When it comes to interviews, preparation is key. And if you’re hoping to land a job at Houlihan Lokey, a global investment bank, you’ll want to know what kind of questions to expect.
While there are some common interview questions that you should be prepared to answer, such as “Tell me about yourself” and “Why are you interested in this position?”, you’ll also want to be ready for some company-specific questions.
To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of some potential questions you may be asked in an interview with Houlihan Lokey, along with some sample answers.
Houlihan Lokey Interview Process
The interview process at Houlihan Lokey can vary depending on the position you are applying for. However, most positions will require at least one behavioral interview and one technical interview. The hiring process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
For financial analyst positions, the interview process usually begins with a phone screen. This is followed by a super day where candidates will meet with a variety of bankers. The final round of interviews is typically with the managing director. Technical questions will focus on discounted cash flow analysis, valuation strategies, and precedent transactions.
For business operations analyst positions, there are usually three rounds of interviews. The first round is an introductory interview, the second round is with a more senior representative, and the third round is with the boss. Questions will focus on your background and experience.
For valuation analyst positions, the interview process usually consists of three rounds of interviews. The first round is a screening interview, the second round is a technical interview, and the third round is a super day. Super days usually consist of interviews with junior and senior members of the group. Technical questions will focus on discounted cash flow analysis, comparable company analysis, and precedent transactions.
Common Houlihan Lokey Interview Questions
- What is the difference between a bank, an insurance company and an investment bank?
- How do you approach problem solving? Give us an example of how you solved a difficult issue in the past.
- Tell me about a time when you had to work under pressure.
- If we hired you, what would be your strategy for recruiting new business?
- What are some challenges facing financial services companies today?
- Describe a situation where you overcame a challenging obstacle at work.
- Why do you want to work at Houlihan Lokey?
- What was your most successful experience working with clients?
- Tell me about a time when you didn’t meet a deadline for a project.
- How do you keep up with current events?
- Explain residual income and its importance.
- In your opinion, what makes a good financial analyst?
- Do you enjoy talking on the phone?
- Have you ever worked with any outside vendors?
- Can you describe a typical day as an associate?
- How comfortable are you with public speaking?
- Are you familiar with Bloomberg Terminal?
- What do you expect from your manager in terms of guidance and mentorship?
- What motivates you to succeed in this position?
1. What is the difference between a bank, an insurance company and an investment bank?
Houlihan Lokey is a global investment bank, so the interviewer may ask you this question to see if you understand the differences between their business and other financial institutions. Use your answer to highlight your knowledge of Houlihan Lokey’s services and how they differ from those of banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions.
Example: “A bank offers deposit accounts, loans and credit cards, while an insurance company provides life, health and property insurance. An investment bank helps clients raise capital through mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings and private placements.”
2. How do you approach problem solving? Give us an example of how you solved a difficult issue in the past.
Houlihan Lokey is looking for candidates who can solve problems and find solutions. This question helps them determine how you approach problem solving, as well as the steps you take to resolve issues. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to identify the issue, research possible solutions and implement a plan of action.
Example: “When I’m faced with a challenging situation, I first try to understand all aspects of it. Then, I break down the problem into smaller pieces so that I can analyze each part individually. Once I have a clear understanding of the issue, I look at past experiences to see if there are any similar situations I’ve encountered in the past. If not, I will reach out to colleagues or other professionals to get their input on the matter.”
3. Tell me about a time when you had to work under pressure.
This question is a great way to assess your ability to work under pressure and how you react to it. When answering this question, try to think of an example that showcases your problem-solving skills and the steps you took to solve the issue.
Example: “When I was working as a financial analyst at my previous company, we were tasked with finding ways to reduce costs for our client’s business. We had two weeks to find solutions to their problems before they released their quarterly report. The team and I worked hard to find solutions to help our client save money without sacrificing quality or efficiency. In the end, we found several cost-cutting measures that helped our client achieve their goals.”
4. If we hired you, what would be your strategy for recruiting new business?
Hiring managers want to know that you have a plan for growing the company and increasing revenue. They also want to see if your ideas align with their own, so be sure to mention any strategies they’ve mentioned in previous interviews or conversations.
Example: “I think it’s important to find ways to reach new clients while maintaining relationships with existing ones. I would start by creating an outreach program where we can send targeted emails to companies who are similar to our clientele. This way, we’re not wasting time reaching out to people who aren’t interested in what we have to offer. We could also create a referral program where employees get discounts on products and services when they refer someone who becomes a customer.”
5. What are some challenges facing financial services companies today?
This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of your understanding of the financial services industry. Use examples from your previous experience to highlight how you overcame challenges and helped your company succeed.
Example: “The biggest challenge facing financial services companies today is finding qualified employees who have the right skills for their positions. In my last role, I was tasked with hiring new analysts to work on our team. I developed an effective recruiting strategy that included reaching out to universities in the area to find candidates who were looking for internships or entry-level roles. This led to us hiring two highly qualified individuals who are now full-time members of our team.”
6. Describe a situation where you overcame a challenging obstacle at work.
Hiring managers ask this question to learn more about your problem-solving skills and how you overcame a challenge in the past. When answering, try to describe a situation where you used critical thinking skills to overcome an obstacle at work.
Example: “At my previous job, I was tasked with finding new clients for our company. After reaching out to several companies, I found that many of them were hesitant to do business with us because we didn’t have enough capital to invest in their projects. To solve this issue, I reached out to some of our existing clients and asked if they would be willing to give us additional funds so we could invest in other projects. They agreed, and it helped us grow our client base.”
7. Why do you want to work at Houlihan Lokey?
This question is an opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the company and its values. You can also use this as a chance to demonstrate that you have done some research about the organization.
Example: “I want to work at Houlihan Lokey because I am passionate about working in a fast-paced environment where I can make a difference. Your company’s mission statement of ‘helping clients achieve their goals’ really resonates with me, and I think I would be a great fit here. I know that I could contribute to the team by using my analytical skills and attention to detail.”
8. What was your most successful experience working with clients?
This question is an opportunity to show your interpersonal skills and ability to work with clients. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific client or group of clients you worked with in the past who were particularly happy with your services.
Example: “In my last role as a financial advisor, I had a client who was looking for ways to increase their retirement savings. After meeting with them several times, we determined that they could save money by changing some of their investment options. They ended up saving thousands of dollars per year, which allowed them to retire early.”
9. Tell me about a time when you didn’t meet a deadline for a project.
This question can help interviewers understand your ability to prioritize and manage your time. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific project that you didn’t meet the deadline for and how you handled the situation.
Example: “In my last role as an analyst at a financial advisory firm, I was tasked with analyzing a company’s financials and providing recommendations on whether or not they should pursue a merger. The client needed the report within two weeks, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, I wasn’t able to complete the report until three weeks later. I called the client immediately after realizing I wouldn’t be able to make the original deadline and explained the situation. They were understanding and appreciated my transparency.”
10. How do you keep up with current events?
This question can help interviewers learn more about your interests and how you spend your free time. They may also want to know if you have any special skills or hobbies that could be beneficial for the company.
Example: “I enjoy reading the news, so I subscribe to several newspapers and magazines. I also watch a lot of financial news channels on TV. I find it interesting to see what’s going on in the world and how it might affect our economy. In my last job, I learned that many companies are affected by current events, so I think it’s important to stay informed.”
11. Do you have experience with mergers & acquisitions?
Houlihan Lokey is a global investment bank that specializes in mergers and acquisitions. This question allows the interviewer to assess your experience with M&A, which can be an important part of working for this company. Use examples from your previous work to highlight your expertise in this area.
Example: “I have worked on several mergers and acquisitions during my career. In one instance, I helped a client find a new partner for their business. I conducted extensive research into the market to find companies that would make good partners. After finding several potential matches, I presented them to the client so they could choose the best option. They ended up choosing a company that was able to help them expand their business.”
12. Explain residual income and its importance.
This question is a great way to test your knowledge of financial terms and concepts. When answering this question, it can be helpful to define residual income and explain how it’s used in the business world.
Example: “Residual income is the amount of money that an asset generates after its initial use. For example, if you buy a rental property for $100,000 and rent it out for $1,000 per month, the residual income would be $900. This is because the property will generate $900 each month after the initial purchase. Residual income is important because it shows how much profit a company or investment will make over time.”
13. In your opinion, what makes a good financial analyst?
Hiring managers want to know that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in their company. They may ask this question to see if you understand what it takes to be a successful financial analyst. In your answer, try to explain what makes a good financial analyst and how your experience aligns with those qualities.
Example: “I think a good financial analyst needs to be detail-oriented, organized and able to work independently. I am all of these things, which is why I’m confident I would excel in this role. Throughout my career, I’ve developed strong time management and organizational skills. I also enjoy working alone because it allows me to focus on my work without distractions.”
14. Do you enjoy talking on the phone?
This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your communication skills. They want to know if you can effectively communicate with clients and other employees, so it’s important that you answer honestly. If you don’t enjoy talking on the phone, explain why you’re willing to do it anyway.
Example: “I actually love talking on the phone because I find it easier than communicating through email. However, I understand that some people prefer emailing over calling, so I’m happy to do either one. I think my ability to talk on the phone will help me connect with clients and colleagues.”
15. Have you ever worked with any outside vendors?
Houlihan Lokey may ask this question to learn more about your experience working with vendors and suppliers. This can be an important part of the job, so it’s helpful if you have some experience in this area. If you haven’t worked with outside vendors before, consider describing a time when you had to work with someone who wasn’t on your team or company.
Example: “I’ve worked with several outside vendors during my career. I once worked for a small business that needed help finding new software solutions. We hired a consultant to help us find the right software for our needs. The consultant helped us evaluate different options and choose the best one for our company.”
16. Can you describe a typical day as an associate?
This question is a great way to show your interviewer that you understand the role and responsibilities of an associate. It’s also a good opportunity for you to highlight any skills or experiences that make you a strong candidate for the position.
Example: “A typical day as an associate would start with me reading through emails from my clients, reviewing their financial statements and researching comparable companies in order to provide them with accurate valuations. I’d then meet with my client to discuss our findings and recommendations before presenting it to senior management. Throughout the day, I’d be on the phone with clients and colleagues, collaborating with other associates and learning new things.”
17. How comfortable are you with public speaking?
Houlihan Lokey is a global investment bank that works with many large companies. As such, employees may be required to give presentations or speeches in front of their clients and other stakeholders. Interviewers ask this question to make sure you are comfortable speaking in public. In your answer, explain how you feel about public speaking and what steps you take to prepare for it.
Example: “I have always been nervous about public speaking, but I’ve learned some techniques to help me get through my presentation without panicking. Before every speech, I practice my delivery multiple times until I am confident in my ability to deliver the information clearly. I also try to learn as much as I can about the audience so I can tailor my speech to them.”
18. Are you familiar with Bloomberg Terminal?
Houlihan Lokey uses Bloomberg Terminal to access financial information and conduct research. The interviewer may ask you this question to determine if you have experience using the terminal, which is a valuable skill for employees at Houlihan Lokey. If you are not familiar with Bloomberg Terminal, consider asking the interviewer what it does so that you can learn more about it before your interview.
Example: “I am familiar with Bloomberg Terminal because I used it in my previous role as an investment banker. It’s a powerful tool that allows users to access real-time financial data and news stories. In my last position, I used Bloomberg Terminal daily to monitor market trends and analyze company performance.”
19. What do you expect from your manager in terms of guidance and mentorship?
Houlihan Lokey is a large company with many opportunities for growth. Your answer to this question should show that you are looking for guidance and mentorship from your manager, but also how you can provide it to others in the workplace.
Example: “I expect my manager to be available when I need them and to offer me feedback on my performance regularly. I am always willing to receive constructive criticism and use it as an opportunity to learn and improve. I believe that if I have questions or concerns about my work, I should feel comfortable enough to ask my manager for help.”
20. What motivates you to succeed in this position?
This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you are motivated by more than just money. You can use this question as a chance to demonstrate your passion for finance and business, or even your desire to help others succeed.
Example: “I am passionate about helping businesses grow and thrive. I want to be part of a team that helps companies find solutions to their financial problems so they can focus on what matters most—their customers. I also love working with numbers and analyzing data, which makes me excited to learn new things every day.”