Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Finance Interviews: Preparing Questions Strategy [Jobs]

This article will talk about the interview preparations. I do not have a great deal of experience but these things are based on my personal survey and observation. Kindly recheck and rethink on the points and decide things on your acumen.

There are many many sites which talk about this matter, and I have pointed my views and these are not the rules. Also check out other sites.

Areas of concern(topic List from Day 1):
Tell something about you
20 seconds 50%
Never assume
next question
Body language
Tone consistency
Hard-cored personality
Selling yourself
Strategic Exaggeration
Recent vs old achievement
Leveraged to strong areas
Quant maths
Rounds of Interview: Layers
Value for money
react vs respond
artificiality for selling
Battles are won in mind
Breaking the ice
women vs peer vs old men
Smiling at right times
Greeting at right times
Listen like Arvind K
Reactions and emotions not allowed
Correlated weakness
Games with no truth
Verbal Skills are imp like GMAT
Supply demand
Technical vs HR
Switching demand and supply

Supply demand in jobs: Arrow diagram of jobs means plotting supply and demand. Its a pure case of supply demand, hence if you go in a area where demand is less and supply is also less then that is a better strategy than going to supply more, demand area. This is my personal belief and my strategy. Because people are less also the demand is less there are chances of better negotiations.

Dealing with HR people:
HR people should be dealt with appropriately. There are various people and layers that decides your entry in an organization.  Much of things depends on your qualifications and the place you do your PG from, hence this becomes one area of negotiations even if you can do the job of more qualified people. Hence in this case CFA, FRM and other exams become very useful.

Company size decision
Small: No Big names, freedom, high pay, more learning that you can do
Big: Adds to resume, more extra stuff, foreign assignment, less learning from self

My questions for you are:
When HR says no more negotiations do they mean so?
How to catch mis-match in demand supply?
If you are getting better each day, how does too often switch matter?
(Example 2 yr exp in good company vs 1 year in 2, and clearing exams like FRM/GMAT in the break)
How really less are the Quant jobs in India? (I think 90% is in Mumbai)
How to increase the interview count, how to move from Door to Door when email does not work?

Solutions and Discussions (day 2 of session)
Memorize all answers
Learn about job, role and sector
2-3 minutes is what it matters
Positive mind,  never react when forced to, take deep breath when angry or nervous
Learn to lie, this is game of demand and supply
Emphasis on knowing Research, Analysis, Reporting or which role that is
What can you do that others cannot do
First 6 months are tough with no Saturday and that is all right with you
Least attractive: Political and diplomatic answers
All negative answers: deal politely
Do not condemn others, talk about yourself only
Desire to progress/ recognition when due/ opportunity and suitability/ applying myself/ diversification / team working/ synchronized research / etc are reasons to join
Be open minded
Psychology of interviewers
Definition of position or works that you need to know, do you know this?
Different types of analyst
Working on tough past
again understand the profile very carefully
Ask them in a very soft and humble way
How long would you like to work with us
Do you know how to deal with company politics / backstabbing / trust deficit
Avoid words like until/unless/my opinion
Over Qualified answer
Standard questions and answers
Falsehood and lying with HR
Ego issues in job
Goals and targets
3 failed ventures
Websites of interview Questions

Consultants are also important and they can be contacted at a later stage

Developing Financial Acumen:
Looking at news and presentations
Great men says
Macro Economics
Reading news

Salary Negotiations:
Do not utter your figure
How to ask for more
Hinting the opportunity cost
Asking about profile
Big vs Small company

Small errors
Over agressive and over exerting
Preacher, giver of more that is needed

50 Standard Questions of HR:
Memorize all of them
Greatest weakness

What to ask them in the end:
Exact Profile
CFA FRM study leave
Relocation issues
Read about company
Guess supply demand
Body Language like nodding

Find company info
How to develop
Spirituality Link

Technical questions in Finance interviews:
Financial ratios (to find out problems in the company with balance sheets)
Valuation of companies CFA level 2
Modeling used in the industry

Questions in Quant finance jobs are very different:
I downloaded some books, and will share the names

Technical questions for Investment Banking / Equity valuation:
  1. FCF/DCF
  2. Enterprise Value
  3. Ratio modeling / Price to book ratio
  4. Footnotes auditor's report n Management Discussion
  5. Du-point analysis

Different Version of Resumes
Once you know how many areas you want to go in, then according to need you can change your resume. Hence for that you should have different version of resumes. The areas that you need to cover are:
  1. Credit / Market Risk/ Quant Resume FRM L2
  2. Equity Research / Investment Banking / Private Equity Resumes CFA L2
  3. Algorithmic Trading / Quant Resume FRM / CMT
  4. Derivative Analyst /  Derivative Trading / Generic Trading FRM / CMT
Hence you should have at-least 4 version of resumes.

Salary things
10 times factor
Symbiotic relations

Other strategic issues:
  1. Issues like bond, movement, absconding, etc must be taken care of before joining ideally.
  2. Company reimbursement of cfa frm exam fee
  3. Notice period buy-able 
  4. Getting in touch with peers is another important thing

Major banks that everyone in finance wants to work are:
  1. Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and UBS AG
  2. As far as India goes most of them are in Mumbai or Bangalore.  
  3. Citi is in Mumbai, JP Morgan is in Mumbai, Goldman is in Bangalore, DB is in Mumbai and Bangalore, Morgan Stanley is in Mumbai, UBS is in Hyderabad, Barkley is in Mumbai.
KPOs in finance are:
  1. EVS
  2. Copal
  3. EXL
  4. Syntel
  5. etc

These questions are related to equity valuation
Career in Finance

I have discussed my view on the area of Interview. I am myself a juvenile in this area so this page should be taken as views rather than rules.

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