*** Report on Deutsche Bank spring week interview questions from a Cover Letter Library member’s experiences. This is based on Deutsche Bank spring week interview after the spring week for the 2019 Corporate Finance Internship Programme in London in 2018. There may be some variations depending on the offices or other new updates to the recruitment practice – so please use this for reference/preparation purposes only ***
Deutsche Bank Spring Week Interview Questions
Some first bits on the logistics
- Who’s the lucky company?
- For which division at Deutsche Bank?
Corporate Finance (IBD)
- And for which office?
- Which year was this Deutsche Bank interview?
- What’s the formal title of the position you interviewed for?
2019 Corporate Finance Internship Programme
- How were you informed of this Deutsche Bank interview?
- Were you able to choose the time slot yourself?
- And this interview was therefore…
In the morning
- Was this a … ?
- Which stage was this Deutsche Bank interview?
Let’s talk about this Assessment Centre in some details
- What’s the format of the day?
Started with a M&A case study – had 45 minutes to read the information pack.
Then moved on to the 3 interviews – technical skills, M&A case study (present your findings) and competency/motivation.
On an earlier day, there was a group exercise, which consisted of individual reading then group discussion and finished with a group presentation.
- Were there any case study? Tell us about it.
There was an M&A case study. You get 45 minutes to read 2 information packs. Then in one of your 3 interviews, you present your M&A recommendations to the interviewer. The problem statement was which company should your client acquire.
The first information pack provided context about the business situation (not very important). The second (much more content) information pack included client company overview and information about 3 potential companies the client can acquire. On each target page, was a business overview and typical financials (revenue, gross profit, net profit, P/E, EV/EBITDA). On the last few pages, of the pack there was a PTA list.
- Was there any group presentation / discussion?
The group work session was very straightforward. It was on a very general topic (marketing project), and they provided ample time for self reading and group discussion. Self reading was for around 30 minutes. Group discussion was around 1 hour. Presentation was only for 10 minutes, so it was difficult to fit everything my group wanted to say (and also allocate the time fairly). There was also a short Q&A afterwards (but that was also straightforward).
- Were there any other exercises? Tell us more.
No role play or written exercises.
- Onto the interviews, how many separate interviews were there in total ?
- How many interviewers were in each interview and in total?
- How long was each interview?
30 minutes each
- Were there any personal / CV-based questions? If yes, what were they?
In the competency/motivational interview, there were a lot of personal and CV based questions. The interviewer picked out certain parts of your CV (educational and professional experiences) and asked about it. Also asked very generic and open questions such as: why this firm? why investment banking?
- Were there any competencies questions? If yes, what were they?
The closest thing to a competency question they asked was – What can you offer to our company? Otherwise they never asked about specific characteristics or competencies.
- Were there any technical questions? If yes, what were they?
Yes, during the technical interview. The interviewer started off by asking “how would you valuate a company?”. Then we moved on to specific questions for each of the main valuation methods. For DCF, he asked me to give a step by step breakdown to get to FCF, and elaborate of the key variables (WACC, discount factor, terminal value).
For CCA and PTA, he just asked for an overview of the process, but didn’t ask any follow up questions.
- Any other weird questions we haven’t covered?
Brain teaser question – it was some rubrics cube question. It wasn’t difficult, and only requires some quick maths.
- What was the most difficult / unusual question among these? How did you deal with it?
There were two difficult parts.
Firstly, the technical interview DCF section was quite difficult as the interview kept asking followup questions and obviously wanted to find out exactly how much you know about DCF and the variables, plus the factors that affect those variables.
Secondly, the M&A case study preparation time was quite short. You have to skim a lot of information quickly, and then conjure a convincing argument for your acquisition choice. Luckily, my M&A case study interview was last, and I had some time to think about my M&A recommendations during the short breaks between my other two interviews.
- What was the most unexpected thing about this Assessment Centre ?
Nothing unexpected. HR kindly told us the rundown beforehand during spring week.
- Did you get the offer?
- How long roughly did it take for you to hear back about this outcome?
- Via what means did you hear back about this outcome?
- Is there anything you wish you should have known or prepared for prior to this Assessment Centre at Deutsche Bank?
More Investment Banking Division technicals.
- Overall, out of 10, how would you evaluate your experience of this Assessment Centre with Deutsche Bank?
- Before you go, is there anything else you think will help other candidates ace this Assessment Center at Deutsche Bank?
I got the summer offer through the spring week programme. Perform well during the spring week as it counts. This means asking good questions, working well with others, and engaging with analysts/associates and HR. Overall, there is a strong emphasis about technical knowledge at DB, so do your preparation and learn as much as you can. Also, this is just gut feeling, but if you manage to ace one of the three interviews, that MD will probably vouch for you, as long as you don’t completely screw up the other two.