How to prepare for an equity research interview?

Read the newspaper (or a financial website) daily:

  • Prepare to talk about a recent M&A deal. Bonus points if the deal is in your sector. Also, form an opinion on whether the deal is in the interest of the shareholders or not.
  • The more you read the paper the easier it will become to discuss macro economic themes, which is crucial for any finance interview.
  • Monitor how the major companies in your sector have been performing. Did the earnings beat the street? Is the outlook strong? Any sector wide challenges/issues?

Prepare to talk about specific companies:

  • The most common question is: what would you buy?
  • Discuss specific catalysts and macro themes.
  • Bonus points if you can identify reasons to buy a specific stock that are not well-known to investors yet.

Form an opinion on where gold, oil and the U.S. dollar are heading:

  • Keep in mind that there is no wrong or right answer.
  • It’s all about your reasoning. You should support your answer with facts and analysis.
  • In most cases the interviewer will take the opposite side of the argument. Again, no wrong or right answer, so don’t back down.

Some points to keep in mind:

  • This might be a bit difficult at first, but always distinguish fact from opinion. Analyse the facts to arrive at an opinion.
  • Smile. You are selling your analysis and opinion. A smile shows that you are confidant and comfortable with your answers and you enjoy chatting about finance in general.