I have got an interview tomorrow. I am told that they will surely ask questions about the company.

The company is one of the world's largest investment management firms so it's hard to learn everything about it since there is just so much data out there about the company.

I'm an MBA Finance student and applied for role of Intern - Business Operations.

What kind of questions should I expect about the company in an interview? And how could I prepare for them?

  • 1
    Don't worry about numbers. (I doubt they expect you to memorize those.) Focus on trends instead (sales growth, important customers, latest news). – Llewellyn Sep 29 '19 at 11:10

There is no exhaustive list when trying to learn what a company does, but I've found below helped me in my search

  1. Every large company has a unique culture, and they normally put information about that on their hiring website - you can use it to learn about the company.

  2. Most largish companies tend to use a mix of approaches based on different teams preference to achieve the objective at hand - so you can pick up the top X hot trends for the role you've applied to, and ask questions around that. This will be a conversation opener and allow you to learn about them.

  3. Large companies also tend to have unique cultures within various teams at times, so you can try learning about the culture of the team etc that you will end up joining. You could get insights around this from extended network who already works there.

  4. Finally, if the company produces some white papers/ blogs/ articles, you can have a look at the recent ones to ask questions around their content.

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  • "unique cultures within various teams at times" Any proposal how he should be able to get information on that? – FooTheBar Sep 30 '19 at 8:45

Collect some facts of the company that are related or somewhat relevant to the specific role you are applying for. Also collect some general facts and link them with something related to you (e.g. maybe the company has released a new product and you use this product / have written a thesis about something related).

Then during the interview bring up these facts proactively. Because you have linked the facts to your specific resume / position, this will be possible in a natural way. Also they may appreciate that you did not simply learn some key facts by heart but that you actually dealt with what that means for you and your new position.

By bringing up these points proactively you might decrease the probability of being asked something specific where you do not know the answer to.

However, if time permits, it is probabably best to also learn the most important key facts (even if they are not directly related to you or the vacant position) because you may be asked nevertheless during the interview and also because it is probably good to know at least the basic facts about a company you will potentially work for.

Also do some research on those aspects of the company that you are most enthusiastic about (e.g. a cool algorithm recently developed): If you are able to speak about some aspects of the company with genuine enthusiasm, this may improve the improssion you make during the interview significantly.

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I run the interviews for interns in our departments and will often ask them what they know about the company. The main thing that I'm looking for is that the intern has taken the time to research the company and produce some interesting knowledge. I don't dig too much into detail, after all an intern generally is only just in their first starting position.

I would recommend these areas:

  • Where their offices are based
  • Other companies they have worked with
  • What their business generally deals with
  • If the company has a mission statement, what it is (Roughly, you don't need to recite it by heart)

So don't panic too much, but make sure you have some knowledge about them and have checked their about page on their website. If you have heard some positive news stories, that can also be a great boon to add to the conversation.

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