12.1. Common interview questions

– Tell me about yourself.
– How is your ideal job?
– What are your goals/Where do you see yourself in 1, 5, 10, 20 years?
– What are your strengths? Your weaknesses?
– What are the three most important events in your life?
– Define leadership. What is your leadership style?
– Tell me about a time when you successfully resolved a conflict.
– Why should we hire you?
– How would your peers describe you?
– What was the hardest decision you ever had to make at work?
– Give an example of how you work without direction.
– Give me an example of a time when you’ve led a group.
– What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
– What was your biggest failure and how did you learn from it?
– What was the most important thing you learned from your previous experience?
– How do you work under pressure? Provide an example.
– Can you work on several projects at the same time? Provide an example.
– Give me an example of a time when you successfully worked within a team.
– Give me an example of a time when you had problems working within a team. How did you solve the situation?
– Why did you decide to get an MBA?
– Why did you decide to major in [major]?
– Why did you choose to attend [school]? Why not [other school], which is better known for [major]?
– What is your favorite course? Why?
– What interests you most about this position?
– What do you know about our company?
– Why do you want to relocate to [city]?
– How do you feel about travel?
– What do you do for fun?
– Give me an example of where you “dropped the ball.”
– Give me an example of where you did something unpopular and had to stand up for yourself at work.

– Why consulting? Why this firm?
– What does a consultant do? What are the three most important qualities of a successful consultant?
– How is our practice different from other consulting firms?
– How do you rank in relation to your peers?
– If we were to review your performance at our firm after six months, what do you think our evaluation would be?
– Highlight your top achievements/accomplishments?
– What has been your biggest setback?
– With whom are you interviewing? How have you fared?
– What is the most important thing that you have learned in the past year?
– Give me an example of a situation in which you had a problem, how you identified the problem, the methods you used to solve the problem and discuss the resolution.
– If given an offer, how will you decide whether or not to accept it?

– Why investment banking?
– Why this bank?
– Would you invest in [your country]?
– What are the characteristics of a good investment banker?
– What did the Dow, S&P or NASDAQ close at yesterday?
– What is your view on the market?
– What do you think about Internet Stocks’ valuations?
– Why corporate finance as opposed to sales and trading?
– What role do you play in group situations?
– What stocks do you follow and why?
– Do you believe in perfect markets?
– What would you do if offered drugs as a part of a deal? (or other ethically focused questions)
– Sell us on your quantitative skills.
– How smart are you? How do you know you are smart?
– How do you value [a company, project, asset, oil-well, and so on] (keep in mind the various valuation models available – DCF, multiple/ratio analysis, EVA, option valuation)

– Why marketing?
– Tell me about an advertising campaign you particularly liked and why? Particularly disliked and why?
– What do you think are the most important characteristics for a marketer?
– What’s the best new product you’ve seen lately?
– If you were a consumer product, what would you be and why?
– What new product would you like to see?
– What’s the most creative thing you’ve ever done?