your interviews, you are expected to be able to have a conversation about the latest happenings in the financial world.
If you are interviewing for jobs in investment banking, asset management or other corporate finance roles, it is common to be asked questions about your overall market outlook, the interest rate and regulatory environments, the mechanics of DCF valuations, financial statements and some stocks you would recommend investing in.
My Interview Experience at BlackRock
I had three rounds of interviews for my internship with BlackRock.
1). The first round was a virtual Hirevue interview where I was asked about working on a team, different aspects of my personality and general financial market news.
2). The second round of interviews was with two different employees on Zoom. This time, I was asked more qualitative questions relating to the core values of the company and how these apply to my life.
3). The third and final round, known as the “Superday”, consisted of interviews with multiple people. These questions ranged from why I want to work at BlackRock to my specific technical and programming skills. I also was asked about financial regulations, interest rates, negative interest rates and other topics related to fixed income markets.
Overall, it is very important to know the job description and company culture well for your interviews. You should also be able to properly explain your previous experiences, your educational background, and any skills you have on your resume and how they make you a good fit for the position.
Resources for Interview Preparation
You need to be comfortable having detailed conversations about the above topics in your finance interviews. There are several great resources to help you become well acquainted with these areas available through the International Business School. These include:
- Free year-long subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times for students
- Bloomberg Terminal
- Mergent Online
Additionally, Coffee Chats with Jennifer are a helpful resource. Every week, a group of students meets with MSF Career Coach Jennifer Voldins to discuss the latest political and financial news. You are not just getting acquainted with market news and financial jargon, but also practicing how to have a conversation about them and making small talk.
Some outside podcasts that are helpful for learning about finance and the business world are:
- Bloomberg Surveillance
- WSJ What’s News
- Inside the Strategy Room by McKinsey
Brandeis International Business School also has many interview preparation options available. Your CSE career coach will work with you throughout the process, providing assistance with everything from resumes, cover letters and applications, to the final interview and offer negotiations. There are many resources you can consult to practice interview questions on your own, such as:
- Big Interview
- Case Questions Interactive
As intimidating as the whole process may sound, it is nothing a Brandeis International Business School student cannot get through. Help at Brandeis, like in Hogwarts, is always provided to those who ask for it. Ask your peers, professors, and the CSE team for any help regarding interviews and applications, and they will happily help or direct you to someone who will be able to assist you.