Equity Research Associate Interview

Top Equity Research Associate Interview Questions with Sample Answers

Prepare for your equity research associate interview with this list of common questions on financial modelling, valuation, investments, and more sample responses from industry experts.

Describing the Equity Research Function

“Equity analysis is more art than science and judgement/common sense is important.” – Brad Mills, Portfolio Manager

I remember speaking with an equity analyst early in my career about what skills are most valuable in investment research. His emphasis on creative problem-solving through financial analysis rather than just textbook methods stuck with me when framing my approach.

As of 2021, over 294,600 financial analysts were working across the United States according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With so many analysts competing in the field, standing out with unique perspectives is key.

Why equity research over other analyst roles?

  • Detail your investing philosophy and passions for researching public companies
  • Explain the aspects of modeling, writing, analyzing that suit your skills
  • Convey genuine interest in contributing insights to inform investment decisions

“I’m fascinated by valuation and finding≈ gaps between a company’s fundamentals and market perception. I love poring over 10Ks to understand drivers and risks fundamentally.”

Analytical Skills and Investment Process

Hiring managers will probe your thought process for researching ideas:

Walk me through your investment analysis process

  • Outline your step-by-step process of researching new stocks
  • Elaborate on sources, models, comparisons, and screening factors you consider
  • Discuss how you determine the credibility of data and assumptions

“I research top down – first assessing industry outlooks before competitive dynamics. Then I dig into SEC filings and build operating models factoring growth, margins, and capex. Comp ratios, DCF, SOTP valuation provides targets.”

How do you know your price target is reasonable?

  • Share your methods for testing various assumptions
  • Describe market/transaction comps used to benchmark predictions
  • Explain how you evaluate output ranges to establish a conviction

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