Investment Officer Interview Questions


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Goldman Sachs
Summer Internship - Quantitative Investment Strategies was asked...11 April 2012

Suppose that you have a fair coin. You start with $0. You win 1$ each time you get a head and loose $1 each time you get tails. Calculate the probability of getting $2 without getting below $0 at any time.

6 Answers


1/3 Because if he requires 2 heads = $2, then it means he require HH out of {HH,HT ,TH,TT} We cannot consider TT because it would turn to zero. Therefore, he has 1 chance out of 3. Hence 1/3. Less

Marchov chain with 2 and -1 absorbing OR geometric series 1/4^n from 1 to inf=1/3 Less

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1. Ask about your back ground? 2. Check to see how you can contribute to the role you are being hired for? 3. Why you make a good fit? 4. Case studyish questions about how you would approach this in your work at IFC

6 Answers

Hi, first of all thanks for sharing your experience. I am curious to know how long you waited to get the online test results (I mean the first psychometric test not the modeling / case study)? Cheers and congratulations! CK Less

Over a you can easily forget post the first online test... After that stage things picked pace.. Less

how was the structure of the case study through webex?

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Bank of America

If someone offered you $1000 today or paid out at $100 a month over the next ten months, which would you take?

5 Answers

The answer should be the $1000...$1000 today is worth more than $1000 ten months from now or $100 every month for 10 months due to the time value of money. Less

Money loses value over time...

I think it depends largely on the market. 1000 dollars a couple years ago if put into the right fund would be nice now. With how long the market has been expanding It would be a tough choice now. Additionally, they might be checking personality on this. Do you want your money now, or do you like something steady even if the value depreciates over time? Less

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JPMorgan Chase & Co

Tons of behavioral questions encountered in the whole process- What would you do if there was a problem within your team etc..

3 Answers

I answered as practiced earlier. Added a relevant example about how I have handled a similar issue in the past. They like to see concrete evidence of the sort. Less

Can you please provide some more questions asked and if there were any technical questions asked too? Less

Communication is the key. We must come together and get the issues on table. A lot time it is just a misunderstanding. But I find that it's deeper than that we will find a resolution. Less

Morgan Stanley

Would IRR be higher for a property generating high cash flow, or one generating nothing at all?

4 Answers

I hope you didn't tell them that. In fact, the IRR is the rate which allows all incoming and outgoing cash flows to be equal. The question is a bit ambiguous considering the IRR is also heavily dependent on the money invested (outgoing). With respect to the question, if you are receiving high returns relative to the amount invested, that would lead to a higher IRR. In fact, an investment that generates nothing at all would have an IRR of -100%. Hope this helps anyone who actually receives a poorly worded question like this. Extra bit of help: IRR > Risk free rate of return -> Project should be considered IRR You just lost your company a lot of money Less

I see this question as really asking: "Do you know the definition of an IRR?" since the original question is so ambiguous. It merits a discussion of IRR rather than a yes/no answer. Less

You can also think of it this way: IRR is the discount rate at which NPV = 0 (breakeven). This means you can assume a simplified model of NPV = –Cost + CF/r 0 = -C + CF/IRR C*IRR = CF Assuming that the investment (cash inflow into the projects) is the same for both projects, we see that as cash flow(s) increase, so does the IRR. tl;dr: IRR is HIGHER for property generating HIGHER cash flows. Less

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Goldman Sachs

If I stacked pennies from the ground to the top of the Empire State Bldg, would they all fit onto a floor of the building?

3 Answers

1. Yes on the terrace. 2. Conver pennies into Dollers on better brokerage and get it fit into a bag. Now you can more money fit at any floor. Less

The Empire state building is approximately 1200 ft. I'm guessing there are 100 floors. This means 12 ft of single stack pennies per floor. 100 of them. I think we can fit 100 stacks of pennies on any floor in New York City. Less

Yes. 1) break coins into stacks in relation to each window/floor (gives height of floor) 2) highly likely sum of stacks is less than the square of the floor height I'm sure there's another way to answer this as per Vault, though I like to come up with diff answers instead. Less

Orbis Investments

How many £1 coins are there in circulation? Why are hedge fund returns so poor?

3 Answers

Try make an analytical guess

1.5 Billion £1 coins in circulation. Moreover, Hedge Fund returns are so poor because of the sudden rise of competition. Less

Guess - Number of all the pound notes printed * 3 because minimum pound note value is 5 and when you ask for change, you would need at least [5 1-pound coins] or [2 pound coin + 3 1-pound coins.] I think the UK mint wouldn't have it made X5 because there is still the 2 pound coin to exchange so X3. Less

Edelman Financial Engines

Was compensation adequate?

3 Answers

It was consistent with the market so my decision was more about the job and duties. Less

How long did it take for offer after your onsite?

A week later I got a call with the offer but there were unique circumstances involved. I think normally it would have been at least a couple of weeks or more Less

Herald Land Real Estate Brokers

Would you take an offer of $2000 monthly salary plus an uncapped commission, or $4500 monthly salary with your commission capped at $3000 per month regardless of your productivity?

2 Answers

A $4500 monthly salary with commission capped at $3000 per month regardless of my productivity Less

I went for the first offer: $2000 + uncapped commission

Moelis & Company

Increase IRR on an LBO

2 Answers

Not as significant as levering more or negotiate for a cheaper price. Also increase exit price. Those are the 3 drivers Less

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