Congratulations! That's not an easy interview to even get invited for! Here's a list of general things you might get asked about, and should prepare for. To get more specific intel on what will be covered, you might want to consider asking other people who have interviewed with that specific firm in the past.
<h1>How are business / finance interviews usually conducted?</h1>
They're conducted in rounds. For first round interviews, I've seen everything from three-against-one verbal assaults for the purpose of seeing how you behave under stress to super casual "can I get along with you" banter to a battery of highly technical finance questions. I've found that there tends to be very little consistency across the industry, although there may be consistency within one firm if it is large enough to have standardized interviewing trainings for its employees.
<h1>How much of a technical background should I be expected to have?</h1>
If you go to a school where finance is taught, you will be expected to have mastered all of the basics of finance. If you do not go to a school with a formal finance program or classes on finance and financial markets, your interviewers may cut you some slack. They'll probably still try to test your knowledge in the interview, so be prepared to be asked a question about something that you don't know. If you are not technical, you should practice ways to demonstrate that you can learn and apply theory very quickly, especially if you can show that you were self-taught. If you have any math or physics bona fides, use them extensively -- finance theory is much much simpler than the stuff that you have to tackle in advanced math or physics courses. Obviously, if you are trying to get a job working in investing and can't answer basic questions about the capital asset pricing model or the financial markets, you're not going to be very competitive against candidates who already know exactly what they are getting into. If you want to turn weakness in this area into a strength, the best thing to do is actually to teach yourself finance. It's not that hard, and won't take you that long. You could pick up the vault guide to finance interviews, or study the Khan Academy series on finance and capital markets, or pick up some textbooks on finance, valuation, capital markets, and accounting. If you really want to go for the gold, consider studying for and taking the test to get yourself CFA Level 1 (note: getting CFA 1 is really NOT an easy thing to do, and takes a lot of studying. But if you get it, you'll kill all doubt about whether or not you're really committed to becoming an expert in finance and capital markets.)
<h1>Besides the usual "fit" questions, are there any additional questions I should know how to answer?</h1>
Some questions I've personally received in interviews for investing or finance jobs:
- Tell me about a stock you're following right now.
- If I gave you $1000, how would you invest it?
- Where is the S&P500 right now?
- What investments do you have personally, and why?
- What was on the cover of the Wall Street Journal this morning?
- If I gave you only one metric and you had to use that metric to decide whether to go long or short on a stock, what metric would you ask for?
- What is the CAPM?
- How would you value a bond?
- When should a company raise equity and when should it raise debt?
- Why do you want to work in finance? (protip: do NOT say that it's because you want to make a lot of money)
- No really, why do you really want to work in finance? (still don't say it)
- Tell me a joke.
- I see you have (example) on your resume... That has nothing to do with finance. Are you sure you want to work in finance?
- If you don't know the answers to any of these technical questions, why should I give you the job over someone else who does know the answers?
As you can tell, the questions are going to be hard to predict. So a final word of advice... Be ready to be stumped. When (not if) it happens, know how you're going to behave. Don't get flustered. It's much better to handle that with honesty and humility, or curiosity, or even excitement. Some other emotion than fear and anxiety.
CONFIDENCE is key! Bring your confidence. And know that you deserve to feel confident! You got this!
Source: I worked in the financial services and financial consulting sector for several years at the end of college. I interviewed with asset management firms, although never by phone.