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The guide to landing a job in M&A

Interview questions and advice from Jeronimo Blazquez, Senior Manager M&A at PwC

You are interested in a career in Mergers & Acquisitions?
You are passionate about market transactions?

You must already know that the selection process is one of the hardest out there and that you won’t succeed without in-depth interview preparation ahead. When talking to career coaches, we learned a valuable insight: candidates often underestimate the importance and difficulty of personality and culture fit preparation. This is where we put a lot of focus, because better answer to those questions only come with more understanding of who you are talking to and what you have to offer.

We will take you through essential preparation steps and more than 50 interview questions and instructions covering both the fit part and the technical knowledge required so that you are fully prepared ahead of your M&A interview. We will also provide a framework to help you discuss deals and prompts for you to ask questions to your interviewer.

Start by researching the company and recent industry deals

Learning how the company is structured, where it is implemented, what market are keys and what do they specialize in is paramount to making a good impression in front of your recruter.

Some M&A advisory firms and investment banks are structured by industry, having industry experts that know about all areas of the M&A process. Others will be more "service" focused, with modelling experts, due diligence experts, financing experts, that can work across many industries.

Those kind of insights will help you build solid answers to questions such as why you want to work at this particular firm and not at one of their competitors. And let us tell you, this questions comes back at almost every M&A interview.

As part of the your research on the company and the industry, you will have to be prepared to discuss recent deals that were concluded.

The deal discussion part of an M&A interview is probably the most important part of an interview in investment banking or M&A

This is probably the most important part of an interview in investment banking or M&A, as it is the interviewer's first impression of your deal knowledge and it sets the context for follow-up questions. Crushing this question will show the interviewer that you have two key qualities: your passion for M&A and your ability to understand it and talk about it.

The deal discussion typically involves two parts:
  • Deal description
  • Follow up questions

We will take you through these two parts and give you tips and advice on how to best prepare your deal discussions.

Focus on your presentation

These questions help the recruiter understand what drives you and if you are a good fit for the company culture and the team.
We will guide you on using concrete examples and keywords as illustrations to help the recruiter better assess you.
You will be able to answer questions such as:
→ What are the three things that are most important for you at work?
→ Describe the best partner or supervisor you have worked with. What did you like about their management or working style?

Show curiosity

An interview is a discussion, so you want to initiate meaningful exchanges with your recruiter and ask appropriate questions that showcase your interest.

Do not make the mistake of showing up to an interview without questions for the interviewer, as it's a sign of little motivation that could be a deal-breaker.

Know essential financial concepts

Knowledge is key, and here especially it will be a make it or break it.
Here is a few examples of what we will go through:
☑️  Know the do's and don'ts of a good financial model
☑️  List different valuation multiples
☑️  Explain how a convertible bond works

👇 Access 56 questions, Financial knowledge cases, and frameworks to land your career in M&A 👇

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