Job Interview Questions - Excel

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					                                      Stern Connections Program
                                                Sample Interview Questions

The following is a list compiled from Stern alumni who contributed questions they heard in interviews and which they now ask to
prospective candidates. Though this guide represents a considerable portion of the popular interview questions asked by major
firms in a variety of industries, the list is certainly not complete. Interviewers continue to develop new and different ways to ask
questions while maintaining the same themes as presented herein. Also remember that originality and spontaneity weigh into the
value of an answer just as much as providing "correct" response. For this reason, this list may be valuable for general interview
preparation, but is not a template to model scripted replies.

Also note that interviewers typically follow a question or implicitly expect an explanation to accompany an answer. Almost all of
the questions in this list should be followed by “why?” or “please describe.”

I.       Introduction
     1   Tell me about yourself.
     2   Why did you pick your college?
     3   Why did you pick your major?
     4   Why do you want to work in this industry?
     5   Why do you want to work at this company?

   6 How did you hear about this job?
   7 Whom in this company do you know?
   8 To whom in our firm have you spoken?
   9 What do you know about our firm?
 10 What is your impression of this company?
 11 Are we your top choice?
 12 Why do you want to work for us and not for our competitor?
 13 What do you tell our competitors in interviews? Why do you want to work for them?
 14 What type of research did you do for this interview?

Qualifications / Interest
 15 Why should we hire you?
 16 What contribution can you make to our company?
 17 What can you do for us that someone else cannot?
 18 If you were tested on your overall abilities, what letter grade would you receive?
 19 Do you believe we can pay you what you are worth?
 20 Are you analytical?
 21 Are you creative?
 22 Why are you special?
 23 Would you rather write a report or give a verbal report? Why?
 24 What might make you leave this job?
 25 Highlight the one thing on your resume that separates you from everyone else on campus.
 26 Discuss one thing about yourself that isn’t on your resume.
 27 What can you tell us about yourself that will help us market you to our customers?
 28 You have answered everything perfectly. What is wrong with you?
 29 How can you prove you can work 120 hours a week?
 30 Let's pretend that the first 25 minutes of the interview have passed. What were you planning to tell me in the last 5 minutes?
 31 Do you really believe we are going to hire you?
 32 Why should we hire an outsider when we could fill the job with someone inside our firm?
 33 Where do you see growth in our industry?
 34 How does our firm compare to our competitors?

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                                               Sample Interview Questions

 35 Where else have you applied? Interviewed? Offers?

II.    Academic
  36   What was the best part of your college experience? What was the worst part of your college experience?
  37   What college subject did you like best? Least?
  38   If you could relieve your college experience, what would you do differently?
  39   Do you want to go to grad school?
  40   Do you think that your grades are a good indication of your academic achievement?
  41   Do you think that your grades are a good indication of your abilities?
  42   What is your grade point average (GPA)? How do you feel about this?
  43   What is your SAT score? GMAT? Is this reflective of your intelligence?
  44   Why don’t you have a 4.0 GPA? Why shouldn’t we hire someone with a better GPA?
  45   Which classes did you like the most? Least?
  46   What course gave you the most difficulty?
  47   Discuss a project or assignment that represented a significant challenge.
  48   What is one thing that you would change about your school? How would you change it?
  49   How much of your education did you earn?

III. Professional
Career Objectives
  50 Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
  51 Where do you think employment with this company will take you five years from now?
  52 What is your long-term employment or career objective?
  53 Do you want your boss’ job?
  54 What two or three things are most important to you in your job?
  55 If you couldn’t pursue a job in ___ industry, what would you be doing?
  56 If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
  57 Who or what in your life influenced you most with your career objectives?
  58 What will your obituary say?
  59 Who would you rather be: The President of the United States, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or an Internet entrepreneur?

  60 What do you think is the most important/difficult ethical dilemma facing corporations today?
  61 Discuss a situation where you were faced with an ethical dilemma.
  62 Discuss a professional situation in the past six month where you were faced with an ethical dilemma.

IV. Personal
  63 What is your greatest strength?
  64 What is your biggest weakness? Name another one.
  65 How would you describe yourself?
  66 How have you changed since starting college?
  67 How would a friend or co-worker describe you?
  68 What would your arch nemesis say about you?
  69 Describe yourself in 3 adjectives.
  70 What are three words your friends would use to describe you?
  71 What are three negative words your friends and co-workers would use to describe you?
  72 What is the biggest misperception people have about you?
  73 What makes you tick?
  74 Who in the world do you most admire?

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                                               Sample Interview Questions

 75 Name someone other than a relative who is your hero.
 76 What motivates you to get up in the morning?
 77 How do you define success?
 78 How would the world be different if you were never born?
 79 Which one of the following mutually exclusive ideals would you prefer to have: peace on earth; infinite personal wealth; or
    complete contentedness.
 80 If you had to be one of the following, which would you be: a lemming, a sloth or an earthworm?

Interests / Hobbies
  81 What types of books/magazines/newspapers do you read?
  82 What was the last good book you read?
  83 What is your favorite book?
  84 If you were stuck on a desert island and only had three books (magazines, albums, etc.), which ones would you take?
  85 If you could hold a dinner with any three people, alive or dead, whom would you invite?

 86 Describe the extra-curricular activities in which you participate and why you joined.
 87 What have you learned from extra-curricular activities?
 88 What do you like to do in your spare time?
 89 Are you a leader?
 90 How do you get people to do things they don't like to do?

“The Dating Game”
 91 What is your favorite activity outside of work?
 92 What are your favorite hobbies/interests?
 93 What is your favorite book? Movie? Television show?
 94 What is your favorite restaurant? Bar?
 95 If you could be a fruit, what type of fruit would you be?
 96 If you were a car, what type of car would you be?

V. Behavioral
Leadership / Initiative
 97 What is your biggest accomplishment?
 98 What was the biggest disappointment in your life?
 99 Describe your most significant success & failure in the last two years.
100 What is the biggest risk that you ever taken?
101 Discuss a significant leadership role you played.
102 Who is your role model? (Not someone from your family)
103 Do you prefer a structured or unstructured enviornment?
104 When you have been told, or discovered for yourself, a problem in your job performance, what have you typically done?
105 What was the last presentation you made before a small group? Large group?
106 What was the most difficult decision you ever made?
107 What was your most difficult decision in the last six months?
108 The last time you did not know what decision to make, what did you do?
109 What have you learned from your mistakes?
110 Talk about a project that you worked on from start to finish.
111 Discuss a poor decision you made and how your corrected it.
112 What in your last review did your supervisor suggest needed improvement?
113 What tricks have you learned to make school and/or work easier? How did you learn them?
114 Give an example of an important goal that you set for yourself in the past and your success in reaching it.

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                                                 Sample Interview Questions

115   Do you consider yourself to be thoughtful, analytical or do you usually make up your mind fast?
116   Discuss a project you initiated, the challenges you faced, and how you overcame them.
117   Describe a time when you best demonstrated your analytical thinking skills.
118   Discuss a problem you’ve had and how you dealt with it creatively.
119   Describe an instance in which you had to think quickly to extricate yourself from a difficult situation.
120   Describe a specific instance where you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.
121   Which shoe do you put on first?

Time Management
122 How do you work under pressure?
123 How do you manage your time when you have multiple projects due?
124 When meeting your friends, are you usually early, prompt or late?
125 Describe a situation when you were faced with a dead line that you couldn't meet. How did you handle it?
126 If you are given multiple projects and expect to be unable to complete all of them by their respective deadlines, what do you
127 Describe a situation when you had to learn a large amount of material quickly.
128 How can you avoid a small problem before it becomes a big one?

Teamwork / Compatibility
129 Do you prefer working alone or in groups?
130 What role do you usually take in a team?
131 Discuss one bad experience you had working on a group project.
132 Who was the most difficult person you’ve ever dealt with? How did you handle working with him/her?
133 Discuss a time when your work was criticized. Was it a fair criticism?
134 How do you feel you work without direct supervision? Are you prepared to work without supervision?
135 What are some things you would like to avoid in a job? Why?
136 What were some of the things about your last job that you found most difficult to do?
137 Describe a good boss with whom you’ve worked. Describe a poor boss.
138 What do you think about business travel?
139 How much traveling would be ideal in a job?

VI. Case Interviews
Brain Teaser
140 What is the most complicated thing in the world?
141 How would you find a book in a library that has been incorrectly shelved?
142 Why is a manhole cover round?
143 Use 12 equal sided sticks to construct 6 equal size squares?
144 Why are tennis balls fuzzy?
145 How many ways can you measure the height of a building with a ruler?
146 You have eight balls, one of which is heavier than the others. All the balls appear identical. You have a balance-type scale,
     and you can perform trials on the balls. What is the minimum number
     of trials required to determine which is the heaviest ball?
147 You are a branch manager for a commercial bank. You have four tellers working each shift. Would you have a line for each
     teller or would you have one line for all four tellers? Why?
148 Tell me a story.

Market Size
149 How many ATMs are there in Manhattan?
150 How much paint does it take to paint United Airlines' fleet?
151 What is the annual demand for plastic sporks in the world?

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                                               Sample Interview Questions

152 How much money does the Waldorf Astoria Hotel make each year?
153 How many green automobiles are there in the United States?
154 How many times would the population of India circle the globe if they held hands?
155 Estimate the size of the _____ industry.
156 How many [product] will be sold in the U.S. this year?
157 What is the market size for [product] in the U.S.?
158 Discuss the economics of [industry].
159 Estimate the total value of all the personal items on a shuttle flight that arrived at Laguardia airport at 8:30 am this morning
    from Boston given that the plane was approximately 2/3 full.
160 Where would you put a gas station if there were none in New Jersey?

VII. Subject Matter
161 What is the difference between an asset and a liability?
162 What is the difference between paid-in capital and retained earnings?
163 How does depreciation effect cash flow? EPS?
164 Name any five ways to manipulate EPS through accounting
165 If it was possible to have a company with all debt or all equity on the right side of the balance sheet, which would you choose
     and why?
166 If you could only choose one financial statement, which one would provide the most descriptive and relevant information of a
167 Describe the effect on all aspects of financial statements of an error in a model that makes depreciation too high/too low.
168 Flow depreciation through all accounting statements.
169 What is pushdown accounting?
170 What is the difference between purchase and pooling?
171 What is deferred tax?

Current Events
172 What is the most important story in the news today?
173 Which news event of the past six months will have the biggest impact on [industry]?
174 Discuss one story on the cover of today’s Wall Street Journal.
175 What is your feeling about [current event]?

176 Who has the most influence over the economy – The President of the United States, Congress or the Federal Reserve?
177 How does the Federal Reserve manage the economy?
178 What is the difference between the Fed funds rate and thediscount rate?
179 What is the FDIC?
180 How does a bank make money?
181 Which is more Fed power is more important – control the overnight bank rate or restriction of the money supply?
182 What will be the impact of the recent interest rate cut/raise by the Federal Reserve on the _____ industry?
183 What is the relationship between the forward and spot interest rate?
184 Can interest rates ever be negative?
185 What is the size of the U.S. GDP? Trade deficit? Budget deficit?
186 Discuss the yield curve. When does it slope upward? Downward?
187 What is a credit crunch?

188 What is equity?
189 How do you calculate a weighted average cost of capital (WACC)?

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                                               Sample Interview Questions

190   What is beta?
191   What is the maximum risk in shorting a stock?
192   How do you stay on top of the market?
193   Do you personally invest in the stock market? Which stocks do you own?
194   What is your favorite stock to own?
195   Which stocks should I buy? Which should I short?
196   How/where would you invest $100,000? $1 million? $10 million?
197   Who monitors the stock markets?
198   What is the level of the Dow/S&P/NASDAQ as of yesterday’s close?
199   What would cause a stock to be volatile in the short term?
200   What is the risk of investing in bonds?
201   What is the difference between subordinated debt and senior debt?
202   What does zero-coupon mean? PIK?
203   What is a junk bond?
204   Which is the most liquid debt market in the world?
205   What is the current yield on a 5-year treasury? 30-year?
206   What is a flight to quality? Where do such investors go? Why does it happen?
207   What is Black-Scholes? When would you use it?
208   What is an option? Describe how an option works.
209   When would you use derivatives?
210   How many basis points do corporate bonds trade off of treasuries?
211   If the duration on a bond is 7.5 and the change in the yield is 1% what is the change in price?
212   What is the capital asset pricing model (CAPM)?
213   What is the purpose of a discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis? How can you manipulate a DCF?
214   How do capital expenditures effect a DCF valuation?
215   Are NOL's important in valuing a company?
216   Describe how you would value a public/private company in ______ industry.
217   Why might a technology company be more highly valued in the market than a steel company?
218   Calculate enterprise value and discuss how minority interest is included in enterprise value.
219   What will be the effect of the merger of [company 1 and company 2] on [industry]?
220   You are advising a CFO in the ______ industry. How would you determine whether his/her company has the best capital
221   Would you prefer $1 million today or one penny today, two pennies tomorrow and a continued
222   doubling of pennies from the day prior for thirty days?
223   Discuss compound interest. Which is better: 10% annually or semiannually? Is 8% semiannually better than 10% annually?
224   Which is a better investment: a U.S. treasury bond with a 5% return, a share of common stock in IBM with a predicted 10%
      return, or a share of common stock in Telefonica (the mexican equivalent to AT&T) with a predicted return of 15%?
225   Discuss a recent Investment Banking transaction in the papers recently. What was the strategic rationale of the transaction?

Information Technology
 226 Define client/server.
 227 How would you implement controls into a process?
 228 What type of information should be on a report to monitor a process?
 229 Discuss the types of programming you have done for work. For school. For fun.
 230 Discuss your experience in: Back-end programming; Database administration; Webpage design.

231 What is the square root of two times the square root of two?
232 What is three and a third minus two and a half?
233 What is thirty seven percent of four hundred sixty two? How did you figure that out?

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                                              Sample Interview Questions

234 Convert five sixteenths into a decimal.
235 You have 1024 elements and you are using a binary search algorithm. What is the maximum number of tries it will take to find
    an element using the algorithm stated?
230 What is the probability of getting 3 heads if you toss a coin 4 times?

235 What are the four P’s?
236 What are the three C’s?
237 Sell me my pen.
238 Sell me a [product].
239 How would you market [product] in [city/country]?
240 How would you sell ice cubes to an Eskimo?
241 If you were to introduce a new product into a new market, what are some of the factors you would first study?
242 You need more shelf space in a store, how do you convince the store manager to give it to you?
243 In one sentence, pitch yourself and the reasons we should hire you.
244 Think of your favorite product. What are five better names for it?
245 What would you name a website about yourself? What
246 Rank order the characteristics for brand management.
247 Discuss a good and a bad ad campaign.
248 If you were a package on a shelf, what would you be like?
249 If you were a product, what would you be like?
250 Which is more effective: A coupon for $1 off or a rebate for $2 back?
251 What was a good/successful product introduction?
252 What is the difference between a collection of advertisements and an advertising campaign?
253 If you were a hair product on the shelf in an isle filled with competitors, how would your copy read?

VIII.End of the Interview
254 What else would you like us to know?
255 What question do you wish we had asked?
256 Do you have any questions?

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