All the Resources to Help you Ace your S&T Interviews
Summer internship interviews generally assess several things – competency (“Tell me a time when…”), motivation (“Why do you want to work for…”), technical (“Can you define…”) and commercial awareness (“What effect is … going to have on the markets?”).
And whilst interviews have no formula – I hope these resources (paired with a lot of practice!) will help you perform at your best in your S&T interviews.
These resources focus on the commercial awareness and dip into the technical side of Sales and Trading interviews. And, although it has been put together with S&T in mind, some will also be useful for other applications across the Investment Bank.
When it comes to commercial awareness, you need both breadth and depth. A good understanding of the bigger picture is a must – don’t go into an interview without being able to talk about Covid/ a Biden presidency/ Brexit and how they have and how they might move markets.
Once you’ve got your overall picture sorted, you need to add in some interests that you can talk about in detail – whether it’s a commodity, a company or a currency. You need to be able to show that you don’t just read headlines, but that you have a genuine interest and thought-out opinions on the market. Be able to elaborate on the risks and opportunities of a few investment ideas and a handful of less obvious news stories and what their ramifications might be when it comes to the markets.
If you are coming from a non-finance background, you are still expected to have some understanding of the industry. And, whilst they won’t expect you to have a detailed understanding of complicated products and from my experience focus more on commercial awareness, it’s best to have a broad overview of technical knowledge. Learn your basic definitions (bonds/ options/ futures…) as well as be able to understand how these are priced and used.
- FT News Briefing
If you take one resource from the list, take this one!
In less than 10 minutes, this podcast covers 2-4 of the most important news stories of the day. Listen to this every day, choose a couple of stories that interest you and research them further, and you’ll be ready to talk markets in no time!
- Exchanges at Goldman Sachs
Particularly their Markets Update series, which consists of 10 minute episodes released every Thursday.
This podcast is a great window into expert opinions on how current affairs are affecting the markets. A must to add to your weekly listening!
- Investopedia https://www.investopedia.com/
Particularly their Financial Terms Dictionary.
Whether you want to learn more about quantitative easing, bonds or credit default swaps this is the place to do it. This website is full of easy-to-understand, yet detailed definitions of all the financial terms you’ll need at interview level.
- Sell Side Handbook http://sellsidehandbook.com/
Particularly their Sales & Trading Career Guide and Interview Questions.
This website offers an extensive list of interview questions alongside example answers. Be picky with which questions you look at and don’t be put off by how many they are – they aren’t all relevant! However, there are a handful of gems in there that are perfect for practice.
- Mergers and Inquisitions https://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/sales-trading/
Particularly the S&T Interview section.
This website walks you through some really key potential aspects of an S&T interview. Part 2 on Market Questions is especially useful as well as the checklist at the end of the page.
- Channel 4 News
It’s important to keep up with the general news just as much as the financial and business news. Whilst it may not directly come up in your interviews, political events drive markets so you must know what’s going on and where.
Channel 4 News is my favourite YouTube news channel – it offers you daily short videos on a wide range of different global news stories.
- Bloomberg Markets and Finance
On the other hand, Bloomberg’s channel explores markets in a bit more depth and is a great tool if you want to find out about how a specific asset class has been trending and why.
It offers insightful and succinct reports on everything from soybeans to bitcoin and much of its content involves interviews with professionals at the bulge bracket and big international banks.
Finimize is a subscription based news service, however, the newsletters it offers are free.
Its daily newsletters cover 3 news-bites, that are always a fun and interesting read and have the advantage of being a little bit off the beaten-track (i.e. not in the FT!).
Best of luck with any interviews you may have, and I hope this tool-kit will serve you well! If there any resources you like to use, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.