Fin Prep Guide
There are three major types of roles- IB, Markets and Corp fin/Corp bank/Miscellaneous:
Investment banking roles require an understanding of valuation fundamentals for which the Bible is written by Aswath Damodaran. An alternative to reading the book is to watch his full length course videos which he’s very generously uploaded on Youtube.
DCF, relative valuation, basic accounting, discount rates, estimating growth rates, nuances about which multiples to use where and which discount rate to apply where are usually tested.
Apart from literature, one also needs to select a sector of choice (popular one’s being Cement, FMCG, Oil & Gas, Auto, etc.) and study almost everything about that sector in India. Resources for this would be industry reports, CRISIL reports (use the immensely helpful tons databases our library has subscribed to) and annual reports of some prominent companies belonging to the sector.
You then also need to select a company and be prepared with your views about the company, be it its current valuations, growth prospects, industry positioning etc.
Markets roles require an understanding of prices and trends of various asset classes like stocks, bonds, currencies, rates, commodities. One must also know the geopolitical and economic principles underlying behind the trends currently being observed. Good resources are websites like investing.com, fxstreet.com, yahoofinance.com, investopedia.com, etc.
Apart from prices, trends and the reasons behind the trends, one also has to prepare some ‘views’ of their own. By ‘views’, I mean opinions about the future price or trend of an asset, say rupee-dollar pair. Companies can ask for ‘views’ and you should be able to give multiple reasons for holding that particular view on that particular asset.
For forming views, it is advisable to first read others views, opinions and news on the trends and then identify a few assets where you can confidently come up with your own thesis.
Corp fin/Corp bank/Miscellaneous
For these roles, one needs to have a good understanding of corporate finance, working capital management and basic accounting. Again, Mr. Damodaran has been very kind to us all by uploading his courses on corporate finance on Youtube.
One should be well versed with DCF, capital budgeting, balance sheet and inventory management techniques.
Know your CV well, some recruiters do ask questions on work experience and finance related activities.
HR questions usually are less asked for fin roles and can be managed by preparing for usual questions.
Most importantly, express tons of interest, excitement and confidence during buddy calls and interviews. Your eagerness and enthusiasm towards the role and the company will go a long way.