INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: Citigroup, investment banking, graduate

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Question:

How did you convince a senior member of your team about the effectiveness of an idea you had?

Student’s answer:

I told the interviewer about my experience with E&Y where I was a technology consultant and convinced senior team members of a better testing method whereby you only conduct high level testing of "important" modules and the combinations within instead of testing the complete system. I realized that this was the most effective method for our department and I convinced others through demonstrations on a test application over an allocated testing time period. This new testing method helped the division save time and money without compromising on quality.

Question:

What is the most significant recent development in the investment banking industry?

Student’s answer:

The most significant recent development in the Investment Banking industry is changes in government regulations. Basel III requires banks to have higher capital ratios and since the amount of risk-weighted assets for Investment Banks is high, the result might be lower ROE. However, the positive side is that smaller banks might not be able to comply with these regulations and give up their investment banking ambitions, resulting in the industry becoming more concentrated. This will divide more business amongst the remaining “big” investment banks, resulting in higher ROE.

Question:

Tell me about a time when you were under immense pressure.

Student’s answer:

My example was from a previous experience where the firm was on the brink of making massive losses due to delay in supply of raw materials from suppliers but my pro-activeness and leadership ability helped salvage the situation. I stayed close to the supplier's factory, which was 600 kilometers away, for close to 2 weeks to ensure that our firm's goods were given high priority. Afterwards, I re-planned the project from that situation to ensure timely delivery and prevented order cancellation from the client.

Question:

What do you think will be the emerging trends in consumer banking (yes, I was asked this in an investment banking interview)?

Student’s answer:

My perception is that there will be two different noticeable trends. In developed nations, the trend will be more towards digitization of products using mobile technology based on the tech savvy new generation that is emerging. In the developing nations, traditional banking will be more prevalent but will be highly volume based because every year more and more people are entering the middle-class bracket and can afford banking products.

We cannot guarantee the authenticity of these questions nor the accuracy of the answers: they are what one candidate claims to have been asked by Citigroup and have not been verified by the bank. To visit our long list of all banks’ graduate interview questions in 2012, click here.

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