Finance Interview Tips from a Babson Alum – Listen up!
I had the opportunity to participate in a Finance Interview Prep session organized by a Babson Faculty member. The 2005 alumnus gave such valuable advice to classroom full of undergraduate sophomore and junior students who were eager to ask questions and hear what those finance interviews are really like! The alumnus had been in the students shoes not too long ago and throughout the entire session advice was given based on her personal interview experiences. It was an engaging session filled with many takeaways for students as they are about to tackle their own internship interviews. I wanted to share the advice that was given, in the hopes that the below will help many of you in your preparation for upcoming interviews. At the end of the day, you generally have a 30 minute window to sell yourself to an employer. Good luck!
- #1 – your resume needs to be strong: Tenses must be correct, alignment needs to be perfect, make it clean (no extra spaces – they will get noticed), structure your phrases right, anything on your resume is fair game for an interviewer to ask questions about.
- Use a proper handshake and make eye contact with the person that you are shaking hands with.
- You will always be asked the question “Tell me about yourself” or “Walk me through your resume”. Prepare for this so that you have mastered your answer. Sound genuine, make it a story. Practice, Practice, Practice. Talk about the transferrable skills you have developed and that will benefit the role you are interviewing for.
- Tip for the “Tell me about yourself question” – before the interview, write down the 3 things that you want the employer to know about you. Say them up front or at the end of your answer.
- Sample of the technical questions that most likely will be asked (only answer the question that is being asked!):
- What are the 3-4 valuation techniques?
- Walk me through a DCF.
- What are the 3 financial statements and how do they all connect?
- What is EBITA?
- Why do we use statement of cash flows?
- Remember, for the technical questions, if you really understand the concept, you can truly simplify it and be able to answer the questions correctly.
- Questions for the interviewer – make sure they are appropriate for the person that is interviewing you. It is important to spend some time creating some specific questions based on who is interviewing you. If you do not know the specific people and roles, come up with a few senior level questions and more junior. It is always great to ask a question based on the interview conversation.